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Don’t just take advice, make it yours
Advice is often the outcome of what has worked for someone; you can't take their winning number and expect the same results. Instead, we need to seek to understand the principles behind any advice.
There's a whole industry out there for giving self-help advice. The keyword here being advice. Giving advice is cheap; it's everywhere, and it's often impersonal. It comes with the assumption that what worked for one works for everyone. It's like throwing spaghetti at the wall and seeing what sticks. While that can work sometimes, it's also naive and short-sighted.
Perhaps you've heard this famous quote:
Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.
When we give someone a fish, we rob them from discovering the principles, techniques, and mindset required to sustain themselves.
Similarly, when we take someone's advice, we prevent ourselves from discovering and learning the underlying principles that make that advice valid in the first place.
Taking advice isn't wrong; blindly taking advice is.
In addition, Naval Ravikant writes in Reject Most Advice:
If you ask a successful person what worked for them, they often read out the exact set of things that worked for them, which might not apply to you. They're just reading you their winning lottery ticket numbers.
Advice is often the outcome of what has worked for someone; you can't take their winning number and expect the same results.
There are mindsets, models, and systems beyond any advice, and when we take advice without seeking to understand what's supporting it, we miss out on what's most powerful. We need to seek a more profound understanding to unlock our ability to make it our own.
We have to be willing to do the hard work. When we make advice our own, we arm ourselves with the necessary mindsets, models, and principles to succeed.
Advice is powerful; it offers a shortcut to a destination, but without doing the hard work, we take the chance of robbing ourselves of its real power.
A favourite this week
My Octopus Teacher: This is a must-see with loads of great insights. It's a fantastic documentary on Netflix about a man that befriends an octopus for nearly a year and the transformation it had on his life as a result. It was incredibly moving, and I may have shed a few tears along the way. 🥲
Quote of the week
The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.
From Alvin Toffler. Shared with me by my good friend Shane Spice.
Sparknotion – Think Differently.