Consider This

Robert Stevenson’s Thoughts on the Pursuit of Excellence

Why Experience the Pain

April 7, 2019

by Robert Stevenson

Life is too short to learn and experience it ALL yourself. Success comes to those who seek knowledge/ADVICE and apply it. For you advice givers out there, remember this: 1) a good example has more value than advice. 2) never give another person advice that you wouldn’t be willing to take.

AAdvice is one of those things where it is easier to give than to receive. Most people aren’t really fond of being told what to do and therefore, they take advice in a very negative way. They might “cop an attitude” of, “Who do you think you are advising me on how to do it.” “Why should I listen to that old timer.” “What … you’ve been here a year and now you think you’re an expert on the subject.” “Mind your own business … I’ve got this.” I would think most people would agree, it’s easier to advise rather than be advised.

I try and look at advice this way; why experience the pain or frustration of doing something difficult, when someone can “ADVISE” me as to the best, quickest, and easiest way to do it. I am all for taking advantage of those who have done it before, and I am happy to go to school on them. Following “good advice” is a great way to shorten your learning curve.

I would like you to take a moment and think of the best piece of advice you have ever received. I’m serious; stop and really force yourself to pick the best piece of advice that has ever come your way and then, WRITE IT DOWN. Here are a few that might come to mind:

  • Never leave until tomorrow what you can do today.
  • Don't ever do anything you will regret to remember.
  • Always give more than expected.
  • Treat others the way you would want to be treated.
  • Seek first to understand before trying to be understood.
  • You can’t unsay a cruel word.
  • Take full responsibility for every area of your life.
  • Admit when you are wrong.

Regardless of what you wrote down, I would like to ask you a simple question about it. ”Do you always follow that advice?” Before answering, remember I asked, “ALWAYS.” That word is the killer, or should I say, where your conviction and discipline are tested. If it is such great advice, why is it we sometimes fail to follow it? Are we weak, forgetful, lazy, in a hurry, or arrogant? What is it that causes us to stray away from good advice? Think of the irony of the statement by the author Gordon Dickson who said: “Some people like my advice so much that they frame it upon the wall instead of using it.”

If what you are doing isn’t working, ask a peer, associate or somebody who has been doing it longer than you, for some advice. But, let me give you some advice on asking for advice. Don’t challenge or correct the person you asked. Just be quiet and listen. You don’t have to follow it. Thank them and consider what they said.

Great Advice Has No Value - Unless Followed.

"Your only true security in life
is your ability to perform."

About the Author

Robert Stevenson is an expert at building a high-performance business culture, improving efficiency, and accelerating growth. He is one of the most widely sought-after speakers in the world today, as well as a best-selling author. He has owned five companies, sold internationally in over 20 countries. Robert has spoken to over 2,500 companies throughout the world and his research in the area of corporate and entrepreneurial success is extensive. Over 2 million people have benefitted from his powerful, practical, and thought-provoking programs. He is a true master at blending facts, inspiration, conviction, and humor into all his programs.

Companies like FedEx, Prudential, Lockheed Martin, Anheuser-Busch, Chevron, American Express, and Berkshire Hathaway continue to rely on him for a fresh, unique perspective on businesses’ most crucial issues. To learn more about Robert and what he can do for your team visit his website at

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