As somebody who has tried to accomplish a few outlandish things over the years, there’s one thing I think I’ve learned that’s been more important than anything else:
The best advice I’ll ever receive is from myself.
There’s a common theme in the two different sports that I do. People love giving you advice, and everybody that does can tell you exactly what you can do to be successful.
Now that could be the case. The person giving you the advice could know exactly what they’re talking about. When it comes to myself, I ask two questions. Has this person been at the top of their field? What has this person done to show that they actually care about my personal progression, as opposed to just wanting to put their opinion in the air?
These are two very different questions, but both are extremely relevant to the point. The first one is obvious. How can someone tell you about being the best at something if they haven’t been to the top of that field? That doesn’t mean you have to be the best ever. I know plenty of people who have had try outs and been looked at by some of the top companies in the world. That to me is just as much validation. Being considered to be among the best means that you’re at least viewed in the same light as them. It’s the people that don’t have the slightest clue of what it really takes to make it that baffle me. I guess it’s the confidence with which they speak. That and making sure they’re surrounded with people that will not question them. But rest assured, these people are losers. Nobody gets ahead in life without being challenged.
The second question to me is the more important of the two. So many people want to be experts now a days, and not just when it comes to what I do, but life in general. I see people giving out unsolicited advice all the time. I see people giving advice to complete strangers they’ve never even met. I couldn’t imagine following advice from somebody who doesn’t know me. I even struggle with following advice of people who do. A lot of people only know certain aspects of my life, they don’t know everything. Even when people are telling me they’re thinking of my best interests. How can they know what’s best for me if they don’t know everything that’s going on in my life? Granted, a lot of that comes from my own experience of following advice from people who didn’t know the whole situation, but I sure didn’t need it to happen a lot to figure that out.
So what’s the point of this other than me just therapeutically typing words out? It’s a reminder that you need to listen to yourself if you want to be happy. Too often we seek approval from outside sources, but it’s really unnecessary. At the end of the day, I’m the only person I go home to, so what do I care about what other people think I can or can’t do? I’m the one handling my own business, and I think I know better than anybody what I’m truly capable of.