My First Piece of Advice Is, Don't Listen to This Advice

 
 
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CLARIFICATION:
Don't listen to this advice without really thinking about it first. 

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Everyone is going to give you their two cents, whether you want it or not. 

Advice is like a Costco free sample. It's free but not always very good.

That's because every person has a different perspective. Their individual experiences ultimately dictate the advice they'll give. No two people have the exact same experiences, therefore no two people will have the exact same advice. 
Everyone is biased to some degree.

Advice is not designed to be taken at face value. It is not meant to be a blueprint for action.
Advice is meant to provoke critical thought and compel the listener to reflect. 

We often seek advice when we lack knowledge, experience, or if we're uncertain about a particular decision. We turn to others for support.
This can be good

People are subconsciously manipulative, though, even if they have the best intentions. 

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If you follow advice without knowing the person giving it, or knowing if they actually have any clue what they're talking about, you could end up in a dangerous situation.
This can be bad. 


During the 1800's, the common advice to calm disobedient or unruly children was just to use a bit of 'Soothing Syrup'. 
Viola! Peace and quiet. 

Unfortunately, these syrups could contain up to 65mg of Morphine. Sometimes, they worked a little bit too well, resulting in a swath of adolescent deaths. 
Not the greatest advice, perhaps. 


Advice is not universal. It is only a thought-provoking suggestion. 

Here are some points to consider:

  • By immediately taking someone else's advice, you're letting their words dictate your actions. It might reduce your feelings of accountability, or ease your stress, it also dilutes your free will.
  • People have ulterior motives. 
    When my little brother and I went to sushi for the first time, I handed him a ramekin full of Wasabi and told him it was green tea ice cream. He popped a spoonful into his mouth, many laughs were had by big bro Ethan, and since that day, I've never seen someone in such primal agony. He took my words at face value, without thinking twice, and he suffered.
  • We should turn to the people and professionals who'll give an honest opinion, and even then, question the advice.
    We shouldn't forego the experience of making our own decision.

In whatever we do, we can question and think critically. When we choose not to consider another perspective, or choose not to learn more, we lose a valuable opportunity to make the informed decision. We could end up choosing the soothing syrup because it's the easy solution.

I believe we should always think for ourselves and try to become more informed and more critical in the process. 
But seriously. Don't just take my word for it.


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A Message from the Author:
What's the worst advice you've ever taken? 
What's the best?

Let us know in the comments below!