On Practicing Giving Advice

I had a bit of a realization the other day. You see, I reach out to a lot of people: I like to hear their stories, what they have to say, and often ask for advice. While it is important to come into each conversation with a clear objective, it is also okay to find things you did not expect. because you never know what you are going to learn from someone, especially a complete stranger.

To capitalize on these unexpected hidden gems, I often ask for general advice. And I have gotten some incredible insights that has truly changed my perspective on living every single day.

Questions like:

“If you could go back…” “What would you do differently…”

Questions that of course have no right answer. But questions that give a lot of insight into another’s perspective.

A lot of people, though, do not really answer those questions well. Well, meaning I don’t think a lot of people have thought much about those questions. They give a lot of generic answers.

And probably rightly so — why think about the past so much and think about you would do differently ? Seems like a waste of time.

But, I want to be the person prepared to answer those questions.

Here is why I like to think about my past.

History Repeats Itself :

Identifying trends in your past will help you better prepare for the future.

Life is pretty cyclical, meaning you are going to be challenged in similar ways in the future as you have been in the past. While of course the obstacles will look different, they will attack the same root pain points that you have experienced in the past. Becoming self aware of these struggles is one step towards eradicating them.

Analyzing your past and thinking of alternatives is a great way to move forward.

Another great reason is that it can help you give more actionable advice and truly accelerate the learning of other people. Be the person that has a real answer to the question. And accelerate other’s growth.

Anyways, just a thought of mine :)

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