Tag Archives: Advice

Preparing for what can’t be prepared for…

A friend ran his first half-marathon last year. He set himself this goal and duly went about preparing for it. He monitored his diet, built his fitness and began strategically running with them aim of being able to complete a half marathon first in training. When my boys decided that soccer would be their chosen sport, we prepared by kicking the ball in the backyard, learning the basics of trapping and passing.  There are some things, though, for which we cannot prepare.

My dad was diagnosed with a form of leukaemia a few years back. The prognosis for an older patient is somewhat worse than for a younger person. Suffice to say, this was bringing the end of his life nearer. It is one thing to know something, it is another altogether to be ready for it.

People, myself included, have over the years offered the profound advice “at least you know and you can prepare for it”. ┬áThis is fine when the event is your first half-marathon, but when it relates to the passing of a friend or family member, it is entirely irrelevant. Some things, we simply cannot adequately prepare for. Some things need to be experienced to understand the emotion.

As much as I am an advocate for planning and preparation, I have come to realise that we cannot prepare ourselves for all things. It is at those times, the love and support of family and friends is key. As too, is faith.

My personal faith journey has held me strong in those situations for which I was not our could not be prepared. Rather than seeking to understand ‘why’ something was happening, my faith continues to enable me to focus more on ‘how’ I can help.

Accept that some events will leave us confused, upset and even angry. And that’s okay. We cannot adequately prepare for all things that will happen in our lives but we do need to accept what has happened and then decide to deal with it.


Deaf ears

Have you ever heard the expression falling on deaf ears?

It’s that sense of deja vu when offering advice: you know you’ve crossed this ground before with this person and you are now wondering if anything is actually sinking in.

I had 3 instances recently of people reminding me of words of encouragement and advice that I offered them years ago (we’re talking over 5 years!). Words that I had
shared with each of them certainly more than once, thinking at the time that it’s making little difference, if any. Each person clearly recalled advice that was unique to their circumstances, identifying they have carried it with them! WOW!

Obviously, because there was not an immediate uptake of the suggestions does not mean they fell on deaf ears. Because I could not see a change, doesn’t mean it wasn’t going to happen.

Even if there is no change, I still have an opportunity to empower (after all, it’s not all about me & my wise words!).

I’ve learned now that just because you may have to say it more than once does not make it any less worthwhile.

If you can constructively offer advice or encourage a particular action towards a better
outcome (AND you have permission to speak into that person’s life), speak up!

The critical key here is PERMISSION.  Put this in a marketing context – think how you feel when you receive unsolicited marketing emails? Not happy Jan! You mark them as junk so you don’t receive them again. It’s a different case though if you have an existing relationship with a company and have agreed that you’d like to receive information from them – you may even read it!  The same rings true with relationships – if the advice is unsolicited, it’ll probably be treated as junk and the relationship will be difficult to rebuild. You need permission!

In offering the same piece of advice, it needs to be delivered with the same heart each time. Whether the advice is implemented is beyond your control, but how you offer it is totally your control. Always be encouraging. Always speak to someone’s potential.


Let Hope Rise.

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