Jack Nicklaus may have been the greatest golfer ever. Many think that Arnold Palmer was the most important golfer of the 20th century. These two greats were contemporaries, so they became competitors and friends all at once. And when somebody who is one of the greatest of all time gives you advice, you should take it, right?
Since these players spoke thousands of times over the years on the golf course, advice was often shared. One day, Jack walked over to Arnie on the practice range, and since Jack was one of the greatest high ball hitters in history, he offered Arnold, a low ball hitter, a little bit of advice on how to get the ball up in the air when needed. Arnold thanked Jack, and he tried the advice, but the tip didn’t work.
It was advice from one of the greatest ever, but it just didn’t work. It doesn’t mean that the advice wasn’t good; it means that particular advice did not work for that particular person to address a particular need.
Luckily for Arnie, he realized that just because the source of the advice was great, that didn’t mean that the advice would work for him. He understood it wouldn’t work because he understood himself. He understood what his strengths were and how he went about doing his job. He understood his skill set, what he was capable of, and what he was not capable of or not comfortable doing.
It’s the same for us. None of us are perfect. None of us are at the peak of all of our skills or abilities in the working world, so we need to be open to suggestions. We need to be open to guidance and direction.
However, before we take on any advice and try to utilize it exactly how it’s given, make sure we start with an understanding of ourselves. We need to ensure that what has worked for someone will truly work for us, because we are different people with different skills and abilities and perspectives. We need to consider the advice and guidance, but make sure we do it with an understanding of who we are.
When someone gives you a tip, consider it, but consider it through a lens of self-awareness.