Advice comes to us in many different forms. A mom comforting her hysterical daughter who just found out her boyfriend was cheating. A son distraught because he didn’t make the high school baseball team. A teacher instilling one of life’s lessons that she learned when “she was your age” or a doctor informing you on how to take care of yourself to live a longer life.
We seek advice from our peers, family members, loved ones, bosses, clergy, and more. We take advice, give it, heed it and sometimes ignore it. I’ve found throughout my life that the most important advice I’ve received came to me when I wasn’t even looking for it. It’s always easier to find the person who will tell you what they want you to hear, but the person you should be looking for is the one who tells you what you NEED to hear to learn from the experience.
Advice by definition is “guidance or recommendations offered concerning prudent future action”. In other words, here’s what I think you should do but when it’s all said and done you will do what you want. Anyone reading this who is or has raised children knows what I am talking about. How many times has your child come to you with a problem, asked for your advice, only to do the complete opposite? If you’re like me it has happened a few times.
There is good advice (marry someone rich), bad advice (marry “Rich”) and my favorite unsolicited advice (the advice given to you when you don’t ask for it- You should always marry someone rich, like Rich).
Throughout our journey in life, we receive different advice that sticks with us. Here are some of my favorites as well as favorites of other fellow bloggers and people around the web and social media.
This too shall pass
If you’re someone who spends a good amount of time in life worrying than the advice of this too shall pass is one you must abide by. Remember everything that is happening is usually only temporary and will pass with time. A breakup with your high school sweetheart or the loss of a job will all pass.
Everything in moderation
Everything in moderation applies to many things in life. Take for example a night out with friends at the bar. A couple of beers and there’s not a problem in the world. Mix those beers with some shots and you are in trouble. Moderation. Moderation, however, is how you perceive it.
Living the “everything in moderation life” might not always be the best idea based on your definition of moderation.
For example, let’s say you’re on a diet and Monday you decide what’s one donut. Then Tuesday you have a slice of cake for the receptionist’s birthday. You see where I’m going here, don’t you? All this moderation can pile up and defeat the purpose.
Change your thinking change your life
You can’t begin to change your life if you don’t change your thinking. Think negative and negative things will happen. Think positive and you will see opportunities before you that you never thought possible.
Always be yourself because the people who mind don’t matter, and the people who matter don’t mind Thuy Linh
The people who love you will love you no matter what and the people who don’t, well they don’t matter in your life in the end.
Don’t try to be what you think the world wants you to be. There is only one you – Be you and you’ll find your calling. Britt Kascjak
Always be yourself. Be unique and be you at all times. Don’t try to fit into a mold that someone else wants you to be in.
If you don’t…someone else will Amy Blair
Step out of your comfort zone and take a chance now and again. If you don’t go for what you want in life someone else will so take what you can and go for it. The worst that can happen is you will fail and learn from the experience.
If you don’t ask, the answer is always no… what’s the worst thing that will happen?
I never imagined as a child that I would have a career in sales and this saying that my father told me would play such an important role in my career and life. Asking is a big part of the negotiation process. You never know until you ask.
If you can’t be good, be careful
My grandmother used to say this all the time. Whenever my mother would leave the house as a child grandma would utter these words to her. In other words, try to be good but if you can’t be good then make sure you are at least careful.
She would modify this now and again and say “If you can’t be good, be better”.
The devil you know is always better than the devil you don’t
It’s always better to deal with a difficult person or situation that you know as opposed to one you don’t. This saying happens often when someone is looking to change jobs. It may be difficult where you’re working and your boss may be a jerk but you don’t know how much of a bigger jerk your new boss can be.
Let people know how you feel about them now, not at their funeral
It’s so important to tell the people you care about how you feel about them while they are alive. We hear stories all the time after a tragic loss about how great someone was and how unselfish they were. Let them know to their face while they are still here what they mean to you.
Never judge a book by it’s cover
As a fan of heavy metal music, I can tell you my “people” often get called names and are thought of as an unsavory bunch. Though I don’t have long hair (I’m struggling to keep what I do have at this point), nor do I have tattoos like many of my brothers and sisters of loud music do.
I have found the metal community of both fans and musicians to be the most caring of any genre I’ve seen. Many of the musicians stop to talk to fans before and after shows, have a drink and dinner with you and ask about your life. The fans are quick to help others in need and the first to but a CD, t-shirt or memorabilia to help support their band.
Never judge a book by its cover. Dig a bit deeper.
Hope is not a strategy
If you are relying on hope as a strategy for success you are setting yourself up for failure. Hope is a belief that something is possible and usually based on delusion and not real-world facts. It is ok to hope that something “works out” but it should not be your plan.
Make good choices
My wife says this all the time to my girls and others. Simply stated, think before you act and make sure the choice you are making is a good one.
Don’t brag about your abilities, if they are good enough, people will do the talking for you
I don’t mind confidence in people but I don’t like people who brag. To me, the epitome of the above advice is Derek Jeter, first-ballot Hall Of Fame shortstop for the NY Yankees. Derek never bragged about how he played the game. He went out every day and gave 100% and it showed.
Feel free to move people out of your inner circle when they don’t deserve to be there anymore
Do you need a lot of friends or a few good friends that mean the world to you? Remove toxic people from your life and focus on the positive people. This goes for family members as well.
Use money rationally rather than emotionally – Mama Bear Finance
Impulse buying should be eliminated from your life. Buy what you need when you need it. Do not spend more than you make if you can at all avoid it. Building credit is good, building debt is not.
Always wear clean underwear
My mom would always say this when leaving the house. God forbid you’re in an accident and you go to the hospital and you aren’t wearing clean underwear. As if this would be the biggest problem you have at that very moment.
Don’t eat the yellow snow
Freshly fallen snow is one of the most beautiful sights you will ever see. If you were like me as a kid you’d pick up a big heap of the white stuff and taste it. But these words from my parents always resonated in my head. “Don’t eat the yellow snow”. This goes without saying.
Don’t take any shit from anyone – Billy Joel
For many years Billy Joel would end every concert by saying “Remember, don’t take any shit from anyone”. Stand up for yourself at all times and don’t let others dictate your life.
Bad advice is just that, bad. Great advice can take you down paths and create outcomes that were better than you could have ever expected in a given situation. Always look for the best advice possible from the people you trust to be upfront and honest with you.
And whenever possible marry rich or at least marry Rich. What is the best advice you’ve ever received in life? Comment below and join our mailing list for weekly updates of achievable applicable self-improvement and life hack advice.
These are all such great pieces of advice. I especially like “this too shall pass.” I’ve been thinking that a lot lately with the state of the world at the moment.
So much great advice in this post-every single one! But I particularly like “Don’t try to be what you think the world wants you to be.” I think many of us do this and we end up miserable. Everyone has a unique gift or talent and no one will see it if you’re trying to be someone else.
Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind. Best Dr. Seuss quote ever! Easily a favorite of mine, and just a great piece of advice. I once censored myself a ton when around other people. After my best friend died, I stopped doing that and really just worked to embrace who I am and let people take it or leave it. Because life is too short not to just be me and say exactly what I’m thinking. This list was a great reminder of fantastic advice, especially when things are so depressing in the world right now.