How to Take Advice

I’ve noticed a trend at the conferences I attend.   Attendees get really pumped up by motivational speakers, with an accompanying sense of overwhelm because they don’t know how they will actually carry out the compelling suggestions emanating from the speaking platform.  The biggest reason why goals set at conferences don’t get accomplished is that attendees get swept away by generic motivational messages – You can accomplish anything!  Nothing can stop you!  — with no regard for their own individuality.

What you have to keep in mind when you’re listening to a convincing charismatic speaker is that, even if the advice is perfectly sensible and logical – believe in yourself and bust through the fear and you’ll be successful!  – it won’t work if the strategy doesn’t align with who you are.

The secret to getting real value from motivational speakers is to consider your own unique circumstances before applying their wisdom.   Here are three steps to taking motivational messages in stride:


  1.  Consider your personality and temperament.  Many motivational speakers suggest that your dreams will come true if you just get out there and conquer your fears and refuse to take no for an answer.  But what if you’re not a big risk-taker?  What if you’re a serious introvert?  What if you struggle with anxiety?   Success will happen for you only if it’s on your terms, in a style that suits you.
  2. Consider your developmental level and values.  Motivational speakers often imply that you can accomplish anything with the right amount of passion and focus.  But at what cost?  Maybe you’re fine with pulling out all the stops to get rich quick if you’re single and unencumbered, but you may not have that desire if you’re married with kids – or just plain tired of working so hard and ready for a simpler existence.
  3. Consider the impact of conference euphoria.  When you’re in a roomful of like-minded people listening to thrilling, dynamic speakers tell you that you can do, have and be it all if only you commit to the right mindset, it’s easy to buy the illusion that anything is possible.  Motivational messages are most effective when you wait until you’re back in the real world with your feet on the ground before deciding whether or not you will take action on any of them.   Once you’re clear on what most resonates for you, the key is to move forward in small, sensible steps that fit your distinct situation.

Leave a Reply

8 + 4 =