YMMV: Four Letters to Make Advice More Meaningful

ymmvMy advice to everyone: learn to automatically append “Your Mileage May Vary” to every piece of advice you’re given.  Even this.

Every time you hear a piece of advice, think it: “Your Mileage May Vary”. Just because the advice was shared with you doesn’t mean you have to take it or that you’re even expected to. Advice is a bonding interaction that helps people feel closer and helpful. People love feeling wise and feeling as though their experience will be beneficial to others. Much advice is given not as a practical solution but as a comfort or note of optimism. Some advice is given with carelessness or even ill intent. Either way, it doesn’t have to be something you simply accept. Your mileage is your own life story. Weigh advice against what you know of yourself, your situation, your habits and your resources.

If you disagree with the advice, remind yourself: “Your Mileage May Vary”.  This advice was true for the person sharing it, or they have a reason to believe it will be true for you. It’s not right for you, but it’s been right for somebody. Appreciate that your situation is unique to you, so this advice may apply more to someone with a different situation. You don’t have to take it, so keep on drivin’.

If a piece of advice turns out to have been wrong for you, circle back: “Your Mileage May Vary”. The advice wasn’t right for your situation, but that doesn’t make it objectively wrong or bad. It was a learning opportunity, and you’ve learned.

Want to share some advice?  Append it: “Your Mileage May Vary”.  Your audience will almost certainly appreciate hearing that you understand that your help may not be needed, warranted or even applicable.

Think I’m a dummy? Comment: “Your Mileage May Vary” and give yourself a pat on the back for being so much cooler than me.

One response to “YMMV: Four Letters to Make Advice More Meaningful”

  1. […] YMMV: Four Letters to Make Advice More Meaningful […]

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