Color Coded: Who do you ask for advice?

© 2015 Warren Martin. All Rights Reserved.

© 2015 Warren Martin. All Rights Reserved.

I have always seen colors differently. When asked what is the color of something, I often disagree with others on how to define the color. In fact, in elementary school I was ordered to see an optometrist because I got into an argument with my teacher about what color a crayon was ... she honestly thought I was color blind. I was most likely just stubborn!

However, I have come to believe that it is the artist in me that changes how I see colors. My mind works from the perspective of figuring out how to recreate the color with paint. I define colors by the way I would mix primary and secondary colors to duplicate what I see.

This may put me at odds with others on how to describe something, but I understand clearly how to recreate it. I understand the color code and how it works.

I think there is a good principle here to glean: a very important perspective to consider on any issue is that from an individual who understands the issue inside and out. They understand how it works. They understand how to recreate it or prevent it from being recreated. They can read its code.

We have a tendency to prefer the advice of people who have been through what we are going through. There is much good that come from those people. However, I believe it is also important to gain the advice of people who haven't gone through what we are going through. People who could've easily ended up where we are, but found a different path. They have the ability to open our eyes to that alternative path.

The key is choosing people who understand how it works. Who know the code. We don't like that, because they often describe the colors of the situation in different terms than we do. They talk differently. They don't as readily empathize with our feelings. But they tend to understand the code and how it works. And perhaps the change we need is not for someone else to understand how we see the situation, but to learn how to see the situation the way they see it.

It is difficult to talk to someone who understands the code behind a situation. We often just want people to validate our feelings and show us empathy. If we want to become greater, we have to figure out how to make choices that move us in that direction. Validation and empathy make you feel better about the mess you're in, but they also tend to leave you in the mess.

Gaining advice from people who understand the code behind the issue discounts how we feel and goes deeper than the obvious. This is the where real choices can be made that move us closer to the extraordinary people we long to be.

So, who do you tend to ask for advice? Maybe it is time to step out of your comfort zone and ask someone who might hurt your feelings, but cares enough about you to open your eyes to a new path.


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About Warren Martin

WARREN MARTIN is a philosophy graduate of Texas Tech University. He is an author, teacher, minister, artist, quasi-philosopher and speaker known for his unique teaching style. His passion is to share the grace of Christ and to inspire & invest in the next generation of leaders. Learn more here...