The Best (and Worst) Advice I’ve Ever Heard

Blogging is sort of like yelling random things at strangers. I’m not saying what you’re yelling is random; to you it sounds like a very well-thought out speech, with peaks and valleys and climaxes and falls. However, to everyone else it is just that: yelling. And you’re really not sure if you’re making an impact at all. Actually, you’re not even sure if anyone is listening. But you continue to yell in the hopes that someone is listening. And not only listening, but liking what you say.

You might argue that all writing is sort of like that. But your thoughts get bound and beautified when they are published. Blogging leaves them bare and vulnerable.

But maybe that’s just it. Maybe I feel like I’m yelling into the dark because I haven’t been vulnerable with anyone, not really. I can tell you what you should be doing with your life on this blog until I’m blue in the face and sore in my fingertips, but it doesn’t really matter until I can share something more substantial. I mean, how do you know what you should do “before your thirty,” anyway? Well, it’s easy. Figure out what works for you. To demonstrate, I’ll show you a few quotes that always work for me (and some that don’t at all), and you can decide. Let’s give the reader a little more utility, shall we?

The Best

1. “Don’t let the fear of the time it will take to accomplish something stand in the way of your doing it. The time will pass anyway; we might just as well put that passing time to the best possible use.”-Earl Nightingale

I couldn’t have said it better myself, Mr. Nightingale, which is why I often turn to this quote in my hour of need. I’m a perfectionist, and all writers have an absolute complex (that usually turns into alcoholism down the line) about rejection. I’m often paralyzed by the fear that I won’t succeed, and even if I do, it won’t be “perfect.” However, like Nightingale says, the time is going to pass anyway. You can’t stop it. But what you choose to do with time is up to you. I don’t know, there is something about being the “master of my fate, captain of my soul” that really lights me up. I also love the “why not” attitude of this quote. Like, do you want to sky dive with Danny Devito? Go for it!

2. “I try to take one day at a time, but sometimes several days attack me at once.” – Ashleigh Brilliant

It’s not really advice, but it is something to think about. I think I love this quote because I see so much of myself in this, but it also applies to an entire generation. I think we are under the impression that we can “multitask,” in this day in age, by talking on phones while listening to music while driving our cars, but we simply can’t. The brain has been proven to only be able to fully handle one task at a time. We may feel like we’re balancing and juggling our priorities, but really, we’re just dividing ourselves up to work at a lower capacity. I think everyone needs this quote printed on a sign with a cute cat underneath it.

3. “Your present circumstances don’t determine where you can go; they merely determine where you start.” -Nido Qubein

As a college student, I have not only heard every excuse in the book, but I’ve used them all, too. This is one of those excuses that I’ve heard time and time again, spoken with alarming fervor: “I can’t do that because I don’t have the money/support/education,” etc. However, everyone starts somewhere. Some people start higher on the ladder than you, some people lower. It just depends on how determined you are to reach the top. You shouldn’t use your financial situation, your support system, or your education as a crutch. If you really want to do something, you’ll stop making excuses, and you’ll do it. I know because I want to eat pizza more than I want to work out. Therefore, I am making an excuse to work out, and my excuse is pizza, which is a pretty good excuse, I’d say.

The Worst

(Notice these quotes are a bit more vague and ambiguous. Like they could be said by anyone, but especially by that really nosy relative that is always asking whether you have a boyfriend or a girlfriend yet, and then following up with, “but you’re so pretty, smart, talented, etc., as if that helps….)

1. “Land your dream job.”

For a very long time, I put a lot of pressure on myself to get a job in my dream career. I haven’t lowered my standards or accepted my expectations as “realistic,” I’ve simply joined the workforce only to realize that I have far too many interests to be satisfied by one industry. I love what I do right now because there is a diverse amount of things to keep my attention in numerous subjects, and so, I’ve landed my “dream” job, but not in the way you or I expected. Would I love to make a living writing novels? Absolutely, and I know I will one day. But some people just can’t work at their “dream job,” and we need to stop pretending that this is the only way to become self-actualized or successful. As I see it, it’s simply the difference between people who can write “on the side” and people who have “to write for a living.” Right now, I do both, but I do it in two very different ways, which makes me feel fulfilled. Remember, you do you, no matter what anyone else says.

2. “Follow your dreams.”

This is fine advice when you add to it a little bit: “Follow your dreams, and if you can, set goals and deadlines for your dreams. And talk to people who share your dreams, and ask them how they achieved their dreams. But remember you don’t have to follow their exact path, and…” Well, you get it. Dreams are wonderful things to have, but if you don’t plan out how you will achieve them, then they will remain dreams. Try setting little hurdles and then work your way up to taller buildings that you can leap over like Superman. Starting small is always a good idea, except when you go shopping for clothes…doing that will end in a panic attack about caloric intake, if you’re anything like me.

3. “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened” or any variation of optimistic nonsense when you are grieving.

When people tell me they are an optimist, I worry for their health. I tend to believe the people that hold themselves to the sunny side of things may actually crack like the shell of a sunny side up egg. Don’t forget to engage with your darker emotions, or they may rip you apart. If you have to cry, cry. Everyone needs to face their feelings head on once in awhile to engage in catharsis. However, try not to dwell. Place a band-aid over the wound for it to heal, then rip it off all at once in a day or two. Doctor’s orders.

 

Oh, and one more thing. Never take unsolicited advice. Thus, I have invalidated this entire post. You’re welcome.

2 thoughts on “The Best (and Worst) Advice I’ve Ever Heard

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