Taking your own advice

Posted on March 07, 2016

Summary Giving advice is generally easier than accepting it. And when you realize you haven't taken your own advice, it can be a bit embarrassing. But it happens to all of us. Here's some advice to assist when we overlook things. It's both for you ...and for me.

Giving advice is generally easier than accepting it.

Which is why when you realize you haven't taken your own advice it can be a bit of an embarrassment. But it's certainly not something to be ashamed of. (Unless it's because you don't think highly of your own advice -- I hope you do or you shouldn't be giving it).

The reason it's okay is because overlooking things from time to time happens to all of us. There is irony, but a certain truth, that being closer to something both gives us a deeper understanding of it as well as a greater challenge in gaining objective perspective on it. We suffer from farsightedness, but not myopia.

To make it easier, write down your advice. There's no reason to make it any harder on yourself. This simple approach makes it easier to accidentally, opportunistically, and intentionally review advice you've previously given, both to yourself and to others, and decide whether it applies to your current situation. 

The approach doesn't have to be fancy. You can keep a journal, write a blog, tell your friends (who will happily point out when you're doing something dumb, either for your own good or a laugh), peruse your sent e-mail folder, or similar.

I've found this a good remedy, though not a cure. If I had a cure, I'd have better advice for you.

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