Sunday, July 3, 2011

This isn't an advice column and here's why...

While I post about a lot of things, they are to discuss issues, not provide advice.   You have to make your own decisions and live with them!  What works for me, may not work for you!

Advice is easy to give and hard to take.   And the worst thing about giving advice is that people might actually take it.  Why is this a bad thing?  A number of reasons:

1.  They intentionally misconstrue your advice and apply it wrongly.

2.  They take your advice "cafeteria style" and fail to realize that it won't work, piecemeal.

3.  They lie about their personal situation when asking for advice, looking for validation of a decision they already have made.

The first two are pretty self-explanatory.  A medical report says drinking a glass of wine a day is good for your heart - so the alcoholic drinks himself into a stupor on the grounds that 10 glasses a day must be even better.  Or you suggest to someone they do something, but they do only half - and then complain the advice was no good.

The third is a situation that most Lawyers run into.  I get calls from cagey people who want advice - but try to provide me with only selected information that would steer me to provide them with the answer they were looking for.  When I press for more details, they get impatient and say "Well, that's not relevant!".

But facts are to a Lawyer what oxygen is to you, and without knowing the background facts of your situation, it is hard to advise someone.  So what I write here are some ideas that may work for you, although some might not.  Although, I can say without reservation that watching less (or no) television and not leasing cars are good ideas for anyone.

But it is even worse when someone intentionally conceals facts in an effort to get someone else to self-justify their bad choices. And for an Attorney, this is not hard to spot.   When we pry and poke for the real relevant data, and it isn't forthcoming, we know we are being snookered.  And in cases like that, I decline representation.  You can't represent a client who is lying to you - and themselves.

So, what you decide to do in life is your own gig - I cannot be responsible for it.   Don't go off taking what I have written here, applying it wrongly, and then saying I am at fault for "advising" you - because no such advice has been given.  Without knowing all the details of your life imminently,  you cannot advise anyone of anything, really.

But if you are looking for ideas on how to live better on less money (and working less hard) that is what I am posting about here.   And if you have any ideas to share, I am all ears....

But I ain't Dear Abby!

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