Listening is an essential virtue in many areas. Knowing when to listen to, and discern if other people’s advice suits us or not can make a huge difference in both private and professional spheres. 

You must have followed some advice that later on turned out to be wrong.

Or, you must have got confused by a load of advice from your friends, relatives, partners, or colleagues about what to do or how to live your life.

Everybody around us has some advice to offer, most of the time with the best intentions.

Yet, if we listen to what everybody else has to say, we may neglect to do what we really want.

Ultimately, we end up doing what others want us to do, and even worse, we end up living the life that someone else has designed for us.

Without developing the ability to discern among a great deal of pieces of advice from others we can run a big risk.

The risk of running after every piece of advice as if it were unquestionable, losing track of what we want out of our lives.

As I often do, let me clarify my point through an enlightening story. 


There lived a vegetable vendor who used to go to the local market to sell his crops.

One day, apart from the vegetables and fruit to sell, the vendor also took a board with him. On it, he wrote, “Fresh vegetables and fruit sold here”.

He thought that by advertising his crops he would sell more.

But, before long, a woman came up to him and said, “You don’t need to advertise your crops as fresh, only a fool would not notice it by observing them. So, you’d better drop off the word FRESH”.

The vendor followed the woman’s advice, so the board now read, “Vegetables and fruit sold here”.

It didn’t take long for a man to show up and say, “We know you're selling vegetables and fruit, not cereals; do you think we are stupid? Why don't you wipe off the words VEGETABLES AND FRUIT?

The vendor didn’t think twice and followed the man’s advice, hence, the wording now was, “Sold here”.

Soon an elderly man approached him and said, “If you're in a market, it’s clear you don’t give away your crops for free, but you sell them; so what’s the point in specifying it? Do yourself a favor, drop off the word SOLD”! 

The vendor followed the advice for the umpteenth time.

The only word left on the board now was, “Here”.

Whereupon, a boy passing by made fun of the vendor by saying, “Everyone knows you are here and not there. What nonsense having the word HERE on a board”!

The vendor thought the boy was right, so he got rid of the last word on the board.

This time, another merchant came up to the vendor and said, “What a silly idea to have a board and not write anything on it. How can you ever expect people to buy from you? Why don't you write something on the board to advertise how fresh your vegetables and fruit are”? 

The vendor, fed up with following other people’s advice, didn’t listen to the merchant and kept the board clean.

When the market closed all the vendor’s crops were unsold, whereas his fellow merchant’s were sold out.

Now, ponder for a moment.

If you had a goal, but the people close to you didn’t like it, would you listen to their advice or would you trust your gut as per Steve Job’s following words? 

“Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice”. - Steve Jobs


If you decided to follow someone’s advice, you’d better ask yourself:

“Is the person giving the advice someone who has already achieved my goals”?

Would you listen to a beggar’s advice if your goal was to become a millionaire? Of course, you wouldn’t!

Would you listen to a couch potato’s advice about how to get 6-pack abs? No, you wouldn’t! 

So, why do you listen to your parents’, relatives’, friends’ or even strangers’ advice if they have not created the life you want to live?

Success leaves clues, so you would be better off listening to those people who walked the path you are on and got to the destination you are heading for. 

Knowing what advice to listen to is a virtue, but only if it is accompanied by another equally important virtue, i.e. knowing how to listen to yourself.

In Jim Rohn’s words, Don't be a follower, be a student! Take advice but not orders! Take information, but don't let somebody order your life. Make sure what you do is the product of your own conclusion! Take what someone else says, process it, think about it, ponder it and then when you take action make sure that the actions are not what somebody told you to do. Make sure the action is the product of your own conclusion”.


Do you know who is the only person who really cares about your happiness? The one you can trust blindly, always, and in any case? It’s you!

No one wants to see you improve your life, feel happy and fulfilled more than you.

If you want to start a great life revolution, learn to listen to yourself.

Find out what makes you smile and thrills you, what you need to leave behind and what you want to work on to give more quality to your life.

If you realize that it is difficult, because you may have only negativity around you, start by changing the environment you are in and the people you spend most of the time with.

As a result, you’ll be more likely to think freely and express yourself without the fear of judgment.

Ultimately, you’ll be able to listen to your heart and gut instead of the voice in your head that tells you not to dare to pursue your goals.


Before accepting advice, take some time for yourself. 

Learn to listen to yourself, to what your heart tells you, because it is the most important opinion ever.

Don’t listen to others’ advice, or rather, learn to give due weight to the words they tell you, otherwise you may end up like the vendor in the story.

Everyone must be able to feel free to walk their own path regardless of other people’s advice.

So, silence the voices around you, and regain control of your life!

Among the noise of people’s opinions never lose your voice!

At this point, let me ask you, will you follow my advice?😉

More resources for YOU:

Christian Caliendo
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  1. Yes, I’ve heard lots of advice on how to make millions 🙂
    I have noticed that the best advice you get when you ask for it, and not the person already handing advice right, left and centre without being asked.
    Just like you say – if you want to make millions – ask a millionaire who is busy doing something else, not advising on it.
    If you want a lasting marriage – talk to old people who never divorced 🙂
    If you want all the answers – ask me of course 🙂

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