When Advice Is Not The Answer

Think back to when you first learned to ride a bike. A parent, friend, or relative was perhaps there to help you get on and balance. That person might have offered a few points of instruction as well. Their past experiences a basis for what they passed on.

But where did the most learning come from in the end? It came from actually riding the bike. Getting on the seat, going through the motions, feeling out the terrain, taking a few spills, and simply doing.

Life bears quite a bit of resemblance to riding a bike. Experiences might be similar to those of others, yet the individual circumstances are always unique; requiring each one of us to learn by doing, falling, and trying again.

The funny thing is that we never learn to ride a bike by reading about it in a book. One could sit for hours on end, ingesting hoards of technical considerations and every last bit of advice from other riders. While the advice and principles may not be inherently bad, you will never learn the art of riding until you physically do it.

When self-help books, online listicles regarding every last facet of life, and other means are dumping advice on society each day, are we becoming overly dependent on advice?

There’s nothing wrong with seeking to learn, seeking to explore, and searching for guidance that might help us along in our journey. But we often underestimate the extremely unique circumstances surrounding an individual life. The highly specific times, places, people we meet, and ways events unfold which can rarely be replicated.

Perhaps a bit more reflection in life is needed. More mistakes and learning. Living in the pain of failure but having the grit, fortitude, and analysis to truly learn and grow from the experience. When we actually get on the bike of life and start pedaling, that’s when we find out what it really takes and how our unique experience will be shaped.

Sometimes advice is not always the answer. Simply doing is the only answer we need.

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