I’m doing the A to Z Challenge in April using the theme “What to Pack on Your Creative Journey.” Today, we’ll start by putting some Advice in our metaphorical suitcase. We’re going to be very selective about which advice we pack and which we leave behind.
No man is so wise that he can afford to wholly ignore the advice of others.
~James Lendall Basford, Sparks from the Philosopher’s Stone, 1882
When you tell people that you’re embarking on a creative journey, you’re likely to get advice.
- People will tell you what paint to use, whether you’re painting a landscape or your living room.
- People will tell you which classes to take or avoid when you’re learning photography or a foreign language.
- People will tell you where to go on a trip, whether a physical one or a creative journey.
Listen politely and with an open mind, but only follow advice that feels relevant to you – that includes the advice on my blog in this A to Z series of posts on creativity.
Most advice worked for someone. That doesn’t mean that it will work for you.
Give yourself permission to ignore other people’s advice.
But, there’s a corollary to that – also give permission to others to ignore your advice. We can never be sure how we can we help others. It’s kind to give words of wisdom and stories of past experience. It’s even kinder to allow other people to choose whether or not to heed those words.
Pay attention when you find yourself advising others. Perhaps the best advice on advice is this:
“The best way to succeed in life is to act on the advice we give to others.” ~Unknown author
What advice do you have to give about advice?