Great advice can be hard to come by. That’s why we’ve created this list. Feel free to cherry pick what you need when you need it if ever you’re stuck and wondering how to make it through this event we call life.
1. Social feeds are the world’s largest compiled works of fiction
One word can describe the entire social experience: #filtered
Social media is the highlight reel of people’s life. What’s actually real are the day-to-day struggles
- That seemingly perfect #candid profile photo actually took 30 tries to get it juuuuust right
- The friend who posts #relationshipgoal-worthy pics hates her marriage
- The startup friend #blessed with press writeups is completely broke
- And the friend posting those #peaceful #joy #sunset photos is unhappy AF
Don’t compare edited posts to your unedited life. Instead of wishing for the filtered lives you only see snapshots of, create the actual life you want.
2. Don’t give up…
…the meaningful things you want most for the worthless things you want now.
3. The number one way to get smarter
Read. Everything. Fiction, non-fiction, biographies, short-stories, historical accounts, think-pieces – basically, anything you can. Even if it doesn’t seem interesting to you, give it a try. Get a taste of new voices, new opinions, new subject matter and differing points of view if you want to expand your intellect.
4. Don’t share every opinion you have
All your views on the election, or racism, or Kim K’s “robbery” (ahem), or your guess-what-someone-did-to-me soapbox vent sessions don’t need to be shared. You know what a vent is for? To blow air.
To figure out when it’s best to share, think about the ultimate goal and what you hope to accomplish. If you’re wanting to change someone’s beliefs or show them they’re wrong, give the art of persuasion a try. If it’s to make yourself feel better, treat yo’self instead; you’d be surprised what a warm chocolate chip cookie can do. In other words, do less venting and more communicating – engagement for the purpose of reaching a common understanding of ideas and desires.
5. Forgiveness doesn’t mean what you think it means
To forgive, simply means to accept that you were wronged and to not harbor ill will towards the offending party. It doesn’t mean you have to dismiss any negative feelings about what they did. It also doesn’t mean the relationship you had with them before has to go back to the way it was or to even continue at all.
6. You don’t know what you’re doing (but neither does anyone else… and that’s ok)
If you’re not sure the best way to implement your business idea, if you have no clue what makes a great relationship, if you’re wondering if you’re screwing up your kids, or if you question 90 percent of the decisions you make, welcome to being human. Despite what it may look like, everyone feels they’re screwing up in some way at some point in their life. So, just accept it. Better yet, commit to it – allow yourself to stumble, fall, test, rework, retry and retest – for better or for worse as long as you shall live.
7. How to get revenge
The greatest advice ever on how to get revenge is (drumroll please): To live well. Don’t just stop there. Be the best at whatever you do and pay no mind to those who don’t have your best interests at heart. Think of it like ignoring a child who’s having a tantrum. They’ll either self-destruct or calm down. Either way, you win.
8. Finally! The secret to happiness
If you’ve ever wondered what it takes to be happier, the answer is simple, albeit different than what most would expect. Turns out that giving more is the key. In a world where a lot of people are just trying to keep up or get by, this advice may seem counterintuitive. However, whether it’s your time, your money, or your friendship, there’s scientific research that shows the more you give the happier you’ll be.
9. Being an entrepreneur doesn’t have to be hard…like AT ALL
Being an entrepreneur doesn’t have to be a miserable, super difficult experience, despite what all the doom-and-gloom-your-way-to-success articles will have you believe. There are literally hundreds of businesses that were easy to start, didn’t fail on the first try, are lucrative and relatively stress-free endeavors.
So, why does it seem like you never hear about them? Because stories like, ‘Woman Easily Starts and Runs Lucrative Business Lives a Stress-Free, Financially Secure Life’ or, ‘Man Says His Successful Online Business Was Easy to Start and Has Been Even Easier to Maintain’, don’t make for titillating news stories. Fear and shock help pay the media bills, people.
Don’t believe it? Check out the post I’m Baring It All and I Guarantee You’ll like What You See.
10. When talking about others
Speak as if you’re being recorded and write emails as if they’ll be hacked. Apply this great advice to any form of communication you engage in and you’ll be good.
11. You don’t have to wake up early to be successful
In virtually all of the ‘Top Things Successful People Do Everyday’ listicles, the number one piece of advice is go to bed early and wake up even earlier. However, if you actually read the daily routines of successful people like Tim Ferriss (at 40:08 he shares his wakeup time) or even Melyssa Griffin, they wake up…well, whenever they want to. What time you wake up doesn’t matter. What you do every day after waking is what’s important.
12. Reduce conflict with this one tactic
At times conflict exists simply because people refuse to acknowledge they understand the other person’s point of view; as if expressing understanding is synonymous with agreeing. It’s not. In fact, letting someone know you understand their argument – meaning it’s logical and you can comprehend the ideas presented – helps to foster healthy discourse. You’re then more likely to be able to express your opposing views with less opposition from the other side.
13. You aren’t the average of the people you spend time with, you’re the average of how you spend your time
James grew up in a less than ideal family environment. Life was rough; he didn’t have a network of positive friends or inspiring mentors. During his last two years of high school and a one-year stint at a community college he worked two (really crappy) jobs simultaneously to make ends meet. In spite of this, he went on to become the CEO of a thriving non-profit in his late 30’s. His success stemmed from learning from people he’d never met – he read books and gleaned information from anything he could get his hands on that would get him out of the life he was in and into the life he wanted.
Even though he was surrounded by people who weren’t taking action to better themselves, he dedicated what little free time he had to improving his circumstances. Never let who you know or where you came from dictate who you become or where you end up.
14. How to find your passion (or figure out what you want to do with your life)
Just like you’ll never figure out what your favorite food is if you eat the same thing every day, you’ll never figure out what interests you if you do the same thing every day. Try new things, open yourself up to new experiences, get uncomfortable. Test what you like and don’t like. This is how you’ll find your passion.
15. Knowing someone a long time doesn’t give them a place in your life forever
Maybe it’s a family member, a partner, or a friend that you feel compelled to keep in your life because you’re related to them or you’ve known them awhile. But if they’re unhealthy or negative in any way (e.g. they trample all over your moral code or go against your personal values) and you’ve communicated the issue to them to no avail, you have zero obligation to continue enabling or fraternizing with them. Even if… [list all the reasons you’ve told yourself it’s ok to let that sort of negativity into your life].
Think of it this way: If they expect you to put up with their poor behavior/lifestyle in the name of love, family ties or friendship, why wouldn’t they be open to changing that behavior for the same reasons?
16. Only you can make you happy
There are people who have the kindest, smartest, most attractive partners; a ton of money; and a seemingly endless cadre of friends – and they’re miserable. It’s not up to others to make you happy, it’s up to you. In order to find what makes you happy, you’re going to have to do some soul searching and some good ol’ fashioned research. Start by getting to know yourself. When are you at your best? What makes you miserable? What do you regret? What are you most proud of? Then go from there.
17. There’s a difference between ‘busy’ and ‘productive’
If you moved 1000 pounds of dirt from one side of a line to the other you’d probably be busy; maybe even sore and tired depending on your level of effort. But what did you accomplish? Busy simply means you’re occupied with an action, even if that action is pointless. Being productive means you’re working to achieve a significant and measurable result. To avoid the rut of meaningless busyness, start with a goal and a list of actionable steps to achieve that goal.
“If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there.” ~ Lewis Carroll
18. You can’t fall in or out of love – it’s not a hole
Love is a verb, it’s something you do. It’s not a feeling, or a wagon, or a hole, or anything else you can fall in, out or off of. Here’s an easy way to tell if it’s love.
19. Not everyone’s going to like you (…and that’s ok, too)
This quote sums it up best:
“You can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world, but there will always be someone who hates peaches.” ~ Dita von Teese
20. They’re not thinking about you as much as you think they are
David Foster Wallace, says, and we agree:
“You’d worry less about what people think about you if you knew how seldom they do.”
21. Speaking of quotes, motivational ones can change your life
You’ve heard, ‘you are what you eat’. But did you also know, you are what you think? Research has proven that what we tell ourselves matters, especially if those thoughts are frequent and repetitive. The power of positive thinking has even been shone to decrease loneliness and increase pain tolerance. So fill up on the good stuff. If you need a steady source of it, we’ve got you covered here, here and here.
22. And speaking of motivation…want more of it? Treat it like a muscle
Looking to beat procrastination? Want to know how to increase your motivation? Then you’re going to have to exercise. Willpower that is. The tl;dr version is this:
- Think of all the reasons you don’t want to do whatever it is you’re not motivated to do
- Create compelling arguments to disprove or mitigate the negative impact of each reason
- Start small, like micro small, on tough projects and chip away at them ‘til completion
Find what drives you and use that to fuel your ‘get ‘er done’ meter
23. Thinking isn’t doing
If you have the time to talk about it and dream about it, you have the time to do it.
24. You can tell your future
Write down how you spend every half hour of your time for a week. Where you spend the most time is a near perfect indicator of what your future will be.
25. Use the fire test to know when to give advice
Not everyone is going to be open to advice. Some may even be downright adamant against it even if the advice would be super beneficial. Instead of pressing the issue, treat it like a fire test.
If you begin to “smell smoke” (the person appears to be getting heated), ask if they’re open to receiving your advice. If they agree, “test the knob” (lightly administer the first dose of advice). If you don’t get a negative reaction, continue. However, if at any time that test burns you, it’s safe to assume you’re about to get “backdraft” (the situation is going to escalate) if you press further and you should back off.
26. How to beat temptation
It’s much easier to resist something you don’t keep around. If you’re at risk of abusing a substance, an activity, or a food, keep it as far away from you as possible. That’s not weakness, it’s intelligence. Even Superman knew to stay away from kryptonite.
27. Practice humility if you want to be smarter and healthier
In the movies, the tough guy never shows much emotion. Maybe anger, but that’s about it. In life, we seem to live by the same motto. Being tough has come to mean you’re either aloof or you respond with anger. Humility, on the other hand, has a bad rep. Our society seems to ascribe to the notion that humility equals weakness. Ironically, loads of studies have found that people who practice humility are actually more intelligent, less lonely, less stressed and healthier. While people who constantly stuff their feelings or respond in anger tend to be less educated and more prone to sickness.