Why I Stopped Taking Advice (And Maybe You Should Too)

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Note: This isn’t meant to be advice, just a post sharing my experiences. I previously wrote about this concept in regards to how I evaluate “risky” decisions, but I think it’s important enough to discuss again in the context of our life paths.

I started deeply studying “success” and how people become successful back in 2010. For years I searched for the one mentor who would understand me well enough to guide me towards achieving what I wanted out of life. While I met, worked with, and learned from many successful people (including a couple of billionaires), I never met this person.

This seems like a simple concept, and maybe you’ve already figured this out, but I always expected that someone would somehow “show me the way.” While this does happen for some people, I finally accepted last year that this was not going to be my path. One of the inspirations for this shift came from listening to my favorite life philosopher, Brian Johnson, give the “advice” to “not take advice but rather do what you want to do.”

The core philosophy is that we’re much better off learning from others’ experiences and selectively applying these learnings to our lives rather than asking for direct life advice or taking others’ advice at face value. Why? Because of the simple fact that we are all unique and everyone gives advice from a place of personal bias (including me) based on what has or has not worked for them.

There’s no denying that we all can (and should) learn a tremendous amount from history and the life experiences of others. But I believe that the experiences of others are best used as inspiration rather than as roadmaps for our own lives. Understanding and acknowledging the bias of others is critical so that we embrace our own unique journey and don’t get stuck living someone else’s life.

Accepting that no one has the answers for my life, other than myself, has been one of the most empowering realizations I’ve ever had. It has taught me to trust my intuition and freed me from thinking that I need to follow a standard path to be happy or accomplish my goals in life. I still let people radio in from time to time, but I’m now the only pilot in my cockpit.

This isn’t the best path for everyone, but if you stop taking advice, then you may find, as I have, that you’ll live a more unique and fulfilling life.

Cover Photo by Alexander Milo

I've been building digital businesses, wandering the world, and writing about optimizing life for freedom since early 2017. My mission is to lower the barrier for people who want to live with more freedom: whether that be as an entrepreneur, a digital nomad, an early retiree, or just as someone who wants to live a happiness-driven life.