by Brenda

Can we learn more from advice than experience?

I’ve been hanging around a lot of old folks lately and one thing that has been consistent on their lips has been words of advice.

While sharing their experiences, these old folks never seize to chip in a word of advice to my younger self.

One thing they would say is, IT IS BETTER TO PREVENT A PROBLEM THAN TO LEARN FROM A PROBLEM. I agree to some extent. But it got me thinking. Can we learn more from experience than advice?

There are those who think starting life from experience is better than starting from scratch. They believe that with no experience, you cannot make sound decisions and that it is only with experience that you can grow. I concur!

But I also believe that the beauty of life is when you can learn from the experiences of others to be better equipped to face your own challenges. It’s not everything you must go through. Others went through them to serve as a guide for you to know what path you are taking.

I’ve argued this out with many couples. I tell them that our parents went through things so that we might learn from them. That’s why when they advise us we must listen! There are some who don’t share in my view, so I ask you reading this, can we learn more from advice than experience?

Look at this way, advice comes from experience, from experience, advice is given, so why not take the advice and avoid the experience altogether? Simple example, your mother involved herself in pre-marital sex at a younger age and became a teenage mom when she had you, one day she sits you down to advise you not to take the path she walked. She shares some of her deepest thoughts with you and advises you to make better choices. Would you rather learn from her advice, or you would want to experience it yourself?

There is nothing new under the sun. You see that problem which seems insurmountable that you have magnified with your eye lens, someone has gone through it. That free and careless life you want to live has been the bane of most in society. And they have faced the consequences of their careless living. You don’t need to go through everything in life. Man, you don’t need to abuse your wife before you know abuse is immoral. People have gone through it and they ended up in a bad place. Learn from advice. Woman, you don’t need to sleep with 10 men to be a motivational speaker! Learn from your parents’ advice and let it shape the way you think. Yes not all advice come from a good place. Some come from a place of hurt and disappointment. But you can always pick the good in the bad.

I believe we can learn from both advice and experience. When we take advice, it works in our favour, but experience will have deposited something in us, such as pain, disappointment, hurt, rejection, regrets, etc. The two are not the same. Once you experience something, it shapes your mind in a whole new way, and it may not always leave you feeling positive. You may or may not have regrets. But advice, good advice is medicine for your soul.

With experience, you can’t go back and change the beginning, but with advice, you can start where you are and change the ending. I repeat, YOU DON’T NEED TO GO THROUGH EVERYTHING!

Share with me your thoughts.

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