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ohmyword's avatar

What was the best advice you were ever given?

Asked by ohmyword (608points) June 4th, 2012

What were the circumstances? Who did you hear it from? I think everyone has those moments of clarity stemming from perfect advice or words of wisdom

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18 Answers

geeky_mama's avatar

My mentor in one of my first professional jobs when I was in my early twenties pointed out to me, not so gently – but very aptly – that I needed to be more careful sharing my opinions and do my homework when facing older engineers in meetings.
He explained it wasn’t a lack of talent or even that I was wrong – -but the way I was communicating wasn’t getting me the respect I needed in order to be heard.

He said something like:
“For now, I’m able to explain away your missteps as being a product of your young age or lack of experience. You won’t have that excuse some day soon so you need to learn to learn to rely on statements of fact, no emotional knee-jerk responses and carefully timed and chosen words.”

My own father was also full of lots of gems – most of them started with:
“A word to the wise…” and ended with something like: ”...any problem money can solve isn’t a problem.” or ”..if it’s 2 feet from your heart you’ll be fine.” (He was an ER his perspective might be a bit different.)

filmfann's avatar

My sister said, after meeting my then girlfriend for the first time: “Marry that woman!”

Berserker's avatar

Mt dad was all like, listen up yo, if you ever get lost in some forest, climb a tree, look for far away skyscrapers and then head in that general direction. And don’t fall out of the tree and break your ass, ya heard?

Then I’m like, dad, what the hell, man?

But really, my dad gave me a lot of help and advice in my life. Problem is, he went on and on for hours, making sure shit got through my thick skull, so there really isn’t anything flashy he said that I can nominate, but a lot of it helped nonetheless.

Earthgirl's avatar

What were the circumstances?
High school English class
Who did you hear it from?
William Shakespeare
What was the advice?
“To thine own self be true”

2nd best advice:
Lao Tzu- “The way to do is to be”

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@Symbeline How many skyscrapers are there in your forest? Just curious.

Berserker's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe Bro, I ain’t even got forests to have skyscrapers in.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@Symbeline That’s okay. I don’t have any skyscrapers in my forest. We can pool our resources. I think my office building is the tallest in town, at 5 stories.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@Symbeline The other thing to do if you’re lost in the forest is to find water and follow it downhill. You’ll come to people eventually.

fremen_warrior's avatar

“If you wannna make it big time, head on down to the capital – that’s where the money’s at” – my first team leader at a corp job. Best person for the job, got along great with em, and, of course, he moved to the capital and a buncha douchebags replaced him. Typical life BS…

zenvelo's avatar

“If you don’t drink the first drink, you won’t get drunk.”


“First the man takes a drink, then the drink takes a drink, then the drink takes the man.”

rooeytoo's avatar

A good friend who happened to be a shrink said don’t ever lie to your shrink or yourself. That is excellent advice!

ratboy's avatar

One word—“plastics.”

rooeytoo's avatar

@ ratboy – I am old enough to know what you mean when you say that. I wonder how many others are? And I must say I didn’t think you were an old geezer, I always thought you were a smart assed young un!

elbanditoroso's avatar

“Don’t listen to advice from others – think for yourself”

ucme's avatar

Go with the flow, from a plumber friend.

Mariah's avatar

It’s not advice, exactly, but a question that spurred a realization, from my therapist.

“What would happen if you didn’t worry?”

I had been telling her about how I felt the need to envision all the worst case scenarios that might occur, in order to “prepare” myself for them in case they arose. Her question made me realize that I had been using worry as a way to feel more in control, when really things are going to play out however they please whether I torture myself with worry beforehand or not. And half of the time it’s a waste because these terrible things don’t even end up happening, and when they do happen, I can deal with them as they come, and I’m really not at much of an advantage from having “prepared” beforehand anyhow.

I’m a lot happier these days.

downtide's avatar

“Live with him before you decide whether to marry him”. I have given the same advice to my daughter.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Two people you never lie to are your lawyer and your doctor. OK, that’s advice I gave my children!

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