Successful people should not give advice

I’ve consumed a lot of advice content from many successful people and more often than not, I wonder if the similar actions they’ve taken will replicate the same success or not. These actions are a result of their decisions which often comes out as advice. My personal observations is that there are rarely a few things similar between two success people. In fact, what’s similar are common skill sets which I have also seen in people who aren’t as successful.

What’s interesting to note is that context plays a huge role in the outcome of a decision. The same decision can lead to a positive or a negative result depending on the environment, subjectivity of the situation and so on, which is nothing but context.

But as humans, we like shortcuts. Listening to successful people give advice makes us feel like our time is being spent productively. And it’s not even the fault of these folks. Often, they are placed under the spotlight and asked to reveal their secrets. In the process of being polite and accommodating, successful people end up recollecting as to why they think they’ve been successful and share this advice with others. And this is barely applicable to anyone else, as the context is entirely different.

Our quest for a recipe or a shortcut makes motivational and inspirational content so popular. For the same reason, I am guessing that quotes are one of the most shared and saved posts on Instagram/YouTube etc.

The trick is very simple, but hard. It’s to create or discover your own path to success. If recipes and shortcuts really worked, we’d barely have any consumption of motivational context!

Recipes and shortcuts work in scenarios where the possible outcomes are defined, with limited possibilities, such as cooking and competitive exams. But when it comes to a dynamic game like life with infinite possibilities, attempting to look for recipes is a sure shot way to fail.

And if the above sounds like advice, don’t take it 🙂


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