Seek Not to Follow

It’s easy enough to play it safe, to do exactly what your mentors did, what your parents told you, to follow instructions to the letter. But the terrain is different than what they themselves traversed, the landscape all the more treacherous for the fact that you’re burdened with their advice. 

What do you seek? Are you following instead?


11 thoughts on “Seek Not to Follow”

  1. It’s definitely been a year (month-wise…not calendar!) of trying to learn how to seek for me. I have always been solidly in the follower camp. And I think it takes a lot of effort and experimentation to make the jump. It’s a process of learning to trust yourself and your instincts instead of looking to others right away. And it seems to be ongoing…I’m not sure it’ll ever “end”!

  2. What a strong statement this is:  “burdened with their advice”.  Strong, but sometimes true.
    What helps me not get to the point of feeling burdened is knowing when to take a break from advice and experience my own learning process. I try to gather what I need in terms of advice and insight and then get back to work. I think you have to know when to stop listening for a little while. Too much advice is like having too many options – you get to that point where you either don’t want to do anything, or the act of deciding is too exhausting. I need my energy for my work 🙂

    1. @deniseurena Advice for me is often just a way to check my thinking, you know, see if I missed anything obvious in my reasoning. But often I’ve been trapped in places where there are endless rounds of advice giving before anything can be decided, and that is seriously my idea of hell.

    2. @deniseurena Oh so Yeah! Too much advice is <i>exactly<i> too many options!
      I’ve been recognizing that in my own life, much more lately.
      Also getting better at recognizing when it’s worth ‘fighting the status quo’ and when it’s just not.

  3. michaelwroberts

    This is exactly some of the frustration I’ve felt over the past few years. The world is drastically changing around us, and following advice from long ago on very specific matters seems incredibly limiting. Yes, there are larger truths that make a lot of sense today and yesterday, but following the prescribed lifestyle of our parents’ era (house, dog, 2.6 kids) doesn’t seem to work as well.
    I think I’m trying to cautiously figure out what the path of living adventurously and making a difference in the world while still paying the bills looks like for my family.

    1. @michaelwroberts It is frustrating! Especially with so many people stubbornly trying to pretend like the status quo is still in effect, acting like crabs in a bucket when anyone tries to get out. It’s toxic, man.

    2. @michaelwroberts Good luck having 2.6 kids Michael. If you pull it off, let me know so that I can get the scoop first and become famous for interviewing you. 🙂
       @Shanna Mann, I’m experimenting with how things have traditionally been done to see which holdovers of conventional (or unconventional) wisdom work for me. And when I say “traditionally,” that could be within the past month or past century. Most of my thoughts and actions aren’t original. They follow in the footsteps of many, many people who came before me. So as much as I like to think of myself as a pioneer (TM @remadebyhand 2012), I’m really not. I’m just a crazy experimenter trying to do things a little bit different than a number of folks have already done.

  4. This has been the hardest lesson of my life, and one which I still come up against frequently… finding my own way. It took a long time for me to even realize that there wasn’t a right way, and to realize that a lot of the ‘old wisdom’ just doesn’t serve anymore. Hence finding the fun in finding your own way. On the whole, I’m seeking a way to live that is more organic and wholistic than traditional model… and taking tiny, baby steps to get there.

  5. We can’t all be leaders- there will have to be some followers. I know that I’m not doing anything that nobody’s done before- but it still feels like I’m out on my own and going against the grain now that I’ve left my full time job.  Maybe what I’m seeking in my freedom from a 9 to 5 is what my grandparents’ generation were seeking IN their quest to have stable jobs- a better life than the one they had.

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