diamond v glass {opinions}

15 Dec

diamond*

Asking questions is a good habit, and it’s easy to do. The real work begins once you’ve gathered a bunch of answers. Sorting advice is tough, like distinguishing diamonds from clear Swarovski crystals. Everyone’s got an opinion, it seems, and often the opinions of people you respect conflict.

Students and new graduates struggle to weigh advice from their peers and professors, parents and professionals. I see it all of the time. Here are a few tips from your old Auntie Violet, to help ease your mind.

  • Only ask advice from people you respect. When choosing advisors, look for people who are doing, not just talking.
  • Especially in art, too many cooks spoil the stew. When you try to please everyone, you lose your edge, so stop trying to make everybody happy! Get comfortable with the fact that some people won’t like the decisions that you make. That’s just a normal part of life.
  • When opinions conflict, there are probably multiple legitimate options on the table. You can’t listen to all of them. Go with your gut.
  • When a variety of well-meaning people all give you the same advice, pay attention. Maybe you’ll still go the other way, but advice like that is worthy of consideration.
  • Making mistakes is a big part of the process, so don’t be stymied by indecision. Give yourself the grace to fail. And when you do, don’t beat yourself up. Nobody is right all of the time.
  • Always accept advice with appreciation and respect—even when you think it is terrible. The person who gave it is probably trying to help you, so be kind.
  • When ASKED for advice, take care with your response. Your words matter, a lot. They really do.

Here’s the crazy thing about advice: In the end, nobody can tell you what to do, because no one else IS  you! What worked for someone else (different personality, different circumstances) may not work in your case at all. Wisdom is earned, you have to fight to get it, and you’ll get a little scraped up along the way—so make sure to include some compassionate, Band-Aid carrying friends in your board room full of advisors.

I owe my success to having listened respectfully to the very best advice, and then going away and doing the exact opposite. ~ G. K. Chesterton

 

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3 Responses to “diamond v glass {opinions}”

  1. Connie Smiley December 15, 2012 at 8:21 pm #

    Excellent advice, Violet!

  2. brettrwilkes December 27, 2012 at 1:22 am #

    Great set of tips! They really encourage me.

    (Jokingly, I want to say that I shouldn’t take the advice in this post, based on the advice in this post.;)

    • violetlemay December 27, 2012 at 8:54 am #

      Yes, you’d be wise to disregard the whole thing. 😉

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