Thread: Asking Advice
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Old 10-16-2008, 03:02 PM
Darkhorse Darkhorse is offline
Rank: Light Heavyweight
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: CA
Posts: 4,174
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A very good friend on mine wrote this:

Taking Someone’s Advice by SB

I get many requests for training and nutritional advice. A good deal of them are the same kind of question, “Can you look over my program?” “Can you look over my diet?”, “Is this too much?”, etc…and in general I have no problem answering questions for folks. Part of this game that I enjoy, is helping people.

However, an interesting phenomenon goes on. About one in five takes the advice. I notice this because eventually they post their program, diet or whatever for the public to see, and I then do not recognize any of my input in it. Then, usually one or two Vets, posts something similar to my advice that was originally given, and the person says, “I’ll have to think about that…” Months later, the person posts the same program again and the cycle repeats. Notice, the person has failed to take anyone’s advice seriously and as a result, the person has not gained and cannot understand why.

I’ve thought a lot about this phenomenon. There is something called a ‘confirmation bias’ where a person will selectively take beliefs that back up their conceptions, while excluding beliefs that go against what they don’t want to believe. A person has a particular program in mind and every person who posts, regardless of reputation or status that goes FOR their position, and one uses that support to confirm what the person wants to believe.

The following case is NOT anyone in particular, but you will recognize the general form. For example, let’s call him “SMP”. SMP has been thinking that he is not growing and the problem is he is not taking enough gear, so he decides to try a high milligram cycle. He posts his cycle and asks for comments. People ask him his bodyweight, experience, training, etc… to help SMP get an answer. However, anyone who goes against the idea of a high milligram cycle is immediately not listened to because SMP is looking for a justification to do it. In other words, his mind is ALREADY made up and the only reason for posting is to confirm what he is doing is right.

This doesn’t happen in every case, as some are truly open to changing things and actually look at disconfirming evidence or beliefs with the same mindset as confirming beliefs. This kind of critical mindset is what you must adopt. Look at both sides: see why you should, and should not do something. Rationally weigh both sides and if what you originally planned to do comes out worse for the wear, then you have grown in your thinking and ultimately your physique may benefit.

Lastly though, and why I am concerned about this, is that if someone comes to me for advice, I take it that they either respect my opinion or think that I actually know what I am talking about. This holds for any legitimate Vet, Mod, or Admin this is not about ego for them or me. In addition, it seems to me that if you do not know what you are doing, you should TRUST someone who has the experience and at least give the advice the benefit of trying it out. I know of NO single legitimate Vet or Mod who would purposely mislead anyone. How can we help you, if you do not take the advice and see it through?


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