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Do you want some advice?
When was the last time you sought advice?
Did you really want someone’s suggestions or was another question lurking behind the asking? “Will you validate what I have decided or want to believe?” I have found myself on both sides of that scenario.
But this week, something different happened.
I realized advice doesn’t always arrive after the asking. Sometimes, the best advice doesn’t bother to knock or ask permission. Instead, it finds its way into conversations, books, and articles we’re reading or the lyrics of a song.
Words, ideas, answers, and perceptions worth considering just plop themselves in front of you.
I didn’t know I needed advice this week, but tiny thought treasures crept in when I least expected it. What made these nuggets stand out so loudly I felt compelled to write them down? Who knows? The how and why don’t matter as much as the listening.
The past few days have felt like a barrage of insights all searching for a home, mainly inside my head. Three stood out.
The first came from a writer I follow, Beth Weg, who responded to a prompt asking for the best writing lesson you learned in school. Her response applies to more than writing.
“Keep your eyes on your own paper.”
Beth goes on to explain:
Just keep your eyes on your own paper, because everybody’s test is different. Do your own work, try your best, and when it’s time to look up, you’ll be much farther along in your process than you thought.
Put simply? Chase the dream, not the competition.
What great advice! When I think of the angst that has stifled goals, creativity, or contentment, it was usually caused by "not keeping my eyes on my own paper."
Later in the week, Shauna Ahern wrote in her newsletter, “ . . .Letting go of being driven by fear—we can become kinder to ourselves.”
Fear of what might happen can stop even the bravest among us from doing the next right or best thing that can make a difference for ourselves and others.
And finally, Cheryl Strayed, author of Wild, asked Ann Gudger to tell us her best advice. Ann shared a waiter’s response after being thanked for his exceptional service.
Waiter Wade said: “To see love, you gotta be love.”
. . .
My best advice is to be love. Be kindness. Be grace. That doesn’t mean be without backbone or voice…The heart is a muscle. Love is a muscle. Grow your heart. Grow your love.
While I never sought any advice, I am glad I listened and looked up at a stunning sunset.
Using the A, B, C s, I wrote about how windows open the mind to our better selves.
Michael Bungay Stanier explains how to tame your Advice Monster.
Five for Fighting’s “100 Years” offers advice for how to live a life—in a song.
“Most people who ask for advice from others have already resolved to act as it pleases them.”
Find a little wonder this week, and you might consider this advice from the bumble bee. “Listen to your true self, your higher self. Heed your inner voice and wisdom.”
I always welcome your thoughts, so, please leave me a message or click the little heart at the bottom of the page.
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