No Is A 4-Letter Word–Chapter Three–What Advice is Good?

While it is not always easy to spot bad advice, good advice is usually easier to determine. Good advice is defined as advice where a person holds a certain amount of trust in such advice that he/she can go ahead with it without any issues or problems. An advisor from any source of consideration will be converted into good advice only if a person holds a complete trust on such advice, otherwise, it will turn into bad advice. Unfortunately good advice may not be that easy to take. You most certainly know that the advice is solid, but it may be distasteful to follow it. This can especially be true in regards to relationships. The problem with relationships is that there is usually strong emotions involved. A highly emotional state is hardly conducive for rational decision making.

This is especially the case when the recipient of the advice is new to relationships. One thing that makes the teenage years as well as young adulthood so difficult is the involvement of hormones. When it comes to decision making, no matter how intelligent or rational you are, hormones usually win out. It usually takes a good thumping to wake up the individual so that they can see the error of their ways. The problem is that the hormones cloud your judgment to the point that you think you are being rational when in actuality you are not.

Failing to take this advice can have serious ramifications. This is especially true when young children are also involved in the process because your decisions not only affect your life but their lives as well. Single parents are particularly sensitive to these decisions. I guess I never gave that much thought when I finally broke off my relationship with my fiancee. At the time of our breakup her son was three years old. Despite the effect it had on her son, the relationship was so toxic, I had no choice but to break it off. Of course, my parents were spot on with their advice. They said from the very start that she was wrong for me.

Financial or career advice can and is usually easier to take as opposed to advice that is given about personal relationships. It is truly amazing that is the case since financial advise and career advice can have just as much of a long term impact on your lives as relationships do. It goes to show you that most people find that their emotional well-being is more important than their financial well-being.

Whether or not you take advice is dependent on the relationship you gave with the advice giver and the type of advice that is given. No matter how good the advice is if you don’t trust the advisor you will not follow it. If the advice is just too difficult to follow you are also less likely to taske it. You can kind of think of it as a horrible diet. You know it will help you lose weight but if you can’t tolerate the diet you won’t follow it.

Ultimately whether or not that you follow the good advice is up to you. My stepfather gave sound financial advice to my older brother Robert on how to pay off his bills. He even contacted the creditors for him but my brother thought he knew better and did not follow his advice.

Many people in search of sound advice hire professional individuals for financial and retirement help. Even though they are usually total strangers, they have credentials and training that supposedly insure that their advice will be good. However, even these pedigrees do not ensure that the advice will be sound. I have known accountants to give bad financial advice. My oldest brother Ronald received bad advice regarding the disability payments he was receiving from his job. He ended up owing thousands of dollars in back taxes to the IRS. So even supposedly sound advice by experts is no guarantee that it will be good.

A good rule is if it sounds too good to be true, it usually is not true. My brother should have known that the government would want taxes on disability payments. They simply never turn down an opportunity for collecting any revenue.

There seems to be no end to professional advisors. There is astrologers, psychologists, tax accountants, financial advisors, stock brokers and trainers of all types who are more than willing to give up their “expert knowledge” for a fee. I tend to be believe that those who give the best advice have no vested interest in whether or not you take it.

There is no mystery in the fact that good advice or exceptional advice when actually taken can lead to improved circumstances in your life.

Unfortunately many people have no system to help them determine the difference between good information and bad information. They rely on their gut or their heart.

In the previous chapter I listed some helpful tips in how to determine the difference. I will follow suit in this chapter as well.

“It is the peculiar and perpetual error of the human intellect to be more moved and excited by affirmatives than by negatives; whereas it ought properly to hold itself indifferently disposed towards both alike.”

— Francis Bacon

How many times do we hear something and immediately agree with it? Does our agreement make it true? Sadly, no. Or at least, not necessarily. Just because the advice confirms our initial beliefs, it does not necessarily mean that it is good. And if the opposite takes place it doesn’t necessarily mean that it is bad.

If you go to hear an inspirational speaker talk about a particular topic, don’t be too readily swayed by their rhetoric. Remember they practice their speaking skills. Just because they speak persuasively or eloquently, it doesn’t necessarily mean what they are saying is substantive or even accurate.

Below are a few helpful tips from an article entitled “The Crucial Difference Between Good Advice and Bad Advice,” by John Mashni.

-Don’t be trapped by the advice of someone who doesn’t take personal responsibility for their own advice.

-Be more discerning about advice that confirms your own thinking.

-Don’t confuse communication skills with the actual advice that is communicated.

-Remember: no one knows anything without good data.

-Good intentions are not enough, only results matter.

In closing the best information needs to be supported by solid information gained by well-earned experience.