He Wasn’t Good Until He Understood...
I was reading the story of Marcel Proust. He was born small and fragile, close to death. As he was growing, he had other issues, such as asthma. His parents became overprotective of him.
When he was young, he loved to contemplate plants and flowers. His dream was to be a successful author. As a younger adult, he starting hanging out with affluent people, especially women, to get into their relationship drama. He wanted to learn everything about them and write a detailed book about the life of the affluent, which he did. The book was a fiasco.
As Marcel grew older, he tried different careers, but he was not good at them. One day dad died, and mom followed dad’s death. This was the first time that Marcel had no support from anyone and was alone in the world. In his loneliness he knew he was a loser, and his desire to become a successful author was only a dream.
He got sick and almost died. Being close to death and losing his loved ones made him understand something he could never have understood without the pain he went through. It was then that he had the experience he had tried to get when younger.
Even though he wanted to be passionate in his book, he could not move people’s feelings, but now he understood depression and being almost dead.
Something started to dawn on him, and now he was writing with passion and not even trying hard. He decided to write another book, the book of a young man who was lost, lost his parents and almost died with his struggles and insecurities. People loved the book, though everything he wrote was not published until after his death.
We Write What We Experience and The knowledge We Have...
When I was going to college, we had a guest writer. He had been born with no legs. And someone asked him if he could help other people who lose their legs overcome their loss. The author’s wise response was that he could surely help people get around who had lost their legs. However, he couldn’t help any person overcome the emotional loss of legs because he never had legs and therefore never had the feeling of loss of legs.
We write what we feel, know and experience. However, knowing is not the same as feeling. This is the reason you can feel the passion in some writers and only data in others. People who understand life and their subject in a deeper level can move others.
You Can Tell When Someone Is Passionate...
This is very important when we get advice from people. Many times we go to a professional and we don’t feel satisfied with the answer they give us to our concerns. For example when I got my first knee surgery I knew I had strained three ligaments and I needed more than an ACL replacement. I went to the doctor, and he told me that all I needed was an ACL replacement (Of course, it was all he knew how to do). I was not satisfied with the answer, but I made the mistake of proceeding with the surgery. After two surgeries, he finally recognized that he was not capable of repairing my knee and referred me to the right physician.
Other times, they tell us what we want to hear even though we know it is not the truth. For instance, when we don’t feel like working, we want to hear from the doctor that we are chronically sick to reaffirm our wants.
Nevertheless, we can find passionate doctors, such as Dr. Laprade, who did my third very successful knee surgery. As soon as he examined my knee, he told me clearly what was wrong, and he even told more than I had researched about the knee. Compare this with the first doctor who told me that I needed only an ACL repair and I would be fine. I could feel the passion in Laprade’s words, the tone of voice, his eyes and his body language. I left the clinic completely satisfied with the feeling that I would be just fine under his hand. He knew his field.
I honestly don’t know Laprade’s history, and I forgot to ask him, but people who are passionate about what they do usually have struggled with something similar to what they help others with.
Ask For Advice from the Right Person...
Many times we ask advice from the wrong person, someone who is not passionate about what he does or someone who does not practice what he is advising about and therefore, has no experience. For example, a mechanic could be very passionate about car parts and how they function. Nevertheless, if you ask advice about how to drive a car in a race track, he is not the right person to give advice if he never raced a car. Even though he knows a lot about car mechanics, he has not experienced track racing. He might be able to give you some advice from his knowledge, but he is not the right person. The right person to ask about track racing is someone who does it for a living or has thousands of hours of experience and is passionate about it even though he does not know about mechanics or have little knowledge of it.
I am very passionate and experienced about the mind and weight lifting. I consider myself someone who can give good advice about these things. But if someone asks me about how to use the kettlebell or do a marathon, I am not the best person to ask. I have used a kettle bell and run up to 20 miles, but I am not passionate about it, and I am not experienced even though I am a personal trainer.
The same happens with a doctor. A doctor who does not have experience with exercise and weight lifting and it is not passionate about them can’t give you honest advice about the topic. He might read about things and have been taught about it, but he does not practice it. The best person to give advice about exercise is someone who is passionate about it and has experience in the field. Even better, a doctor who has experience in weight lifting and practices it is a lot more capable of advising than a doctor who only reads about it.
Look for the Passion, The experience and the Knowledge...
Marcel was not successful touching people’s feelings and could not connect with people until he understood what real suffering was by losing his family and almost losing his life. The best advice comes from people who have experienced the topic that we want to know about. This is why people who suffered and start caring about the rest of humanity make a change in this world by touching our heart and improving this world. They spend hours and often their lives looking for the right answer to their problem, and they want to help others also overcome such a problem.
Therefore, when you are reading or asking for advice, look for the passion, the experience, the knowledge and how much the person cares about you before you walk away happy with the answer.