Ever noticed how easy it is to offer advice? You go to Google, find an inspiring quote and share it with your struggling friend. Yes, it’s well-meaning help, but sometimes it does more harm than good.
In this post, we will dive deeper into some of the most popular pieces of advice out there that you should forget about. Without further ado, let’s separate the wheat from the chaff:
1. Follow your passion
Let’s be honest, this is one of the trendy cliche pieces of advice you will get or even give to a friend or colleague. It goes something like this, “Find your passion and you don’t have to work a day in your life.”
It’s true that most of the successful people pursue something they are passionate about, right? The problem though, is the unlucky majority who didn’t succeed after pursuing their passions. We don’t hear a lot about this group, but instead magnify the minority who are victorious and assume that passion is the miracle drug for success.
Yes, your passion is important but you have to dig deeper. You have to look at the reality of things such as what are the available opportunities, what is the competition out there, do l have the resources and if so, what’s the plan?
In other words, you have to identify the best match for your passion and the opportunities out there. Find that sweet spot, be prepared to grind and you will be on your way to success.
2. Never give up
You’ve heard this advice a million times. On the surface it’s well-meaning advice, but if we dig deeper there are flaws in it.
Life is a journey, and along the way there will be decisions to make, some will be successful but others will be dramatic failures. In the process of trying to make things work, we overstay when we should have packed our bags and left.
For instance, banging your head on a concrete wall to crack it seems absurd, but that’s what happens sometimes in life. Continuous pounding on the wall will only shatter your skull and escalate your pain. Being stubbornly persistent in this scenario will not yield positive results, but more suffering.
You can quit using your head but not give up on the concrete wall. Instead, you can use a sledge hammer and burst a hole through the concrete. In other words, It’s about quitting the things that don’t work out.
Knowing when to pack and leave won’t be easy. Having a trusted inner circle can help you through because you already trust their feedback. It could mean the light to a blindspot you didn’t know you had.
Leave it behind, pack the lessons with you and move on to something else. It won’t feel great to fold up but sometimes it’s the best decision. Just understand that not everything will work and sometimes some ideas are better killed or abandoned. So yes, it’s okay to give up, but don’t give up on trying something new or different.
“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the ax.” – Abraham Lincoln
3. Good things only come to those that wait
We live in a fast-paced society but unfortunately our staying power is on a downward spiral. And what’s worse? The few that have it are infected with a disease called passive patience. This is where someone sits around doing nothing expecting success to magically knock on their door. It’s a pipe dream and you will only waste your life away.
On the other hand, there is active patience. This is where you’re still hopeful of achieving success but instead, take action to pursue your dreams. Yes you’re patient, but you also understand that you have an active role to play in the grand scheme of things.
Roll up your sleeves, get your hands dirty, and do what needs to be done because it’s the best way to be patient with your success.
4. You are perfect just the way you are
Let’s be honest, nobody has every dimension of their life completely figured out. Everyone has an area they are struggling with. Look at it this way: If you’re perfect, it means you’re not growing but stagnating instead. That’s not what you want. You want to keep challenging yourself by growing your skills or even chasing new dreams because that’s how we grow.
In other words, at any single point in life we will be both perfect and imperfect. There’s beauty in that because we are all a work in progress. So, don’t beat yourself up, be kind instead, and keep going.
“When we least expect it, life sets us a challenge to test our courage and willingness to change.” – Paulo Coelho
5. You can do anything that you put your mind to
What if you wanted to a 12ft tall man? Would putting your mind into it help? You guessed it, not a chance. You see, not everyone can be a nobel prize winner or even a world-class athlete. What you should understand is that your uniqueness qualifies you to excel in certain areas in life. No, you don’t have to bury your ambition and live on auto-pilot.
Make peace with the fact that your ambitions will change as you go through life. There’s a chance that in a decade you will be aiming at a totally different thing from what you’re pursuing right now.
In short, before you offer advice, take your time and think through it. It may take time but at least you will have saved a colleague from the heartache that comes with bad advice. Your friends trust you so at least do your part by being careful when offering them some of the above advice. It’s not too much to ask for the sake of that treasured friendship. Can you handle it?