Why is advice largely useless?



If I followed all the advice I’ve been given and it worked as intended, I would be fantastically productive, perfectly healthy, filthy rich, and getting laid all the time. None of those descriptions seem particularly apt. (I exaggerate for effect. In reality I have read advice on all sorts of things. Most topics were more mundane than those I listed, for example advice on relieving stress or staying organized.) If people are constantly inundated with advice, why do they, by and large, fail to achieve the things the advice was meant to help with?
Good question.
Great advice is all around us.
Yet it is in many cases not effective.To minimize frustration & for good advice to create great results I find that it helps to ask myself 3 simple questions.

  1. Do I fully understand the advice? We have different world views and buckets of experience that color our interpretation of the world around us including the advice people give us. We can all listen to the same lecturer and have multiple interpretation of the key take aways. Our sound byte culture doesn’t help in this regard as clips and quotes can be taken out of context. Oftentimes it helps to ask the advice source if your understanding & interpretation are correct (If your lucky enough to have access to him or her)
  2. Is the advice relevant to me? We can understand the advice. We can follow through with action but it might just not be applicable to us. It could be timing. Sometimes I think back to advice I received in the past and find that it’s much more relevant to me now as I’m older.  It could be our physical location. Sometimes a change of scenery can produce massive changes in the effectiveness of good advice and in turn our own fortunes.
  3. Will I follow through advice with sustainable action? This is the killer of good intentions. Following through. Sometimes the advice takes us down a longer road than we would have liked to tread. Maybe a harder one too. Oftentimes we give up before we finish. New Years Resolutions are self advice that often die a forgetful death walking down this road.

Hope this was clear enough and can be of some help to you!