How to know whose advice to take

I’m constantly reading a number of blog posts and print articles about how important it is to create a detailed plan of what you want to accomplish; after all, without a clearly defined plan, you won’t know what you’re striving for.

There’s a quote along this line that I love; “If you don’t know where you are going, any road will take you there”, by Lewis Carroll.

The first time I heard that, it resonated deeply with me.  Yes, I’m a huge planner!

But I’ve also read posts about how it’s important to not have such rigid plans and go with the flow; let life take you where it’s supposed to take you, where you’re suppose to be, without interference.

So, what do you do?  Do you plan?  Do you not plan and just go with the flow?

I’m reminded of this show that use to be on years ago, where these women would test products and tell you which ones were better, which ones to buy.  This particular product was eye shadow.  But it wasn’t about which company was better or used better ingredients; it was about the colour.  They were testing different colours and then recommending which colour eye shadow everyone who wore eyeshadow should wear.  For the record, it was brown 😊

Everything we do, everything we wear, and everything we buy is based on what society or media or experts recommend.

Sometimes it works, sometimes not so much.

I use the example of the eye shadow a lot because of how simple it is, and how it opened my eyes (pun intended!) to how we blindly (yep another pun) follow the opinion of others. 

The colour of eye shadow you should wear (if you wear eye shadow) is whatever colour works for you, whatever colour makes you feel good, and whatever colour you want to wear (but that’s just my opinion!).

Anytime I feel compelled to follow a path, or buy a certain product, or do anything, and there’s this small feeling of not-quite-me, or it goes against my personality, I think of that particular eye shadow episode.  Am I contemplating this decision based on someone else’s opinion?

An example. 

When I first started Empowering You, everything I read or was told about starting a business required endless networking events, speaking to large groups, and putting myself out there in person, in front of many people.  Without doing a lot of exactly this, a business would fail.

I get the networking (in business and in life), but you know what?  I am not a stand-in-front-of-large-groups-and-speak type of person.  It’s not my personality (I’m a listening type person), and regardless of how much work I put into it, it just isn’t my forte.

Give me one-on-one or small groups of people sharing and I’m in my element!  I love deep conversations and learning about people, I love sharing knowledge and ideas, I love brainstorming together.

It’s taken a while to shut out the chatter and noise of those who say that in order to succeed, we have to master the art of public speaking; and instead, hear the voices which say there are other ways that work just as beautifully for others like us.

When you’re faced with a decision in anything, don’t make it blindly, take time to think about you, what would actually work for you, and what’s right for you.

So, what do you do?  Do you plan?  Do you not plan and just go with the flow?

It depends on you.

Many times, it will make sense to create a detailed plan, if it helps you accomplish your goals.

And other times, just going with the flow might work out for the best, too.

It’s knowing you, who you are, and what works best for you, and at what stages. And knowing what you want.

What it isn’t, is letting yourself off the hook by saying you’re not the planning type, nor is it never reaching your goals because you’re perpetually stuck in the details of planning without moving and doing because the timing isn’t right.

Know who you are.

Know what works for you.

Then go make it work.

Feature photo courtesy of Unsplash/Frame Harirak

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