Advice is something that people love to give, whether we ask for it or not. Over our lifetimes, we will receive an awful lot of other people’s opinions—some good and some not-so-good. I have received a lot of both, and therefore learned how to decipher between what is helpful and what is not. There are two pieces of advice that I have been given over the years that I would consider to be some of the best. The first is, “Don’t sweat the small stuff.” As common sense as this may seem, I think that it has gotten me through some really tough scenarios in life and in business. I have learned to let little things go and to really pick my battles when it comes to conflict. The other piece of advice that I consider one of the best has to do with parenting. A wise woman once told me, “Speak to your children as you would like to be spoken to.” I adopted this wisdom into my own parenting methods by speaking to my kids like equals. And so far, it’s worked in raising confident, self-sufficient children.

I, personally, don’t like to dish out advice unless someone asks for it. I’m happy to share my thoughts and opinions when solicited, but I’ve learned that telling someone how to live their life does not work. In other words, people seldom change their ways to accommodate another person’s suggestions. This is not to say I haven’t appreciated advice and suggestions from friends and loved ones over the years, but I’ve learned to trust my own instincts along the way, too.

I’d love to hear your opinion on advice giving and receiving. Also, please feel free to share the best piece of advice you’ve ever received in the comments below.

Photo above via HBO.


  • Chloe

    The best piece of advice I received was from my friend Ariane:
    It’s OK to say NO.
    It actually is the subject of the first article I ever posted on my blog, Conscious by Chloé.
    I think about her every day, it is so precious to me.

  • norah

    The best advice I have ever been given is to “be free”. I apply this to all the “big things” in life. Freedom is to me the same as happiness, meaning that in all the things that I do I always search for that feeling of freedom. If it isn’t there, I am not happy – and I try to evaluate why I feel this way and if there is anything I can do to make things better. If not, I try to cut it out of my life. Why spend time on something that doesn’t make me happy?

  • Emily

    My dad always taught me: Be a good friend and a hard worker. Everything else will fall into place.

    I cherish it!

  • Elizabeth

    When I was about 8-years-old, my mom and I were arguing. At the height of our argument, her friend called and when she answered the phone she was nice & friendly to her. When she got off the phone I asked why she was being nice to her friend and not to me. She said she was upset with me, not her friend and to never take out your frustrations on someone else. I have put this to use in my job, friendships, encountering strangers at the grocery store, etc. It’s awful when people are having a bad day and take it out on me. Best advice ever – for children or adults.

  • Josie

    I think people ask for advice a lot but hardly ever listen to it haha! The best advice I ever had was if they don’t know you personally don’t take it personal – especially great to bear in mind when it comes to social media etc x

    Josie | Sick Chick Chic

  • Juliya

    You are responsible for your happiness. Nobody can make you happy for you.

  • Cathy Hanson

    My 99 year old grandmother was a very wise woman who gave me wonderful advice. But the best piece of advice she gave was to just listen. She was loved by many people and at her crowded funeral so many spoke about how much she helped them. I hear her voice whenever someone turns to me for advice. Just listen.

  • Elise Xavier

    Those are two excellent pieces of advice. The first is one I really struggled with; I’ve often had a hard time prioritizing, as for some reason I find that I weight tasks relatively equally even though some things are obviously way more important than others. The second I have never heard voiced, but it’s how I always expected I would raise children (if/when I have any). I hated being treated like a toddler when I was a kid – there’s no reason to treat children as though they’re less than you, and yet I feel it’s something that many people do.

  • Lindsay

    Advice is tricky because it can totally be taken wrong if said in a “matter-o-fact” type of way. That being said, our life experiences shape us and it’s only natural to want to share those moments of clarity with others who might benefit.

    My most cherished advice is from my dad, who no matter what the situation is will tell me, this too shall pass. and it always helps me get through tough times. always.


  • Sadie

    My Grandma was the wisest person I’ve ever known- she had tons of amazing advice. But the thing that’s stuck with me through my adult years is a saying she used to have on repeat “Your problems are your privileges”. Any time one of her kids or grandkids would complain she would grab your hand and say that phrase, then she would explain how it was true in each instance. Example: Your car is broken down, how lucky you are to have a car, and in most cases, how privileged you are to have the money to fix the problem. She could turn ANY complaint or “problem” around so that you walked away thinking how lucky you really were to be in that situation.

    • katie

      that’s perfect advice! it keeps you grateful! I will use that when my kids run up to me a million times to complain how their siblings are being mean…i can just say ” be happy you have a sister or brother!”

    • Christina

      Such great advice! As a stay at home mom a lot of my problems are just blaring proof of my greatest blessing.

  • jleo

    When I was young and waiting tables and taking classes hear and there my mom told me “When you tired of being tired you will do something to change it”

    Best advice ever!

  • Rachel

    My 85 year old grandmother once told me to settle down with a man who’s good with his hands in and out of the bedroom. Hah!

    • melynmarie

      Oh, for the love of a Grandmother with a bit of spunk. Love this! Wise is as wise does. I hope your Grandfather was just as snappy. It was my 96 year old aunt who told me I needed to find a good Lover. Hah! These ladies know how to keep life fulfilling <3

  • Rachel

    Best two pieces of advice I’ve ever gotten are 1) focus on your breath, because it all comes back to breathing. That piece of simple advice has truly changed my life. And the other is “do you.” Both utterly simple, but have truly changed the way operate in every aspect of my life. Coming from a very over-bearing family I was never taught about personal autonomy or self care, two highly fundamental concepts!

  • Nicole

    I always liked Conan’s advice on his last episode of The Tonight Show – “If you work really hard and are kind, amazing things will happen”. Remembering not to go full-on cynical in life is never a bad thing.


  • AK

    The best piece of advice I remember receiving was from an old boyfriend: you’ll never regret being the bigger person. I look back at times I was selfish or intentionally unkind, and I am not proud of my actions. Doing your best and being your best will never let you down.

    Regarding GIVING advice, if it is a person I am not close with, I only give when solicited. With a close friend or family member, I give freely, depending on the recipient’s attitude towards advice!

  • G

    The only advice I truly take is from my grandparents, parents and my spouse (yep, that narrow-minded, I guess.) Besides the constant reminders to stop worrying, work hard and be kind (our mantra), they’ve offered a few great gems:
    - read the labels of clothing before making purchases, and avoid synthetic fabric as much as possible (my grandfather)
    - always leave the table a little hungry, and (my favorite) have a little “poison” every day (my great-grandfather, who had a shot of Greek grappa daily and lived to be 106.)

  • Laura

    Oh I love this!!! Advice is always best about a month after it’s given. During the time I need I need it most, I usually go with my gut and own experience (which can be good or bad, lol).


  • Lauren Nelson

    I’m not religious, but something has always struck me with the serenity prayer. I truly try to live each day with this in mind.

    God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
    The courage to change the things I can,
    And the wisdom to know the difference.

  • Jen

    I was told once by a real estate agent when we were driving around looking at houses with a newborn in a car seat that “my child is my honored guest” and so she and her sister have been treated like our honored guests ever since. I cannot even begin to describe how amazing it is to treat a child like an honored guest

    • melynmarie

      I like this. Such a simple statement, with great weight.

  • Emilie

    I got the best advice on new years eve four years ago; Say yes! Over the last four years I’ve practiced finding my way to say yes, and I’ve come to be somewhat of an expert. To me, saying yes is not about pushing myself to do things I don’t really want to. It’s about hearing that little word in the back of my head whenever I’m doubting if I dare to take the next step and whether I’m strong enough. I think it is the most beautiful word. It helps me take chances and to trust that I can do anything I truly want in life.

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