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Knowing When To Follow Advice (Or Not)

Lots of people give advice. But not every piece of advice is worth heeding.

The internet has been a wonderful boon to our education in all sorts of things, but a detriment in other regards. Everyone is a publisher now, and hence everyone is an “expert.” It is difficult to wade through the barrage of guidance.

The next time you’re faced with someone telling you what you should do, stop and consider:

1.) Does this advice make sense?

2.) Is this person a good source for advice?

3.) Does this advice really apply to what I’m seeking to do and the goals I want to accomplish?

Not all advice is good for every situation.

If June Carter Cash* had read famed writing coach William Zinsser (“Clutter is the disease of American writing”), she never would have written the same lyrics to “Ring of Fire.” We wouldn’t have “I fell into a burning ring of fire/I went down, down, down and the flames went higher/And it burns, burns, burns, the ring of fire/The ring of fire.” We would have “I went into the ring of fire.” And that just wouldn’t be the same.

Doesn’t mean Zinsser is wrong. Doesn’t mean Cash is right. What it means is we all need to figure out when to follow advice, and when to ignore it.

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*Read here for the disputed back story on whether June Carter Cash or Johnny Cash wrote “Ring of Fire.”

 

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