Good advice is something that nearly everyone wants or desires to give to others. But how are we able to determine that the advice that we are receiving is good advice in the first place, or in turn that the advice that we are giving is actually any good for that person? The best place to start is to consider the source that is providing you with that advice and the more facts or information that you are able to substantiate about that source, the better feel that you will have of the validity of that information. For instance, if you are talking with someone that has a law degree, is successful in his practice of law, and you ask him for his advice in his field of expertise, that advice will probably be quite valid, depending of course upon how much he actually knows about you and your motivations. However, if you ask the same advice from a friend of yours, that isn’t all that savvy about the law and they respond with something like “yeah, you should be a lawyer, you’re smart”, that advice isn’t really worth anything to you at all. In fact, it is hardly advice it’s more akin to just being polite.
When people ask you for your advice, in order to be of real service to them, you should qualify your advice with an honest appraisal of your perception of its validity and you must also take into consideration the real information and understanding that you have about that particular person. After all, even if you have a great expertise in a certain specific area, it may not be relevant to that person, because they don’t have the capability to act upon it.
Receiving or initiating good advice is something that we owe to ourselves and others. When we receive good advice and act upon it, it can literally change our life, because we may be hearing what we need to hear, as opposed to hearing what we want to hear, and there can be massive chasm between those two things. When we give out good advice it is a service that we owe to others, because it shows our solicitude, and our concern that we have an inherent obligation to be of service to others in their pursuit of happiness and success.
Unfortunately, not all advice that is given is well-intentioned, good, or of service to others. A few words from the wrong person with the wrong motivations can break your confidence, take you down the wrong path, take advantage of certain character weaknesses that you have, and the like. Therefore, it is wise for you to always remember that you are sovereign in your own person, therefore that you must take the time to contemplate or to ignore advice that is given you, whether solicited or not.
The funny thing about advice is that sometimes the advice that you receive, is rejected, unwelcomed, and discarded, only, somewhat incredibly, at a later time, and upon further contemplation for you to now conclude, that the advice when first given was in fact, valid and correct. There are many of us that will spurn good advice because we are unwilling to acknowledge that we are not as wise as we wish we were.
It's fair to say that true wisdom syncs much better with true humility, but not a humility that denounces oneself, but a humility that recognizes that we are fallible and have our need of good advice in order to help us stay on that straight and narrow path.