Ask less, move more?

Recently I reached out to an established writer for some advice. I wanted to talk to this person about my love for feature writing. But the talk never went that way. Instead this person spent a chunk of time tossing ideas at me; and not in a good way. I left our chat feeling a bit perturbed and questioning why I tried to talk to this writer in the first place.

You see, we millennials are an advice-seeking crew. We know that the decisions we do or do not make right now can impact us for years to come.  So we seek out the knowledge of those who have gone before us. Nothing wrong with that. However, my question today is: When is the right time to stop seeking advice in favor of doing some exploration?

I love to explore the self-help section at bookstores. I read a lot of career advancement books, but I also like to indulge in the relationships section, and I can never resist grabbing a book on overcoming procrastination.

Self-help books are one of my fav guilty, indulgences, (who really wants to be seen carrying 10 books that are all about “fixing you?” ) but after a while all of the advice and tips start to boggle me. The same thing happens when I am reading articles online. Am I the only person who is all tipped out?

When I reach advice overload mode, I have to remind myself that there is really not one path to success.  I can ask a million people “how they did it” and I’m sure I will take away some good ideas, but  what worked for them may not work for me. What do you think? When do you think it’s time to stop seeking, and start doing?

6 comments

  1. Torie Michelle says:

    “You see, we millennials are an advice-seeking crew.”

    You are certainly right about that. We spend more time seeking advice than doing. I think this stems from a fear of making mistakes and tarnishing the “potential” everyone has said we have. Before I entered college, I was very much a “beat of her own drum” girl, but since graduating, I’ve been reading books and articles galore, figuratively going down others’ paths with a flashlight. While I’ve picked up some great tidbits, I probably could have better used all of this time playing a game of Figure It Out (On Your Own): Life Edition.

    I really am “all tipped out.” I’ve decided to take a step back (or rather *out* of the advice-seeking pool) to evaluate what it is I truly want to do right now instead of what everyone else has already done. I’m taking steps like temporarily taking down my personal website and reading more fiction and poetry than advice to get back on track. For the former, I’m so used to hearing that, “as a writer,” I need to have my own domain on the web, but as it was, my site was not offering anything I viewed as substantial enough or necessary. For the latter, the self-help genre for 20-somethings is booming, and it’s hard to avoid. But I can avoid it. I have to if I’m going to get anywhere *I* want to be.

    {I’m loving your blog. I can’t remember how I found it, but I’m sure there was a Twitter trail leading to you.}

    • amberinnyc says:

      I feel you girl!

      Being tipped out is one of the reasons why I hesitated on starting a blog for so long. I didn’t want to be another voice just throwing random tips into the universe. Instead I aim to offer people ideas. You can do a lot more with an idea than a tip. Sharing ideas is a method of getting people to think and do their own self-exploration. You can take an idea and run with it, or leave it alone. Way less overwhelming than tip, after tip, after tip!

      I’m digging your idea to take a step back. Get in touch with who you really are at the core. Everything that is truly important for you to know will be there 🙂

  2. Mel says:

    When advice attempts to attack your authenticity, then I think it’s time to let go and jump! I remember having an informational interview with a former U.S. ambassador a few years ago. Although it was nice to meet the guy, I received a hodgepodge of ego stories and life plans that didn’t fit me at all. Some advice provides great returns, but it’s nothing like getting out there and discovering things on your own.

  3. When I graduated college, I had someone critique my resume. He practically tore it to shreds and I started from scratch based on his recommendations. Then I had a potential employer look at it and she had some more suggestions. I tweaked it once again. This happened a few times. After a while, I was left with a resume that didn’t even resemble the original draft and felt nothing like me!

    Advice is great, but you always have to ask yourself if it works for you and sometimes question the people who are giving the advice. Some pieces of advice have stuck with me over the years and others, it was in one ear and out the same ear!

  4. The Duchesne says:

    The time when you realise what you have just written you realised….Yes, that is the time.

    I am a new subscriber my sister, came across your blog through a follower of mine who had you as a favourite. You’re doing a great job and remind me so much of me. Keep writing.
    You can find me here http://www.theduchesne.blogspot.com

    P.S. I wish you were on Blogspot….lol.

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