Thursday, July 9, 2015

The Funny Thing about Advice...

Over the past year, I have started a new journey as a Life Coach.

First, I was lucky enough to work in a Speech-Pathology clinic, where the owner liked how I worked with some of the older clients. These clients had different issues relating to speech. Some of these clients had pragmatic issues, meaning they needed some assistance with the social aspects of speech. Others had a previous brain injury, and they needed help getting their brain and thoughts working properly again.

I never saw any of these clients as "disabled" or anything like that at all. I completely saw all of their issues as temporary road-blocks.

Most importantly, I did not approach these clients thinking that they had a true "issue."

I simply saw them as individuals who need a fresh change of perspective and an increase in confidence. I noticed that they would enjoy coming to clinic and talking to the therapists. In a way it was a "forced" interaction, as opposed to walking up to stranger on the street. However, many of them really enjoyed it, and it was obvious that it was a highlight of their day.

These were my favorite clients to work with. I simply wanted them to see themselves the way that I saw them. And as I have stated again and again in this blog, I believe that ANYONE CAN BE GREAT. 

I see people as unique individuals, everyone with their own experiences and stories to tell. The people you meet in this world will forever be more interesting than any book you will read or movie you will see.

It was a pleasure working with them and helping them to see themselves and their lives in a different light. It was an experience that changed my life forever.

Since working at that clinic, I have been lucky enough to meet several families that have asked me to work with their children. All of these children are above the age of 18, and they simply need someone to help them organize their thoughts and properly manage their time and future.

I have had great success with the majority of the clients I have worked with. I get to know them on a personal level, and help them in anyway that I can.

I absolutely love doing it. I have a passion for it, and hearing the positive remarks from the parents has been one of the greatest joys I have ever felt. I plan on doing this for the rest of my life.

I have always loved helping others. All my life I have always been the "motivator" amongst my group of friends. Giving them positive reinforcement, and tidbits of advice that can help them in the short and long-term. Growing up, I had much older parents than anyone else my age. This caused me to really love my friends and appreciate the time I was able to spend with them.

I feel like I have always been able to give great advice because of the personal difficult times that I have been through. I have made countless mistakes, been an outcast, been left-out, been fired, been laid-off, been rejected. The list goes on. When I went through these tough times, I made sure to really remember how it made me feel, so that when things got better I can truly appreciate it. Being so aware of my emotions when I was down, has helped me greatly in my work today with coaching. I will never forget exactly what I went through, and what I had to do to get out of it or make up for it.

Now, I find myself coaching these young men and helping them get on track during some of the most crucial years of their lives. I take everything I say to them very seriously. I do not just do what many people may think I do. I do NOT just tell them that they are great, and they are capable, and they can do everything they set their mind to. All the cliche stuff. I do NOT do those things.

I speak from the heart. I tell them stories of things I have been through, and I how I got out of it.

I always tell them, "I want to help you to not make the same mistakes I did."

I always take note of some of the advice I give them. And when I come home, I sit and think about it.

Advice really is a very funny thing. 

Much of it sounds great, and can motivate the heart and really get the blood flowing.

But where does it really come from? And what does it really mean?

What I have come to realize is that a lot of advice that people give others, are bits of advice they know that they need for themselves.

Meaning - people do NOT usually practice what they preach.

I am as guilty of that as anyone. Take a look through my previous blog posts. Take a look through the Life Cleanse I wrote up.

My life today is still filled with distractions, and I have a tough time eliminating them. I still make dumb mistakes everyday. I do not manage my time well. I still let people down who I care about. I still go an entire day without trying something new or stepping out of my comfort zone. I still have SO MUCH to learn about the things in life that are important to me.

Just about every piece of advice I have given out - can also greatly benefit my life.

So in the field of coaching, motivational blogging, teaching - always take note of the advice you are giving. Chances are you are saying exactly what YOU NEED TO DO to make your life more efficient and happy.

If you happen to be on the receiving end of advice, sometimes you have to be a bit weary of what you hear.

Maybe that person is telling you what is really best for THEM, not you.

I have a friend who is trying to decide if he should go back to school or start working. He tells me everyone tells him that he should go to school or he will not have a good future.

How do they know that? There are plenty of people who live successful and happy lives without a college degree. How do they know he is ready and mature enough for school? Maybe working for a year can set him up to go back to school later and be more successful.

Advice is funny thing. 

Saying something motivational and making it sound great is a lot easier than it looks.

Is Eminem a motivational speaker? No he isn't. But listen to Lose Yourself, 8 Mile, or Rabbit Run and tell me your not motivated. Is Sylvester Stallone a motivational speaker? No. But listen to the one-liners from the Rocky movie and tell me your blood doesn't boil.

Anyone can come up with a fancy quote, make a nice image of it and post it on Instagram (just made an Instagram by the way ---> MGM_GrowNOW ---> be sure to follow) and act like they are super motivational.

Take a look at your instagram feed. People do it everyday! Especially girls to be honest. Some will post pictures of themselves in mirror getting ready for work, and they will put a motivational quote or an inspirational rap lyric at the bottom. People do it with pictures of themselves at the gym. They will be flexing in the mirror and put a motivational quote at the bottom like they are Socrates or Ralph Waldo Emerson.

I am not bashing these people, it is actually fun to do! Also - coming up with something else to write isn't that easy either.

But think about it - putting a motivational quote under a picture you posted at 7am on a Monday morning getting ready for work. Is that really for other people to see and read so that "they can grind like you"?


That motivational quote is for you. To help you get through your Monday at work. And I really can't blame you for it.

Advice is a funny thing.

Its amazing how as humans we can spend so much energy telling people what is better for them and what changes they need to make...when in reality chances are we do NOT practice what we preach.

Chances are... that advice is best suited for OURSELVES.

Next time you go to help out a friend and you give them some advice, think to yourself.

Is this something I need to do? Is this something that would make my life better?

Chances are the answer is YES. And there is nothing better than Self-Improvement.

Improve yourself so that you are better suited to help others.

Practice what you preach, and Grow NOW.


  1. Wow, we have had a lot of the same experiences and have come to similar conclusions. Someone told me once that I , like herself, was an exhorter. This narrative indicates that you are one as well. I have always been able to see the potential in others, sometimes to my own detriment, but more often to facilitate the success of others. Over the years I have learned to manage my giving more effectively. It can get carried away! As I have achieved a more balanced life, largely during times I have been single (alone), I have been able to focus inwardly and finally started to grow again myself. It's amazing how much energy it takes to bring out the best in others around you, especially when they are depleting your energy and not replacing it. I am not a high energy person physically but I sure am mentally! It's tough to negotiate. When I say I am going to just focus ALL of my energy on myself, it lasts about 12 hours lol. However, little bits and pieces of quiet self-reflection keep me moving forward.
    I had my life coach tell me once that I should never take advice from friends. Your friends will answers will be biased and are typically what you want to hear. She said, you should always go to a professional. I agree with her and keep that in mind when I am giving advice. I make sure to find out if if advice is wanted and state I am not a professional before speaking. I too use past experiences but I always acknowledge that everyone is different. Most importantly, I do not take offense if someone does not take my advice. I researched happiness and I think a balance of giving and receiving is an important component.

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