Monday, June 27, 2016


Some of the best and worst advice that I was ever given, actually turned out to be one in the same. 

How could that be?
I was taught to respect my elders. They knew more, were wiser, and had lived longer and seen more, so they knew what life was about. They knew what worked and what didn’t, so why wouldn’t their advice be taken and applied? I certainly believed that. And, I’m not disputing that some of the advice was and is still good to live by, but I have also come to realize that some of it might not have been the best, and may have even done more harm than good.

First piece of advice given; don’t make waves, or don’t rock the boat.
This seemed logical to me. If you make waves, you might tip the boat and could drown. Check!
But let’s examine that from a different point of view.

When I am in any body of water, I could do some basic swimming, or lounge on my favorite floaty. I enjoy both. But what I really love is catching a wave on a boogie board in the ocean, and riding it all the way to the sandy beach! While I’m not technically making that wave that I rode, it’s still a lot of fun!

Or, how about these examples:
When I am in an above ground pool, I love standing in the middle of the pool, and while holding onto a big beach ball, I jump up and down. I jump until I make the waves so big that they splash over the sides of the pool. Now, I did make those waves.

Here's a boat scenario since I referred to a boat at the beginning of this post. I find it hysterical to rock a canoe to just before the tipping point. I made waves in more ways than one doing that. (Don’t judge :)) And in case you are wondering, no one got hurt, and actually had a little fun helping me make those waves.Truthfully, they might question my definition of fun, but I am pretty sure that they secretly loved rocking the boat too!

How do my examples have anything to do with the real life advice of “don’t make waves or rock the boat”?
Some situations in life require you to keep things calm, but if you always do that, you can be missing out on some of the things that you were trying to avoid. Things that might not be so bad, and maybe are a little fun.

So my advice is this: Examine the situation and then decide if you should make any waves, or rock any boats.

The second piece of advice that I had to learn the hard way was; keep your head low, or fly under the radar.
While I understand that you might want to stay out of the line of fire, I have also determined that if you stay too low, or too much under the radar, you can become invisible. And even though you may do great work, being invisible is not the way to have the decision makers notice you. So, when tough decisions get made about who stays and who goes, generally, those under the radar thinking that they are safe and out of the line of fire, can find that they are still  vulnerable to a stray bullet hitting them, and then boom, they are no more.

My advice here: Not only do you have to be visible, but you must also be valuable. Stand tall and proud to show people your worth; how your contributions help the bottom line of the firm, and why you should continue to be a member of the team. Do not fly low under the radar,because it doesn’t guarantee the safety that you are hoping to accomplish.

So those are a few examples of good intended advice, not always working to your advantage. But in all fairness, I have received other pieces of advice that are valuable, and to my knowledge cannot be disputed.  I have many examples, but I will end with this one.

Don’t run with scissors.

My final piece of advice: Seriously, don’t run with scissors.

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