Advice: Not All is Created Equal, so Use The ENERGY TEST!

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There are some realities in life I refer to as “Brutal.”  You may not like them, but they are true.  One of them that always seems to ring true is that of the….

They are close cousins.  Most people won’t dispute that there is not a “normal” distribution of anything.  Very few things are created equal.  Just look at the nation’s wealth where it is concentrated among a very small % of people.  Or influence.  Or “problems.”

These principles can also be applied to your career development.  Take one simple aspect of self improvement:

ADVICE.  Who you seek it from?  Who influences you to improve (or not)?

Personal growth is certainly about learning from others, their experiences both good and bad.

There’s an interesting thing that must be recognized when it comes to advice.  NOT ALL ADVICE IS CREATED equal.

  • Some advice needs to be filtered.
  • Some advice needs to be given more weight to tip the scales and move to ACTION.  And you need to do this YESTERDAY.
  • Some advice needs to be appreciated, but flat out ignored.
  • Some advice is game-changing.  Act on it and you will accelerate.  FAST.
  • Some advice is poison.  It will slow you down at best, maybe even help you self-destruct at worse.

So what do you do when being given Advice?1.  Evaluate “who wins” if you take their advice?

  • You?  The advice Giver?  Others?
  • Every person has motives, understanding them is enlightening.
  • Note:  Are they transparent with their motives?  Most of the time, trust runs in direct proportion to transparency.  When people tell you WHY they have a certain position, I would score the advice giver a bit higher…

2.  Evaluate the credibility of the Advice Giver.

  • Do they have personal experience with what they are counseling on?  Can they prove it?  The school of Hard Knocks beats the Ivy League.
  • What was the outcome when they PERSONALLY took the advice they counseled on?
  • Is it fair to assume you will have same results?

 3.  Does the advice keep you on your current path, or does it take you on a new road?  In other words, is the advice rooted in keeping you”as is” or advice that causes you to grow in a different way?

  • Lets face it:  Some people embrace change, others cling to existing reality.  The Advice will usually pattern the person giving it, and where they lie.  People that embrace change will give you advice that is along those lines.  People that do not, will give you advice to “stay the course.”

Ultimately, it is up to YOU to determine how you filter Advice, take action or not.  

I personally like simple tools.  Like evaluating a company’s culture, I use the “Oxygen Test.”

If you need a simple test on measuring ADVICE…..how about the “Energy Test!” of Advice:

Does the Advice leave your energy tank a bit depleted or a bit more full?  

Life is challenging enough, go with the people that fill your energy tank, not the ones that deplete it.  

Advice for Advice

Image Credit: infophantomlancer.blogspot.com

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