Asking for advice

In most cases, advice is opinion-based.

If it’s a math problem or a technical issue of someone else’s product, sure, advice on how to solve it, help where you need it is well appreciated.

But for the hard decisions in life about ‘soft’ things, with questions like, where should I live? Should I go this way or that way? What’s the best way to do X?

What we’re really doing is seeking reassurance. Seeking someone who knows the way, has the answer and can give us that answer in a 2–5 minute riff or a quick email.

That let’s us off the hook. We’re free to not have the answer. To seek someone with the answer. When we all know, no one has it. There’s always exceptions to the rule. There’s always someone who will be wrong the next time.

So what are we left with? The notion of work and trust. The work is learning the tools to seek the answer. You won’t find it, but you’ll get much closer than asking around to people who are famous or who you think know the answer.

Trust is about trusting yourself. Trusting yourself to know you can read just as well as everyone else. You can analyze information and come to conclusions. it might take you longer or maybe you’ll go down the wrong path a few times, but you’ll get there. And you’ll get better at it.

Advice is futile. Seek the work instead.

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