It is so strange that we find it hard to ask for advice. We often feel uncomfortable to give or receive advice.
In some circles or in different cultures people tend to giving and receiving advice more openly than others. Most of us have a need for improvement, and a need for advice. But not all of us can easily accept the fact that we need to be reminded about what gives us joy and what we can improve.
I find it satisfying when a good friend counsels me. And the deeper the relationship the more the advice or suggestions matters.
Hmm… this might sound wired, but this was an experience I had today.
Sitting in a circle with two of my very close friends. Out of some random whim I suggested why not we take turn predicting what each of us think will happen to us in six months time. Now six months might be nothing for a lot of people for change. But if you are me, a lot can change in six months. So we did just that.
It was fun, the opposite of reminisce, if there is such a thing. We did it in a group not alone, even weirder. But then something interesting happened. One of the friend suggested how about we take a turn sharing one advice to one another. This included sharing an advice for yourself as well. I’ve done things like, let’s share three things we are grateful for today; but not advice.
We ended up sharing one, two or even three advice about each other and ourselves. It was very refreshing and touching. It was amazing to see that my friends cared enough to mentioned things that requires deep observations.
A spirit of compassion
Advice needs to be shared in the right spirit. That’s something that makes it authentic and helpful. Something for you to think about. It also allows the giver to share a concern for you that you would have never known otherwise. As a receiver you get to see perspective from others. And sometimes you hear the echo of something that you already know, thus you get reassurance. Whether you can follow the advice or not you get to know things that you would never have known.
In technology world we do a thing called User Experience Design. A process that essentially breaks down problems and ask and research users to find ways to improve products. Now, why not try that for hacking our life and improve who we are
So if you are feeling brave why not try asking someone you trust (a close friends, spouse, parents or a sibling) the question, “If you could give me 2 advice what would they be”. See what you find and how it feels. And if you feel like sharing I would love to know how your experience was.
Giving and receiving helpful advice requires a combination of courage, humility, honesty and compassion. That’s a lot of good stuff not all of us have. But like in the gym the more we try them the better we get at it. I’m looking forward to my next game of advice 🙂