Where’s the best place to go for some wise advice?
The self-help section at Barnes & Noble? A call to your best girlfriend? Ask your spouse? Find out what The Expert says and do that?
Nope, none of those.
The very best, wisest advice you’ll ever get will come from…you.
How do I know this?
Because you are the only one who walks in your shoes. Who goes to bed each night with your past, lives your present, and dreams about your future.
Which means you are the only one who has the answers to your life.
If you’ve been living by committee or otherwise looking outside yourself for answers, it’s time to be your own guru and give yourself some wise advice.
Here’s how you can do just that.
Giving yourself wise advice begins with thinking about the lessons you’ve learned. Reflect on the past year with all its upsides and downsides. Then list 10 lessons you’ve learned.
For instance, here are a few lessons I’ve learned:
- People pleasing is incredibly draining.
- Setting healthy boundaries has made my relationships stronger.
- Maximum flexibility in my schedule is energizing.
- It’s possible to create with ease when I avoid perfection.
- Nothing changes if I stay in my safe, secure comfort zone.
The lessons you’ve learned probably won’t be rocket science (unless you’re a rocket scientist). Instead, the best lessons are usually simple and straightforward.
The instructive truth.
You don’t need to stress or struggle to come up with lessons from your own life. Simply think about what’s working in your life and what’s not, the positives and negatives. Then glean what I call the “instructive truth”.
For instance, overbooking my calendar leaves me drained and irritated.
What’s the lesson—aka: the “instructive truth”?
I like a lot of flexibility in my daily schedule, which means I need an intentional cap on how many appointments I book.
Know this: There’s nothing magical about doing this exercise on January 1st. You’re learning lessons all the time. You can decide any day ending in “y” is a good time to reflect on the lessons you’ve been learning.
Now it’s time to leverage the lessons you’ve learned—and use them to your maximum advantage.
To do this, continue to think about the past year with all its ups and downs, highlights and lowlights. Look over the 10 lessons you wrote down.
Based on what you’ve learned, what advice would you give yourself to make the most of the year ahead?
For instance, here are examples of wise advice gleaned from lessons learned:
- Ask for help—early and often.
- Avoid putting off crucial conversations.
- Trust my own intuition rather than live by committee.
- Don’t wait for permission to pursue my dreams.
- Spend time with like-minded, positive people.
Again, no rocket science is required. The wisest advice is easy to remember and even easier to apply.
Simple is good.
Let’s take this wise advice: Ask for help—early and often.
Simple, right? (Don’t make the mistake of thinking advice has to be complicated to be of value. It’s actually quite the opposite.)
Remember: This is advice you’re giving yourself. Which means you’ll know whether you’re following the advice or not.
- Are you, indeed, asking for help?
- Did you ask for help at the outset of the project or the day before the deadline?
- Were you stingy with your requests or did you ask for help as a matter of routine?
Of course, the wisest advice only works if you take it.
The wisest advice of all.
But here’s what’s so brilliant: When you give yourself advice—gleaned from your very own lived-and-earned life lessons—it’s truly wise advice beyond compare.
More powerful and more empowering than any advice you’ll ever get from a book, mentor, spouse, spiritual advisor, friend, or expert. Because you are your own guru.
What lessons have you been learning? What wise advice will you give yourself?