I’ve come to believe—in fact, I’m convinced—that every question I’ve ever asked, every challenge I’ve faced, every rough spot I’ve endured, and every emotion I’ve felt has already been successfully answered, experienced, addressed, solved, and felt by others.
There are only three reasons I can think of why I haven’t learned sooner, benefited from the experience of others, or made my life better, sooner. Here they are:
- I’m different. How could anyone fully understand my situation, circumstances and emotions? I’m unique, special, one of a kind. But if I’m one in a million and I lived in China, there would be another 1,500 people just like me. So let’s face it: others have been where we are, and if we just try, we can access their experiences and learn from them.
- I didn’t try. The question is, who do I trust? Whose advice do I take? Where do I go? Many of us just don’t try because we don’t know where to start or who to rely on. The question is, how long will it take to get advice, benefit from another’s journey, or put our trust in an adviser, coach or expert who can help us?
- I wasn’t ready. All too often, we get the advice we need but it’s not the advice we want. How many diet books and self-help gurus do we need to tell us how to live a healthier life? How many financial planners do we need to tell us that we need 6 months of cash reserves or to pay ourselves first and invest 10% of our income? Sadly, the teacher is only revealed when the student is ready. Many of us aren’t ready.
So what, you say? As the title of one of my favorite books states, “Too Soon Old, Too Late Smart.” What are we waiting for?
My advice: take one of your biggest challenges or your top opportunity, find someone you trust, be open, take a chance, and ask for advice.