Listen and Learn

Never take advice from anyone who doesn’t have what you want, and this certainly would include me. As a blind person myself, I would not want you to take my advice on decorating your home, selecting your wardrobe, or purchasing a painting.

Gandhi is known for saying, “Everyone is my superior in that I can learn something from them.” There is someone who can advise you on any area of your life, but there is no one who can advise you on every area of your life. We become a product of our thoughts, which create our actions, which culminate in our success or failure.

As a student of human behavior, both academically and experientially, I have gotten in the habit for many years of asking very successful people as well as people who are failing why they are doing the things they do. An astonishing amount of the time, their answer is, “Because someone told me to.”

If we believe in the longstanding theory that about five percent of people are succeeding in any endeavor while about 95 percent of people are not getting whatever they want out of life, we understand there are two ways to fail. Failure comes when we listen to everyone or when we listen to no one. If one in 20 people are succeeding, it’s easy to get bad advice because 19 out of 20 people will tell you what they are doing which is currently not bringing success into their lives just as it won’t bring success into your life. Bad advice is abundant and readily available. You can simply turn on the television, go online, or ask the next few people you encounter; but if you want good advice, you’re going to have to seek it out and consistently act upon it.

Good advice not applied is no more effective than bad advice. I have written almost 1,000 of these columns, over 40 books, appear regularly on national radio, and have been involved with seven major motion pictures. Through each of these resources, including the column you’re reading right now, I offer my contact information and readily connect with anyone who reaches out to me. Many people accept this offer and want easy, simple, quick-acting advice. In most cases, I tell them to read Napoleon Hill’s book Think and Grow Rich and then call me back so we will have a basis for our discussion. I never hear from the vast majority of those people ever again. Bad advice is abundant and comes to us as easy as getting wet when it’s raining, but good advice from people who have what we want inevitably requires effort and persistence.

As you go through your day today, listen to the right advice and then act upon it.

Today’s the day!



Jim Stovall is the president of Narrative Television Network, as well as a published author of many books including The Ultimate Gift. He is also a columnist and motivational speaker. He may be reached by email at; on Facebook at; or follow Jim on Twitter @StovallAuthor.

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