What advice would you give yourself?

Takeaway: People put a lot of weight on advice they receive from other people, but they often forget to ask themselves for advice.

Estimated Reading Time: 1 minute, 24 seconds.


Advice is cheap, so it’s not surprising that people dispense it left and right.

As I’m writing this, I’m half-asleep and sitting in a car with my girlfriend. We’re driving home from a wedding a day late, because she had an asthma attack and we visited the hospital late last night. Damn cats at my parents house!

Often when I’m going through a more stressful time (like right now), I look to other people for advice on what to do.

Getting advice from a friend is productive, but there’s one person people usually don’t ask advice from: themselves. I have found that asking myself for advice has worked well with my self-honest approach to productivity, where being honest with yourself is one of the keys to becoming more productive.

Asking yourself for advice goes one step further than self-honesty. During the beginning of this car ride I asked myself for advice for how I should feel about spending less time on this project than I would have liked today. I realized that it was pretty pointless to put pressure on myself to be productive when I was affected by circumstances that were out of my control. I simmered down and it helped a lot.

When you give yourself advice, you:

  • Become accountable for what you need to change
  • Own the changes you make to your life, which makes you feel more productive
  • Are happier and more motivated, because you have control over the changes you’re making
  • Feel more confident, because you let yourself be heard
  • Are much likelier to follow your advice, because it comes from you

Like practicing self-honesty, giving yourself advice might seem a bit hippie-dippy on the surface, but there’s no doubt it works.

What advice would you give yourself?

  • The other day I was incredibly unproductive, and this morning – I woke up late. I’ve been going through a lot of confusion in terms of what I should spend time doing. I recently planned a start-up, but my co-founder is going through issues with his prior plans.

    And because of this, I dropped work on other things for a while, and coming back to them is difficult. When I woke up this morning I asked myself for advice – I realized I can’t continue working without any sort of long term vision, because otherwise – what’s the point?

    Great post Chris, thanks!

    • Chris

      Thanks a lot man! Sorry to hear you’re having issues with your startup, I’m happy to hear this method worked for you though! I think too often people aren’t honest with themselves about what they actually want (or want to do). Good to hear you’re one of the ones who isn’t afraid to listen to themselves!! Cheers.

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