Why No Is A 4-Letter Word–Chapter Two–What Advice is Bad?

There is an old saying “opinions are like assholes, everyone has one, but no one wants to hear from it. The same thing holds true for unsolicited advice. The problem is deciding whether or not to take the advice. If it is familial advice, it becomes a particularly sticky problem. I received a considerable amount of advice from my parents when I became an adult. The problem was that their advice was not always good advice. Some times we receive bad advice from people who intend to harm us, but at that time we need to understand the thin line between good advice and bad advice so that it can be prevented. So my problem was deciding which advice to take, unfortunately I was like Joe Biden in this case, I pretty much chose to ignore all the good advice and I listened to all the bad advice.

You may ask how one could do that? I guess I just got lucky. I listened to them when it came to career choices and I chose not to listen to them for personal relationship choices. There were a lot of hormonal issues affecting the relationship choices. I will deal with those choices in Chapter 2.

My stepfather’s oldest son was a neurosurgeon so, of course, he wanted me to become a doctor as well. Every time I came up with an idea for a career choice, I was gently coaxed to a medical field. What was surprising is that when I actually had a plan that coincided with a medical field, they were against it. I think the biggest mistake I made in my life was not going with my gut.

I was offered a full ride scholarship for not only my bachelor degree in pre-med but one for medical school as well. All I had to do once I completed my residency was to agree to work for them for four years. Of course, I would have been in the military for 20 years by that time. Afterwards I would have been able to retire as a full-bird colonel. I would have been only 38 years of age by that time. That would have left me plenty of time to either start my own practice or continue on in the military by working in a VA Hospital.

Instead I decided to do it the private way by going to a junior college and then on to a university. While my grades were respectable they were not quite good enough to get into medical school. It would take me 14 more years before I made another foray into the medical field as a nursing student in an associate degree in nursing program. Unfortunately because of two market crashes and several other bad decisions I made along the way, I will most likely not be able to retire until well into my late 60s.

It is hard to say if I would have had the maturity to be a doctor at that young age. My life experiences certainly helped me when I became a nurse later in life. I like to think that the military would have helped in my maturation process. I also believe that they would have made sure I was successful in not only completing my four-year degree but finishing medical school as well. Mainly because they would have had a great deal of money invested in me.

I know that hindsight is 20-20 but I just don’t see why my parents were against the military option.

I can understand why they did not want me to become a commercial diver. That was certainly a dangerous career choice. But can you name a career in Florida where you can start out making a $100,000 a year in 1983? I can’t think of one. The program was also fairly reasonably priced at the time. While I can live with their advice on this one, I certainly did lose out on a very lucrative career by opting out of commercial diving.

While I can bitch about the advice they gave me, I was 18 years of age and therefore, legally able to make up my own mind. Maybe I just was not ready to risk alienating my parents at that time in my life. Did I get bad advice on the military option? I firmly believe that I did. But who I blame the most is myself for not being man enough to go with my own consul. So that causes me to take a pause here. Sometimes I think that the dream of becoming a doctor was not my own but my stepfather’s. Would I have been happy as a medical doctor, I guess I will never know? One thing I do know is that I would have still been young enough to change my career at 38. Besides that I would have at least had a nice pension to tide me over while I figured it out. As it turned out, I ended up working on my career at the age of 35.

So what can the reader learn from my decisions here? I don’t really know the answer to that. I finally did get into the medical field, so my stepfather was happy. I have been a nurse for over 20 years now. While I am not tired of nursing, I am tired of working in general. So that is another choice I have to make…what can I do at 59 years of age? Probably nothing but just stick it out. I guess that is what makes you an adult, being able to make the difficult decisions.

So if you can get bad advice from your parents, can you really trust anybody’s advice? The problem is we are all human and as a result, we are all fallable and, therefore, prone to make mistakes. We also have a penchant towards partiality. So this makes giving and taking advice so difficult if you love someone. Can you really give advice that will cause them to move a long distance away from you even if it is their best option? I guess if you truly love them that is what you will have to do.

In order to recognize if the advice you have been given is bad depends on your level of maturity. I do know one thing is that you can’t make a snap decision. You also have to be diplomatic about it if you opt not to take their advice. Unless you really don’t care if you hurt their feeling which then begs the question, why you asked them for advice to begin with?

Sometimes the advice you are given is so blatantly bad that you have no choice but to refuse taking it. If people give you this type of advice, they are either joking, ignorant or just don’t want to be bothered. If any of these are correct, then do you really want them as a friend? When you receive bad advice from people intentionally then there is a possibility you may end up become less trusting of people in general and that is not a good thing. These isolated cases should not sour you in regards to taking adice from people in general. Most people are good at heart and while they may not go out of their way to help you, they certainly hold you no ill will.

Since you are the one who has to live with your decision maybe you should just forgo the advice. Ultimately you know the answer anyway. By asking for advice, you are only trying to get validation.

To help you determine if advice is good or bad I have included some excerpts from a particularly seminal article on the iternet by Chitra Reddy entitled “Good and Bad Advice: How to Know the Difference.”

Here are some of such differences which help a person understand more about good and bad advice and they are as follows.

1. Understand your state of mind:

While receiving any sort of advice whether it is good or bad, a person needs to clear his/her head before getting into something deeper.

Therefore, to avoid such bad influence a person needs to understand his/her state of mind first before receiving any sort of advice from anybody. Most of the time happens that a person is advising something good to us, but because of our state of mind, we are not in the mood of receiving such good advice.

2. Listen to your gut feeling:

Most of the decisions that have been taken from a person doesn’t require to be a correct one, it is even possible that the decision taken may turn in very badly.

Similarly, when it comes to good and bad advice, a person needs to decide to choose whether it is good advice or a bad one. To make that decision a person needs to listen to his/her gut feeling so that they can make an actual decision of choosing good advice.

3. Source of consideration:

The factor of considering something of someone needs to be directed to a source of such consideration. For example, when it comes to receiving advice regarding money matters, a person needs to be sure of such advice before making any stupid mistake.

A good source of advice can lead you to a level where a person feels safe around people, but a bad source of advice can destroy within a second of time. Therefore, it is essential to understand the source of consideration before receiving any kind of advice.

4. Combination of correlation:

Good advice and bad advice maintains a thin line of understanding between them. Some people misunderstand such good advice into bad advice and some people think vice versa.

Therefore, good and bad advice is a combination of correlation where it can combine the intention of such advice. Most of the time it occurs to be a different state of advice, but because of such a combining statement, a person receives that advice which is advisable to them.

5. Risk factors:

A risk factor in good advice and bad advice is equal because as common thinking goes, a person experiences some good reflection of good advice, but there is a possibility that such good reflects can turn things at a very bad level. And similarly, in the case of bad advice, most of the time people receive bad advice from people in the name of a good one, but eventually things may turn in very positive for them because of their decision.

Therefore, it is common to maintain an equal chance of risk when it comes to a piece of advice.

6. Based on availability:

A most common mistake that a person commits while receiving any kind of advice is that they never check for the availability of such advice. A person who is seeking some good advice may end up choosing bad advice because of its lack of availability.

Therefore, before receiving any kind of advice a person needs to be sure of the things which can affect, after making such good advice.

7. Concrete value:

As mentioned earlier, good advice may consist of a strong concrete value which can help you understand the intention behind such good advice and if a person fails to understand the actual intention behind such advice then they may end up receiving bad advice.

A bit of bad advice has never maintained a good intention behind it and most probably such advice may create a difference of opinion between people.

8. Intentional factors:

When it comes to advice where a person receives certain positive vibes from certain advice whether it is good or not, then there is a possibility that people end up deciding such advice as good advice.

It is not that easy to differentiate between good and bad advice, but as a matter of fact, receiving such advice may depend on an element that whether it matters to the actual situations of the problems or issues.

9. Optimism:

Most of the people are optimistic about their decisions in their life, but when it comes to receiving good and bad advice, people tend to receive an optimism of such advice.

Therefore, every piece of advice comes with a certain level of optimism, but it is up to a person whether he/she can handle such optimism in their life. Being optimistic can let a person decide whether the things going around him/her is for their good or for bad.

10. Value of trust:

Good advice is 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. But when it comes to bad advice most probably a person holds a less amount of trust in that particular advice.

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 in as bad advice.

11. Knowledge:

When comes to trusting someone with their advice, a person may start trusting those people who really can make them feel protective of their advice. Therefore, when it comes to a time where a person needs to receive certain advice from people, a person may end up being stuck with bad advice. Proper knowledge about certain matters helps you understand the severity of certain advice in people’s life.

12. Communication:

It is not directly connected with the advising factors, but it indirectly hits a discussion of advice. If a person is really in need of certain help from people, it is common that he/she may expect some advice from people which is good.

In this whole process, the main element that creates a connection between these would be its level of communication. A good communicator can help a person with good advice through his/her communication level.

13. Compassion:

Being compassionate about something or someone is not a bad thing, but being over compassion about things may create certain problems in people’s life.

A person who is so compassionate about their loved ones may have an ability to understand their actual situation and such people may provide you actual good advice for the problems or issues of one’s life. Therefore, it is better if a person holds a compassionate nature in them.

14. Monitoring advice:

When a person needs good advice from a person that he/she trusts, then there is even a possibility that a person whom he/she is trusting should have the capability of monitoring good advice.

And at that time without understanding the nature of the problem that particular person may deliver certain advice which can cause serious damage in their life. Therefore, it is important to understand the value of monitoring such advice because it helps a person to evaluate his/her own decisions of their life.