Why You Look for Unconventional Advice

There is a whole cottage industry that has cropped up around providing unconventional advice.

Much of the “advice” comes from social science research that the advice-givers believe can be applied to ordinary, everyday life outside of a science experiment. Regardless of context.

Still other “advice” is really a contrarian point of view, things like suggesting that people’s flaws are the reason they succeeded, this while ignoring hundreds of other factors that would suggest otherwise.

There are a few reasons this unconventional advice appeals to you.

You want things to be easier. The reason you want unconventional advice is because the conventional ways of doing things are difficult. You’d rather not do the things that are necessary, so you look for some way to circumvent what is necessary and get the results you want without the effort.

The truth is that mastery takes enormous effort and energy. The results that you want only accrue to those who put in the hours. The reason the master make something look easy is because he has practiced for decades.

You want something now. You know the one about the best time to plant a tree being a century ago, the second best time being now? You could likely have had what you want right now, but you would have had to start a long time ago. That’s when the people who have what you want started, with few exceptions.

If you want something now, you are looking for unconventional advice because you are trying to compress time. If you are trying to compress time, it means you are trying to cram for results.

You love the lie. You want to be seduced. You want to be told that you are perfect and that you can have what you want. You want to believe that you deserve what you want without being required to do what is necessary to have it. You want the secret, the hack.

There are some fundamental principles that can’t be broken. Like Charlton Heston’s Moses in the movie The Ten Commandments said, “You can’t break the laws. You can only break yourself against them.”

Things like character and principles will serve you better than unconventional advice. Being someone worth doing business with, something worth knowing, counts for a lot more when playing the long game than does any unconventional advice.

There is a reason the fundamentals stand the test of time. There is a reason they’re conventional.

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