Unsolicited Advice, Smile, Thank, and Ignore

Unsolicited Advice: SMILE, THANK, and IGNORE

Many times in life you are faced with people who offer you unsolicited advice .  Trouble is, most times they just assume that you share their goals without bothering to find out if this is the case or not. How can they possibly give good advice if they dont know what you want?  Its like a doctor prescribing a random medicine without even bothering to find out what the patient is dying of.  In these cases, its best to just smile, accept their well meaning advice politely, ignore it, and quickly change the subject.

Here is a great example from my personal life.  Many people just dont get time management. I accomplish a lot more in a day than most people.  Why? Certainly not because I’m smarter but because of my time management skills. Boiled down to a one bullet point, good time management means doing the most important things first.

I have been given well meaning advice from people that the reason our house gets so messy is that I dont put things away right after I use them and if I were to do that the house would stay clean all the time. Smile, thank, and ignore. Their goal is to have a clean house all the time, mine is to get all my top priorities accomplished and a neat and tidy house appears nowhere on my goals list. Its much more time efficient for me to be a productive tornado then spend 10 min at the end of the day putting everything back in its place.  I dont *want* to spend my whole day keeping the house clean!  Yes, before the family comes home I do my reverse-tornado and put everything back in its place so they dont have to see my mess but if someone drops in during the day they are in for an eye-opening disaster scene.  Filming days are the worst, stuff *everywhere*.

This goes for fitness and all other aspects of live as well. Very well meaning people will give you advice without bothering to find out what your goals are.   This happens at work, at family gatherings, with friends, and ALL the time at the gym.  People at the gym always ASSUME that the entire world shares their fitness goals when its very unlikely given all the possibilities.
SMILE, THANK, and IGNORE … but avoid the biggest mistake of all

The biggest fitness mistake of all is to assume you know everything.

The real problem that many in fitness have is not the fact that they take bad advice but the fact that they naively assume that they already know everything! You know the type, the closed-minded curl monkeys who will not listen to anyone who says that doing curls daily is not optimal. Listen to others, read lots of points of view, experiment, and challenge your own assumptions and beliefs.

23 thoughts on “Unsolicited Advice, Smile, Thank, and Ignore”

  1. I hate training in the gym for 5 main reasons:

    1) It gets crowded over time you are there (especially in the evening & weekends) & you have to queue for equipments

    2) GYM RATS & buff I-know-it-alls eyeballing you while you’re working out like you are committing a crime there & be too judgmental on your purpose going to a gym

    3) Some skinny fat guy telling you that you need to do this, like this, chatting all the time forgetting that he is indeed deserving a SMACKDOWN instantly

    4) Some GYM RATS recommends his own recommended supplements – weight gainers, fat burner, cutting powder, on & on & on bla bla bla & he forgets that he too is skinny & needs to eat something like a 3 sets of MEGA MAC

    5) A bunch of 150lb kids with 50lbs DBs in each hand think that they are doing curls but what they’re actually doing is look like a complete chronic masturbator jerking the DBs & think he is going to get buff BUT fails to take any sincere advice from others

  2. Hello,
    My name is Ron, im 30 years old and i am a haz-mat technician and a volunteer firefighter. My diet consists of chicken, fish, fruits and vegetables during the week and on the weekends i allow my self two cheat meals. i currently work out 3 times a week, i start with a 30 min out door run and then i lift weights at home. I tend to work out upper body day one, lower body day 2, and upper body day 3. and then reverse it every other week. I like to work out in the early morning. my issue is that i want to maintain the early morning routine but often find it really hard to get out of bed. i work mon-fri 40 hour work week mixed in with some over time from time to time. i want to increase my work out by adding 1 or 2 more days but find it tough as it is. im also looking to build my endurance overall. im also struggling with quitting a smoking habit. im 5’7″ and weigh 185 lbs.

  3. My girlfriend said to me that we needed to clean when my parents and sisters came over during the holidays. Their house looks like a tornado went through it when we go over. The ‘worst’ clutter / mess I usually have is on my desk, but we close the office off anyways, so the nieces and nephews don’t kill the computer. The other take-away from what you said is that if you’re doing things to impress other people, it’s probably not going to be in your best interests to follow their advice.

    As for how you keep your house, I’d say it looks very organized and clean. If there’s stuff hanging about, it probably looks ‘lived in’… Which is normal for a house that’s occupied. LOL :)

  4. I know what you mean Scooby. There was this guy at my gym who said I should not put the bar back on the ground between reps while deadlifting, because it reduced the time under tension.

  5. This post reminds me of a Robert Downey Jr. quote which I think encapsulates the spirit of what you meant perfectly, Scooby.

    “My Dear,

    Don’t plug your ears, listen to what they say – no matter how strongly you disagree with it. Don’t frown. Smile, even when they’re throwing their harshest words at you. And don’t argue, agree, show them that you understand, nod your head understandably, then walk away once they stop talking.

    Listen, smile, agree and then do whatever the f*ck you were gonna do anyway.

    Falsely yours,
    Robert John Downey, Jr.”

  6. Then would it not be a good idea to, SMILE, THANK, IGNORE, then FOLLOWUP.

    Some pieces of information should not be ignored… ie you could injure yourself doing that… go check the information if the person was right… maybe he is right, maybe he was wrong… but don’t rely what people say is 100% correct, including yourself. You should use a filter as to what to ignore and what to investigate.

  7. Not quite sure you are right with this one Scooby. It sounds very much like you are throwing the baby out with the bath water. It doesn’t matter where the advice comes from, solicited or unsolicited, as long as it is good advice. Even an enemy can speak words of wisdom, regardless if their intent was to do more harm than good. If it is good advice, regardless of the source, act on it. Only a fool ignores good advice just because he never asked to be given it. So perhaps, Unsolicited BAD Advice: SMILE, THANK, and IGNORE

  8. It is better to do sub-optimal exercise than to not exercise at all.
    For example, I recently agonised over whether I should exercise while fasting. (Alternate day fasting for the health benefits.) I went ahead and tried it, and it was just fine. Clearly not optimal for bodybuilding, but it works for MY priorities.
    So I agree, listen to advice, but make up your own mind about how to proceed.

  9. Someone at the gym I go to was critiquing me on the pulls ups
    I was doing.

    I ask him to show me his technique…he couldn’t do a single
    pull up, I couldn’t help but smile…..almost laughed out loud.

  10. I think I’d like to see that one page version of Covey’s book. I watched your time management videos and you said you could cover the book in one page. I am an Engineer, that book had way too much fluff for me.

  11. This is a sort of advice scoob…so am i supposed to smile, thank, and ignore this? ahah

    Just joking BigScoob your advice are always simple and logic,,,Keep going and thank u from Italy!

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