Advice is easy to give and hard to follow. Have you ever seen that person who knows all the right answers for every persons life, but his own life is a train wreck? Have you ever known that person who knows just how to start a new business, leave a failing job, and make life spectacular, but she never follows her own lead?
Let’s face it. Life is not easy. Life is not simple. Life is not a canned answer. Life is messy. People are complicated. Obstacles really do exist. The things that look simple may not be simple. Sometimes fear is a legitimate response.
Be gentle with yourself when the answers aren’t coming. Be gentle with yourself when fear comes calling. Be gentle with yourself when the good advice is advice you just can’t take.
For those giving advice, perhaps some help is in order as well. If you are advising someone to find a new job, offer to help with the resume. When you advise that starting a business is a great idea, help with seed money or contacts. When you advise someone to go back to college, follow up with offering to do one thing to tangibly support – keep the children, buy the books, pay the first semester tuition.
Advice is the easy part. How invested are we in the advice we’ve given? If we’re not willing to invest, perhaps offering no advice is best.