Why You Should Listen to Other People’s Advice

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People keep on giving us their opinion about things, whether we want it or not. It’s very hard to know what advice we should listen to, and what advice we should just ignore. Many times, people listen to advice that is bad for their dreams, and ignore advice that is good for their life and well-being. It’s sad, but true.

In this post we talk about why you should listen to other people’s advice. Not in every situation, and not to all people at all times, but we describe what filters you should be using, to make sure you achieve your goals in life and fulfill yourself.

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Your Situation So Far

 

Your current situation may include one or more of the following:

  1. You have no real goal in life
  2. You have something that you desire, but you don’t know how to achieve it
  3. You’ve tried your way of achieving your goal, but it doesn’t seem to work
  4. When experienced people give you good advice that conflicts with what you think you should do, you do what you want and not what they advise you to do
  5. You often find yourself learning hard lessons that people warned you about beforehand, but you refused to listen to them
  6. You repeat the same mistakes over and over again

If any of these items resonates with you, then you’re probably not listening to other people’s advice. Read this post very carefully, as it may change your life.

Why You Don’t Listen to Other People’s Advice

 

Let’s start by first talking about some common reasons why you may not listen to other people’s advice.

First, you may be the arrogant type and you think you know it all. You may be an expert in a certain field, and maybe even have broad knowledge in other fields, and that fools you into thinking that you have more knowledge than anyone else. This is especially true if you consider the person giving you the advice “inferior” to you, in terms of success and knowledge.

Also, a lot of times we eagerly listen to people that we “admire” even when they are completely wrong, but we don’t listen to “common” people, even when they have great advice for us, thinking “what do they know?”, or “they don’t know the situation as well as I do”, or “I know what’s best for me”.

Second, you may have your own views, opinions and perceptions, and you’re not willing to listen to anything that contradicts these perceptions, even if it’s 100% true. There are times in which it’s a good thing, and we’ll talk about that in the next section, but there are times in which it’s a very bad reason not to listen to other people’s advice.

There’s no point in being stubborn just for the sake of stubbornness, and although most people learn things only from their own experience, this could be in your favor. If you manage to bring yourself to learn things from people who have experience in things you don’t, you’ll catapult yourself ahead of the crowd.

Third, you may find yourself having problems listening to people’s advice when those people are close to you, but if some “stranger” tells you the same thing, you immediately listen. That’s a very bad habit, but it’s a very common one.

We often tend to ignore the advice we get from people who are close to us, because of some conceptions we have about them, or past experiences that we have with them. Many times, however, these people give us great advice, simply because they know us very well and they can see what’s going on with us.

 

Why You Should Listen to Other People’s Advice - Man not Hearing

When Should You NOT Listen to Other People’s Advice?

 

I don’t want you to think that you should listen to any advice that someone has to say. On the contrary – you should very carefully choose the people whose advice you listen to, and the topics you are willing to listen to from each one of these people.

If you have far-reaching desires and goals in life, and I hope you do, then you can expect most people around you to not support you and to try to persuade you not to go in the path that you really desire.

Don’t be upset with such people – they just don’t know any better. They don’t believe they can achieve their own desires, so they reflect that on you. Keep in mind any legitimate concerns they may have that may require your attention on the way to achieving your goal, but otherwise don’t let them drag you down and kill your dreams.

Also, be careful when you listen to advice from someone who is not successful in the field he or she is advising on. The best you can do with their life experience is to really understand why they failed and try to learn the lesson so you don’t fail in the same way as well.

In fact, if you can change your environment to only include supporting and successful people, that would be best. Such people are at such a high level or awareness of what you can achieve in life, that just being around them is going to push you forward.

When Should You Listen to Other People’s Advice?

 

In general, you should always be in the mindset that you can learn something from anyone, and you really should try to learn something from everyone (even if not formally). Every person has some experience or insights that can help you, and you can even learn things from the way that person behaves.

You should always pay close attention to these kinds of information:

  • Any note of a bad behavior that you have, especially if several people tell you that – change that behavior
  • Any note of a good behavior that you have – nurture that behavior
  • Any way to make yourself a better person
  • Any business opportunity that aligns with your goal
  • Any pitfall you should avoid
  • Any information that you don’t have in a field that aligns with your goal
  • Mentions of people who may assist you in achieving your goal
  • Advice on how to improve your results

Make sure you are in full awareness of everything that you read or hear around you – it’s not only about listening to other people’s advice. You never know what small “innocent” comment from whom will make a big difference for you and for your life, but it’s very easy to miss such comments when you’re not attentive.

Why You Should Follow Other People’s Instructions

 

This is much more intense than just listening to other people’s advice. We are now talking about actually getting exact instructions on what to do and following them.

Let me start by saying that you shouldn’t follow other people’s instructions, unless you have a very good reason to. And by “a very good reason” I mean that the person whose instructions you’re following has already proven his or her ability to achieve things that are similar to what you want to achieve, and can help you overcome the barriers that prevent you from achieving your goals.

If you find such a mentor that is willing to work with you, you should consider yourself very lucky, and the last thing you want to do is to make this mentor not want to work with you anymore. A good mentor can save you years of struggling to reach your goals.

So, if you find such a mentor, and the mentor gives you instructions on what you should be doing, make sure you follow the instructions to the letter. Most likely, these instructions will conflict with something inside you, and you would want not to follow them, or to follow only the part that you feel “comfortable” following.

At that moment, it is important that you remind yourself that the reason why your mentor succeeded in achieving a similar goal to the one you want to achieve, is exactly because he or she was willing to do these things that you don’t feel comfortable doing.

Of course, no two situations are exactly the same, and sometimes you will need to deviate from the instructions a bit because of the circumstances that were formed. The important thing is to have a good reason why you deviated from the instructions, and to make sure that the deviation is in the spirit of the intention of the instructions, and not just because it triggered some negative mechanism inside of you.

For example, if the instructions told you to send your resume to apply for a specific job, but instead you found a job that fits your goal better, and had the added bonus that the manager also personally knows you, that’s a great deviation.

If, on the other hand, you decided that you are not good enough for the job you were asked to apply to, and instead applied for a job that doesn’t serve your goal, then that’s very bad.

In any case, trust your mentor and believe that if you follow the process and the instructions you will achieve whatever it is you are set to achieve. Keep a good relationship with your mentor, and always follow the spirit of the instructions you get.

Why You Should Listen to Other People’s Advice - Couple Sitting on a Bench

Case Study #1

 

When I was young, I used to be very shy with girls, and had low self-confidence and low self-esteem, but only when it came to things related to girls. I had no problem talking to girls, and girls really liked me, but as their friend. You see, I usually couldn’t even bring myself to talk to a girl that I wanted to go out with. I had the occasional girlfriend here and there, but that was really the exception.

One day, a friend of mine sent me a link to a website which had extensive details on basically how to change yourself to be confident with girls you want to go out with, including many practical things you should do to make all of that happen.

I must admit, I didn’t take the site too seriously. It had a lot of information that seemed “weird” or “wrong” to me, and some other information that I was too “scared” to try. I tried only the stuff that seemed “reasonable” to me, and even that I did halfheartedly. Needless to say, I saw no real improvement, and decided that the site was “funny” and “not really useful”.

I don’t know why, but 2 years later, after showing no real progress, I decided to go back to the site, and this time to do everything that it told me to do, exactly like it told me to do it. I didn’t care that it was very difficult for me, that it seemed stupid to me, that I was scared, or that I was sure it wasn’t going to work. I decided to really put everything into it.

Imagine my surprise when I started seeing results that were completely opposite to what I expected. It’s not that I was very successful at first, but in my mind I was imagining such horrible results, that all the actual results became nice surprises.

Honestly, had I told anyone what horrible results I imagined I’d have, they would have laughed at me. I just pictured nightmarish results, which were the creation of my very developed imagination, and had no base in reality.

My growing confidence in the process made me also ask two of my friends, who were very good with girls, to “coach” me and tell me what to do. I did exactly what they told me to do, and then I would go back to them with the results to get more insights.

In short, I finally completely removed my own perception of things from the equation, and let the proven information flow through me and create a new perception of things – a perception that proved to be very successful.

In fact, it worked so well that I was even a bit upset with myself for wasting 2 years of my life without having real progress, even though I had all the information I needed at hand. Having the right information doesn’t help you much if you’re not really willing to listen to other people’s advice and do exactly as they say.

Case Study #2

 

Now, I’d like to show you two cases that started the same way, but ended with very different results, depending on whether or not the person was willing to listen to other people’s advice.

Years after I’ve become much more confident and successful with girls, a friend of mine approached me and asked me to help him with similar issues to the ones I was facing earlier. He was great at being friends with girls, but only very rarely managed to go out with girls.

I told him that I’d be happy to help him, but in order for it to succeed, he would have to do everything that I ask him to do, even if it’s very difficult for him, or he doesn’t understand or agree with the reasoning behind my request. He agreed.

Not only did he agree to do exactly as I said, he was also open to any suggestion I made that was not an actual instruction. In fact, he followed everything I said so well without hesitation, that in a couple of weeks he started going out with someone and they had a serious relationship. I didn’t even manage to “teach” him 10% of the “material”.

Several years later, a different friend came to me with a similar request, and he also agreed to follow my instructions. However, it was easy for him to agree when there was still no action to be taken, but once he realized that my instructions took him way out of his comfort zone and that he also didn’t believe they would work, he only did what he felt like doing, which wasn’t much.

This, of course, produced very poor results. And while he was complaining to me that “as he thought – nothing works”, I tried to explain to him that he’s just not doing what I’ve asked him to do. He kept on telling me about the things that he did do, that were hard for him, and they were, but he just didn’t understand that it was not enough.

After some more tries that looked the same, we both decided that we don’t want to continue with this, each for his own reasons. He decided that “nothing works” and that he’s “doomed to never have anyone” and continued being his worst enemy, and I decided that there’s no point trying to help someone who doesn’t really want to help himself.

You see, change can only come from within, but you need to want it enough to do whatever is necessary to get it. And that definitely means going out of your comfort zone and doing things you’ve never done before. Behaving in the same way will bring you the same results.

So make sure you listen to other people’s advice when you know that these people have already achieved the things you’re still trying to achieve but can’t.

Why You Should Listen to Other People’s Advice - 3 Girls Drinking Beer

Summary

 

In this post we discussed why you should listen to other people’s advice. The key takeaways are:

  1. Right now you are pretty much stuck in life in at least one area
  2. You have issues with listening to other people’s advice
  3. Some of these issues are justified – you should not listen to any advice that goes against your desire to reach your goal and make your dreams come true
  4. You should, however, learn something from everyone, especially if that something makes you a better person or helps you achieve your goal faster or more easily
  5. The advice, comment, or realization that will become the breakthrough moment for you can come from anyone at any time, and can be said in a very casual manner – you should always pay attention to everything that’s going on around you
  6. When a person that very successful in a field that that aligns with your goal but you’re not good at agrees to be your mentor, feel very privileged, and follow his or her instructions carefully – don’t lose that mentor

Be sure you listen to the right people when they talk about the right subjects, but be open to learning something from anyone, and always be on the lookout for things that may improve you as a person or help you reach your goal faster or more easily.

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