My Experience with Advice

I used to give advice…a lot. Most of the time, I gave it because I was asked but sometimes when I wasn’t. It wasn’t always easy but I felt like I had a knack for connecting dots (data, assumptions, guesses) and believed I could come up with the next dot in the line. It was often well-received and made me feel good but came with a little pressure.

I felt a responsibility that it should produce a positive outcome. If it did, I’d possibly hear about it, and that would obviously make me feel good again. If it didn’t, or the advice wasn’t taken at all, I’d probably not hear about it and wonder what happened.

Then I began sharing experiences when I could. I simply had to relay a story, a memory, something that was easier to do than connecting dots that someone else gave to me. It was still well-received, still made me feel good, but now, I didn’t feel the burden of outcome.

By sharing an experience, the other person wasn’t expected to take an action. Instead, s/he was given something to think about, something to learn from, something to use in connecting the dots him/herself.

Hopefully, s/he would seek out experiences from other people and, based on those stories and memories, take an action for which s/he took responsibility yet was shaped by all that was learned. And hopefully, s/he would begin sharing experiences as well.