I’ve had lots of great advice over the years. One of the good things about getting older is you get the opportunity to integrate good advice into your life.
This particular piece of advice I got from Alan Newman. We were out to brunch about twenty-five years ago and I was whining about my father. This is something I used to do a lot at that time in my life.
Alan had been the recipient of my whines for a few years and I think he finally was finished listening to my various complaints.
After about fifteen minutes of my most recent whine Alan puts his hand up and said, “stop, enough already.” He then went on to tell me that if I really wanted to change my relationship with my father, it wasn’t he that was going to change; it was I that was going to have to.
What great advice. For years I had been expecting my father to change. I had no control over his actions and I could have tried various ways of making him change, but none of them were going to work. The simple solution was I had to change how I interacted with him.
I’ve taken that advice with several other people in my life. When I get to a point where I’m stuck with someone else, I will attempt to change my behavior, communication style of methods of talking with them.
It’s my responsibility to make sure my communication is heard in the way I intend it. It’s not their responsibility to interpret what I say.
What is the best advice you ever got? Is it something that has stayed with you for many years?
Just a side note. I’m having a great time writing this series on lessons learned. I hope you’re enjoying them as well. If you are, please drop me a note at Jpatrick@stage2planning.com.
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