November 16     

Today's quotation:

When you can, always advise people to do what you see they really want to do, so long as what they want to do isn't dangerously unlawful, stupidly unsocial or obviously impossible.  Doing what they want to do, they may  succeed; doing what they don't want to do, they won't.

James Gould Cozzens

Today's Meditation:

We all will be asked to give advice sometimes.  Some of us, of course, will be asked more than others, but the simple fact is that there will be someone in the world who will want to ask us our advice.  And when we're asked, it's very tempting to give advice based on what we want or like, advice that is based on our experience and our views of the world.  But should that really be the basis for advice for other people?

Or should the basis of our advice be on societal definitions of success, such as climbing the corporate ladder (a high-stress proposition), making lots of money, having a house that's too big, or driving an expensive car that costs twice as much to get you somewhere as a less expensive car would?  Do we want to give people we care for advice that would keep them stuck in difficult financial situations?

Or do we want to advise them to follow their dreams and ambitions, because life is very short and we need to make the most of it while we can?  Do we want to tell them about people who are doing what they love to do, and thus never actually going to work?  Should we tell them about people who make less money than others, but who are very happy doing something for which they have a great passion?

"Success" is a relative term.  Making more money doesn't make one more successful; doing a great job because you love to do it is definitely success.  The rewards are much greater, and they happen much more consistently.

And besides, shouldn't any advice we give to others come from a place of love and caring, and be given with the hope that it will help to make them happier people? 

Questions to consider:

What kinds of advice do you normally give to others?

Which of your personal experiences do you generally pull from as a basis for the advice you give?

Why does so much of our advice to others seem to be based on what makes us happy?

For further thought:

I have found the best way to give advice to your children is to find out what they want and then advise them to do it.

Harry S. Truman

more thoughts and ideas on advice



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