You get good advice and you get bad advice. And then the advice
everyone loves – unsolicited advice (especially from lawyers or mothers-in-law),
which is not always bad advice just mostly annoying.
Over the years, I have received some poor advice and I have received
some superb advice. I have listened to some, discarded others and chewed over
some difficult ones to swallow – deciding whether to take it or chuck it. Here is some of the advice that changed my
#1 Believe in
This sounds more cliché than koeksisters at a bake sale. But truly – once this advice sunk in for me and I started to trust myself – I made fewer mistakes and started thriving in several areas of my life. The thing is, if you are stuck in the space where you doubt yourself, your abilities and try do things to please others, you are not being the best version of yourself. You are made uniquely so trust yourself and believe in your talents and abilities.
Hey – it changed my life.
#2 Giving/Serving is
Better Than Receiving
It’s difficult when you have big dreams for yourself not to
keep, store and take, to achieve goals and reach those milestones. It’s even
more difficult when you have very little to give, to give anyway. And if you
want to lead, serving almost seems counter-intuitive.
But, I have seen this in my own life and in many others –
the more you give, the more you receive. The more love, joy, peace, laughter,
goodness, gifts, generosity, kindness you sow in the people around you – the
more fulfilling your life is. There is NOTHING more unhappy (and unpopular)
than a stingy person – stingy with time, stingy with money, stingy with love,
stingy with kindness, stingy with compassion, stingy with empathy, stingy with
>insert anything here<.
And the absolute best leaders are servers and lead by
example. I have learnt that serving in any leadership capacity (especially with
stuff that would seem “beneath” a leader) is the best way to not create just
followers but other leaders.
So, whether I serve, or I give – I am ultimately happier,
more fulfilled and blessed for it.
#3 Wear That
Someone once told me that there were people on the Titanic who didn’t eat dessert because they feared they would pick up weight and then they DIED. So, I have learnt to live each day asking myself: “What if I die tomorrow?”… So, I drink a glass of champagne every day, I wear my expensive perfume, I eat that chocolate cake when I feel like it and I spend time with that (sometimes difficult or draining) loved one/friend, instead of lying in bed reading or just doing something that pleases me.
#4 Dying To Self Is
The Most Liberating Thing Ever
At first, I wasn’t convinced. How could I, by denying what “I felt like doing” … to be of assistance to others, be freeing and fun? But I tried it anyway and strangely enough, it works. This means that even if I don’t feel like doing, or saying something, even if I am going through hell myself or bone-tired – I do it anyway to help someone because I wish to deny “my own fleshly desires” and grow as a person. I am not advocating burnout or for you to be misused by manipulative people. I am talking about living beyond yourself and just meditating on yourself and thinking of “poor me” all the time.
There is so much freedom in not being selfish and only
concerned with your own little life.
#5 Don’t Play The
This advice hit me like a cold ton of muddy bricks and I
still struggle with this, but it is so true. We LOVE playing the victim in our
own life stories. We are the misunderstood victim at work. We are the poor
slave of a victim at home. We are the wronged victim in friendships. We are the
“righteous” victim in relationships. And even if something “isn’t” or “wasn’t”
your (our fault)…just stop playing the role of the victim. Take ownership for
your part and acknowledge it – and stop telling everyone and -thing with ears,
how unfair it is and how poorly you are treated.
And just so that it is clear – no one feels sorry for the
victim; so, swallow your own cup of sympathy and get on with it.
I know – I know it’s a toughie. But this still changed (is
changing) my life. That is when I stop playing the victim long enough to remember.
#6 Feel Your Emotions
I am not advocating being a runaway train of emotions or a
complete beep to everyone for the sake of your emotions. I am referring to
sitting introspectively and feeling through your emotions.
This is life-changing. We are surrounded by noise,
distractions and busyness and instead of feeling and processing emotions we
overeat, binge on series/drugs/alcohol, we go shopping (especially online), we
over-exercise and diet; we overwork or party/socialise or just don’t stop talking.
But it’s time humans realise the more you feel and sometimes sit with uncomfortable emotions, the more control or discipline you have in other areas of your life.
Can’t stop yourself from overeating, talking, drinking,
gossiping, complaining, spending, partying, sleeping and sleeping around etc.?
When last did you quietly sit without any distractions and ponder on how you
are truly feeling?
#7 There Is More To
Life Than Marriage/ Being In A Committed Relationship
Being a single woman (or man but not so much) in your late 20s, or 30s to 40s etc. can be challenging to say the least. And not for the reason you may think. The issue is NOBODY will bloody leave you alone. Everyone is giving you reasons why you are single, tips on how to meet someone, how you should change, why they feel sorry for you, how they would feel if they were you. But the best advice I have ever received is “there is more to life than marriage” and with that “ the ‘idea’ of marriage is seriously overrated”. If your only achievement or defining factor is that you are married or in a committed relationship, you seriously should be re-evaluating your life.
Marriage, relationships and romantic love are all beautiful
but so is being significant beyond these things.
#8 There Is More To
Life Than Being A Certain Size
At first, I was angry when I received this advice. How the hell was I brainwashed by society to think we all must be a size 32 and weigh less than 60 kgs; diet all the time and exercise constantly?! Suck on it, Susan! I am tempted to throw a solidly rude sign to everyone that speaks of a goal-weight and or size, the latest messed up diet and theory of what cavemen used to do or eat (and they lived to what 13? And worked what corporate job?). It’s also so blah to hear what people bloody bench-press or that it is “leg-day” and “why you shouldn’t skip it” and shame people who don’t get exercising right!
I will rather be healthy, happy, not starving and actually
following what my body needs to function optimally and knowing there is more to
life than being a size whatever.
#9 You Are Not What
Others Think of You/Say You Are
It’s very difficult when you are misunderstood or labelled as something you are not by others. If you perhaps have a boss who thinks you are dim, an ex who thinks you are crazy, or friends that aren’t moving in the same direction as you are in life, and label you as “weird”, “unreliable” or “different” – it’s easy to feel like you are a puppet and the words people are saying about you, are attached to you by a string and even if you move – the words, move with you. But some of the wisest advice I ever got is “you are not what others say or think you are”. It was liberating. So, no matter what others say or think of me, I can “pinch” off the strings and carry on with life, knowing that I am not defined by others.
This is not to say that you don’t listen to others. It means you evaluate what is being said. Introspectively (without playing the victim) ponder on the words and then decide whether this is something you need to grow in, to become a better person or reject outright because it just isn’t you or true.
What great advice have you received? Please let me know in the comment section or Social Media. Feedback, shares and likes mean a lot to bloggers! 🙂