Take It And Give It

Ink on Sketch Paper – Words: Samuel Taylor Coleridge

It has been a hot week here in Georgia, and when I read this quote it made me remember cooler days. So I wrote it out, thinking cool thoughts and looking forward to Fall and Winter days.

In a conversation I had today, I gave a piece of advice. The listener appreciated it and told me they would have to let that sink in…like snow! The person I was talking to was thirty years my junior, which means I was about the same age as their parents. The thought of getting advice from a parent horrifies most youth, however when you are NOT their parent the same message gets absorbed very differently. Suddenly the nagging statements a parent says sounds like sage advice from a colleague. I was glad to be a colleague today.

Some of the best advice I ever received had to be processed and filed away for current and many future interactions. So much can be packed into one statement or situation shared, that being able to apply it for years to come strengthens the impact and usefulness of that advice. What is said is just as important as who is delivering the message, and sometimes both bring a double whammy to the situation, like a six foot snow fall pairing with a holiday weekend. It is impactful and never forgotten.

As the recipient of advice we need to be open, listen and ask questions. How does that apply to my situation? When does that not work? And how do I take that information and make it my own, so it sounds like me? All REALLY good processing questions, ones that take time and energy to work through. Hearing is not the same as knowing and doing. Talk is one thing, action is another. Being able to put advice into action helps us stand a little taller and build our own confidence moving forward. Using that advice again and again helps us fortify our emotional foundations to a level we never thought possible. So let that advice soak in, give it time, let it melt it’s way through to your core.

And like snow, advice doesn’t always last. What worked in this situation may not work in tomorrow’s. That’s when it’s good to be open, listen and ask those important questions. Advice has the power to bolster our confidence and makes us realize that when snow falls it falls on everyone, no one is immune from needIng a bit of good advice now and then. Take it and give it and then let it soak in and nourish what is already growing strong.

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