Respond, Not React is the #AdviceThatSticks

Advice can come from any quarter. Not necessarily do you need an advisor or mentor for receiving advice that makes a difference to your life. But the advice that sticks depends as much on the advisor as on the receiver.

Sources of advice

Let’s look at the three primary sources of advice first:

Parents and family members — The first advice we receive and remember starts coming in during our growing up years. It mostly sticks. Some of it comes in the form of Do’s and Don’ts but mostly these are the foundation stones of all advice we receive, absorb and apply in life in later years.

Our ideals — There are people in life we hold as inspirations. They can be our parents, guardians, teachers or even siblings and friends. We listen to their advice as we know it comes without interests attached. Their achievements, attitude and approach show us the right way, serving as guiding principles. The advice did not necessarily be in the form of advice but as shining examples of how they faced situations and challenges.

Colleagues and peers at work — There are times in life when you come across people in the workplace who look at your well-being as of their own. If you are caught in a tricky situation it is likely you would receive some advice from them on how to solve the crisis. And sometimes it does happen that the advice turns out to be more than just a temporary troubleshooting. It becomes #advicethatsticks.

Now look at the other side of the table — the recipient. It is up to the recipient to accept or reject the advice that comes to him/her through various sources.

How the receiver receives the advice

Let’s look at this in the context of the karmic principles. Through our actions (Karma), our speech and our thoughts we are constantly emitting out tangible/intangible felt or silent stuff towards others.

A teacher teaches in the class, not all students grasp it the same way or in same intensity. Some may find it fantastic, some fully applicable and some may sleep through. We give out all the time. The thoughts are not felt but the giver is giving and knows it well. But, the receiver has a choice as to how to accept or interpret. Advice also reaches the recipient in similar ways — not necessarily in words but also in deeds and thoughts.

How the receiver receives the advice depends on his/her deep inbuilt system. The perceptions are tuned as per his/her mind, intellect, sub-conscious and super conscious and the ego system. Even a piece of valuable advice which can help the recipient better his life is likely to be ignored or rejected if the ego steps in between, pushing intellect aside.

3 ways you treat advice

The recipient may receive the advice in the following ways –

Does not accept — Even sound advice which the receiver knows will be helpful may not be accepted as the receiver’s own belief or faith does not agree to it.

Accepts but only temporarily — Such advice may be accepted and applied only temporarily. After a while that advice is forgotten or slips out of memory as the situation eases. If the situation returns with vengeance, the advice is again remembered and retrieved and reapplied. But by then, it might have lost its earlier relevance or impact.

#AdviceThatSticks — Such advice keeps impacting the receiver on a continued basis. This happens when you force through intellect and wisdom to accept the advice as a medium to reach what is a better choice or desired goal rather than looking at it with ego or instinct. A few days later it internalizes in your inner self which starts listening to you and heeding that advice.

This is the way to change and turn a new leaf in life and a new direction. It needs discipline and strong will and resolve not to succumb back to old pattern.

As Peeyush Sharma wrote in his post #AdviceThatSticks — How to Seek Out and Employ Practical Business Advice, “Businesses must form a habit to seek, value and adhere to professional advice. Certainly, not all advice is always applicable, neither is all remembered. But a paid for professional advice that sticks on, is relevant and works as a path finder when one is lost in the maze of day-to-day business activity. Suddenly the light bulb turns on.”

When you consciously seek out advice, you are likely to reach the right kind of advisor. It is a need you are addressing. But the trick here is to make sure that you do not fall into bias and accept the advice on face value. Examine it, test it, look at it from an objective view and then if you feel it fits your problem best, employ it. This judgment holds the crux to everything.

The one advice that sticks for me, always

As an illustration, let me cite one advice that has stuck on to me and to several people who received it.

Respond to a situation rather than reacting to it.

A stressed situation, a tensed atmosphere can turn unpleasant or have tempers flying. You have two options in such situations.

Either you allow yourself to get caught in a similar trap and react to it by giving others a snapshot of your own temper. Such a reaction has more possibility of aggravating the mess rather than resolving it.
Or step back and pause and study what your mind suggests to receive, perceive, react, act, etc. in each situation. Try to seek a ‘why’. Try to understand a pattern. Delay in implementation of anything by a few minutes while you study.

Once you have studied and understood the situation, respond to it with intellect, keeping your ego aside. The possibility of you taking the crisis by the horns and turning it towards a solution is many times more here.
I benefitted immensely from this advice. And I have shared it with several others. If you have received advice that has come good in your life time and again, go ahead and share it! You will be amazed to see that how it changes the course of life/attitude/thought processes for many others. And in the process leaves you more enriched and mature.

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