This is my 100th article I’ve written on lifestyle topics for Jina Life and I have been inspired by the Youth Leadership Program I’m currently running at Kadinia International College through Toastmasters International as this week’s focus was listening skills. The importance of showing respect, paying attention and being a good audience when someone else is speaking.
But in this article I’m going to take it deeper to discuss who you should listen to when seeking advice on challenging life decisions.
I quote Ralph Waldo Emerson…
“Whatever you do, you need courage. Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising that tempt you to believe your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires some of the same courage that a soldier needs. Peace has its victories, but it takes brave men and women to win them.”
So how do you know who you should listen to and who are your biggest critics?
The reason why there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong is because everyone has their own opinion and perception of your situation. You must realise they are fully entitled to their own opinion but remember they are looking at your situation from where they stand. Now this can often be extremely beneficial gaining advice from someone looking from the outside in. However these perceptions can also sometimes be biased depending on who you’re listening to. Perhaps advice simply on what they would do if they were you, or advice for you that keeps them happy. You may want to believe that everyone you ask for advice has your best interests at heart but don’t be mistaken and also realise at the end of the day – they are not you.
When it comes down to it you must make your own decisions in life and you are the one that has to live with them. Gaining outside advice can be paramount in helping you live your best life especially when it’s in an area you don’t have professional skills in or would just like to save yourself from making mistakes you see others do.
Keep in mind some people just can’t see or share your vision until you’ve created it for them to physically see. Others can help you see your path more clearly faster. Some can see your mistakes before you make them.
Think back to your past, who have you listened to, followed their advice and it turned out well? Then who in the past have you allowed yourself to listen to, made you feel better at the time but it worked out badly or you live with regrets from following that advice?
Bad advice for you generally goes against your inner instinct. When you’re faced with a decision and are struggling to make it, it can often mean your darkness or fear is tempting you to take the wrong path as opposed to the right path for you.
Ultimately you want to establish who no matter what, will tell you the truth and what you NEED to hear not always what you WANT to hear when you become challenged with a decision to make.
The reason you want to establish this early is because when you find yourself faced with a tough decision you want to be sure if seeking advice you will go straight to the person you know and trust, who understands you and shares your values and vision and not to those who don’t, yet you may be drawn to. The wrong people are those who will help you justify your decision over making the right decision for you.
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