One way in which I've always felt a bit different from the rest of the world is that I don't like to ask for advice when I am struggling with something.
This, in many ways, is a weakness that's worth eventually overcoming. But, I also enjoy the challenge of working through issues and it feels a bit like cheating myself to ask someone else what they would do in my shoes.
But, that doesn't mean that I don't have respect for other people's skill-sets and strengths or that I don't think they would be able to help me.
On the contrary, the reality is that I see every word someone says to me and every act they perform as advice. I benefit not from what the people around me explicitly offer but rather from what I observe them do.
And generally, I think that is better advice.
When anyone gives advice, especially myself, we share the way we think things ought to be. The way they would be in an ideal world.
If someone was having trouble with their productivity I would give advice like, "Well, you should write out a list of tasks every night." or "Try predicting how long each task will take before you do it and set a timer for that amount of time." or "Focus on a cycle of Think - Do - Relax."
These are all strategies that I have employed and have sworn by. But the disingenuous part is that I might not mention that I still struggle with this myself. And that I improve not by any single technique but rather a relentless pursuit of productivity and constant re-evaluation of whether I'm performing to my own standards.
Indeed, it would be difficult to communicate exactly what I mean because this is best understood over many conversations, with our guards down, and by observing my actions on a day to day basis.
And, of course, that's true of anyone's advice - it's often best when they don't realize they're giving it.
You can constantly learn from everyone - even people you don't know.
When I see a guy who clearly has great style, I just observe him. He doesn't even realize that he is giving me advice.
When I see a friend fly to a new country for the first time, meet a fantastic girl in a leather store and fly her back to the US a week later to prolong their time together and begin an amazing relationship, that is advice that I don't just hear but feel about the adventures that are possible in life if you open up.
When I was in Berlin, Mike gave me the advice to just bust out my computer after every great conversation or thought and to turn it into an article. He never told me to do that. I just saw him do it over and over and realized how valuable that behavior of his is - it inspired me to start writing again.
And this piece itself came to be after a meeting with the World Domination Summit Team where I was constantly impressed by them and realized how much I was learning just by being in their presence.
So, my advice to you (heh heh) is to really observe and deliberately consider the people around you.
What are their beliefs and how are those beliefs helping or hurting them? What patterns do you notice in them that you can now more easily track down in yourself. What habits and practices are having a positive or negative impact on them? How would it feel to be in their shoes for a day?
When you do this, it feels as if everyone you know, everyone you meet, everyone you come across as you walk around outside is constantly helping you become the best form of yourself.
Advice is everywhere. Soak it up.
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