Saturday, March 19, 2011

Who are you listening to?

“The only thing to do with good advice is to pass it on. It is never of any use to oneself.”  Oscar Wilde

“No one really listens to anyone else, and if you try it for a while you'll see why.” Mignon McLaughlin

Doesn't it seem like everywhere you turn someone is trying to tell you what to do with your problems or challenges...whether they know what they're talking about or not?  The danger is when you start to listen to it.  You'll usually find that your advisor or critics rarely, if ever, follow their own advice. 

Who are you listening to? Do you take advice and criticism from people who have no business giving it out?  Is it usually helpful?

More often than not though, critics have other agendas.  And they couldn't take their own advice if their lives depended on it. The problem with hearing unwanted or unwarranted criticism is that it usually isn't put in a constructive way.

When I was failing at sales, everyone had advice.  The trouble was, the people giving it were the furthest thing from professionals. 

Now don't get me wrong:  Criticism delivered properly from someone who has done what you’re trying to do is healthy, correcting feedback if you want to learn from them. Someone like a mentor. 

So here are two suggestions:

Don't give advice.  People don't want it.  They don't use it.  And they'll get sick of hearing it.  If you must, be a sounding board instead. When people hear themselves out loud, they often get the answer they were looking for without outside advice.  It's hard enough to change yourself, changing others is impossible.

And don't let critics ruin your mood.  Not even for a minute.  If someone comes along and gives you “advice” and you find yourself feeling powerless, make a mental note not to let yourself get into the same position of having to listen to unsolicited “advice” again. 

Listen to yourself and to people who have overcome the same challenges that you're facing.  That's it.  Talk to friends about your challenges, but unless they've overcome the same thing, be very careful about taking their suggestions. 

It could be very costly to your emotional, physical and financial health.


100 Ways to Motivate Yourself: Change Your Life Forever 

How To Change Yourself (A Man's Guide To Inner Change, Reaching Goals, And Making Things Happen)