Houston has two airports, one on the north side and one on the south side. Like most major cities, Houston’s airports are not located in the best areas of town. Going to either one will provide you with a front row seat to view pothole-lined streets, crime ridden neighborhoods, payday loan businesses and that ever present slum occupant – the fortune teller.
Ah, the fortune teller. That enterprising soul who’s made a business out of their “special gift” of being able to see the future. I’m sure if you asked any fortune teller, he/she would proudly proclaim to have given valuable advice to untold numbers of people, helping them avoid problems in their lives and to navigate their way to success and happiness.
Why Don’t Fortune Tellers Help Themselves?
Which is what makes the fortune teller’s predicament all the more interesting.
You see, as I travel to the airports and see the fortune teller’s businesses on the side of the road I can’t help but notice a few things:
1. They’re all located in the poor areas of town.
2. Their offices are run down, dilapidated and unkempt.
3. They have burglar bars on the windows and doors.
4. They seem to be struggling financially.
Which begs the question…
If the fortune teller was so good at seeing the future, why didn’t they foresee that they were heading in a direction where they would live in a poor, dangerous area making very little pay? Why wouldn’t they have given themselves some good advice and avoided all of that?
We can only assume that the people paying these charlatans for advice don’t ask those type of logical questions. They just take their advice.
Which brings me to the subject of today’s essay – from whom do you get advice from? Specifically, where do you get your advice from on life’s major issues – money, success, relationships and happiness?
At this point, you might think that I’m going to start talking about the virtues of who you get advice from…
…that you should make sure that the person who is giving you advice has the life that you want.
…that you should verify that the area you are getting advice in, is a road they have journeyed down before you.
Think about it, if you want to be wealthy, take advice from wealthy people. If you want to be broke, take advice from broke people!
This is all true. In fact, I like this saying – “Be careful who gives you advice, because you might become them.” Indeed.
But that’s not the point of today’s essay. Today’s essay is actually about not taking advice.
Now, lest anyone think I’m suggesting you go become an island…I’m not.
Let me explain.
While I do seek advice on some things such as legal and health matters, I literally don’t take advice on matters of money, success, relationship and happiness from anyone. In fact, one of the keys to my success is not seeking or following advice from anyone in these areas.
Just to be clear here, I do make myself informed. I do educate myself on the facts and indeed that information comes from books, seminars, subject matter experts and the like. And that’s just it… I’m receiving information, so I can make my own decisions. I don’t ask for advice on what I should do.
You see, taking advice can be a form of detachment… detachment from responsibility. It’s easy to shirk the responsibility to learn and educate ourselves on life’s most important matters. It’s easy to just outsource our thinking to an “expert”.
But here’s the thing…
Anybody that give you advice on the most pressing of life’s matters will be doing so thru their life “lens”. It will be filtered and influenced by their own philosophies, prejudices and biases. How on the earth could someone know what’s best for you, than you?
Who Bears The Consequences Of Advice?
Also, let’s say someone were to give me advice on an investment and I take it and it then fails. Whose fault is it? As the old saying goes, never take advice from someone who won’t bear the consequences of that advice.
Look, I absolutely devour anything that Warren Buffett writes or speaks. But I don’t do that for his advice. I’m not looking for Buffett to give me my opinion. And I certainly don’t outsource my decision making to him.
What I’m doing in this case is I’m being a student. I’m always learning and growing so that I can add to my arsenal of information. I want to soak up the knowledge from the giants of success that came before me. I do that constantly, so that I can…seek my own counsel.
What I’m talking about is becoming so informed and educated, that you reach a point where you can counsel yourself on these matters of utmost importance. Yes, I educate myself. Yes, I make informed decisions about the major areas of my life — but when hard decisions have to be made, I must make those decisions for myself.
The key to success is gaining good knowledge and then having the ability to trust it. The wisdom that I’ve gained from reading and studying and practicing success principles over years and years tells me more than any adviser ever could. And the best and worst part of that is that when things go well, I can celebrate my good judgement — and when they don’t, I learn from my bad judgement.
Be A Student, Not A Disciple
And that’s priceless. There are valuable lessons inside each of the mistakes I’ve made. I would never have cheated myself out of those lessons by letting someone else direct my choices. Had I followed someone else’s advice, I might have been tempted to blame them for the mistake, thereby missing a golden opportunity to learn something.
And here’s one last note about habitually seeking advice…
When you do so, it can be easy to become non-committal to the actions needed to solve major problems. Friends, the big mountains in life are moved when we commit to the actions of success, unconditionally.
In closing, it’s better not to fall into the habit of perpetually seeking advice. Warren Buffett echoed this when he said “My idea of a group decision is to look in the mirror.” And remember Jim Rohn’s valuable words – “Make sure every decision you make is a product of your own conclusion. Be a student, not a disciple.”
Seek information instead of advice. When you seek information and then use that information to make decisions on your own, you assume the ownership of the outcomes your decisions will generate. Ownership makes all the difference. Ownership breeds leadership. And leaders don’t just solve problems, they create solutions in their life. Solutions such as, how to become financially free.
Be free. Nothing else is worth it.
P.S. Why aren’t you wealthy yet? It’s because of something you don’t know. Otherwise you’d already be rich. Isn’t it time to learn what you don’t know? Consider signing-up for my newsletter below, to help you build wealth faster.
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