Advice Is Autobiography

"Advice is more agreeable

in the mouth than in the ear."

MASON COOLEY, City Aphorisms

If first heard the saying "Advice is Autobiography" from James Altucher on one of his great podcasts which you can find here: JAMES ALTUCHER PODCAST.



Is advice ever more than autobiography?

How else can anyone be able to give advice except through experiencing it themselves?  Well, there are times when someone will offer their advice based on something they may have been told along the way, or heard of something happen to someone they know, or witness something happen to some other person.  The only true is advice comes from someone who had experienced what they are advising about.


Filtering advice through the ego

The challenge when it comes to information given is how one takes it.  If you examine your own life what advice made a difference.  Speaking for myself, I would say that when I sought the advice of someone I admired the most significant impact was made.  Advice that I did not solicit was the least remembered.  It may have been the best advice ever given, but my ego would obstruct its implications.  When you begin to examine your life it often goes back to the critical decisions that were made.  Again, speaking for myself, often I only seem to learn by continuingly putting my hand on the hot burner.  This can be attributed directly to the ego.  This is where self-exanimation at that moment serves you the best.  A good mindfulness practice is to watch your thoughts when you are in that situation.  Are you inclined to react with the usual automatic response?  How does this information compare to my belief system?  What is correct? The majority of the time our ego is not our amigo.

We are more alike than different.

Some may disagree with this, but we are more alike than we are different.  Individuality is a quality that is greatly admired in our culture.  However, I believe individuality is misunderstood and overrated.  The brain is basically the same across all people.  You have that chatter continually going on in your head.  And while you can’t listen to other people's chatter, it is the same conversation.  A lot of judgement, compartmentalising and trying to be separate from others.  We all experience the same chatter. 

Don’t listen to me, find out for yourself.

There is some great advice that came from a gentleman named Siddhartha Gautama.  What Siddhartha said to his students about 2,500 years ago was not to believe anything that he said just because it was coming from him.  Not to believe or accept anything from someone who is considered wise or holy and exalted, just because it is coming from them.  What you have to do is examine it and find out for yourself.  You have to put on the new shoes and walk around in them for a while to see if it is a good fit.  To see If it holds true for you.  Well, I guess we are going to have to keep putting our hands on the hot burner if we are going to continue to grow and improve.  Hopefully, while at the same time listening, without the ego, to advice that will steer the rudder in the right direction.


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Until Next Week,


Rich Decker

Mindful Accord LLC