I’ve carefully watched those who are successful and those who are not…
The big make-or-break character strength or flaw seems to be:
Do they seek counsel from others?
I truly think this character aspect determines success in a wide range of life arenas: relationships, family, church, school, health, finances, etc.
In the business realm there is an ironic stereotype of entrepreneur as the arrogant, go-it-alone, stalwart individual who plods, on ignoring what those around them are saying. Totally misguided!
The truly successful people in commerce are usually those that listen carefully to others. BUT not only that, they actively seek out counsel. They are teachable and always learning. Of course this doesn’t mean they don’t sift through and evaluate the advice. They certainly approach counsel openly and from the position of a student.
This principle applies not only to all areas of life but the full range of important to trivial. I was recently doing a small chimney brick repair and gained the “counsel” of at least three YouTube videos talking me through the repair.
Looking at an educational path? Ask for counsel.
Making a large purchase? Ask for counsel.
Considering a new job? Ask for counsel.
Think that special someone is the “one”? Ask for counsel.
Your life will be so much smoother if you seek counsel. People you respect have likely made mistakes or seen similar mistakes and can steer you away from great difficulty.
Guidelines for seeking counsel:
- Especially seek counsel if the subject is outside of your realm of expertise
- Build relationships with people who will be straight up with you (Proverbs 27:9)
- Don’t rely on a single voice for counsel. (Proverbs 11:14)
- If asked earnestly, gladly and humbly give your counsel to others