“The only thing one does with advice is to pass it on. It is hardly used by oneself….” Oscar Wilde
How good we are at giving advice!
We dish it out free and give it to all who pass by, “Come take it’s free!” we shout, put our arms around broken hearts and not so broken ones and spend hours counseling!
But when it comes to same advice being followed by us, halters and blindfolds suddenly close our otherwise all seeing eyes.
A few years ago a friend of mine, lawyer by profession was keen I meet his son, an engineering student who wanted to be a journalist. I spent a delightful evening with the young boy and at the end of the evening was convinced the boy had all the makings of a writer, “Keep going!” I told him, “the path is rough ahead; you’ll make it!”
“Uncle!” he told me, “you’re so understanding. I’m sure your children are lucky having you as their dad! What do they want to do?”
I told him proudly what they were doing and then told him my younger one loved animals so I wanted her to be a vet. “But what does she want to do?” he persisted.
I frowned as I told him she loved to dance and wanted to continue learning to dance. “Can you imagine anyone wasting their life doing something like that?” I laughed, and then realized the boy was frowning at me.
It was while I was driving back I realized how easy it was to churn out stuff but how different to follow:
Dr. Dean Ornish wrote a bestselling book called “Stress, Diet and Your Heart.” It was a good book. In it he talks about how to manage stress, how diet promotes a healthy life and why proper stress management and good diet affects one’s heart.
He should have been on top of the world. He had just turned forty. He was fit and healthy and the book soared to the top of The New York Times bestseller list. So what was the problem? Where was the joy and fulfillment he so desperately wanted?
He was working more than 80 hours a week, what with speaking, promoting his book and working, and he was exhausted. A wake-up call came in a conversation with a flight attendant. Dr. Ornish had just barely made it in time for his flight and he collapsed into his seat. A flight attendant noticed his frazzled state. She remarked, “You look harried.”
“I feel harried,” he admitted.
The attendant tried to encourage him. She said, “I just read a book that might help!” she said, “It’s called “Stress, Diet and Your Heart..!” The good doctor looked at her in astonishment as she told him that the book had some wonderful stress-management techniques that he might try. He didn’t dare tell her he had authored the book and the worn out passenger she was speaking to was someone who had not followed advice he had given to millions of others. At that point Dr. Ornish decided to make changes in his life he so desperately needed.
What about you and me? The words we have dished out?
“Don’t worry brother, just pray!”
“God will take care of your problems sister!”
How about recalling all the advice we’ve given others and start following them ourselves?
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