Are you getting the right counsel?
December 19th, 2012 by Agent Kevin Miller
You want better for yourself and your life, and better FROM yourself to give to others. So you read self-help books and blogs and magazines and articles, you listen to podcasts and watch videos…you may even attend seminars and conferences.
Chances are, maybe you haven’t changed much. And you blame yourself. Like you, I’m always to blame to some degree for my lack, but…
This morning I was reading in the Bible from Isaiah 30. I read it yesterday, but today just got hit with verse 1 (bolded from me):
“Woe to the rebellious children,” says the Lord,
“Who take counsel, but not of Me,
And who devise plans, but not of My Spirit,”
And I thought, man…how often do I take counsel, but it’s not rooted in the Lord. Meaning…it could be solid counsel, but it’s not the counsel that I specifically need most…for what is the priority need in my life today.
I love the book “A Million Miles in a Thousand Years” by Donald Miller. It’s foundational to my life. I’ve even given away a couple cases of the book. So I envisioned myself in the rec room at my house, crouched down and reading the ‘great counsel’ in the book to one of my smallest children. They sit, mesmerized and nodding and I think I’m being a good Daddy. Of course they don’t understand a thing they hear, they’re just stoked I’m giving them direct attention. And while I’m reading, they pee themselves and soil the carpet.
“What the heck am I doing, they don’t need this, they need me reading a children’s book to them on potty training!”
How often do you and I eagerly partake of some great counsel, that has no relevance to the acute needs of our life currently? Seth Godin is arguably the best business and marketing writer of our time, but if your marriage is in crisis, or you have no plans to really take action to change anything in your work life, is that the best use of your time? Michael Gerber wrote one of the foundational business books of the past few decades in the E-Myth. But if you aren’t self-employed or actively building a business…then while there is great counsel in the book, it surely is NOT the counsel you need to try and digest now.
Which brings up the question…what counsel do you need most? You have a finite amount of time to take in new counsel, a finite memory to retain much, and a very, very finite amount of time in which to take new action in your life. So deciding what counsel you really need is paramount, no?
So how do you figure that out? You’ve gotta know you. The last thing you want to deal with. I want to make an abundance of money, please just tell me how to do that. I don’t want to go figure myself out and get to the root of why I often sabotage my financial success. I want to participate in twitter and facebook in discussing the latest New York Times self-help or business best seller and not be the only guy not in-the-know, even if the book is not at all what I need. I don’t really want a ’4-hour Work Week’, I want a fulfilling, meaningful and consequential-to-humanity work week!
Is it possible you have an intake of counsel, but it’s not making much change in your life because it’s not the counsel you need?
I’m browsing for lists of the best self-help books of 2012 right now. No lie, this list has this book at number one, “How To Think More About Sex.” Uh…I’m sure it has great counsel in there. But I happen to know myself well enough to realize…this is not the priority counsel for me right now. Maybe if it was “How to think less about…”
How about you? Are you taking in lots of counsel, but maybe not the counsel you really need right now? Do you know specifically what area is priority for your needs right now? Are you taking in counsel and not seeing a lot of change in your life as a result?
If you’d rather hear the show where I expanded on this topic:Right-click to download / Listen or subscribe via iTunes