My junior year I was in the conference semifinals wrestling at 171 pounds versus a spanish kid from Sussex Central. I was winning the mat 6-3 with about thirty seconds left on the clock. I had dominated the match up until that point taking down my game opponent at will. However he was tough to ride and I may have (I don’t remember but it’s not unlikely because it was my first year wrestling) given up a point for locking hands trying to keep him down. With that in my mind my assistant coach told me to let him up. My lungs were burning and in my mind I knew I could ride him out the rest of the period but still, begrudgingly like a good soldier I listened to the person in command. I did. He took me down in a questionable scramble and got the two take down points and the ONE escape point I gave him when I let him up. Tying the match 6-6. I lost in overtime.
Now you might be thinking to yourself maybe I could have gotten a second or third locking hands call and disqualified myself, or maybe I could have been reversed, and pinned, or any other negative situation imaginable. Yes. BUT that would have been my mistake to make. There would be no one to blame but myself which is a much better outcome than following someone else’s advice and losing.
Since then I really only take what people are saying to me into consideration and only if it matches what I want to do then will I implement it in my life. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho harbors heavily on this concept. Specifically saying that following your own intuition is the only way to find your heart’s desires. Going so far as to teach this very lesson through the parable of the protagonist losing a portion of his “treasure” each time he asked someone else for help making a decision that was his alone to make. We obviously need help in some portions of our lives where specialization is necessary but ultimately it us who decides what we do, who we are, and who we aspire to be.
So the flip side to this is I also try to avoid giving advice at all costs. It’s too much responsibility. “Like yeah Tom I think you should do x” and unbeknownst to me doing x ruins Tom’s life. Now I’m to blame. So nah I try to steer people when “asked” into making their own decisions.
Free advice is usually worth exactly how much it cost you. But don’t take my word for it.
“Don’t ever take advice that was great advice.” – Drake