seek counsel, not opinion

There’s a great difference between opinion and counsel. Opinion is just a casual comment that is based on lack of experience and expertise, flawed beliefs, lack of relevant knowledge and ignorance, given by a family, a friend or a relative. While counsel is professional advice that is given by a mentor, a teacher or an advisor that is enriched with knowledge and wisdom; it’s based on the lessons from those who have already taken the journey and figured out the route to get to the destination. 

Opinions come from those who observe other people achieving the result, whereas counsel comes from those who have already achieved the thing that you desire to achieve. In other words, opinions come from the spectators and the critics, while counsel comes from the players who have showed up, given their best and fought a good fight in the arena. 

Greg S. Reid points out, “Successful people seek counsel, where failures listen to opinion.” Knowing this difference could be a key differentiator between the failure and success of your project or business.

For instance, if you wanted to write a bestselling book and went to a family or a close friend and told them that you were about to start working on a book project, they might say, “You got a D in English and your writing has always been poor, working on a book is a bad idea, you shouldn’t do it.” But this is not the truth, it’s just an opinion. In another scenario, if you got a chance to meet Stephen King who has sold millions of books all around the world and told him, “Hey Stephen, I want to write a book too.” He would say, “That’s great, but before you get started, here’s what you will need to know.”, and then he’ll give you counsel based on his knowledge, experience, wisdom just as a mentor would.

Counsel is what truly counts. Too often, we allow opinions to stop us from doing we want to do by taking advice from people who haven’t done anything. We need to stop doing this. A better decision is to seek counsel from those who have accomplished the success that we’re trying to achieve.

The day when we only start seeking counsel and simply ignore other people’s opinions, that day would be a turning point in our life.