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?

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