A Positively Brilliant Parable – Teach a man to fish

An often-quoted parable

Give a man a fish; you feed him for a day.

Teach a man how to fish; he feeds himself for a lifetime

Give a man advice on how he is to live his life, he doesn’t have to think or learn for himself today.

Ask a man a powerful question on what would best serve him to honor his Innate Values, use his God-given Gifts & Talents and live in alignment with his Innate Life Purpose – He is empowered to learn what his Innate Values, God-given Gifts and Innate Life Purpose really are.

He also must think for himself to find his own best answers for the problem or choice he is facing that honors his Innate Life Purpose, aligns with his Innate Values, and uses his God-given Gifts.


The self-appointed caregiver’s payoff

Repetitive advice giving is exhausting for the giver of advice. (Have you noticed?)

  • You have taken control and responsibility for another’s life.
  • You are in an endless cycle of having to know what is best for another.
  • Your best and brightest strategies for another are consistently ignored and/or not implemented as you instructed.
  • You feel burned-out.
  • You become resented be the very person you have been “helping.”
  • You resent them for always coming to you for what they should be doing for them self.


The recipient’s rotten fish

Being the recipient of repetitive advice on who you are, and how you are supposed to live your life is debilitating, disempowering and creates dependency. The lifelong impacts can include one or more of the following:

  • Self-learning is retarded.
  • Self-confidence is eroded.
  • Self-knowing is diverted to rely on another to “know what is best for me.”
  • Self-directedness no longer seems to be an option.
  • Self-care is viewed as selfish.
  • Self-love is meaningless because there is no “self” left to love.
  • Self-mastery is nowhere to be found.


Being your Positively Brilliant Self

The great news is only one of you is needed to break this debilitating cycle. Guess who . . . you got it, that person needs to be the recipient who (stops taking the fish), that is, stops relying on:

  1. outsider’s opinion of who they are,
  2. other’s advice for their life choices, and
  3. external validation.


The recipient also needs to begin to (learn how to fish) that is, re-connect with their own Positively Brilliant Self, which includes knowing, living, and celebrating their Innate:

  1. Values,
  2. Life Purpose, and
  3. Gifts & Talents.


Be your Positively Brilliant Self.

Your world needs your Positively Brilliant Self . . . Today.


Love & Respect,


© 2009 Peter J. Reding

Peter is the visionary author of Positively Brilliant Self-mastery; Reclaim Your Most Authentic Self Now.

Peter J. Reding, MBA, MCC, MCLC is the founder of Coach For Life Institute offering 2 ICF ACTP coach certification programs since 1999. Peter is the visionary of the Inspired Learning Model™