One of the major problems I see with people today is the fact that most of us are more than willing to take advice from anyone. I refer to this as listening democratically. The truth of the matter is that you probably shouldn’t be listening to everyone around you. In actuality you should probably ignore much of what is told to you. While our friends, family, and acquaintances mean well when they give us advice, most of the time they don’t know what the hell they are talking about. Here are some examples of common advice given by people who aren’t qualified to give it:
1. Financial/Business/Career advice from people who are broke: I put this at number one because it is the most illogical. Here is a practical test to weed out bad business advice. If someone is trying to give you advice on how to make money, ask yourself one question : do they make a lot of money? If the answer is no, why would you listen to them? If they knew how to get rich, wouldn’t they use this knowledge to put money into their own accounts?
2. Health advice from someone who isn’t healthy: This one is very common as well. Everyone is a health guru these days. They say things like “you should only exercise ____ times per week” or “I just read in a magazine that gluten is bad for you”. If the person speaking to you has an 8 pack, then ok, you should probably listen to them, but don’t take health advice from someone who hasn’t been inside of a gym in months.
3. Relationship advice from people who have a poor track record in dating: Someone who has been divorced twice may not be the best person to seek relationship advice from, except for maybe to learn what not to do. Your single friend who can never seem to find a partner? maybe there’s a reason for that….
4. Stock market advice from… anybody: Just avoid this one altogether, you won’t come out ahead.
5. Any advice from people like me (the media): I aspire to be someone who can use the media to spread the truth, but that doesn’t mean you should automatically trust me. These articles are food for thought, do your own due diligence. Most of the time anything coming from a media outlet has an angle, and its to sell you something.
6. Career advice from someone who knows nothing about the field you’re interested in: People seem to be under the impression that they have an all encompassing knowledge of every industry and career field, and this is simply not the case. Seek answers from people who are already doing what you want to be doing.
7. Advice from your parents: This one may ruffle some feathers but I think it’s valid. Your parents mean well but sometimes their advice is based on an image they have of you that isn’t really you. If there is something you are really passionate about and they try to steer you away from it, a red flag should go up. They want to protect you but their advice is usually coming from a place of fear and limitation. I’m not saying parents aren’t great people to learn from because they are. I would just be cautious when it comes to things like career advice.
8. Advice from your teachers: I love education, and I love learning. I truly believe that educators are needed in our society. However, I do take issue with how our education system is currently operating. Your teachers mean well but again, they are products of
a system that encourages conformity, so be careful when listening to then. The people who excel in this world are those who apply knowledge, learn from someone who is actually a doer.