A Taste of My Own Medicine for 2013

There was something about 2012 that made me dispense a lot of advice.

I think a lot of it stemmed from this blog. I advised about a dozen people last year on how to start/write/sustain a blog. Add in another dozen for relationship or online dating advice, and maybe half a dozen for advice on writing a novel. Then came the Kickstarter success, and with it a slew of more advice.

Let me make it clear: I’m not complaining. I love giving advice. In fact, I think I might be a little addicted to giving advice.

In most of those examples above, people came to me asking for my advice, and I was happy to give it. But in recent months I’ve been acutely aware of the amount of unsolicited advice I give. That’s the type I’m worried about.

It’s a two-part worry: First, not everyone wants my advice, or any advice for that matter. I need to respect that. Second, if my default mode in any conversation is to take what the person is saying and advise them, then I’m not engaging that person in the most healthy, loving way I can. I’m making the conversation about me and my knowledge instead of them and their needs and wants. And that’s not fair, especially not to people I care about.

I have a bunch of quantitative goals every year that I track on a weekly basis. But every year I like to have a more subjective goal, a resolution to improve who I am as a person. As I enter my 32nd year today, my goal is to stop giving unsolicited advice. Period. If someone wants my advice…well, I think everyone knows at this point that I’m happy to give it. I really am. But from now on I’ll only give advice that people clearly want instead of when I think they want it.

That said, I’ll continue to give advice freely on this blog as long as it fits the goal of the blog: to generate conversation. I guess it’s technically unsolicited, but you have the choice to read the blog every day. I hope you’ll continue to make that choice, and as long as you keep showing up, I’ll keep writing my thoughts, ideas, stories, questions, excitements, and advisements here.

Do you make subjective goals to improve yourself? If so, feel free to share in the comments. I promise not to give you advice on them. 🙂

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10 thoughts on “A Taste of My Own Medicine for 2013”

  1. First of all, I raise my coffee cup as I sit alone in my office on this warm January day to toast to another fulfilling year in your life. Happy birthday!

    Second, my initial thought as I started reading your resolution on advice is that people tend to gravitate toward successful individuals for advice, and you’ve had a lot of success in 2012 in many facets of your life. While I understand the resolution not to give unsolicited advice, I also think it’s ok if you sense that someone wants advice but doesn’t ask for it for whatever reason (embarrassment, etc) to ask that person if they’d like your advice. Just a thought to make sure that those in need do not go without.

    I also made a resolution to improve myself as a person. Just the other day I was telling Laura that I resolve to take criticism as constructive rather than allowing it to create a defeatist attitude in me.

    Reply
    • Trev–That’s a great point to make sure that people in need don’t go without if I sense that they want advice but aren’t able to ask for it for some reason. It’s a tough line to walk, but I’ll do my best. I wish you the best in your constructive resolution as well!

      Reply
  2. I think you give great advice. You’re one of those ppl who really EXPERIENCES life to the fullest. You have dreams and you proactively go after them. I think a lot of people (myself included) respect you quite a bit and really value what you have to say.

    That being said, I commend you for looking deeply into your own life and finding the little places that need some work. That’s hard to do!

    Also to echo my Facebook post, I do wish you a very happy day and year 🙂 I haven’t hit 32 yet but I’m coming up close to 31. I’ve already decided that my 30’s are going to be awesome..it looks like the same for you!

    Reply
    • Thank you, Ansley–that’s very kind of you to say. I’m glad my words resonate with you (and hopefully others too).

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  3. Great goal, I will add this to my list! This year I made a list of 25 Things I Want To Do, 25 Things I Want To Be, 25 Things Not To Do/Be, and 25 People To Engage With. Just added this to my “do not do” list!

    Reply
    • That’s a lot of lists! I’m curious about the content of the other lists. Care to share them on a guest entry (if they’re the type of lists that would help people opposed being helpful only to you)?

      Reply
      • Haha sure! I used to just do “100 Things To Do in 20XX” but I would vary them from abstract (stretch more often) to specific (buy a house). I decided to break it up to just be a little more purposeful about it. I just glance at them every month or so, editing them as I see fit. I think they are mostly all able to be shared, I’ll take a look!

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  4. Happy Birthday, Jamey! Hope you have a great day! 🙂

    I love to cook and bake, so one of my goals for 2013 is to expand on my knowledge in the kitchen. I want to challenge myself and learn new recipes, new techniques, and new skills … similar to the movie “Julie and Julia”, but not quite to the extent of 500 recipes in 365 days! 🙂 I would also like to explore food photography, as I have had an interest in that for quite some time now. While I’m not a professional cook or photographer, I’m looking forward to learning new things and taking some time out for myself to do something I really enjoy!

    Reply

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