Taking advice from others

5th August, 2023·
·2 min read

We all look for advice from friends and family. We fear we might take a wrong step. And we want the confidence that we are on the right path. Even if it's not, we just want validation.

Came across the below excerpt from Will Smith in his book "Will". I was listening to the audiobook in the gym today, and I had to stop my workout and note this down.

By the way, I highly recommend the audiobook version, its narrated by Will himself and he sings and raps in between the lines. It's a fun listen.

The thing about advice - no one can accurately predict the future. We all think we can.

Advice, at its best, is one person's limited perspective of the infinite possibilities before you.

Peoples advice is based on their fears, their experiences, their prejudices. And at the end of the day, their advice is just that–it's theirs. Not yours.

When people give advice, they are basing it on what they would do, what they can perceive, and what they think you can do.

But the bottom line is, ... , you are the first time you have ever happened. YOU and NOW are a unique occurrence of which you are the most reliable measure of all the possibilities.

When I first announced to my previous co-workers that I will be taking up a remote job, they advised me against that. They didn't know what a remote job is and they expressed all their fears of loosing a job to me.

Now, it's been ~5 years and I would not do a job in a setting other than remote.

In times when you are afraid to take a decision, and not sure if it would work or not, maybe try this.

Fear setting - a framework that Tim Ferriss introduced.

Turns out, when you define your worst nightmare, it won't be that scary.

Define your nightmare, the absolute worst that could happen if you did what you are considering. What doubt, fears, and “what-ifs” pop up as you consider the big changes you can—or need—to make? Envision them in painstaking detail. Would it be the end of your life?

Would it?

Aravind Balla

By Aravind Balla, a Javascript Developer building things to solve problems faced by him & his friends. You should hit him up on Twitter!

Get letters from me 🙌

Get a behind-the-scenes look on the stuff I build, articles I write and podcast episodes which make you a more effective builder.

Read the archive 📬

One email every Tuesday. No more. Maybe less.