2 cents

Think Kit: Day Four

Whether you asked for it – or not – what good advice did you get this year? Did it come from an unexpected source? Was it unsolicited, or did you need a word or two after an eventful day, week, or month? Has the advice changed the way you think about the world? Changed the way you think about your advisor? Changed the way you think about yourself? Changed the way you act? Can you distill the message and help the rest of us out, or is it too personal to be universal?

I can’t think of *great* advice I received this year at the moment. But I do have some thoughts on advice. Only offer when asked or truly needed, and keep it positive. This is something I struggle with as I’m always one to speak my mind. However, lately I’ve really started thinking about how often I offer my input when surely no one wants it. Say my friend is dating a jerk. I should tell her my concerns from a place of love, then bite my tongue and move on. I don’t need to remind her every day. I’ve been biting my tongue a lot.

I have received an awful lot of advice since I became engaged. Everyone wants to tell you how to plan your wedding. Some of the advice has been great: where to get a dress, where to get alterations, etc. Some of it, not so great. For example: I can’t tell you it’s easy, or JUST ELOPE. And trust me, I considered eloping. I know it all comes from a place of love, but it’s just crazy the amount of people who want to give their input. I’ve probably received more advice in the last five months than the last five years.

I went to see Billy Collins earlier this year, and he read “The Suggestion Box,” a humorous piece about how everyone wants to tell a poet what he should write about. He introduce the poem by saying everyone who does this is wrong. That goes back to: Only offer advice when asked or truly needed.

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