August 25, 2017

Why You Need to Take Someone Else's Advice

I wasn't sure how to write this post without making it all sentimental and, frankly, embarrassing myself. But... I think it's important. We live in an age in which mentors are no longer people we should have in our lives. Society says that we need to be doing things by ourselves and for ourselves. And I'll admit: the word mentor is sort of antiquated, but the idea is still the same. We should all have someone— or more than one someone— in our life who wants to give us advice and encourage us for the sake of giving us advice and encouraging us... not for some kind of personal gain.




I'm totally that person. The "I know everything and don't need anyone's advice" person. Of course, I know that I don't know everything. But if I'm not sure of something, I won't say or do it because I have this deeply rooted need to always be right. Because I hate to be wrong.

To me, advice is a very "take it or leave it" sort of thing. Truth be told, I usually leave it. Even if I ask for it, I tend to go my own way. That has been true my entire, if short, life. In my 21 years, I don't know how many pieces of advice I've actually taken to heart and applied. Until this past summer. Because someone that I worked with kind of changed my life and my internship somehow became much more about personal than professional development.



When I started my summer internship, they put me next to a chatty someone— let's call him Dave— who kept trying to make conversation my first day. Like it really mattered what the intern had to say. I'm not a very chatty person generally, but I went with it. As I write this, nine weeks later, I can't remember how or when it happened, but I started to trust Dave. Now, with some perspective, I believe that God placed me at this company so I would meet Dave.

And even if he doesn't remember me six months, a year, whenever from now, I'll remember him because I've never taken as much advice from someone— not my professors, not my friends, not even my mom— as I've taken from Dave in the short time that I've known him. "You should add this to the presentation." Ok, done. "Try it this way." Yep, that's a good idea. "You have to watch this movie!" So I did.

Then he told me that I should come to the church he goes to. And I couldn't stop thinking about it. So I went. And the message brought me to tears, something that has never happened to me before, and all I could think of over the next week was how much I wanted to go back the following Sunday. I gave up social media as part of a 21-day church fast (read about that experience here) because Dave encouraged me to participate.

He inspired this Instagram post and me to stop judging books by their covers and to trust that God would lead me to my purpose. He, unintentionally, made me aware of my own character flaws and the changes I need to make in my life. I joke that he's old and wise whenever he offers me a piece of advice or a thought on something. He is 14 years my senior, but I don't feel like he's preaching to me from some "I've been there and done that, take my word for it" pedestal.

Nor does he make me feel that my concerns and thoughts are insignificant or unfounded simply because I'm younger and haven't yet learned as much from life as he has. I think we all have this person, or more than one person, out there; we just need to understand that it might not be who we think and that we might not meet them where and when we thought we would. But when and if we stop looking... God will step in and do the rest.

So why do you need to take someone else's advice? Because it might change your life. 

2 comments

  1. This is so true! I would normally be like, oh yeah, I totally knew that! But inside I'm taking notes lol

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I definitely feel differently about taking advice now!

      Delete

Insta @_alexakoch

© Alexa Koch | Writing Coach. Design by Fearne.