I have always been an advice giver.
I freely give advice, and often friends turn to me for it.
Just last week a friend of mine asked me for advice in dealing with a conflict she had with her mother.
A few hours later another friend asked me for advice on what to do with rose hips. (My advice: dry them out for tea or make them into a jam).
Professionally I also give advice.
I attempt to help people make their lives better, whether it be through a change in perspective or a change in diet.
Over the years I have learned that my advice isn’t always appreciated, but more often than not I am happy to see that it has an impact on people.
But here’s the thing.
I can only share what I know from my own experience, and the more I learn, the more I realize how little I actually know.
The best I can do is synthesize the many pieces of advice I have received from various experts and teachers, combine that with the lessons I’ve learned from the few hurdles I’ve overcome in my own life, and hope that it hits the mark with whoever I’m talking to.
But even if my advice is helpful to you a lot of the time, you shouldn’t just accept it as truth.
You’ve got to test it out for yourself, like any scientific theory, and then be honest with yourself as to whether or not that advice suites you.
Don’t follow my advice. Test it out to see if it works.
Here’s an example.
I know lots of wellness experts talk about having a morning ritual.
Many say that their day is indescribably more positive and productive when they write in their journal/pray/meditate first thing in the morning.
I totally hear the merit in what they’re saying.
It makes sense.
Calming your mind and setting intentions for the day in the morning sounds like my cup of tea.
In fact, I used to have a morning ritual myself. I used to wake up early and do more than an hour of Ashtanga Yoga every day. But that faded away when the demands of graduate school made sleep more of a priority than an intense yoga practice.
These days as a new mom, though my graduate school years are finally over, I still don’t have a real morning ritual beyond my cup of coffee, some NPR in the background, and my little boy’s giggles and coos.
I can hear the expert advice in the back of my head, but the truth is that I’ve tried it, it worked for me at one point in my life, and now it doesn’t.
And that’s ok.
But the difference between this and what other people do is that I tried the advice on for size.
I grew out of it, but I tried it. And honestly, there’s a very good chance that I’ll fall back into it one day, because morning rituals are a nice thing to have, but they don’t work for me right now.
So here, ironically, is my advice to you.
Don’t blindly follow my or anyone else’s advice, but don’t reject it up-front either.
Keep an open mind and attempt to thoroughly incorporate that advice into your life for a significant enough amount of time to find out if it works for you, whatever it is.
If it doesn’t work, then drop it, and feel good knowing that you gave it a shot.
Don’t feel guilty because it works for so-and-so and doesn’t work for you. We’re all different. We all need different things at different times in our lives.
But before you decide, make sure you’ve tried it on for size.
You never know what might fit.
Now I’d love to hear from you.
Have you ever taken someone else’s advice only to find that it didn’t work for you? Share your story in the comments below!
Until next time,
Love, Hugs, and Houseplants,