I have a (somewhat) friend who knows what i ABSOLUTELY HAVE TO DO! to be rich. And yet, he rents a shack, drives a clunker, and his wife works at WalMart to help make ends meet. So, why isn’t he listening to his own advice? And if he is, why is it not working?
He goes on and on about his ideas. Big, huge plans. Millions to be made! Okay. I’m listening. I see your at home set up. Bank refused you a small business loan? Hmm…
Me. In a sense. I only want things I can’t have. I have giant piles of things I can have that other people can’t yet I receive no sense of fulfillment from them. I have some things I couldn’t have also, because I like to do things people say are impossible. But then once obtained, I no longer want them. So while few people would consider my life to be crap, if they are stricken with the same disease and not so successful at achieving the goals others strive for they would be perceived, and perceive themself as having a crappy life.
There is a guy in my neighborhood who can answer any question and I have never heard him use the phrase, “I don’t know.” In his mind he is a cornucopia of knowledge, always willing to provide an answer or explanation of an issue or situation regardless of it being a front page headline or back page fodder. He boasts of not using the net because there is little there he doesn’t already know.
Yet, while possessing all this information/knowledge, his fact accuracy is often off the mark and his personal life in general seems to be one filled with unhappiness, loneliness and frustration. He is basically a very sad individual.
What’s the disconnect? Perhaps when you’ve internalized that you’re a loser, you also accept that you’re invisible. So your advice and observations should somehow stand alone.
Or, you’ve noticed that nobody has any credentials, anyway. It’s the loudest yellers, not the deepest thinkers, who get heard.
OTOH, while you’re right that we won’t accept a fat guy’s advice on diet and exercise, we won’t accept a fat guy’s advice on much anything. Older viewers remember Homer Simpson having all the sharp information for a corporate presentation, but the lost his prescription for Rogain (back when an RX was required), and someone in the audience said “I’m not sitting here listening to some bald guy!”
In his defense, just because he’s fat, doesn’t mean he doesn’t know how to eat healthy.
It’s just like back in high school when a friend’s parents would find their cigarettes and the first thing they would say is “I can’t believe they took my cigarettes, both of them smoke, why can’t I” and I would always say something like “Just because they smoke doesn’t mean it’s not bad for you”.
They are relatively small values of impossible. They said I couldn’t have a career in computers without a college degree (I started before people knew who Bill Gates was). In that career I’ve completed major projects that others failed at while using many more resources in the effort. Some things are minor but a matter of pride like removing the paint from my log cabin. I like challenges, people all too readily say something is impossible just because they don’t know how to do it.
I know someone like that. She always has platitudes (either religious, cliched or both) about how to make one’s life more happy, yet she is the most miserable person I’ve ever seen. Truly, her life is nothing but perpetual chaos of her own making and she’ll continually spout rhetoric (read: projection) about how everyone else needs to lead a simpler and more stress-free existence.
I’m assuming she’s always able to do this because a realistic take on her personality and situation would null her worldview and she’s way too invested to want to admit fault or change. She’d rather make others suffer instead.
I know her twin sister. For 25 years her “religion” was Scientology, then she “saw through it” and embraced channellers, crystals, and pyramids. In spite of all her professed wisdom and insight, she was a miserably neurotic ball of angst and insecurity. Fortunately, we haven’t seen or heard from her since the the early 90’s.
Not speaking for everyone, but people who have screwed up and made serious life mistakes often have the most pertinent advice on how not to screw up. Even if they have not been able to get back on top they often have important and useful advice about what not to do which can be just as important as what to do.
Getting life advice from a person who hits home runs with everything they do has its limits. The whole controversy with the “Lean In” book had some elements of this.
One of my brothers-in-law knows everything about everything, except that in his world, his opinion is fact. I gave up trying to have any conversations with him. I just nod and smile and try not to bust out laughing when he cites FauxNews or his favorite right-wing-whacko. Thankfully, he lives far, far away and can’t afford to visit us.
Depending on the topic, it’s entirely possible for people who aren’t running the show / at the top of the game to know the answers.
For example, sportscasters frequently haven’t even been athletes, yet we listen to their opinions about sports all the time. By your logic, anyone short of a championship winning coach’s opinion on team strategy should be discounted.
In many (most?) businesses, the rank and file usually have a pretty good idea of what’s wrong with the company. Better anyway than most middle managers, who frequently get bogged down and distracted with budgetary type crap instead of doing their actual jobs, especially in IT departments.
But they’re not CEO, so why should we listen, right?
That being said, there are a large number of “Cliff Clavin” types who bloviate on about how this or that ought to be different and how they know best, etc… Ignore them. But just because someone isn’t necessarily at the peak of the game or whatever doesn’t necessarily mean they don’t know what they’re talking about.
Somebody once said about me that “SL can tell you exactly how a clock works, but he can’t tell you what time it is.” He wasn’t entirely wrong. And the thing is, I can tell you how a clock works. And I’ll be right. But I might not know what time it is. Metaphorically speaking.