Do you "practice what you preach" or actually follow your own advice?

@James72 (26829)
Australia
August 16, 2008 7:21am CST
We all play the role of mentor at some stage in our life and others look up to us for wisdom and guidance. I for example have many staff that come to me for advice and leadership regarding how to deal with many things from potential customers to personal issues..... What I have been thinking about is how easy it actually is to instruct others on how they deal with a situation; but do I follow my own advice when I am in the same situation myself? I think that most of the time that yes, I do. But the more I thought about it, the more I realised that there are also many times when I will say to one person that they should do or say a certain thing, yet I do not necessarily conduct myself in the same way! So what does this make me then? The saying is "Do as I do and not as I say!" but the reality is that we are not always living up to this. How do you see yourself in this regard? Are you someone who follows your own advice or not?
2 people like this
10 responses
• United States
16 Aug 08
Yeah, I do actually. Granted, sometimes I have to remind myself, and sometimes I will be off on a negative tangent for quite a while before I even realize that it is a perfect opportunity to take my own advice, but in the end I practice exactly what I preach. That's why I preach it to begin with, because it works. But when I give advice it most often has more to do with a change of perspective than it has to do with physical actions. Which can often be a hard thing to accomplish when someone is embroiled in negative emotion and rigid with hardened beliefs that do not serve them well. The specific actions that I most often recommend are meditation... a few minutes every day spent quieting the mind can work wonders. I always recommend daily walks in nature, which is the best tranquilizer around. I recommend deep breathing, keeping the body hydrated, and looking for the positive aspects of ANY situation. And Yoga is an excellent tool for achieving balance and poise and a profound awareness of the body. And now it is confession time... I have only had one small glass of water today, and it is mid-afternoon, and I have not done any yoga in 3 days. Additionally, I have been procrastinating sitting down and making a list of all the things that I love (positive aspects of my life in general) for about a week now. It will have to wait a little longer though, because today I have to pick crab apples for jelly. Ciao for now.
1 person likes this
@James72 (26829)
• Australia
16 Aug 08
It appears that so far you are the most disciplined then! I too am a strong believer in meditation and just need to re-embrace it in my life! To be honest I have been very slack in this regard. Good luck with the crab apples and your list! Thanks for responding.
1 person likes this
• United States
16 Aug 08
Hahahaha, I'm afraid I have mislead you then, for you to think that! I am not at all very disciplined. That is why I am still broke, still smoke too much, and still love sugary snacks. I could continue on with that list for awhile, but I will spare you!
1 person likes this
• United States
16 Aug 08
PS: Further, I did not pick crab apples today... I hurriedly picked a bunch of ripe tomatoes and jalapenos, mowed some lawn, mulched the Irises, and then sped back here to my computer to indulge in more tea, more cigs, and more conversation with you!
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@SViswan (12071)
• India
16 Aug 08
I do practice what I preach often. But sometimes, I do have to take advice from others (especially at work). In that case, even if it is something I wouldn't advice if I was in their position...as long as it wasn't ethically wrong, I would do as they say. Besides where I have no choice than to follow someone's advice and not my own, most of the times, I do follow my own advice...because I give advice by putting myself in their shoes. I can't honestly say it's the right thing all the time because even if I put myself in their shoes...they are very different people and my advice might not be the right one.
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@James72 (26829)
• Australia
16 Aug 08
Yes. Advice that may suit one person is not necessarily right for another. And I can agree that being able to consider yourself in someone elses shoes can really help you overcome how to give the right opinions and help to someone. I too do take advice from others but have to admit that I am not always good at receiving it let alone acting on it! lol. Thanks for responding.
1 person likes this
@SViswan (12071)
• India
17 Aug 08
I take advice in the right sense only if it is given in the proper way. If someone tries to boss over me with their advice I tend to be stubborn....even if it is good advice.
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@SViswan (12071)
• India
22 Aug 08
Thanks for the BR! I see someone has given out the BR quite early this time:)
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@izathewzia (5142)
• Philippines
17 Aug 08
I am a mom of three kids. And I should practice what I am teaching them. because they will question me afterwards if I don't. I should serve as a good example & follower for them.
@TessWhite (3147)
• United States
17 Aug 08
In all things except my diet yea, I practice what I preach. LOL I can tell anyone how to lose weight, and eat healthy. But making myself stick with it has been another issue entirely.
1 person likes this
@James72 (26829)
• Australia
17 Aug 08
Good example. Diet advice is far more easily given than followed! There are so many temptations and hidden secrets you can associate with food! And what better way to maintain a strict diet than through someone else! lol. Let THEM handle the cravings etc! Thanks for responding.
@cripfemme (7715)
• United States
17 Aug 08
I try to be because otherwise I feel hypocritical. But of course like every other person I sometimes fall short of this goal. The worst thing of course, is getting called out on being a hypocrite, especially by a younger person who is supposed to admire you because this could damage your relationship and how they view you.
@James72 (26829)
• Australia
17 Aug 08
Yes, we all do the best we can and being called a hypocrite really damages our credibility very quickly! And younger people are absolute Masters at finding our weaknesses! Just like the previous response, all we can do is try to lead by example I guess. Thanks for responding.
@DonnaLawson (4032)
• United States
16 Aug 08
I try to make informed and mature decisions on my own but occasionally when I give advice, it is "Do as I say, not as I do".. This advice is usually made only to my son, I don't think that anyone else wants to hear my advice.. I don't always follow the way of thinking that I should.. I try not to veer off course too far..
1 person likes this
@James72 (26829)
• Australia
17 Aug 08
Leading by example is most definitely the ideal way to handle things; especially with children! But we are only human and it is far easier in theory than it is in practice! Thanks for responding.
@jennqk (2)
• United States
16 Aug 08
Aaarggghh! I give GREAT advice, and sometimes right after I give it, I follow my own advice .. for a while. But it's funny how it's always so clear what OTHER people should do with their lives, while I'm never sure what I should do with mine! Even if somebody is in practically the exact same situation as I am, I can tell them what they ought to do and then I don't do it myself! CRAZY? Yes, you might say it's crazy. HUMAN? I think so .. it's our nature. Or at least, it's mine!
1 person likes this
@James72 (26829)
• Australia
17 Aug 08
It DOES seem so much easier to give someone advice rather than follow our own. Maybe it is like an earlier respondent said in that the removal of personal accountability allows us to be more objective? It does make sense! Thanks for responding.
@Elixiress (3893)
16 Aug 08
All of my advice is conditional and as there is rarely two situations exactly the same, my advice and my actions frequently change on these conditions. But I give advice, because I think it is the best thing to do, and I always want to do the best thing, so I would follow my own advice. The problem comes with personal issues, since it is easier to see what to do when you are not emotionally involved.
1 person likes this
@James72 (26829)
• Australia
16 Aug 08
This is a very good point. It is definitely far easier to be wiser and more objective when there is no direct emotional involvement. "Conditional advice" is an interesting angle also! I am not sure if I explicitly provide conditions with advice I offer; but seeing as I am not sure then I guess I don't! Thanks for responding.
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@wolfie34 (26792)
• United Kingdom
16 Aug 08
Ok, you have found me out I am a complete fraudster! I am good at giving out advice but when it comes to following the advice I give out, I fail every time, especially when it comes to relationships, I consider myself quite knowledgeable about relationships however whenever I give out advice I know damn well that the advice I give out I haven't or will not follow! I am thanked for my advice and it's down to the person whether they take it or not but sometimes I am left feeling now if I was to follow my own advice maybe I wouldn't be in the predicament I am in! I think it's far more easier to give advice to others than follow it yourself because you are on the outside looking in on another person and you are not running their life, they are so on that aspect giving advice is easy as they do all the risks and the changes which to you can seem like hard work but someone doing it well that's easy right?
@James72 (26829)
• Australia
16 Aug 08
Yes I would have to agree with you that giving advice is easier fo many of us than actually following it! Maybe in some way we are subliminally living out our lives in the way we wish we actually could by doing the right thing through someone else? It's a theory that may be a little out there but who knows! Thanks for responding.
1 person likes this
• United States
16 Aug 08
thats cool
@James72 (26829)
• Australia
16 Aug 08
A word of advice as a new member BLUESTREK60...... A two word response with little or no relationship with the topic posted will not earn you anything or be accepted well by others! You will fare much better if you write a little more next time!