“A little free advice:
The best advice is never free”
I am on a quest. My quest is to become wise. It’s probably not something I will put on my resume or tell all of my friends about. If you talk about wisdom, people think you want to grow your beard and wear sackcloth.
Wisdom is not something we hear much about these days. We hear lots about being rich, living well, being tanned and relaxing on the beach, having a six pack (the stomach kind not the beer kind) and retiring young. Then we hear about living a long life, being happy and being healthy. We hear a lot about how to get to the land of sunshine and roses, but we don’t hear much about character or wisdom.
Wisdom? Why is wisdom the territory of priests, pastors and old wrinkly people who were born before telephones were invented and think the Internet is for catching fish?
The natural place to begin my quest is Google. I performed a Google search on April 2, 2015 and I found some fun things:
- “Advice” – 145,000,000 results
- “Best Advice” – 326,000,000 results
- “Wrong Advice” – 63,100,000 results
- “How to Take Advice” – 69,100,000 results
Apparently we love advice, but we are not so keen on taking the advice that we get. Best advice outnumbers taking advice by almost 5 to 1! We are good at asking but not so good at applying.
From the Internet to the Innernet
So how do you take the advice that you receive and make it your own? How do you take what you learn from the Internet and then deliver it to your Innernet?
Go slow. I tell my staff that “Feedback can change your life, if you let it.” Funny thing, no one ever writes that down! (This nugget took over 40 years to make it to my Innernet). For me, the way I get things to my own Innernet is to slow down. I have to think about something for a while, maybe journal about it and then talk about it. If it is valuable, I do my own research and talk to more people about it. I have to act on it. And then somehow it seems to get through the filters and I own it.
Less is more. I have a hard time with this one. My mind tells me that less is not more because Less and More are spelled differently. Less feels like starvation and more feels like more fun.
Be ready. I know I am ready after I have tried everything else. Sometimes this means I have to satisfy my Infobesity and go through the Google searches, and fill up my files and my hard drive with articles and links. I have to feel a little information overload. I seem more ready after I have exhausted everything else and then I stop. I guess wisdom shows up after we have tried everything else.
There is a parable that talks about a pearl above all other pearls. It can only be owned after a long search and after we have let the other pearls fall away. This pearl is costly and the journey is the price that we must pay. We have to let go, trust and show a little faith. And then we discover a Kingdom where the streets have no name.
On March 29, 2015 I asked the Facebook Writers Group for the best advice they have received. I post their advice without editing, because Wisdom requires no editing. Just like the well lived life.
On Risk and Regret
- Suzanne K “Turn on a light, or sit in the dark…but you do have a choice.”
- Chris W “My cousin, who was a few years older than me at the time, had a choice of working for an ton of big name companies, probably could have been CEO of any one of them in a month. He instead opted to work for a tiny little independent comic book studio with a friend, because he loved to draw and animate stuff. When I asked him why he didn’t go for the jobs with money, he told me, “If you don’t do what you love in life, it’s not worth living.”
- Sean Swaby “I had a boss once who gave me the advice that it is better to be a small fish in a big pond than a big fish in a small pond. Only problem with that is that small fish get eaten by the biggies. Guess metaphors can break down if you think too much.”
- Bettina A “Nobody’s perfect – my psychologist told me that when I was a teenager and even though it’s something so simple I remind myself of it everyday (I’m a hardcore perfectionist)”
- CJ F “Don’t let perfect be the enemy of good.”
On the Body
- Simone N “Boobs are not worth babies” ~ Abbi G.
Writing and Living Well
- James B “Never underestimate the sheer potency of each written word. Under no circumstance never abandon the process which inspires creative thinking, for anything else in this world.”
Thank you to each of the writers who participated in this topic. Your advice is wise and a little strange: Jennifer L M, Suzanne K, Tracy E, Chris W, Tracy E W, Bettina A, Jaco L, Keith F, CJ F, Tracy E, Simone N, Josehf L M, Selena D, Jessica V, Linda L B, James B, Pauline C.
Please, join our the conversation. It’s not over. What is your best advice? How do you get yourself ready to hear the advice that you need? Is there a place for wisdom in your life?
Keep it real
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