Asking For Directions
Don’t ask directions from someone who hasn’t been where you want to go.
The other day I was heading home in a shared Uber with the driver and one other passenger. The passenger and I coincidentally ended up going to the same general location and when we exited the car, she proceeded to ask me about the location of the closest coffee shop. Since I’ve lived in my neighborhood for almost two years, I knew the general location of Philz Coffee and directed her accordingly even though I’ve personally never been there. She then proceeded to ask me detailed questions like the hours of operations to which I politely told her to consult Google. I wasn’t intentionally trying to be rude, I just really couldn’t help her because I had never been to the shop.
A few nights later, I was talking with a friend that was lamenting about how their friends always come to them for advice and guidance but are never able to provide much help when the tables are turned. The conversation made me think of the woman asking for directions and how we sometimes look to people in our lives for guidance and end up disappointed because they provide little to no valuable help. This can apply to many aspects of our lives including career, love, relationships, fitness...the list goes on and on. Asking someone that has never been married for marriage advice would be as unwise as asking someone that has never run a business for advice on being a successful entrepreneur. In many cases, this really isn’t the fault of the askee—they just haven’t been to where we are trying to go so they are limited with how much they can help.
In an earlier post I talked about vision boarding, and writing your dreams and aspirations down on paper. What I didn’t elaborate on is how to accomplish those goals. I believe that having a solid group of “advisors” is critical to success in any of our endeavors. I wouldn’t say this necessarily makes the path “easier” but I’ve found that they can provide insights into what to watch out for along the way and what to potentially expect and guard against. I have advisors for different aspects of my life —the person that I would seek advice from for work related guidance isn’t necessarily the same person that I would go to for help with more personal aspects of my life. My advisors have different experiences, strengths, and areas of expertise.
As the first month of 2019 comes to a close and we continue to work on making our dreams a reality, we should all remember the role of having a diverse group of advisors and the importance of actively seeking people that have the specific knowledge and experience that can help us reach our goals.