When people come to meet me for advice, they often want me to look into my life’s situations and tell them exactly what to do.
And sometimes that is very effective. Others have done same for me to good effect. But in the same way, others have done same for me to crippling effect.
What I prefer to do is to help the person, through a process of reflection, rumblings and questions to decide what they now see to be the best thing to do in whatever situation. It’s the process of thinking, feeling and being that I most want to impart, not a specific set of solutions, actions, or thoughts.
Sometimes, it is important to just help tell a person what to do (if a person is about to walk into a fire, I suspect it’s best to say ‘don’t!’, than to begin a lecture on the philosophical traditions that help a person avoid fire), but other than those, I want to stimulate their own capacity to embrace and act on reality for themselves.
Because, yes, I have packed many lives into my short stay on earth, and I have learnt plenty because of the gift of study and experience that I give myself. But I am still a human being, on this journey, and specific things may change. I may learn better ways, find out my sincerely held decisions or actions were sub-optimal, or completely change how I choose to show up in the world.
When that happens, the change, the evolution, the direction will not confuse you, because you have learnt to choose your own path for yourself.
This is your journey. I am also on mine. Humility will help us keep those two statements in a beautiful perspective.
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Chude Jideonwo is host of the TV and radio network #WithChude, which is creating safe spaces for conversations about mental, emotional and spiritual health across Africa. He is also co-founder of human flourishing company, Joy, Inc.