The Best Advice I’ve Ever Heard
The best advice I have ever heard… hmmm… most of the advice I look back on is from my mom and dad. Or from my boyfriend or my friends. And with podcasts being such a great resource right now, I have heard hundreds of pieces of advice around happiness, business, productivity, health, and relationships from some of the best in their fields in the world. But there are a few stand-out messages that run through my mind on the daily. These are the pieces of advice I want to share with you. The ones that keep ringing true time and time again.
You can Only Control One Thing
You can only control your own thoughts and actions. And no matter how much you worry, get angry, or fret about what others say or do, YOU DO NOT HAVE CONTROL OVER OTHERS. You only have control over yourself. Worried your friend will be mad that you are cancelling plans because you are sick? Stop. Angry that someone on the internet disagrees with you? Let it go. Fretting that your parents won’t approve of your life choices? That is wasted energy on something you have no control over.
Spending time worrying about what others think and fretting about appeasing everyone is what makes me a people pleaser. And I often remind myself that I only have control over my own reactions. The more I do the free-er I feel, and the more myself I can be.
Added reading: How to Face the Question of What’s Next
You Are Never “Too Busy”
Busyness often feels like a badge of honour and this means we all seem to strive for more of it in our lives. I think for me, being busy and having a full schedule gives me a sense of value. Like I must be producing value to have value. But I digress. The point is that I heard once that we are never “too busy” for anything, we just haven’t made it a priority.
At first I thought, “Well I don’t agree with that. I have a big project due at work and I am swamped for the next two days to complete it on time, that’s why I don’t have time to go on a hike.” Or something of that sort LOL. But what I realized eventually is that I was actually just prioritizing my job over hiking (which is probably good in most cases). And seeing your “busy” as your priorities does one of two things, it either makes you realize how silly your priorities are and you change them, or it refreshes the way you look at your time and you realize that you are happy to put in some work and skip a hike because you value your job. Either way, it creates some intentionality to your time.
Take Your Life Seriously
The most powerful video I have ever watched was the TED Talk, “30 is not the new 20” by Meg Jay. This talk is a must-watch for anyone (and especially 20-somethings) because it really shows why taking your life seriously is so important. I pretty much live by this TED Talk. I even wrote a blog post inspired by it: Making the Most of Your 20s
You Get 5 Minutes
I REALLY wish I remember who said this. I feel like someone said it on a #GirlBoss podcast episode… But maybe I am wrong. Anyways… I heard on a podcast once that whenever they were having a breakdown or freaking out, they always told themselves, “Okay, you have 5 minutes.” Meaning, they had 5 minutes to break down, cry, panic, and then they HAD to get themselves back on their feet and keep going. Clean up the tears and go figure out a solution. And although I definitely am known to cry for longer than 5 minutes, I carry this advice as more of an idea. The idea that we get a moment to be upset and stressed and then we carry on. I have used this when I feel defeated by mistakes I made. I used this when my sister was in the hospital with cancer. I used this whenever I don’t know what to do next. Give yourself 5 minutes, but then you’ve got to keep going.
Be Proud of Your Life
The last piece of advice I will share with you is the one that I think of when most people say “life is short”. Because when I hear “life is short” I feel this panic that I must buy a one-way plane ticket and cut off all my hair and eat snakes and go skydiving. But what that phrase really means – to me at least – is to remember that no amount of time is guaranteed in this life. To anyone. It does not mean that you must throw away all your savings and do a bunch of adrenaline-pumping activities (unless you want to of course). Understanding that time is not guaranteed is actually about creating, and living – EVERY day – a life you are proud of. This life could look hard and difficult to some. Boring to some. Crazy to some. But if you feel proud of the life you lead every day, you are embracing the time you have. That is all we ever want.