Do As I Say (Ignore What I’m Doing)


It’s a common phrase.

Children hear it from their parents and elders. “Do as I say, not as I do.” Typically used to curtail inappropriate behavior, this mantra of youth was stamped into our subconscious in an attempt to train our young minds and instill obedience.

But some of us wondered why there were two sets of rules, especially when they seemed to be determined solely by age . . .  “I’m older, I know better. So do as I say.”

Usually dispensed as a warning, these directives were often based on a higher standard, in pursuit of the noble ideal. But for some of us, it was difficult to take at face value, especially when, in many cases, those same rules were frequently broken by those who handed them down as truth.

As adults, we continue to be bombarded by others whose success, notoriety, or position provide them with the opportunity to deliver their message with confidence and authority–with one significant difference. Our grown-up subconscious tends to absorb the missive as a statement of truth. We nod our heads and fall in line, persuaded to action without questioning the appropriateness, or accuracy, of the message.

That’s why it’s still important to question the good intentions of others.  Are they really trying to inspire us—or are they attempting to persuade us into spend our money, time, or influence in their behalf?

Try this:  When you hear someone offering advice or suggesting a better way, notice if they practice the standards they advocate. Do they live it or just try to sell it?

Then you can determine if they have something worthwhile to say. Because you’re in charge of what to believe—and what you do.

It’s up to you to choose whether or not to follow someone else’s rules.

Even the one I’ve just offered you.