It seems as if everywhere we turn others are giving us advice, or an opinion about what could or should be done about a situation or problem. A key to success is knowing the difference between good and not-so-good advice and acting on the good advice.
“To profit from good advice requires more wisdom than to give it” -Wilson Mizner.
Mentors have been a huge part of my life. I have had several mentors for various phases and for different stages in my life. All of these wonderful advisors have helped shape and guide me in different ways along my journey. The best mentors should challenge and test you in ways that enable you to grow and to discover that through difficulty comes remarkable growth. Indeed, it is the difficult times that can result in some of the best decisions of your career. I am grateful to all those who have shaped me along the way in mine. Find your mentors, and soak up their knowledge.
However nobody can tell another person with certainly what is good advice and what is bad advice. The distinction between good and bad advice is very personal and it requires a combination of knowledge of oneself and common sense.
Here are some points to consider that has helped me decide which advice to take, and which to leave:
1. Is the person giving the advice on the subject qualified to do so? All too often we take advice from people simply because we care about them and do not question if their advice is good or not. We assume that those who care about us would not give us bad advice. So question the advice itself, not the integrity or intent of the person giving the advice.
2. Is the advice based on timely information, it is relevant? For the most part advice is timeless, especially when it is about subjects that don’t change much over the years, like happiness. However, beware of advice based on outdated information.
3. Is the advice based on theory or practice? While advice based on theory can be good advice, advice based on practice is usually more credible.
Finally be both open minded and cautious when taking advice. I always consider everyone I meet to be my superior in some way, and hope to learn from them which is one of the 7 steps of the Leaders Operating System. So commit to make a conscious effort in questioning the validity of any advice offered to you. Remember that you are not questioning the person giving the advice, but the advice itself.
Very Best Regards,