Birthday Advice From Your Best Friend
Updated: Jan 2
I am writing this to you on my 35th birthday and I couldn’t think of a better way to spend my birthday than with my new best friend, YOU! Have you ever reached out to someone and received bad advice? I know I have. I have not only received bad advice, but I have also taken action on that advice and the outcome was poor. Let me tell you a story about someone else who took bad advice - Mrs. Winchester. Mr. Winchester’s guns were very popular during the Civil War. Mrs. Winchester however felt she was being tormented by the spirits of the souls who perished at the hands of the weapons her husband made. Seeking counsel, Mrs. Winchester was told to build a place for the souls to go and to never stop building. Mrs. Winchester headed this advice which is why if you visit Winchester Manor in San Jose, California, you will see a lot of random and nonsensical architecture. The non-stop building for these souls did nothing for the torment she felt. She was given bad advice. Who we listen to has a great impact on our life. This can be a positive thing or a negative thing. You and I live in a world full of voices. I often find these voices are in conflict with each other, so who do we listen to?
When you think about who to listen to, use a template. My husband gets full credit here for this template; he shares this often! What this template looks like, is when you see someone who has or is something you desire, you follow them in that area. For example, if you wanted financial advice, you probably would not want to take it from someone who is living paycheck to paycheck and believes their situation will never change. Now while you may not take financial advice from a billionaire, you can surely take advice from someone who has had some success and they have a mindset focused on abundance rather than scarcity. You may say “I want a piece of what they have; I want to listen to them.”. Are we listening to people who are a part of our template in some way whether it’s a person, a podcast, or even a social media account?
Another aspect that I believe is really important is credibility. Do people know, like, and trust them? Do they get good results? For me, the most meaningful referral I can get in what I do as a counselor is a referral that comes from a client who has experienced me. They can speak to what I have done for them, with them, and the way I have been a part of their journey. So do the voices you are listening to have credibility?
Let’s go back to the financial example. A person can have all the knowledge of how to have healthy finances and not be implementing what they know. Tony Robbins, my future friend, says “knowledge is the lowest form of mastery” because we cannot actually know something until we do it. We create the world around us based on the voices we listen to. Who are you listening to?
Jim Rohn says “we are the average of the 5 people we spend the most time with” and recent research says it is bigger than that. It’s about who is in our sphere. For example, if you surround yourself with overweight people, you are 45% more likely to become overweight yourself. This is wild to me! While I do not have the stats of the adverse effects, there is something to be said about the internal motivation to be your best when you are surrounding yourself with friends who are in-shape. The people we are around influence us. If you want to be happy, surround yourself with more happy people. Be mindful of who is in your sphere. Ask yourself:
Who am I following?
Who am I listening to?
Who is around me?
Meaning & Identity
The voices we are listening to matter. These voices speak messages and we create meaning of those messages thus creating our identity. These voices impact the trajectory of our life in a positive way or a negative way. This is why who you allow to speak into your life is so important because they are a voice you are completely inviting in. People will base something as simple as whether or not they think they are attractive or not based on a message they receive. Messages spoken from voices create meaning in our life and that meaning will determine our identity.
Going back to our financial example, if the messages we are hearing say “hoard your money; trade a dollar for time; you are never going to make more than you do now”, we can easily create a meaning that “this is as good as it is going to get no matter how hard I work”. Then, we begin to identify with being “stuck” and possess a scarcity mindset. The opposite is also true. If we get around people who help push a mindset that there is always more, then we can actually question the previous meanings that we have made and begin to make a new meaning; thus, identifying with a growth mindset.
As you engage with me more, you will find that I spend time asking you good, deep, and thought provoking questions. That is what a best friend does! And while we cannot be sitting face to face having this conversation (though I wish we could), you can write it down and even message me on social media your takeaways. Take some time today to pause, be mindful, and ask yourself these questions.
Who am I listening to?
What messages are coming into my world?
How does ____ help me grow?
Is ____ serving me?
Anything that does not add to us is either neutral or taking from us.
What are my feelings when I’m done?
How do you FEEL when you put that book down or got off instagram?
Who and what we listen to matters. I am so grateful that you are here. I want to say to you that as my new best friend (*squeal*), I am committed to earning your trust and being a voice that is real, reliable, honest, loving, and a safe place to have fun and even cry. I am committed to being a voice you want to listen to.
I dropped my first podcast! As a birthday gift to me, go give it a listen and rate the podcast (5 stars of course)! And while you are at it, subscribe! I have created content JUST for you!