Sages and soundtracks

How is it that different people can give you such different advice? Which advice should we listen to?

When airing a recent conundrum/life decision I approached two good friends and my partner.

All three were provided the same information yet each gave me remarkably different advice.

One said yes! Do the thing.

One said yes, do the thing, but later.

The other said, no! Don’t do the thing.

On a sliding scale from yes to no, I could go in two polar directions or I could just ride the middle line and bide myself some ‘wait and see’ time. It’s a bit like shaking a number 8 ball and getting ‘it seems maybe it should be so’ or something equally vague once I had approached all three. So how do we decide which advice to heed?

It doesn’t really matter what the context is because with any story, any decider, and any life decision – the sage scale has the potential to slide either way. There are always different perspectives and life experiences that filter opinions. In theory, the more advice you seek, the more it will ‘middle out’.

Today while running I was thinking about this. (Running is a great thinking space for me). I also noticed that I was more tempted to drop my pace when the tempo of the music slowed. Naturally I was trying to match the tempo of the music with my running pace. If I wanted to run faster I upped the tempo or chose a more upbeat song. If I wanted distance (low and slow) I needed to pick a slower song to jog to.

How do these two things talk to each other?

It seems to me that soundtracks and sages are kind of the same. If I want to run fast, I need to find a high bpm playlist. If I want to walk, I need to choose a lower bpm. If I want to stop, I need to turn the music off or ignore it. The soundtrack I tune into affects my ability to keep running.

How much do we let ‘bad soundtracks’ affect our personal tempo?

Here’s the revelation: it’s your life and you can run it at your own tempo. Which advice should you listen to? You should choose one that believes that you are in motion and going somewhere. You just need to choose one that fits your current pace, your current energy stores and your current destination.

Sages and soundtracks belong on the side. You can choose your own playlist and walk your own path. Seek advice from sages by all means, but whateger decision you are weighing up is yours to make.


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