On Remembering Advice

I’ve been recently thinking about the advice people have given me over the years.
What I’ve come to notice is that there isn’t much advice that has stuck with me for a long time (let’s say a year or more).
In fact, it took me almost an hour to write down four pieces of advice that I can concretely remember people giving me.

And that’s not because I don’t get a lot of advice.

I’m constantly getting advice from books, mentors, peers, family, and friends (for which I’m very grateful).
The advice I listen to typically has some kind of measurable effect on my life… at least for a week or two.

I used to get frustrated that I would receive so much useful advice but only a small fraction would turn into things I would continually remember and live by.
Fortunately, I have changed my mindset around the longevity of advice.

The truth is, a lot of advice is given in direct response to something happening.
Because of this, holding on to advice that is no longer relevant doesn’t make sense.
It’s also a great way to weed out advice that is initially exciting but isn’t fit for the long-term.

So now my approach to advice is this:

  1. Take good advice and implement it in my life for a week or two.

  2. If it naturally doesn’t stick, forget it.

  3. In the rare but awesome case it significantly impacts the way I think/live then I will probably remember it without much effort.

This new “framework” has allowed me to welcome new advice without fretting over whether it will stick in the future or not.

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