Best Pieces of Life Advice I Have Ever Received
Have you watched the movie ‘The Adjustment Bureau’, starring Matt Damon and Emily Blunt?
It’s a fascinating movie about a man who takes an alternate route from his predictable path – and, much like a diagram of an underground pipe system, you can see how radically different his life was diverging from its original course as a result!
Well, great advice can do that – it can lead you to paths and outcomes that are much better for you. In this post, I’m about to give you some of the best advice I’ve ever received.
If you apply just one tip from this list, you’ll be like Matt Damon’s character, seeing how your life’s path branches in new and positive directions! (And lucky for you, unlike ‘The Adjustment Bureau’, you won’t have men in suits chasing you down to interfere with your decisions. 🙂
Ready to grab hold of great advice? Here’s the list!
9 Best Pieces of Life Advice I Have Ever Received
1. Whatever you do – give it 100%
Wherever you find yourself at work or in your personal life, do the very best you can do.
‘I can’t!’ I hear you say. I get it. You’re not in the job of your dreams and your boss keeps giving you mundane, unchallenging work – it’s hard to be motivated and give 100% to it in those circumstances.
I know what it feels like to be in a job you don’t enjoy. I’ve been there. I’ve answered phones all day, sold promotional items in a supermarket and input mind-numbingly repetitive data into a computer. Yeeuch.
But what I’ve found is that you don’t get to do what you love until you act as though you love what you do! If you ‘give it your all’ – someone will notice. Then promotion, and more challenging and interesting work will follow.
You see, to do something in a mediocre way harms both our psyche and our prospects. It negatively impacts on our credibility, lets people down and erodes our self-esteem.
So give your work your all. Do it with excellence.
Find ways to do it more efficiently. Find ways to make it more interesting. Find ways to improve it or automate it. Give care to even the smallest tasks. You’ll stand out if you do.
Many people today would rather be noticed than do something noteworthy.
Choose to do something noteworthy. Getting noticed will then be a by-product.
2. Forgive and let go
When we carry unforgiveness, it’s literally like taking a huge rock, putting it in a rucksack and carrying it on our back wherever we go.
It weighs us down – it saps our energy, our motivation and our enjoyment of life. It also causes us to perceive people and life through the lens of bitterness and anger – and we find ourselves getting offended and upset at many quite minor things that happen to us. It harms not only our relationships with friends and family, but also with colleagues and clients.
I know that the person who hurt you may not deserve your forgiveness. But forgiveness brings YOU freedom.
Nelson Mandela, a man with every reason to hold onto unforgiveness against his captors said, ‘As I walked out the door toward the gate that led to my freedom, I knew if I didn’t leave my bitterness and hatred behind, I’d still be in prison.’
3. Read (A LOT.)
Why is it a good idea to read a lot? Well, for one thing, you become smarter! Books give us access to some of the greatest minds and ideas that ever lived – we can learn from great people that we wouldn’t otherwise have access to any other way than through their books.
In the words of Jim Rohn, ‘The difference between where you are now and where you will be in five years time will be found in the quality of the books you’ve read.’
4. Don’t ever stop learning and growing as a person
The more you learn and grow, the better your life will become.
- Grow your current professional skill level
If you continue to grow your level of skill in your chosen field, you’ll become a master at what you do.
You may have heard of the 10,000 hours rule – popularised by Malcolm Gladwell’s book ‘Outliers’. He stated that to achieve greatness in an area, you need to spend 10,000 hours of deliberate, focussed practice on developing your skill in that area.
- Grow and develop as a person
Beyond expertise in a job skill, you can grow as a person in other areas. Your people skills, leaderships skills, your attitude and ability to handle difficult situations, creativity and problem solving, amongst others.
5. Save a portion of your earnings and avoid credit card debt.
This is brilliant money advice and I wish I had heeded it earlier in life! Primarily because of the incredible power of the compound effect, whatever you save, with interest, accumulates more rapidly the earlier you start.
Credit card debt is simply the compound effect working against you! We buy something we badly want and couldn’t wait for – and a few months later when the ‘shininess’ and excitement of it has worn off, we’re still paying for it, often far more than the original price of it. Now why do we do that?!
6. Change your thinking, change your life.
I used to think that if my circumstances magically changed, then everything would be great. But then I discovered – it’s not the circumstances that were the problem.
There’s a phenomena called the ‘snap-back’ effect. Because of it, regardless of what changes in our life – a change in income, change in relationship or environment – we will always revert back to what our self-image ‘tells’ us we deserve and what we expect from our life. Soon enough, our circumstances will change back to what we fundamentally believe about ourselves at a subconscious level.
It’s our thinking that determines what happens to us in life – not our circumstances.
So, to make lasting change in our lives, we need to first change what we believe about ourselves and how we think.
7. Find a mentor and do what they’re doing.
Who are you watching and learning from?
Success leaves clues. We can learn from those who have gone before us. If you find someone who has the results you want, then you need to do what they are doing.
Invite them out for coffee and ask them how they did it. If you don’t have someone available to you to learn from in person, then hire someone – a coach, a mentor, or access to a program or book.
8. Be kind to people; treat people as you would like to be treated.
This is one of the first principles Dale Carnegie teaches in his classic book, ‘How to win friends and influence people’.
Everyone loves to feel special. Everyone loves to be noticed. And if you care for people and treat them as the special people that they are, then they will love you for it.
This advice is summed up in the famous words of Zig Ziglar, ‘If you help enough people get what they want, then you will get what you want’.
9. Never, never, never give in
Winston Churchill, in a speech about Britain’s victory in World War II, encourages us to ‘Never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never’.
It’s easy to start. Everyone can start something. Everyone can have a great idea. But seeing something significant through to completion takes perseverance.
When no one believes in what you’re doing – will you keep going? When everyone around you is resisting your progress and you’re getting no support – will you still push through? When you’ve had setbacks and difficulties and just don’t feel motivated to carry on – will you continue fighting? You need to. Because everything I just described will happen. It’s part of the process. Disappointments, pain, failure, resistance, setbacks and criticism from others – you’ll go through all of it in your path to your dream.
And when that happens….never, never, never give in!
Maybe you’ve heard some of this advice before – awesome. Maybe not.
Even when we know what we ought to do – we don’t always do it. So, how about this –
- Which 1-2 points really resonate with you? Which do you think you can start doing?
- Write down 1-3 actions you can take this week to implement something from this post. Schedule it in your calendar.
Let me know what you’re going to do this week. And if you’ve received any brilliant advice that has changed your life already, let me know in the comments below – I’d love to hear from you!