Jul 8, 2016

Collection of morning thoughts

Here, I present you with a collection of thoughts, made in the morning:

I think about advice a lot.  In my job, I give a decent amount of it and I've been on the receiving end of a lot of it.

As a child I got a lot of advice from my parents, more of the admonishment sort than the genuine heart to heart sort.  I'd classify them more as 'warnings' and they were never particularly sought after.  I never felt like I did a good job of taking their advice, or even giving much thought to it.  Years later, this morning for example, I'll find myself suddenly re-evaluating it in a way that I hadn't in a very long time.  Suddenly, it seems very useful and wise, but at the time of receiving it, it had very little to almost adverse impact.

Is that the only function of advice though, to act as an echo chamber that can help to second and solidify life observations?  Or perhaps am I an outlier, in that most people tend to take the advice that they are given without much time spent experimenting to see if the advice works or not.

Being that advice tends to be ignored in the short term, and perhaps marginally useful later, is it worth the effort to give it to people?  Giving advice has a cost.  It changes your relationship with the person -- it can either make you into a trusted advisor *or* make you out to be a pompous fool.


As an aside, this piece of writing strikes me as exceedingly dull and poorly done.  There's not a lot interesting in it, it feels like a continual rehashing.  I am genuinely curious how much of this is an elucidation of my own general thinking patterns, like am I this dry and unbearable most of the time when I try to explain things?  More interestingly, are there other patterns of description that can help make this kind of exposition more interesting?

Further, I had a depressing thought about conversations that I tend to get into, and realized that most of the things that I want to say in a conversation are along the lines of blog post type expositions. Perhaps someday I will lean towards turning them more into actual blog posts instead of flattening conversations with them. As a conversationalist, how do you respond to a barrage of words, that someone has clearly thought through quite deeply?  More introspectively, what am I hoping to get out of this sort of interaction?

I went back and revised the 'above the line' short essay on the value of giving advice, cutting out a lot of the self-explanatory words and refining it down to just the bare minimum.  Perhaps the most important thing with writing is not worrying about whether a first draft says what you want it to say, and that the revision process is far more important and elucidating for actual meaning than the original process of putting a few words down on paper.

Why does this kind of writing feel so jagged and difficult?  Even the revised version strikes me as being boring and rather flat.  And god, the things I had to cut out in order to make it feel less stilted.  Writing is hard, perhaps because we are forced to confront the actual sound of our voice or our own stilted logic, written down and encoded and present for you to go back and read and see what it was that you actually said, as opposed to what you wanted and thought and imagined that you said.

Imagination is a difficult thing, particularly if it heavily outweighs reality.

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