JORGE RODRIGUES SIMÃO

ADVOCACI NASCUNT, UR JUDICES SIUNT

The Best Advice

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No doubt you have noticed that it isn't all that difficult to get advice for your problems - regardless of the size or nature. To be sure, most individuals will be more than happy to give you guidance on anything imaginable and declare that it is great advice. A lot of them have likely adopted one of Oscar Wilde's principles: "The only thing to do with good advice," concluded Oscar, "is to pass it on. It is never of any use to oneself."

As a matter of course most people close to you will have opinions on how you should spend your life. Parents will tell you what you should be doing for happiness and fulfillment. So will brothers and sisters, not to mention teachers, friends, advertisers, newspapers, magazines, and television shows.

The question that arises is: How good is the advice that you receive from others?

Free advice particularly is suspect at best.

Artist Anselm Feuerbach may or may not have been too cynical when he said, "If someone gives you so-called good advice, do the opposite; you can be sure it will be the right thing nine out of ten times." When people give you free advice, consider their motives, and what they stand to lose should they give you bad advice.

Mark Twain put free advice in proper perspective: "He charged nothing for his preaching and it was worth it too."

In general, you should put more credence in advice for which you have to pay at least some money.

The person who charges you for her words of wisdom has a reputation to protect. If follows that giving bad advice could hurt her livelihood. On the other hand, people who give free advice have little to lose in the event that their advice turns out to be bogus.

Some individuals have an uncanny ability to invite themselves into our lives with advice that we haven't even asked for.

It's okay for them to suggest that we leave our mates or our jobs. If the decision turns out to be completely wrong for us, however, who suffers? Will they find us another mate or another job? Of course not.

They will go merrily along with their own lives while we suffer the consequences of having accepted their so-called words of wisdom.

Advice from other individuals may appear very reasonable to them, and it may appear reasonable to you. Some decisions, nonetheless, are best made intuitively instead of reasonably.

Listen to that inner voice when making decisions. Don't become overly logical and practical.

Accepting too much guidance from people can leave the responsibility for your life in the hands of others.

You must feel free to do it your own way. Don't allow anyone to make decisions for you, no matter how good they are at making decisions in their own lives.

"Think wrongly, if you please," remarked British writer Doris Lessing, "but in all cases think for yourself."

Ask for other people's advice, give it some consideration, and then make your own decisions.

Since we are discussing advice, allow me to give you some of my own.

 

My best advice for you is to never accept anyone else's advice - after all, nobody can give you wiser advice than you can.

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