It can be weird when a friend, who may have already achieved a lot, comes to you asking how they can do more. While it may seem like a good idea to point out their progress and remind them to be grateful, this advice assumes they should be happy and doesn’t answer their original question.
As an example, one Redditor posted that she wanted to take her life to the next level (her question has since been deleted). Instead of providing feedback on how she could improve, commenters told her to be happy with the progress she had already achieved.
Author Ramit Sethi saw this thread and wrote on his blog:
Notice what’s happening: People are telling her to be SATISFIED with herself…even though she’s not happy!
This person WANTS to improve, to become “hardcore,” and when she asks for advice, people tell her to stop wanting more.
Can you imagine if someone said she wanted to lose weight, and everyone around her said, “You look fine”?
Or if someone said, “I want to get into an amazing college,” and his parents said, “Why bother applying? You won’t get in any way.”
Actually, YES! A lot of us CAN imagine it because we have people around us who would rather we settle for safety than excellence.
It’s definitely important to be grateful for what you have, but it’s equally important for you to be truly satisfied with your level of performance and not feign happiness or deny your ambition. The next time your friend asks you for advice, give it to them straight up or think about where you could point them to in order to acquire the information. Don’t default to advice on how to be happy.
This is a really weird thing that people do [I Will Teach You To Be Rich]