Quite often, and I’m sure this happens to you as well. Friends and family will ask me for advice or my opinion about how they should handle an issue. Like me, your first reaction is usually to offer problem-solving advice. But I want to challenge you to take a different approach that will really help the person who is asking.
You see, when someone is asking this question, what they are really saying is… “I value your thoughts, I suck at making decisions, and no matter what you tell me I’m not going to listen and end up doing nothing anyways”. Look people that are good at making decisions don’t ask for opinions. They’ve made a decision and they are telling you what they are going to do, right or wrong!
Lets pretend the question is… “I’m thinking about getting back together with my ex, do you think that is a good idea”?
I’m sure someone you know has asked you this very question recently. I’m telling you right now you are in a trap. This person already knows you so they know how you feel about what they are asking. Lucky for you, I know the way out of this trap.
First realize that the person asking is struggling with their thoughts. Their mind functions exactly like every other mind in the universe. They are weighing the pro vs. cons and still cannot decide. Every person on the planet is guilty of doing that… Everyone!
Now that you know the nature of the question you can provide some knowledge to really help them. My standard answer to any question is the question: “If you were in a rock band… what instrument would you play?” At this point I get confused looks like what the hell is he talking about. Then in a few seconds I see people’s look go from “What kind of an answer is that” to “Oh shit… I see what you are saying”.
That question cuts to your core about how you see your life in this very moment. It forces the person to think about who they want to be. You have planted a seed in their mind that has forced them to evaluate themselves and determine what they really want in life.
A band is a great metaphor… Maybe at that moment they feel like they are playing bass and keep the beat in the background. Perhaps they are most happy in this situation. Or perhaps they feel like they have been keeping the beat going while suppressing their own talent. We have all been in a position where we feel held back
So the next time you are having a hard time making a decision or someone asks your opinion ask: “If you were in a rock band… what instrument would you play?”
I don’t know about you but I’m the Lead Singer in my life! I do know that you are creative and dreams. I’m not asking you if you are going towards those dreams yet. I’m asking you if you have really sat with yourself and determined what you want? What do YOU want? What is best for YOU?
In order to know what you want… You have to look within yourself. Trust me, the answer is you if you are brave enough to look.
Jeremy Callahan is a Mobile Commerce Expert, App Developer and Founder at Flip Shop Marketing