Separating the Signal from the Noise/Advice on Taking Advice
“The only thing to do with good advice is to pass it on. It’s never of any use to oneself”― Oscar Wilde
ANSWER: They both don’t work
That’s right, and the same is true for most advice we get; they just don’t work. Every day we are all subject to tremendous amounts of information; when we are trying to decide our next course of action in career, in business or life generally. There is no shortage of advice, everyone is dishing out some, from books to online articles to social media; even “Bookxpo” isn’t left out. Sometimes these advices seem conflicting that it now becomes important to filter out the noise to be able to focus on good advice. Surely there is no recipe or sure path that guarantees success, and just because it worked for someone in a particular circumstance doesn’t mean it will work for you. Hence knowing which advice is most appropriate for which situation becomes important.
Here are some valuable points to remember that helps when taking advice;
- Learn to think for thyself
Learning to think for oneself means you shouldn’t accept advice blindly without examining it. It means advice should serve more as a guideline than the rule. Most of us find it easier to be wise about other people’s problems than our own. Hear others out and then listen to yourself.
- Focus on the Message, Not the Messenger
We usually tend to focus on the person rather than the message; we discount good advice based on the person giving it and not on the quality of the advice.
Don’t just dismiss the message because you are skeptical about the messenger. On the other hand, where the messenger is respected, examine the message before accepting it.
- Sometimes advice isn’t necessarily wrong, it’s just biased.
A lot of people have a true desire to help with well-intentioned advice, but they are probably one-sided opinions and generalizations that do not translate to a well-informed advice. So while the advice may be communicated poorly, the better you understand what you need or what the problem is, the easier it is to get it right.
Above all, there are just some things we may not fully understand or appreciate without some experience (Good or bad). Inasmuch as learning from personal experiences isn’t usually the best route, I think we can all agree that our experiences make us and learning from our mistakes is necessary part of improvement.. Mistakes would be made and we can only try to reduce them, so don’t overanalyze these decisions; choose a path and take action.