All of us, at certain moments of our lives, need to take advice and to receive help from other people.
~ Alexis Carrel
Have you ever noticed that everyone loves giving advice?
We get it from our parents and teachers, from our coaches and friends, yes, even from our spouses and children! I’ve discovered, though, that when we’re open to it, advice from others can absolutely change our lives. As a little guy, I received some sage advice that still resonates today.
After being burned, I spent 18 weeks in the hospital. The week before being released, one of the doctors, who had worked so diligently during my recovery, came into my room. He sat on my bed and told me this was his last day at the hospital as he was moving to Florida.
Dr. Vitale shared that my recovery was miraculous; he’d never seen anything like it in his entire career. He continued, saying that as difficult as the past four months had been, the journey forward would be equally as challenging. He added, “John, do you know that you can still do almost anything you want in your life?”
I remember saying, “Yes.” Yet, after losing my fingers to amputation, covered from head to toes in bandages, tied down to a hospital bed and unable to walk, I didn’t really feel like I could do anything.
Dr. Vitale continued, “John, you may not be able to be a court reporter, but you can be a lawyer or a judge. You may not be able to play baseball again, but you can be a manager or own the team. You may not be able to be a carpenter, but you can be a general contractor and build incredible things. John, if you want to get married and raise kids and have an incredible life: you can! You are a remarkable little boy, you can still live an amazing life, and the best is yet to come for you.”
That advice was offered to me more than 25 years ago! And although, I’ve never shared this conversation with anyone before today, his words have resonated loudly throughout my life. In good times and during the challenging days, the reminder that the best is yet to come has propelled me forward. This concept has resonated so loudly with me, you may have noticed, I actually close most of my emails with that very phrase: “Remember, the best is yet to come.”
My friends, I want you to recognize the relevance of this story in your life. First, please know that advice you offer to others may not seem to be received by them. But understand that sometimes, like anything truly worthwhile, it just takes time to fully grow. Sometimes it takes consistency and encouragement and years. But know that, when the student is ready, the teacher appears and the lesson resonates.
Second, that little nine-year-old boy needed loving advice; he needed the reminder that there is reason for hope. That same little boy – who now writes newsletters, speaks internationally, is married, has children, is wildly busy and extremely blessed – still needs advice today.
My challenge to you today is this: be open to the advice that comes into your life. You may not solicit it, you may not want it and it may not even be something you agree with. But in taking advice and receiving perspective from others we can more fully appreciate where we are and what remains possible in our lives.
Now let me give you some advice I received as a child that still resonates with me: in spite of your current challenges, the best is yet to come.
It has given me such joy to share Dr. Vitale’s advice with all of my friends today! I hope you’ll now share the best advice you’ve ever received with our community too, so that we all may grow and benefit. I invite you to post the best advice you’ve ever received in the comments on my blog or on my Facebook wall .
We are releasing Be The Light Christian personal development Audio / DVD program in March. Would you like to receive a prerelease copy? Email me with “Be The Light” in the subject line by the end of the day today and you’ll be entered to win!
Last week I asked you to send titles of books you want us to read in our soon-to-be Rising Above book club! I was blown away with how many recommendations you had! We have book recommendations from A-Z, literally – Atlas Shrugged (thanks, Kevin!) to a book by Zusak titled Book Thief (thanks, Barb!) Soon, we’ll be ready for a vote on our first book!