Last week I was catching up with a friend who has been having some relationship issues. He was telling me about some advice that a friend gave him about resolving his relationship problem. It’s probably the worst advice I have ever heard so I was quick to ask him the source of this. I wasn’t surprised about the quality of advice given when I heard the name. The person was a common friend of ours and probably had the worst track record on relationships. He had been through numerous relationships and flings and most didn’t last a month. This incident got me thinking and the question that came to my mind was do we pause to think about who we take our advice from. I would say it would appear as common sense that you would take financial advice from someone who has built up their finances over the years as opposed to someone who has been in chronic debt; marriage advice from certified marriage counselors rather than a stranger at a bar; career counseling from a career consultant or someone who has excelled in their respective field. But this obviousness is not as obvious for if you look around most take suggestions from people who we are comfortable with and not necessarily experts in that area. Having a friend to hear you out is a different deal all together than acting on their untested potentially disastrous suggestions. Next time you plan to implement a suggestion take a look at the person’s track record in that area. If their own advice can’t help them, then it can’t be of any use to you.
I like to end this post with a very witty answer from the main character Sayuri in the movie ‘Memoirs of a Geisha’. In the movie Hatsumomo a jealous Geisha was spreading vicious rumors about Sayuri when Sayuri’s misuage(virginity) was up for bidding. One of the recipients of the rumor was the wealthy Dr. Crab, because of which Dr. Crab stopped bidding for Sayuri. Below is the interaction that took place between Dr. Crab and Sayuri after her splendid dance performance.
Mameha-san: Sayuri, you remember the Doctor.
Sayuri: I hope my performance pleased you Doctor.
Doctor Crab: You danced with such profound fury.
Sayuri: I most humbly thank you.
Mameha-san: It seems you’ve once again caught the Doctor’s interest.
Sayuri: And I am most grateful. If you have heard any gossip…
Doctor Crab: Ah yes?
Sayuri: Then I hope you will follow your own advice.
Doctor Crab: And what would that be, pray tell?
Sayuri: Seek a second opinion.
Moral of the Story – Don’t believe everything that is suggested to you from people. If necessary seek a second opinion.