Friday Question of the Day – What’s the best Advice You’ve Ever Received?

Photo by PoPville flickr user christopher.poole

At the end of the day on Thurs. commenter bloom wrote a very thoughtful note in response to the post by Danny Harris titled, ‘Erica on How School Really Is’. The post seemed to hit a nerve with some commenters and after 120 comments bloom wrote:

Dear Erica,

You are an open and honest young woman, very sweet and interesting too. I’m glad your family is so strong.

My one wish for you is to stay with school/classes even when its boring. It is true school feels boring sometimes. Really you have no choice about attending school when you’re a kid/young person so at times, it feels not only boring but like prison. Yes, I remember that too, and I am very different from you, but in that regard, we’re the same… and I was normally the type of student who loved school.

Sometimes when you have a job, there are moments like that too. The trick is to try to find a job where you experience that “boring/prison” feeling as little as possible!

Nowadays, things even more boring, more often sometimes because we want to be online, on phones, etc.

Here are some ideas for being less bored.
#1, Know it’s the middle of the year — this is a hard time for everyone. Just keep going to class and stay with it. The end will come very soon. Keep focused on the conversation.

#2, There is nothing more boring than a class where the teacher does all the talking. Contribute to your classes. If you have opinions and you share them, you will model for others to do this. Classes where students share opinions (thoughtful ones on the subject) are great. I have a hard time believing your history or government classes are that boring, truly? In this city?

Keep reading and studying so you can speak up (as you did so nicely here) and continue to share.

#3, Know it’s okay to be bored from time to time.

If it’s extremely boring try reading a book in class. The teacher will get the picture, and you can’t be accused of anything!

#4, Find one friend, even if just for one class who you can rely on. Be helpful to each other with the class. A friend can make a class much less boring too. Study together.

#5, Know some teachers really do care about you, even though it isn’t always obvious. Notice how many students they work with and the jobs that they have. When you see a crappy teacher, see what you can learn on your own anyway. Those teachers exist. They don’t have the right to take away a subject from you.

#6, Try to find one class or just one subject that interests you especially, and enjoy pursuing it a little more. It will help you take your mind off of other things when you’re upset.

#7 H.S. is extremely social. All your social relationships will come and go. They are fun. If you learn anything, it will stay with you and be useful. Don’t sell yourself short and let your days be ruined by social crap.

#8, Work. (job) Start to go after what you want right away. You will see how the school stuff will apply and some of it will become more meaningful. You will see what you can and can’t get without education.

#9 It’s going to be over really soon. All of it.

But still you’ve got time.

You’ve got a lot of friends who care on here. They want the best for you too. Don’t worry too much about the grammar right now. You will probably have to work on that, and it doesn’t have to be too hard. Right now, just focus on making it through school, each day, finding some days to enjoy.

I thought this was very good advice – and it made me think it could be a fun FQotD: What’s the best advice you’ve ever received in general?

Some of the best advice I’ve ever received is very simple – read at least a book a month. Doesn’t have to be literature, can be any book at all, fiction or nonfiction.

75 Comment

  • Best advice I was ever given: Never trust a man with two first names.

    • I go by two first names. Really. It just kind of happened….

      • Me too. What’s the deal?

        • I am guilty here as well – but very trustworthy. In fact, I recently came into an estate worth 100,000 in cash. You can keep 10% but I need a U.S. bank account # to wire the money too. Please email me, Phillip Robert … j/k

  • A very wise colleague advised me to focus on what is important, stop hitting my head against a brick wall, look to the future and take care of myself. Thanks Pam.

  • I wish I could say it was: “buy in Petworth”

  • My grandma’s advice always hit a cord – you might as well laugh as cry.

  • My mother said: “There’s a price to pay for everything you do, good and bad.”

  • Amen to 7 & 8. In my family, we give scrapbooks to the graduate of the year and write letters. I lost the file of my most recent one but it was something like:
    -be kind
    -back up your files
    -back up your important files again
    -don’t have so much fun that you lose yourself
    -don’t say anything about anyone that you wouldn’t say to his/her face (this one is easier if you’re blunt)
    -Compound interest & returns are magical, invest young.

    Gma always said “Work hard, get ahead, but don’t forget to have fun.”


  • oh and the part of my scrapbook letter my family will never forget is always have an escape plan for the zombie apocalypse

  • By the time you realize you’re ready, it’s too late.

  • Never underestimate the predictability of Stupidity.

  • ha! thought of posting before I read the post… this is what someone older, wiser told me:

    “don’t make decisions based in fear”

    This helped me through some of the most difficult times.

    (doesn’t apply to life/death situations of course)

  • Live the life you love, use a gun you trust, and don’t take it all too seriously

  • From my brother:

    Lord loves a workin’ man; don’t trust whitey; see a doctor and get rid of it.

  • my grandmother always used to tell me,” life isn’t fair”

    a wise guy i once knew told me, “you’re only as smart as you are happy”

  • My first boss told me the key to success is 5% competence and 95% total conformity. Don’t stand out in any way, he told me. In many places this may not be true but in my company (a Fortune 5 company), it turned out to be 100% accurate.

    THe other awesome advice I got was whenever someone (usually a stranger) does something to make you mad, to always asssume goodwill and intent. It makes life so much easier.

    • Good advice. Don’t rock the boat people don’t like change. I just keep my mouth shut of how much money the government throws away around here and they want to make me supervisor.

    • Somewhat in contrast to that, luck favors the bold.

      I think you can slowly climb the ladder through conformity but only to a point, and you will only really make a difference in the world (or business) doing things differently.

      *goes back to banging her head against a wall trying to change things*

  • Do the right thing. If you don’t know what the right thing is, do whatever is hardest.

  • From my great grandmother (on giving dollars to panhandlers — she was pro — , but it applies to so many other things): You have no control over what other people do, but at the end of the day you have to be able to live with yourself and your choices. Be compassionate.

  • “Work hard and good things happen” – Joe Paterno

    True friends are those who take pride and share in your success. Be wary of acquaintences who are jealous of your success and feel as if it comes at their expense.

    If all it costs you is money to find out that a frined really isn’t a friend, you got lucky. Write it off and move on.

  • “Go live with your people!”

    This came to me from my older and favorite straight brother when I was a young and coming-out living down in Southern MD.

    I moved to Dupont Circle and it changed my life forever.

    Thanks brother.

  • Use your best judgment, give your best effort and don’t sit around waiting for the gold watch.

  • From my mother: “Never make a major decision in February.”

    This may not apply for people who don’t have to live with seemingly endless winters…

  • Best advice about playing music came from my mentor:

    “It’s not what you play, it’s what you don’t play.”

    He also turned me on to some artists who became major influences in how I play.

    • David Mamet says something like this in one of his books about filmmaking, that essentially “what gets left out of a movie is just as important as what gets left in.” Bad films are often rife with scenes and shots that in the end don’t serve the narrative/story. Good film/stories/novels get out of the way of narrative.

  • Pull your pants down then sh*t

  • Never confuse sex and love.

  • “Life isn’t fair” was always good advice. Not fun to hear when you’re a kid, but definitely true.

    Also: “Don’t shit where you eat!”
    This could apply to many situations, but has served me best when considering office romances!

  • I was a really anxious high schooler and constantly stressed out until one time my mom said to me, “Is that grade really going to matter in 10 years?” That simple question really put everything in perspective and got me through it. I ask myself the same question and substitute whatever subject is relevant in place of grade nowadays.

  • Worry only about the things that you can control.

  • When I got married my brother told me the best thing a married man can do is to not put yourself in a situation where you can act on temptation. This is good advice.

  • You got to know when to hold em, know when to fold em, know when to walk away, know when to run. You never count your money when you’re sittin at the table. There’ll be time enough for countin’ when the dealin’s done.

  • From my best friend:

    You’re pretty much stuck with yourself for the rest of your life, so you really don’t have any other choice but to suck it up and love and accept yourself.

  • A classic line from WSB, in his Words of Advice for Young People”
    “If you’re doing business with a religious son of a bitch, GET IT IN WRITING….”

    also of great value is the line credited to Eleanor Roosevelt, to the effect of “Do one thing every day that frightens you,” although I’ve heard that attribution is false. But hell, it’s a great one.

  • Every day as we were leaving for school my Dad said “Have fun, be good, learn a lot.” Seemed to sum it all up pretty well.

  • Say “yes” then figure out “how.”

    Also – Only one thing in life is ever going to kill you, so it doesn’t really matter if you take one risk or a thousand.

  • In 1997, right out of college, I was renting a studio like everyone my age; then a friend who has been out of college a couple of years ahead of me decided to buy a house. He kept dragging me every time his real-estate person showed him a potential house to purchase. Finally he purchased a town house in VA. I saw him paint, furnish, etc. and was pretty excited for him, then one day he told me I should do the same. I didn’t really think about it at that point and I didn’t think I could do it at that time. So few months later I moved into my own town house in VA. That was the best investment I have ever made in my 35 years. That house appreciate in value so much over the next few years that first, I was able to use equity on a purchase of my first row house in DC, then upon selling my first townhouse a few years later, I purchase two more DC row houses within 2 years’ time. Because of the little encouragement my bud gave me then I was able to purchase my first town house which eventually made it possible to purchase 3 row houses in DC. I am extremely lucky to have gone with him to the open houses which I think made me love the idea of owning a property and eventually did. Thank you Bud!

  • My late mother, gone this 14 years, had my favorite piece of advice on feeling sorry for yourself and expecting others to do the same:

    “You can find sympathy in the dictionary, between shit and syphilis.”

  • “If you’re going to go ugly, beat the rush at night’s end and go ugly early.” – College Crew Coach

    “Never trust a big butt and a smile.” – Bell Biv Devo

    Both of these have served me very well over the years . . .

  • Plant your corn early and don’t take any wooden nickles.

    I can’t tell you how often this has come in handy.

  • “Never trust anything you read on the internet.”

    — Abraham Lincoln

  • From my mother: “Never assume men know what you are talking about or what you want”.

  • Find something you like doing that very few other people want to do.

  • The Three Rules of Life:

    1. Never eat at a place called “Mom’s”
    2. Never play cards with a guy named “Doc.”
    3. Never sleep with someone who has more problems than you do.

  • “There’s a fine line between stupid and clever.”
    “Have a good time… all the time.”

  • I got my CPA following that exact rule.

  • Emmaleigh504

    From a wise older woman at work: You APPEAR to work on Friday, you don’t actually work.

  • From a mother, on marriage: Don’t be the first to take out the trash.

  • “Kid, don’t ever steal nuthin’.”

    – Yelled from the pitchers mound by my high school gym teacher, after I struggled to hop over a 5-foot fence to retrieve a softball.

  • I’ve always appreciated “If you can’t do what’s right, do what’s left”.

  • Nothing good ever happens after 2:00AM – How I Met Your Mother

  • From my dog. If it moves – chase it. If it doesn’t – eat it. If it stinks – roll in it.

  • “Ain’t no sense worrying about things you got control over, ’cause if you got control over them, ain’t no sense worrying. And there ain’t no sense worrying about things you got no control over, ’cause if you got no control over them, ain’t no sense worrying about them.”

    -attributed to Mickey Rivers, former New York Yankee.

  • from my dad–“it doesn’t matter what you know as long as you know where to look it up.”

  • Be careful when reading health books, you could die of a misprint.

  • special_k

    In response to me psyching myself out, a professor told me, “What you think is an obstacle isn’t an obstacle.”

  • always take the high road. even when faced with sheer and utter trash, stay classy. you’ll never regret it

  • If you’re going to do something, do it right.

Comments are closed.