Advise received is effective only when used

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The world at large and India, in particular, has been going through a harrowing time with the Covid 19 spreading like wildfire across the country. For more than a year, the authorities have been suggesting the right personal care and social behavior for citizens to follow. Yet, after a brief lull in the cases, there has been a dramatic increase in cases which can be largely attributed to the public at large failing to follow the advice given by the authorities. The lesson is clear; all the advice in the world will never help you until you help yourself.

So why is it hard to follow good advice? In my view, one should and one can follow good advice simply by paying attention to the following:

Visualize the benefits to motivate you – One early advice that everyone is given in big doses is to study hard. It is also one advice that is ignored most often. The reason for ignoring the advice is that the process is not motivating. We do not enjoy the rigor especially since the benefits seem only marginally beneficial and fairly delayed. On the other hand, when told to minimize play or minimize watching TV we find it hard to follow that advice simply because we get immediate pleasure, we are psychologically connected to the process and we find like-minded company to support us. The challenge for you is to vividly visualize yourself being able to progress in small steps; by regular study, getting better grades and gaining recognition through better academic performance. Visualize   and see yourself as a generator of collective happiness for the family. Now you have a positive reason to accept and follow good advice.

Imagine the consequences so that it cautions you– Just as you visualize benefits, it is in your interest to imagine the consequences of not following good advice. In academics, it could lead to poor grades and in extreme cases failure but in actual life not paying attention to good advice could lead to falling prey to bad habits, developing a poor mental attitude, constant stress and worse of all, often living with regret. Do not fall prey to the ‘if only… ‘ syndrome. Fear often stimulates one into action. Fear is often the key trigger that helps one overcome procrastination and actively begin doing what needs to be done.

Self-discipline – For many of us beginning to follow new advice is a huge challenge. However, for all of us the real tough challenge starts once we begin to follow the new advice; being self-disciplined and continuing to following the advice. Both motivation and fear will occasionally make you feel excited or fearful resulting in you continuing to adhere to the advice you have embraced. This must be supplemented by having a fixed routine (just like how you now never leave the house without your mask). Enlist the help of a friend or family member to prod you and prompt you to adhere to the routine. The best way to be self-disciplined is being motivated and enjoying the thrill of doing what needs to be done.

Anticipate the rewards that you get – The fun of an upcoming birthday is the anticipation of the fun and possible gifts one receives. If it is someone else’s birthday, it is the anticipation of meeting friends, the excitement you are sure will be there, dreaming of the goodies you will get to enjoy etc. Notice that you never forget the birthdays; your own and especially those whose birthday parties you had a blast in the past. In the same way, anticipate the rewards for following the advice given by your well-wishers. By following good advice meant for you, the chances of you feeling happy and elated are multiplied manifold and you feel even more thrilled that you did it yourself.

Embrace the right spirit – It is your attitude that will ultimately determine how you respond to good advice. See it as a bonus. View it as an opportunity to change yourself and your world for the better. Make it look like a challenge for you to take on. Light the spark within you and dare to do what you are challenged to do. As they say, Attitude determines Altitude.

Try these:           

  • What are the three activities that you will take up to improve your personal life, work-life and social life? (for clues look into suggestions given in the past by family, friends, colleagues, superiors, teachers etc.)
  • What is the best advice you have ever received? If you were to advise a family member or friend what you will tell that person? (Visualize that person and visualize how they will react to your advice)
  • Can you recall a very meaningful or enlightening statement /proverb /saying/quote that still resonates with you? Why does it mean so much to you?

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Bobby Jacob

Bobby Jacob

‘ He hopes to have a positive influence on his readers through his blog posts’

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This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Liz

    Absolutely love this and so glad to be a part of your mailing list again, Bobbychayan.

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