What’s your advice-taking tendency? As I was brainstorming this blog post, I texted a friend, asking, “how do you take advice?” and she replied, “not very well!”
I think many of us can relate. 🙂 Some of us just don’t enjoy receiving advice in almost any circumstance. Others of us tend to take advice from any and everyone, but then have trouble knowing our own minds.
How we take advice, like so many other aspects of our personalities, falls along a spectrum of tendencies, from one extreme of never accepting it, to the other of always taking it. If we know where we fall on that spectrum, that self-knowledge can help shift us toward balance and even make our practice of discernment better.
Maybe you’re the kind of person who isn’t too bothered by mistakes in general—if so, this post probably isn’t for you 🙂 but if you’re a recovering perfectionist, this simple practice can be a game changer.
A friend of mine wants to learn to cook. Right now, she doesn’t cook at all – she’s gotten by just fine without it, but in this new season of her life, she feels like it’s time. The problem is really with why she feels like she can’t cook. She’s totally overwhelmed at where to even begin: what should she learn first? Should she memorize recipes? Learn techniques? Become familiar with common spices?
In addition to being totally overwhelmed with how to begin, my friend is prone to perfectionism. She’s highly detail-oriented, too, so the thought of not following a recipe perfectly, of not cutting the carrots into perfectly even segments, of just getting things wrong, is holding her back.
If you’re reading this, you’re the recipient of someone else’s creative gift.
Somebody, somewhere, decided to come up with a written alphabet. Somebody, somewhere, taught me to write it and you to read it. Somebody, somewhere, got really into numbers and came up with a system for language comprised of 1s and 0s and somebody else somewhere else made it pop up on a screen as the written alphabet. While they were designing the tech, someone made them dinner and washed their socks. Someone else constructed the buildings where they worked. All of these people lived in different centuries and on different continents and probably never imagined the full effects of their efforts. They certainly couldn’t have known that I would be writing this and you would be reading it.
That is just one tiny sliver of insight into how much we benefit from the gifts of others. Spend a day just trying to think of all the people throughout the centuries and in your own life who worked so that you could be where you are, doing what you’re doing, right now. I guarantee you can’t help but be overwhelmed with gratitude.
People using theircreative gifts is essential to the flourishing of others.
You using your creative gifts is also essential to your flourishing.
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