18 Sep All advice is bad advice.
Yeah, I mean it. Even “advice” on this blog is bad. Why? The people holding the microphones don’t have all the answers, especially for your context.
Well, all of these self-help channels, books, courses and whatever will so eagerly hand out advice on improving your life, but most of it is bullshit. Why? Firstly because most of that content is created to sell and make money off of you. But most importantly, even if it’s the best advice in the world it might be totally irrelevant to you and trying to follow it can be counter productive and frustrating.
Let’s take the growing hustle culture or “hustle porn” as a chief example. Do you think it really makes sense for you to work your ass off 80 hours a week if you have a dead-end job at McDonalds? Sure, you’ll make more money, but that doesn’t really solve your problem. This type of advice only applies to someone who knows exactly what they want/have to do, how to do it, knows what it takes and is dead set into making it happen. Let’s face it, most of us are not that fortunate and it doesn’t make sense for us to be “hustling”, just because and Instagram post said that it’s the only way to succeed.
Most advice is horrible for one key reason.
It does not take into account your personal circumstances, wants, needs and importantly – capabilities. Gary Vee, Grant Cardone, Robert Kiyosaki, Tim Ferris all of these guys throw things at you, that can be useful, but you need to remember – that’s their way. When Gary tells you to work your ass off, he says it because that’s how he did it and that’s what works for him. Your personal goals on happiness and fulfillment may not align with theirs and so you need to evaluate whether that advice applies. Most of the time it does not.
Don’t get me wrong. Those guys have amazing wisdom and advice to share, I follow them as well. However, always bear in mind that you should not be forced into following what they say, just because it’s “cool”, “trendy” or “the only way”. Think about your personal context, because context matters. If your goal is to spend more time with your family, obviously that does not work with advice to work hard. If you are an artist, working hard can get you more exposure, but it won’t really help you create more artistic content, because you can’t really force creativity most of the time.
Myself as an example. Again.
My goal is to maximize freedom. Financial, personal, physical and basically in any aspect. I do not want to be the worlds richest man, or the best football player on the planet. Therefore it does not make sense for me to follow conventional advice on grinding, hustling and business building. It does, however, make sense that I follow advice on investing, saving, personal finance and maximizing every dollar to give me the freedom I want. I would only work 80 hour weeks if it serves to create an income stream, which will free up more time in the future. Freedom is to do whatever I want, whenever I want is what makes me happy. Not great achievement, or building a world class business (although those are nice too).
Do you see how I apply my context to the advice I apply to my life? Know what you want, then only listen to the what makes sense to that thing. Remember, you can’t have it all, so pick what matters to you and apply that.
Actionable advice. Oh, the irony.
Always think about your context. Where do you come from, where are you going. Only listen to the things that make sense for that. Don’t get caught off doing something else, because someone important said it’s the best thing to do. Sure, you can try new things, but don’t let that distract you from the main thing. Your own happiness and fulfillment.