Don’t accept or reject what I say: test it (Eckhart Tolle)
As I always say, ‘all advice is bad advice’.
Because no matter how smart or ‘successful’ they are, no one is you.
Therefore, they can’t give you perfect advice. Almost no one effectively contextualises the advice they give to your situation.
The social media influencers give young people the first steps to becoming like them.
Business people give young people the first steps to becoming like them.
Coders believe everyone should learn code at school, philosophers believe everyone should learn philosophy at school. Parents instruct their children to complete the narratives they could never close out, more often than they sit down and do Interest Mapping with them.
Everyone gives advice most appropriate for the earlier version of themselves
You wish you learnt about investing at school because when you were in your 20’s you blew all your money. But you need to factor in that the teenage version of you would not have appreciated a lecture on investing.
You learnt the lesson because of your experiences. So, how you communicate the lesson is everything.
What matters is how bad
The advice might be useful even if it is bad. Your skill is figuring out how appropriate the advice is for you.
Don’t accept or reject what I say
I love the line Eckhart Tolle uses in his book The Power of Now. “Don’t accept or reject what I say: test it”.
Don’t reject what your parents say absent-mindedly. Test it.
Don’t reject what the business people and influencers say. Test it. Try it on. Is it for you?
Keep the open mind, the boxes with dotted lines.
What did Leonardo Da Vinci and Albert Einstein have in common?
They didn’t just read books. They didn’t just consume the ideas of others.
They ran their own experiments. Da Vinci did most of his experiments with his hands. But virtually all of Einstein’s experiments were in his head. Scenarios, hypotheticals and time dedicated to thought.
Your experiments can also be ‘experiences’ too. Things you do out in the world.
After every sentence or idea that is written or spoken, there should always be two disclaimers.
The first is a blue unicorn disclaimer — a reminder to find what’s best for you.
The second is Tolle’s disclaimer — a reminder not to accept or reject anything in an absent-minded fashion.
So I have two disclaimers
Blue unicorn disclaimer: this idea works for me, find the one that works for you.
Tolle reminder: don’t accept or reject what you’ve read today. Test it.