It’s tough taking one’s own advice. None of us like facing our own words… or worse yet… having them spoken back to us. It’s human nature for most of us to be quick with a word of advice … yet slow to apply it ourselves.

I was reminded of this recently by my father. He suffered a mild stroke following a surgery. During his first physical therapy session, after evaluating him for strength and movement. the therapist asked him to walk around the small indoor track with a walker. My father complied. After he completed one lap, the therapist asked him to do it again. My father responded simply, “No. I’m tired.”

Immediately I challenged this man, whom I had always known as strong and determined: “Is that all you got?” My father stared at me, eyes narrowing. “Dad! You used to ask me all the time, ‘Is that the best you can do?’ Let’s see you take your own advice.”

My father cleared his throat, looked at me directly in the eye and said dryly, “As my grandfather used to say to me, ‘It is better to give castor oil than to receive it.’” I burst out laughing. He was right; it’s a drag to have your own words thrown back at you. And it is indeed easier to give advice than to take it.

My father is recovering well and regaining more strength every day. I have to trust that he and his therapist know the pace that is best for him. In the meantime, I am working hard not to give advice I am not actively trying to apply in my own life and business.

-Clifford Bailey
CEO, speaker, effectiveness expert

This entry was posted on Monday, May 21st, 2012 at 9:44 am and is filed under Emotional Intelligence, Musings. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.