"The hardest person to awaken is the one already awake." - Tagalog Saying
When I read the quote above, my first thought was why would you need to awaken someone already awake? Naturally there is a hidden meaning here, but the way I processed the quote didn't provide me an immediate understanding. I then realized that I was interpreting "awake" as meaning "aware." So I read it more like "The hardest person to make aware is the one already aware." Naturally this made no sense. I thought about it a little more and realized that it meant something closer to "The hardest person to teach is someone who already thinks they have it all figured out."
I was fortunate to start a business when I was young, and never really had the feeling that I had it all figured out. I've always been willing to listen to someone else's advice, even if I didn't always agree with - or follow - the advice that was given. The key is that I will at least listen because often times there is valuable education that can be achieved from someone else's experiences. If you think about it, what you think you know now is what led you to where you're currently at. If that's not ultimately where you want to be, then you may need to be awakened yourself!
This concept is possibly easier identified in our personal lives, although probably more difficult to avoid. In typical families, there's never a shortage of "advice" being passed along from parents to their children, brothers and sisters to their siblings, even children giving advice back to their parents! It's easy to discount another family member's unsolicited input, but you never know when there could actually be something valuable from what they have to say.
You may have to look at the source to help determine whether or not there is value in what is being presented to you. Is marriage advice from someone who's been divorced three times valuable? You may think not, but they just might be experts after having done it so many times! It's still up to you to balance and process the messages you receive in life, but allow yourself to be awakened along your journey to make sure you don't end up somewhere you didn't want to be.
About the author
Jeff Helvin is the Vice President and COO of BannerView.com. You can find him plussing on Google+, tweeting on Twitter and posting on Facebook.