Our Top 10 Picks
We posted to Facebook, “What is the wisest advice you’ve ever received?” Many responded with the words of wisdom they’ve found most helpful throughout their life (as well as some comical advice). There was a ton of great submissions to sort through (about 50 in total), so it was difficult to narrow down to the top 10.
We hope you find something on this list that resonates with you.
Let it be.
Submitted by Carson Curtis
Short and to the point. The opening lines of the Beetle’s song, “Let it Be” reveal the advice Paul McCartney’s mother had given him after the band’s breakup.
When I find myself in times of trouble
Mother Mary comes to me
Speaking words of wisdom
“Let it be”
Many things in life are beyond our control. Instead of subjecting ourselves to a state of fear or worry, sometimes it’s best to just “let it be.”
Someone else’s opinion of you is none of your business.
Submitted by Kaitlyn Elizabeth Cocks
This advice is from author Rachel Hollis, in her life-changing book “Girl, Wash Your Face,” which is currently the #1 self-help book on Amazon.
Hollis posted this to her fans on Facebook:
Someone else’s opinion of you is NONE of your business. You’re afraid to move forward because of what he might think or what she might say or what your in-laws think. That fear will keep you small, will keep you second guessing yourself, will keep you from living into exactly who your creator made you to be! The next time you find yourself second-guessing because of what “they think” remind yourself of this quote.
The quote is a great reminder that we shouldn’t let other’s opinions of ourselves determine our future.
Ask for forgiveness rather than permission.
Submitted by Ashley Alexander
The original quote “It’s easier to ask forgiveness than it is to get permission” is attributed to U.S. Naval Officer and computer programmer, Grace Murray Hopper.
The bureaucracy and red tape in everyday life can slow us down from making the positive impact we wish to create. As a society, we’ve been ingrained with the habit to seek approval. If this speaks to you ask yourself if the permission you seek is actually conducive to making progress. Nobody knows better than you do. Having the freedom to forgo permission is not only better for you, but it’s also better for your manager, parent, spouse, or anyone else you seek approval from. Nobody wins with micromanagement.
When you KNOW you’re doing the right thing. Sometimes it’s better to ask for forgiveness, rather than permission.
Don’t burn your bridges. You may have to walk back across them one day.
Submitted by Ram Jones
There are many variations of the “Don’t burn bridges” quote, so an original quote or author can’t be determined. However, this variation reminds us that good relationships are always worth holding on to.
If you leave your job to pursue a better opportunity, it’s better to leave on good terms than bad. Your new job might not be what you expected, forcing you to walk back across that bridge in the direction you came from.
Likewise, in your personal relationships you experience the good and the bad. Burning a bridge over a disagreement causes you to miss out on the good completely.
We normally don’t realize how good something is until it’s gone. If you burn bridges you’ll find this out the hard way.
The early bird may get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese!
Submitted by Katie Breitenbach
“The second mouse gets the cheese” was first used in 1994 as a handle for an internet user that went by the name of “Ernst Berg.”
This witty counter argument to the more often quoted, “early bird gets the worm,” is not meant to discourage the early risers out there, but to suggest that being first is not always desirable.
In the business world, many companies race to be the first to market. This has a rewarding outcome, but it’s generally short-lived. The companies that trail behind them don’t get caught up in the same traps along the way, giving them an advantage to beat the early bird.
Before Google there was AltaVista and before Facebook there was MySpace. Consider whether being the first to the cheese is really worth it.
Education is what you get when you read the fine print. Experience is what you get if you don’t.
Submitted by Julia Harris Crabtree
This quote is originally from the American folk singer and social activist, Pete Seeger.
Fine print is never designed to work in our favor. Companies know most of us will not take the time to read through pages of legal jargon before we accept their terms. We rely on what others have said and trust that we’re in good hands. This comes back to bite us when we realize what we’re subjecting ourselves to.
Free technology is never truly free. Medicine often produces unwanted side effects. Warranties don’t cover everything. The list goes on.
Making informed decisions is always better than learning the hard way.
Never let someone else do your thinking for you.
Submitted by Nick Eggleston
There are many variations of this quote, so an original author can’t be determined. Nick mentioned that this was something his dad (Missouri State Representative, J. Eggleston) would say growing up, so we’ll give him the credit.
This quote ties in nicely with the previous. When everyone seems to be going the same way, it doesn’t mean they’re going in the right direction. Think for yourself before you jump on board.
It’s convenient to trust someone else’s plan for you, but you lose your individuality and freedom in exchange. Nobody knows you better than you do, so don’t let others do your thinking for you.
Study too long, study wrong.
Submitted by Anthony Burnett
“If you study long, you study wrong” has been cited in text, dating back to 1919. It began as an expression used while playing board games, as opponents would take too long to strategize their next move.
Perfectionists and those that suffer from “analysis paralysis” can find this advice particularly useful in everyday life. Contemplating and crafting the “perfect” decision will often lead to indecision. It’s better to make moves promptly than to make no moves at all.
Love God with all your heart, soul and mind. Love your neighbor as yourself.
Submitted by Debbie Rollins Goosey
From the book of Matthew, chapter 22, verses 37-40:
Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
Many people (including some Christians) have been led to believe that Christianity requires you to follow an impossible list of strict laws to be righteous in God’s eyes. However, the essence of Christianity is LOVE. If you love God and love everyone else, you cannot go wrong.
Stay Humble. Work Hard. Be Kind.
Submitted by Jo Ann Rollins Shelton
The origination of this quote cannot be determined, but perhaps you’ve seen the message hanging on a friends wall, on someone’s t-shirt, or written on a coffee mug.
The popularity of the quote illustrates, very concisely, how many people try to live their life in a positive manner. As you progress through life it’s important to stay humble and remember where you came from, keep in mind that hard work pays off in more ways than a paycheck, and it’s important to be kind to everyone you meet because you never know what someone is going through.
- Never judge. You haven’t walked in their shoes.
Submitted by Kay Stokes-Wilkinson
- The first time someone shows you who they really are — listen to them!
Submitted by Kaylee Concannon
- Don’t ever say you can’t do something.
Submitted by Dillan Kade Beam
- Brighten the corner where you are.
Submitted by Fran Beam
- Many things are taught but not learned.
Submitted by Andrew Archer
There is more advice out there than one could ever hope to gather. Hopefully something on this list has spoken to you in some way.
What advice that has stuck with you throughout your life? We’d love to hear about it. Let us know in the comments!