We dole out advice every week about the things that people should do to improve their life or current dilemmas. Like myself, all of us tell our friends or family members, even strangers that their relationship isn’t a good one or why they are in toxic friendships or they should change careers. We give each other solutions to the many decisions that we have to make. Many of us are really good at giving advice. We are so good at it that there are friends who feel that they can rely on us to help them make difficult decisions. It’s good to have someone as your sounding board. It’s good to get a different point of view. Sometimes we miss the big picture or ignore important small details. It’s good to have people like this in your life, who care enough to listen to your worries and give you some valuable insight that can potentially help you in a positive way. It’s important to understand that your friends are not your therapist. Your therapist is your therapist and if you feel that it’s getting that serious and you need someone to talk to I encourage you to find a good therapist. There’s no shame in getting help, particularly the right kind of help.
You Won’t Take Your Own Advice
When it comes to you, you won’t take your own advice. You will stay in a bad relationship, you will stay in a job you don’t like. You will live a life that is unfulfilling judging others who are doing exactly the same thing and even offer them solutions to improve their life. There are few people who emulate the idea of let me show you by example that what I am saying is true because I am doing it. Their advice is born out of their experience, life in motion, and not just words, thoughts. You can give great advice to people but you have to look at your own life and say what I am doing with my life and how can I take my own advice.
Maybe your life is perfect, then that’s a different story (no one’s life is perfect). As you know, nothing is ever perfect or ever will be so there’s always room to learn and for improvement. If you are the Master of telling someone, oh this bad, or why are you dating that person, your life could be better if you did ABCDE etc.. and then when it comes to your life and the choices you make you do the exact opposite. It’s time for you to shift your focus onto yourself. For example, you hate your job, you are in toxic relationships, you are unmotivated, you don’t push yourself, you are not open, you say you live a certain way but when you go home at night and you’re alone, you know deep down inside you are living a lie. Just like your friend who seems to have way too many problems all the time. There are areas in your life that you need to face and you need to work on, it’s time to do something about it.
I think that the best advice that you will ever get is from yourself. If you tape recorded conversations you’ve had with a friend while giving them advice, let’s say good relationship advice or good career advice, if you listened to the recording and said well okay, let me look at this objectively, what if this were me, let me see where my life is currently. Let me analyze this and perhaps I might apply my own advice to my life or a situation I may be in. We can give out the best advice and say well I am glad my advice is helping so many people…which is a good thing. Look at that person thrive and feel the sense of pride that you are a part of that in some way.
It’s good to get advice from people, but you know your life better than anyone else. This is why you need to take your own advice. Always think that this applies to me too. Maybe you will say, I don’t like my relationship, I don’t like my career, I am unhealthy. For example, maybe you are telling someone that they need to slow down, that the lifestyle they live is a little too fast and they are heading in the wrong direction. It’s important that you look at your life as well and maybe you have habits that are preventing you from experiencing other things in life. It’s important to pay attention to the details of your life. It’s easy to get consumed with what’s around us and use it as a way to escape what it is. It’s easy to compare ourselves to others with the notion that although your current situation isn’t great, it’s better than someone else’s. Although this is true, it doesn’t mean that you need to accept it or work to improve it.
Life In Motion – Self-Check-In
Practice what you preach. Everyone is preaching something, everyone is telling someone what they should do, acting like Mrs/Mr. Fix-it. But when it comes to their life, whether it be relationships, work-life, anything really…they don’t have it all together. You know that person, who acts like they have it all together. They are always helpful and always have an opinion about everything but when you see where they are in life and you see the things you do, you realize that they don’t have it all together and that a lot of the advice they give needs to happen in their life. When you think about your life say to yourself, “here I am helping everyone else”, which you should, it’s essential to be a giving, loving and helpful person, but “how do I apply this my own life”. “What areas of my life are suffering as a result of me failing to recognize that I don’t practice what I preach”. If anything, I am searching, I am all these things that I telling someone else not to be. I am cold or I am untrusting or I am dishonest or not open, calculated, or deceptive and yet I encourage others not to be this way. I need to work on myself so I can truly be the best person I can be. I think this is probably why many of us struggle in life.
You can sit there with a therapist or a self-proclaimed life guru ( think about that one for a moment) and they can tell you lots of great things to apply to your life or current situation but if you are not taking in their advice, understanding it and then applying it. Then, what the f**k is the point. You are your own therapist, take it in. Listen to your gut, take it in. Listen to all the good advice that you give, take it in. You need to recognize that you can learn from other people, through other people’s life lessons. We are all mirrors, we are just reflecting one another. You can look at someone’s relationship or work life or habits and say well here I am advising my friend and then look at your life and do a self-check-in. Why should you self-check-in? A self-check-in is a time when you ask yourself, how am I doing? Where am I at? Where is my mind? My health? What are my goals? Where can I improve? When you do the self-check-in you may think about a conversation you had with someone where you gave them some good advice. It’s a good time to see if this great advice can apply to an area in your life, it doesn’t have to be the exact same. Sometimes there are things your friends or family are going through that you aren’t going through but on some level you can always relate to it. This is why I think it’s important to do a self-check-in. It’s important to see where you need to makes those changes and put in that effort. This simple practice of self-check-in is quite monumental in the journey of living your purpose with and through what life gives you. Self-check-in is integral to improving your life and living the life you desire. The more self-aware you are, the better you are able to recognize your role in life and how you, in most cases, determine the kind of life you live and the types of people you surround yourself with.
What Can I Learn From What I tell Other People?
If this is good advice for them…shouldn’t it be good advice for you? If it’s something you would never do, then perhaps this isn’t the kind of advice you should be giving.
Ask yourself, how can I take what I say to others and transform this into a truth that I live? How can I be a person who does what they say and is exemplary of someone who trusts their intuition, someone who leads by example? I am sure you know who Tony Robins is, one of the best examples of someone who gives some really great advice and tools to improve your life. He lives his own wisdom and he lets his experiences and the experiences of others guide him towards living the best life. Give what you know and know what you give.
This is why you shouldn’t look at our friends as if they live on some far off planet. Sure, you are not the same people and you make completely different decisions. Obviously, you are not living the exact same life but you can use those opportunities to think about situations that you are or were in that were not in your best interest in terms of growth or overall well-being. For example, I will use love because everyone gets this and relates to it, it’s the friend who tells their friend that they’re in a bad relationship but they themselves are in an unhealthy relationship as well, it just appears different but the overall union isn’t good. Maybe you are with someone who is emotionally unavailable, they don’t treat you the way you should be treated. Further, you are not in a partnership that is helping you grow and improve. Rather than weigh your situation against someone else’s and reason, well, mine is not that bad. You need to understand that the images in the mirror will never look the same to anyone but the images still exist. It’s all a matter of what you allow yourself to see, what you choose to ignore. The story you have constructed from what you have chosen to see. Take these opportunities, where you can learn from someone else, as new reflection in the same mirror that has been trying to tell you something. No one ever sees the painting the same way as the painter. It’s the audience that unearths what they cannot see.
I believe that you are always learning, most importantly in times when you are called to help someone, to give them advice. You are also giving yourself lessons, you are giving yourself windows of opportunities to improve. A window into something that can be used to change your life for the better. If you recognize this, when you think about your life and maybe it comes to your mind that no one is helping you. They are helping you, understand that the universe is always at work and always helping you.
Every soul, every being is placed into your life with purpose, whether you like them or not. It’s in those moments, when you share your insight, where you provide guidance, advice, you can learn something from this and this is so valuable. This is so valuable and if you miss this, it’s a shame. You are smarter and wiser than you think. You are capable of some many things, you are capable of living your best life through your own life lesson, through the lessons of others and through the lessons you teach and advice that you give others. So listen carefully.