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Advice - are we looking for it in the right places?

Being an extremely inquisitive person is actually a big part of what makes me who I am. I ask a lot of questions, but I guess after doing this for so long it’s made me reflect on which method is most optimum when asking for advice, to prevent burnout and a loss of motivation.

If you ask the wrong person it can have a significant impact on your motivation to pursue whatever you intended to do. Therefore, it has inspired me to write a post about identifying the right people to ask.

After listening to a podcast by Jay Shetty ; a former monk turned podcaster, it helped me determine what qualities we need to look out for.

A golden rule is to remember that the advice we receive from others is a projection of someone’s own limitations and possibilities. Many a time, it has nothing to even do with you but the opinion or insight you receive is most likely distracted or affected by bias.

Therefore, to overcome this the four characteristics we should use when seeking advise from people is as follows :

  1. Competence

  2. Care

  3. Consistent advise

  4. Character and strong moral compass

Now, I’m going to break these four characteristics down with examples to further solidify what is meant by each.

With regards to competence; as an Optometrist working in primary care whenever a situation arises which I know is beyond my scope of practice, I don’t hesitate in asking my more experienced colleagues for help. They’ve also taught me how to minimize prescribing incorrectly and to avoid rechecks. You can also apply this to investing; asking someone like your younger siblings probably isn’t the best option, an entrepreneur/someone with success in investing is who you should be looking out for .

Care - I look for this in my family , my parents in particular will provide this unconditionally and also my closest childhood friends .

Consistent advise - Now this can be found with the people who you spend most of your free time with , stable figures who have consistently been present for you. This tends to only be a handful of people ; my best friend and sister standout as people who have consistently been there for me . It’s the sense of security and stability you get from these figures which gives them so much importance .

Character and strong moral compass-

These may be major figures in religion , human rights, environmentalists and even people you are acquainted with.

Utilising the teaching and principles of prominent figures in my Islamic faith such as the prophets has guided me greatly . I read hadiths which are sayings and teachings of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him ) and try my best to incorporate these into my life .

It is vital to understand that it is very difficult to find someone who possesses all four of these qualities . Hence , being connected to various people who posses at least one of these qualities will help ensure you get the response you need.

Therefore I’d like to conclude this post by recommending the four characteristics to look out for when looking for the right advise .


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