Over the years I’ve picked the brains of a ton of people and spent thousands of hours doing research in an effort to improve my life. In the process I’ve developed a few rules for sorting through bad advice.
You’re Asking The Wrong Person. My advice may be gold for someone who’s trying to start a business and live an interesting life, but it would likely get someone working a 9-5 fired.
Before you take someone’s advice, look at the results they’ve gotten in their own life. If you’re trying to become better with girls don’t take advice from your friends who sit at home playing Xbox every night.
If you’re trying to improve your fitness don’t seek out advice from random people in the gym. They may or may not know what they’re talking about. Instead, ask someone who’s been there before.
You’re Failing To Consider Their Circumstances. A common example of this is in internet marketing. If you started a blog 10 years ago it was fairly easy to rise to the top. Now the market’s completely saturated.
If you take advice from someone who started a blog at that time it’s going to be somewhat irrelevant at this point. They’ll have some good advice for you no doubt, but if you try to use the marketing techniques and link building strategies they once did you’ll quickly find yourself banned from google.
You’re Asking Someone With Different Values. If someone asked for my advice on the ideal diet, I’d recommend veganism to them as I consider the fair treatment of animal’s very important.
However, even if I’m someone’s role model they shouldn’t blindly follow my advice. They should do whatever’s in alignment with their values. If they consider a more flexible diet more important than the ethical treatment of animals then my advice isn’t “good” for them.
Above all, remember the golden rule of advice. Even if something worked for someone else, that doesn’t mean it’ll work for you. Advice is always good for the people giving it. Unfortunately you’re not them, so it may or may not be good for you. Fortunately, through consciously evaluating the advice you’re given, you’ll be able to maximize your gains and minimize your losses.
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