Guiding Through Change

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On our journey through life, we have encountered numerous obstacles and learned many valuable lessons. While looking back in time, I realized that if there was one thing we could ask for, it would be to have someone talk to us, mentor us, and guide us through these harsh times. It’s extremely devastating to see other people go on similar paths and make the same mistakes that we have, especially the close ones in our lives. We become very sensitive and empathetic as we sit and watch what appears to be a sequel to a very long and depressing movie. We care about these people; they are our family, friends, and lovers. Our intentions are to share with them our meaningful, personal, and life-changing experiences. We only want what is best for them. Quite frankly, we would not spend a minute helping a random stranger in this situation. I have described how it feels to be on the giving end of this relationship, but let’s trade places and hop in the shoes of the receiver.

Receiving advice is never easy. It is especially hard to accept when the advice is coming from someone close to you. As a receiver, advice would usually only come when others see a problem or dilemma. You will feel as if people are on your case and judging you as you drive on your road to success. It almost feels as if the world is against you. There are other reasons that I would like to share; they include:

1) Nagger – If the person trying to lend you advice is very nagging, it will be almost impossible for you to take their advice. You realize that if you decide to take the advice offered, more nagging will persist in the future.
2) Mr. /Ms. Right – If the person offering advice is always right and you always feel that you do wrong and remain a failure to them, the last thing you would want to do is prove them right by taking his/her advice.
3) Fellow Peers and younger – If the person giving you advice is a fellow peer or someone younger, you will have a hard time accepting it, mainly due to the fact that you do not perceive them as mentors. They are on the same page as you, yet you will get the impression that they are trying to be more and are judging you.
4) Misunderstanding person – This is the most common case. There are times when we feel that other people do not understand the facts and circumstances that we are in and it makes it harder for us to accept their advice. A good example of this is when we look at teenagers and their parents. I’m sure most of us have rebelled against our parents because we felt that their advice was not appropriate and they did not take the time and effort to understand us.

It feels amazing to be able to achieve great heights without the help of others. You feel as though these advisors are threatening your progress to victory. You strive to accomplish your visions with no outside help as intended. You probably endure many unnecessary obstacles and learn many valuable lessons along the way, but you accomplished it with great pride and success. Now that we fully understand the giver and the receiver, let’s step back and watch the show from a third person audience.

Whether you are a giver or receiver, you have to realize that you cannot offer someone guidance and support if they are unwilling to accept it. In the case of the giver and the receiver, both of them have personal issues that need to be dealt with. I would now like to share a quote from Carl Jung, “Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.” As a receiver, you probably have issues of your own because you are letting other’s prejudice affect the way you act. You should learn to understand why and correct these flaws. As a giver, you are not able to let go of your past. You had your opportunity to live, learn, and understand from your own mistakes through example. It has definitely shaped you into a magnificent person. You should be able to let others undertake obstacles just as you have in the past. Also, the approach you are taking to offer the advice might be threatening to the receiver. If you really want to offer help, your approach should be considered.

The moral of this story is that you should not always try to change people. If you cannot change others, what are your options? I would recommend try changing yourself. The reason that you would want to change someone is more personal than you think. Other people’s way of doing things and actions are irritating you, so let’s resolve that. Learn to be strong and take charge of your own feelings and actions. Release yourself and set yourself free from other people’s obstacles and dilemmas. You probably have your own problems as well. Change yourself for the better gradually, learn to be a good role model to others, and eventually people will naturally come to you for advice. We all have eyes to perceive; success will not be left unnoticed.

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  1. 1

    Great structure and a great read. Reading this column reminds me a lot of how I’ve changed perceptions on change and perception. I use to think the glory of making it on your own was greater than succeeding with assistance. But of course, through the natural process of growing up, I’ve pick up a few things on the way from failure. I look back now and think of the 2 choices. 1.) make it on my own and hope to be praised for it. This comes along with abandonment from close ones as you break off into the unknown and trying to tackle every aspect of what it is you are trying to do. In all, what you hoped for to be a lonely victory can become a much worse demolition of capital, network, and self esteem. Option 2.) Make it with assistance as you are guided through the ever so changing nature of everything that there is and will be in life. Victory in this scenario ends with joyous celebration. Even if you didn’t succeed, the guidance, time, and help offered to you by others was just enough to cushion your fall to pick yourself back up and try again with better experience. The next time someone is giving you advice, you should take it (into consideration) with open arms. Now, in a new light, I am being nurtured and mentored in a new business which allows me the freedom to stay persistent and innovative. Why search for primary data when the secondary is offered?


  2. 2

    I love this quote…. “Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.”

    I truly believe you cannot help a person unless they want to be helped. If the person doesn’t want to hear it- why should they, right? Just like most people in this world, we all play both sides, giving and receiving. I have at least one friend who falls into your list of… shall I call them, advisors? My favorite is the Mr./Mrs. Right or as I like to call it ‘people with know it all syndrome’

    Why is it that the ‘misunderstanding person’ is the most common? Do we humans really lack paying attention to what’s really going on? Do we choose not to care? I assume this changes the persons attitude towards the advice being given to them and they become defensive.

    Taney, we all need to vent occasionally and consult others for advice. What is, or how is the best way to seek GOOD help without interacting with these advisors? Especially, when you actually WANT to be helped from others. Can I just clone you and keep him as a pet? lol Thanks Taney.

    Your “LALALALALA” buddy,

  3. 3

    I like the Carl Jung’s quote that you shared ““Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves”. Indeed it is true. Anything that happens in our environment to which we are reacting negatively is a reflection of our inner minds.

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts and inspiring others to make positive changes.

  4. 4

    Advising and being advised is a very common thing that we face in our day-to-day life. Whenever I am advised by someone, I feel boring but make my mind to patiently hear them. End of my day, I use to recollect them, validate it and follow if they are right (but to my perception). But I have also later observed the same advices in different perceptions which really gave different meaning too.

    As Raymond said, in my experience too, the advices thought were interpreted as per my own perception, I have faced situations to reinterpret them with different one for I really felt as an Eye opener.

    Advising is easy..being advised is very hard..this is why Zen monks do not advice instead they question us and leave us to answer our self. The secret is that they put the right question to the right person. Other best way to advices is to say stories that contain the moral what you are trying to advice. It is like adding sweet to a medicine.

  5. 5

    @Raymond, @Flora, @Evelyn:
    Thanks so much for the comments! I truly appreciate all feedback. It helps me see in different perspectives and definitely opens me up to new ideas. I believe expression of thoughts helps us understand each other as human beings.

    @Mahalaxmi T R:
    Hi Mahalaxmi! Thanks so much for dropping by! I never really looked at it from the Zen perspective. You raise a good point there: to use other ways to help the person seek their own solution. I think that’s truly a great way to help someone since you’re letting them solve their own problems, yet advising in a way that’s easy to accept. I like it! Thanks for sharing! (=

  6. Nancy #

    Hi Taney, I appreciate the fact that you are taking the time and effort out to share and engage on topics that we all seem to struggle with, daily. I just wanted to bring up a quick thought. If you view this in a broader perspective, say the culture of the United States. We are a very individualistic society. We seem to prefer to overcome our obstacles alone, we always seem to have something to prove. We seldom seek help from others, and if we do, we rarely act upon it. This also makes us a very competitive society. If we only work in a team-approach to tackle problems both at work and at home, I think we can achieve great and wonderful things. ** Nancy RHS alum 01′

  7. 7

    Hi Nancy! Thanks so much for dropping by!

    That’s a great perspective! I never looked at it in terms of our country. We do live in a capitalistic society, which is based on competition. For quite a while competition has led us to room for improvement, but the world is evolving and changing into a different state. We need to learn to utilize our resources and work together to improve the the progress of our country and economy. It becomes all political. As a country, the US strives hard to be the International Superpower.

    I totally agree with you! Team work and unity will be the key to the survival our human existence. Thanks for the comments! I appreciate it!

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