Giving advice is good. In fact giving advice can be great. But many times we give advice to the wrong people and we waste our time in the process. After dying a few times and realizing the importance of time, I wanted to share some insights on how I now ruthlessly deal with both clients and friends when it comes to my time.
Be willing to repeat yourself twice on a general basis, and three times at an absolute maximum.
Anything after that, and you’re simply wasting your time because it means that you’re dealing with someone that is SUBCONSCIOUSLY not willing to listen.
Many times people consciously think that they want advice/ help, and they think that they want to change. But what we consciously think, means very little to what we subconsciously BELIEVE. The subconscious forms the programming of how we think, behave and act. Which means that a lot of the time, we are not even aware of why we do x,y, or z.
People like this — people who think they want help/ advice in order to change, but in reality don’t — are stuck in a feedback loop of habits; habits that are dangerously rooted in their subconscious. Which means that no matter what you say to them/ no matter how much they claim they want to change, your words will indefinitely fall on deaf ears.
Sure, you might get some nods of “I’m listening,” “I’ve heard you,” or even a declaration of “I’ll use that.” But in truth, until the person in question makes an internal subconscious shift, nothing and I mean NOTHING will change.
This doesn’t mean that the person in question is bad, or that we should completely write them off. But what it does mean is that the person we are dealing with can (knowingly or unknowingly) suck-away at our time and energy.
The reason for this is that as their subconscious beliefs are sabotaging their progress, their conscious responses will also always be sabotaging them on a general basis. What this means for you is that no matter how much you try to help, you will NOT be able to. As every piece of advice you give to them, will be met by excuses on their part as to why they can’t use your advice.
Do you see where this is leading? It leads to a pattern that looks a little like this:
You get asked for advice from the person in question
You give advice
The person then tries to use the advice but does so in a half-assed way (as their subconscious beliefs are sabotaging them) and they predictably fail to make any progress
They then come back to you with excuses
You then try and help them again. Rinse and repeat.
This type of pattern is bad because it does nothing to help the person in question, and worse still — kills your own progress.
Because while you’re spending time and energy trying to help someone that’s not fully implementing the advice you give them, then you’re fucking with your own progress in life too.
SO EVERYONE FOR THEMSELVES THEN, RIGHT?
No. I’m not saying you should never help anyone, or that you just let people deal with their own shit etc.
I’ve helped many people in my life, and I’ve also been helped by many people. I both know and understand that although we are all on a personal journey, its healthy and beneficial to help others too.
However, when you choose to help someone it comes at a very steep price. Because in order to help someone, it requires the use of your two most valuable resources — TIME and ENERGY.
These two resources are both precious and finite. So you must — MUST— invest them wisely.
What this means is that you should only invest your time and energy into helping people that USE the advice that you give.
And thankfully its easy to ascertain if your advice is being used or not. You can measure the usage of your advice through the persons ACTIONS based upon it.
The person in question doesn’t have to have found a magic solution through your advice (although many people have through my advice) but they should have at least consistently APPLIED your advice to their problem; which means that they should have results to share with you. And results are good because results can be worked on, analyzed, strategized and ultimately fine tuned into a successful solution.
If the person that you’re helping does take action like this, then keep helping them because they’re using your advice and making progress. And as a result you will be growing as a person too; happy in the knowledge that you’re making a difference in someones life. Which in turn makes things reciprocal; like good sex where everyone gets to come and cum!
But if you’re stuck in a situation where you seem to be repeating the same advice, again and again, and a-fucking-gain then you need to stop helping.
Some people respond to this by saying “Oh but Ethan, its good to help.”
My response is normally “Is it really? Is it good to waste your time and energy helping someone that isn’t going to use your help? Is it good to invest your time and energy into a useless endeavor that plays out like emotional masturbation for whoever you are advising, and serves to rob you of your own time and energy? Is that “good?” is that fucking “nice?’’
Lets be real, even God helps those that help themselves, so why can’t you do the same?
You see, there’s a beauty in helping action takers, as opposed to time wasters. Because if you help someone thats acting on your advice, you BOTH grow and benefit from the interaction. That’s why the Bible says things like “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.” And “So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.”
In other words “Do more than you say.”
You want to know what the greatest prayer of all is? Action.
Taking action IS prayer.
Taking action IS belief.
And taking action is the applied demonstration of everything that makes this Universe and life beautiful.
Taking action is the lifeblood of life itself.
So if you’re giving advice thats not being acted upon, stop giving it!
You’ll soon get the attention of the person in question. Maybe your withdrawal of assistance might even help them to make a subconscious shift toward taking action in their own life, maybe it wont.
Thats not your problem or responsibility though.
Simply be resolute in your commitment to only helping people that act on your advice.
And if you’re met with excuses (which will probably happen) do not tolerate the unacceptable ones.
“I was in hospital.” = Acceptable excuse
“Someone died.” = Acceptable excuse
“I died.” = Acceptable excuse
“I didn’t have the time.” = Unacceptable excuse
“I’ll get round to it.” = Unacceptable excuse
“I was confused, so I thought I’d ask you later, but didn’t get round it.” = Unacceptable excuse.
This one always makes me question the person because in this day and age, there is no reason not to text someone if you need clarification. 9 times out of 10, the person in question found time to Tweet or post on Facebook with some “LOL” bullshit. This excuse comes down to priorities. And if you or your advice are not a priority, then you need to exit the situation.
So to round things up:
- ONLY give advice to people that take ACTION on your advice.
- See number 1.
Until next time, make sure to Live More Than You Exist.
Great article Ethan. You gave people something that will change their life. Action is the best form of prayer. You can sit around praying all day but nothing will change until you take action.
Thank you Dylan. I truly feel like most of the time the biggest thing missing in people’s lives isn’t opportunity, but the willingness to take it.
Thank you for your comment Tricia, I’m glad you liked the post!