40+FAB Blog

Best advice you can give

What is the best advice you can give? If someone came up to you for instance and asked you to give them your best advice on parenting, what would it be?

The answer to that question might not be as straightforward as it seems for the simple reason that you can take a horse to the water, but you cannot force it to drink the water. If you gave advice, which is your best, yet the one you gave it to did not follow it, then was that advice really the best for that person?

I remember back in university in my freshman year, a student in final year gave me some unsolicited advice about doing well academically and getting a well paying job after graduation. I still remember it like yesterday, it was great advice, but he did not take into account what my aspirations were at the time, so I felt disconnected from the advice and never took it. So, was it really his best advice?

It may sound counterintuitive, but advice may need to be scaled down to the level of the one to receive it. If a person is medically in a state of starvation, the best meal you probably present to them would be a full plate of sumptuous delicacies, however for such a person what they actually need is to be drip fed simple portions of food until their body recovers enough strength to deal with larger portions of meals.

The best advice may be the second best, third best, or even tenth best advice if it allows the one that needs it to see it, own it, and act on it. It is conceited to give advice on the back of our success if we do so without really understanding and carefully assessing the state of the one who needs it.