My (Good) Advice Column!

In a series on Good Ideas, Our Flirtations with Them, and Our Commitments to Them. _________________________________________________________________________ So I want to talk about the role that advice plays in our decision making.  Really, I should have brought this up before I told you to Just Pick One (a good idea, that is).  Generally, the time to seek counsel is before a commitment!  Oh well, better late than never, right?

good advice

2 divided by 2 equals 1, by Cori Dantini. Available on Etsy

You have your Big Idea.  You’re mapping it out in your brain, doodling it in a sketch book, detailing it in your idea journal, making Excel spreadsheets (or not! 🙂 ), checking out your finances…

–  Do you reach out and ask someone for their perspective on your dream?  Why do you do this?  Or, Why don’t you?

– Who do you typically talk to, if you’re one who’s inclined to seek advice from others?

– Who do you wish you could talk to?

– What do you hope to gain?

I feel like there’s a tension there for us creatives.

On one hand, as expressed by the comments on this very blog, we need people to help us filter our idea-prone minds.   On the other hand, a creative can’t be successful if she is always waiting around for someone’s approval.  (And we do want approval, don’t we!?)

And this, friends, is why life is challenging.

  • We need both the tenacity to hold on to an idea in the face of dismissal, and the good sense to listen and let go of it if it isn’t quite right.
  • We need the patience to see our ideas from many angles, over a period of time, through other’s eyes, and the decisiveness to act now, when the time is right.
I’ll sum it up by saying this: I believe we all need a strong inner compass AND a map.

From the Direction series, by Heidi Sorensen Muller

What do you think?  I’d love to hear some of your thoughts and experiences with this…   Thanks! 🙂
Cori Dantini is a full time illustrator, full time mother and full time wife from Pullman, Washington.  She says of herself,  “I love a sharp pencil, and a 005 black pen, i heart walnut ink, and japanese pen tips, OH and a new pad of paper, i love ANYTHING shiney or sparkly, and consider myself to be a bit of a crow in that way”.
Here is a link to her lovely Etsy site.


6 thoughts on “My (Good) Advice Column!

  1. Hi Heidi,
    You are exactly right. We need input, especially if it is a big decision (and anything financial falls in this area), AND we need to make a choice and go for it. The tension is there. The moment of absolute certainty never arrives (this is a quote, but it might be my dad’s?). In the end, we have to put together our inner and outer guidance, and trust that we can make the decision right (or re-choose down the road).


    • Noreen, I like your dad’s quote. So true. In many instances, it seems like we can get quite a bit of information, quite a bit of advice, but ultimately we have to step out into uncertainty. I think that is how I would describe faith. 🙂 I also like your word “re-choose”. Yup. I’ve done that a LOT!

  2. Really great series Heidi. I had to laugh because I generally look for advice after I’ve made the commitment! That way if it’s a little scary – I can’t talk myself out of it. Perhaps as I’m single it’s a little easier -if there are financial consequences to my decision there’s only me to deal with the fallout (if there is any). I guess I’ve always been quite solitary making decisions like that. I’d hate to be influenced by someone who perhaps didn’t fully understand MY dream/idea. And if it didn’t work out, I’d rather know that, than never having tried it and wonder … what if ? …
    Reminds me of that Mark Twain quote “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” -I’d like to add “and always carry a life jacket” to that quote too 🙂

    • Allison,
      I recently read a book titled “Risk Takers” about entrepreneurs who bucked conventional wisdom and went on to great success. There’s definitely a “just do it” thread that runs through all of their stories – and yours too, it seems!

      I love the Twain quote! Thanks for sharing it. I know I don’t want to live a life of regrets. With my personality, though, I just have to be sure I don’t squander my time and energy on every shiny thing that catches my attention – thus the tension! Thanks for starting my Sunday off on an inspired note.


  3. Asking for advise can be so hard when it comes to our creative dreams, as these are so personal, I find. What if others will find me utterly ridiculous when I tell them that I’m thinking of maybe trying to sell some of my paintings? It’s laying our talents, so much of ourselves, on a plate, and it makes us vulnerable, which is why I’m finding it so hard to tell others about such dreams. When I recently dared opening up to two of my best friends, I got the most supportive response. I think it is important to aks others what they think about our plans and dreams – but it’s important to aks the right people.

    • You’ve put it so well! I have the same kinds of feelings and fears about what I make and write and do. And you’re right – it is important to ask the right people for advice – people who have our best interests in mind. I’m glad your best friends have supported you! My husband is a straight shooter – he never tells me something merely to flatter (although sometimes I wish he would!). Nevertheless, when he gives me input, I know it is with love, and so I thoughtfully consider his opinion. I guess I seek out supportive, and objective opinions.

      By the way, I’ve seen your work on your website, and it’s beautiful! In addition, you are in a prolific phase, and I am sure that your work will shine more and more as you keep creating.


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