No matter how strong you think you are, no man (person) is an island. In your everyday life, you need some form of guidance. This is regardless of whether you are a religious person. From time to time, you need an external verification source — a sounding board. To be specific, an adviser. A person who can take your input, preferably along with some experience, and give you (a) possible solution(s). Some people are great advisers, while others are horrible at it. Here are some of the types I’ve met (rough categorization and not an exhaustive list):
The Trouble Maker
This adviser likes to say things that will most definitely bring about trouble. If smart, they’ll word the advice in a leading fashion. Implying just enough for you to make the real trouble yourself. Hence, free from later incrimination. They like saying things like “I never actually told you the bear cage was empty”.
Also known as the Iconoclast, this adviser simply opposes your core ideas. This adviser is rare, but if you find them, they’re difficult to deal with. Moreover, they’re kind of crazy. They may or may not understand the situation, but based on keywords that trigger certain emotions, they go off.
Me: I got a job offer from the local NAFTA branch.
Opposer: NAFTA? Don’t they touch kids?!
For the record, I don’t believe that any member-nation of the agreement overtly(?) harms children. However, I do believe that members of NAMBLA do. Note: the Oppposer didn’t know the difference between the organizations.
This adviser will basically agree with any possibility you present. They’re basically useless. Some smart people do this so you’ll never bother them again. While the others are afraid to be perceived as a Trouble Maker or Opposer, they simply go with whatever you say.
This adviser is the best, and for that reason, the hardest to come by. This adviser usually has a good amount of knowledge, and the ability apply it: wisdom. This adviser calmly takes things as they come, and puts them in perspective. Weighing the possibilities, and usually returning a feasible solution. Although great advise, it can be the hardest to take. The reasoner may find you at fault, or may suggest something crazy like humility.
In the end, let’s not forget the most important actor, the advised, you. All the best advise in the world wont necessarily save you. Along with deciphering the good advise, from the bad, there’s proper application. Intuitively, you should have known better than to go into the bear cage (see Trouble Maker). Adapting is key, after that NAFTA and kids line, never approach this person for advise again! Like I said, you need an external verification source. Not someone to make decisions for you, but to reign you in when you’ve gone or are going off track.