How Do You Ask For Advice?

Have you ever come to a point in your life where you wanted to know something but never knew where to find the answer? Were you one of the rare ones who built up the courage to ask someone for advice? What did you do with this advice? Let us take a step back for a moment! The world that we live in today is so advanced that we sometimes don’t realize how far we have come because most of us have grown up in this specific era. If you had to think about it for just a moment, the reason as to why we are so advanced is because there were people that were considered to be genius, who figured out how to solve problems where no solution once existed. From inventing the wheel to inventing airplanes to now planning to colonize a new planet. If you take a moment to look back, you’ll realize how far we’ve all come. This made it quite difficult for us to figure out everything on our own. I mean you could have an idea, perhaps you wish to build something up from scratch. Something extraordinary, something ground-breaking. But without a nudge in the right direction, it would probably take you a lifetime to complete, if you do, in fact, complete it at all. So, don’t you think that it is only natural for us to ask questions so we feel like we are not alone or not crazy for thinking the way we do? But whenever we get an answer, how certain can we be that the person we ask advice from is being 100% real? Let us have another adventure, kind reader!

Photo by on Unsplash

Don’t get me wrong, most people have experienced enough of their life to give good advice, but how sure can you be that some random person is not giving you an answer or some advice that is biased? Are we not a part of the people, after all? Are we not all humans? Are we feeling so great at every moment of our lives or do we have moments where the despair is a bit too much to bear? Since we are humans and are a part of the human race, it is only natural that we feel the lows and highs of life, right? When you give advice whenever you felt ‘on-top-of-the-world’, you were honest, real and probably a bit inspirational (probably because being in this euphoric state of mind made others want to reach this state as well). Whenever you felt a bit low, how real, honest or inspirational were you? Having the biological structure that we have, it is difficult to separate feelings from reason, so it never is an easy task to be completely honest with someone. What I’m trying to say is that some of us, if not most, rarely feel great all the time. How can we expect others to do so? We cannot expect people to always feel amazing whenever we ask a question, or whenever we want them to. Be a bit more considerate to what we all are, we are all part of the human race that does not distinguish between any of us. So at some point, we all feel our own fair share of feelings.

Do your best to consider that you may have to ask for advice at some point in your life and when you do, consider that not every person that you ask advice from will be completely honest with you. They can only share what they experienced based on how they experienced a situation. Think about it like this:

You just got your driver’s license and was a bit afraid to start driving to work every day, so you finally decide that you needed advice from someone about everyday driving. Now you see two people to ask advice from, Sally and Bethany (lol) What you don’t know about Bethany is that she unknowingly suffers from terrible road rage, flipping off random drivers and what you don’t know about Sally is that she is a very careful driver, always keeping to the speed limit and usually meets people like Bethany on the road more often than not. Do you see where I am going with this? If you ask advice from Bethany, about driving every day, she may tell you how slow and inconsiderate other drivers are, and you may think that it is fine to flip other drivers off and you may become another ‘Bethany’ on the road. When you do speak to Sally, she could tell you about the roads being dangerous because other drivers are inconsiderate and always ever ready to flip you off on the road, and you may become another ‘Sally’ on the road… Let me teach you a little something really quick, which related to my previous writing… You could ask both Sally and Bethany for advice (or any amount of people), understand all perspectives, take what you need from their advice and let go of the rest. What do I mean? Well, you could understand that there may be moments where you feel like Bethany and that it is okay to feel this way but to also understand that you don’t want to make the road a bit more dangerous for other rookie drivers(like yourself) and be a little more considerate like Sally. Oh my, could this is a metaphor for life, kind reader?

In the world we live in, it is difficult to face something new in our lives, right? Whether or not we avoid it, facing uncertainty is going to come along. When that time comes and that feeling of not knowing builds up, reaching out for advice to quell the uncertainty and doubt is a difficult and big step for most people. When some do take that leap and confront people, it is good to not go in with complete ignorance, most of us tend to do this when we regard the person we ask advice from to be a bit superior to us, am I wrong? Do your best to never get to a point where you are willing to wipe your mind clean of whatever you do know and replace it with whatever advice is given to you from these random people. Unfortunately, we live in a world where the majority of people act without considering much more than they need to - by limiting themselves to the reason of ‘because he said’, or ‘because she said’. These majority of people seem to influence the majority of people who do not know themselves enough to be anything other than a ball in a pinball machine, the funny thing here is that we are only allowed one life… Anyway, maybe these people do not think about a specific subject enough to take what they need from the advice given and they ask questions that allow them to give in to the progress and limits that each other person has experienced related a specific subject. What do you think?

Photo by Max Andrey on Unsplash

Forgive me if you do disagree with me - my personal experiences have inspired my perspectives. From these experiences, I noticed that I would be in an uncertain state of mind about things that I had no idea about. Not thinking about these subjects enough and wishing to get someone to help me out of this uncertain state of mind, by asking them their thoughts about a certain subject. Initially I never really noticed that I was doing this to myself until someone would ask me a similar question and I would say that I know the answer because this person said so. The problem here was that there was this subtle feeling of doubt inside of me that always made me think that I was relying my credibility on another person’s answer and I haven’t really thought this through myself. Now if I was right, then that’s great (for the other person), but if I was wrong then I willingly relied my credibility on the thoughts and perspectives of another. Little did I know that this subtle unknown feeling was telling me that I should not base my entire perspective alone on the thoughts of another, but rather if I could take what I needed from what they were saying and add it to what I was curious about, then essentially I am building up to my answer and I may never find that answer immediately, but at least this way I can look at this subject from a few more perspectives. Most people unknowingly allow their entire lives to rely on something said by someone. Do you think that this could be the reason as to why they are conflicted but they never realize or admit it? The sad part is that they preach this uncertainty to everyone that is curious (who as a result does the same) until someone comes along and questions everything…

My point is that you should never leave a conversation blindly following someone else’s perspectives alone. For example, if you were to start experiencing certain symptoms and realized that you needed medical advice, before you spoke to any medical professional, you would have some idea of the symptoms that you were experiencing and probably would not restrict your opinion on a way forward from just a single medical practitioner, right? In reality, you may speak to quite a few before drawing a conclusion about a way forward (I do apologize if the metaphor is a bit extreme). This is the same way you should approach anything in your life! You know what you want to know, it won’t hurt to think about it just a little and do your own research on this topic and then ask those basic yet impactful questions that could improve your understanding just enough to figure it out. Be sure to take what you need and let go of the rest.

The same way you would want apple seeds to grow into a beautiful apple tree, plant these initial thoughts in your mind and let it be nourished as you experience life and all that it has to offer you. Be sure to let the positive and negative nourish the soil that grows these seeds. Remember that sunshine and rain are both needed to grow that apple tree(this may be clichéd but this still is true). So don’t be afraid to invest in your existence because you could inspire others to reach new limits in their own lives, who as a result could do the same!

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René Chunilall

Sharing the lessons I learn on my journey towards self-mastery | I post videos on Instagram too: