“He that gives good advice, builds with one hand; he that gives good counsel and example, builds with both, but he that gives good admonition and bad example, builds with one hand and pulls down with the other.” – Francis Bacon Sr.
I’ve been thinking a lot about the advice I’ve been given throughout my life; advice I’m glad I didn't take and advice that I wish I had. Also, I’ve been thinking about advice I give to others and wonder if I live by my own suggestions. I wrote a blog about staying on top of household chores such as the never ending task of washing dishes. No sooner than the day after I wrote that blog did I let my dishes sit in the sink and build up for about four days! In addition to letting the dishes pile up I let my laundry pile up too. How effective is my advice if I’m not living by it myself?
When you think about the people who have given you great advice; what made their advice believable or good? Was the advice presented in a way that was supportive and loving? Does the person offering advice prove the advice to be affective through his or her own actions? I had a friend who always talked about being accepting of others regardless of differences. She often posted on Facebook the importance of allowing others to have their own opinions. However, if anyone ever disagreed with her opinions she would turn what could have been an enlightening conversation into an argument or an all out fight. By these actions, how effective was her advice to love and accept everyone?
I realize no amount of help, counsel, or advice I give with intentions to support a friend is going to matter if I’m not living up to my own counsel. I feel that now that I’m aware of the power of influence and perception, I have a responsibility to myself, husband, children, family, and friends to live up to my own standards and recommendations. I want the advice I give to people to help them and hopefully make their lives easier and happy. If my advice confirmed by my example helps make their lives better, then my life will be better too.