Remarkable advice about life
Want to know a reallysad human story? A person who reminisces on a lifetime of memories and bitterly regrets most of it on their deathbed. It’s scary how this scenario can gnaw at anyone’s primordial fears. Could this tragedy happen to me? Will my efforts and struggles amount to nothing? Am I meaningless after all?
I stepped back to examine the life I’ve lived before it was too late. Eventually, I put it all in a memoir called Through the Fire. After exorcising 50 years’ worth of joys and sorrows, you can imagine how cathartic it was for me to tell myself, “Michael, it was all worth it.”
With this introspection came the unexpected gratitude. I wouldn’t have come to this point without the guidance, influence, and advice of elders. And so, in this post, I’ll list down five of their most pivotal advice:
1. Knowing less is knowing more
One of the best lessons I got was on the first days of second grade. This is the abridged version: I was the new kid at school. A door had swung open. My teeth popped out. Blood everywhere. Mrs. Pollock kindly helped me clean myself in the lavatory. When I told her that I needed to empty my bladder, she pointed me to a porcelain contraption. Unsure but determined, I sat down to relieve myself. Midstream, Mrs. Pollock rushed up to me in a panic. Suffice to say, I had a memorable first encounter with a urinal.
When I was younger, I was firm on the stance that I was right and everyone else was different. It took some guidance and a lot of work on my end to rewire this. Here’s a handy tip: admit that you don’t know much and your world will expand. Be humble to keep your mind eager to learn and you’ll reap benefits that’ll last a lifetime.
2. Talk less, listen more
Even if you aren’t in the media like I am, listening is still a crucial skill that can massively affect your life in relation to others. I’ve been taught that if done right, listening is an exercise of ego restraint, analysis, and empathy. Not only would you find proper understanding with those you’re talking to, but you’ll be more sensitive to what isn’t said such as their motives, subtext, body language, coping mechanisms, and human behavior in general.
Unfortunately, listening is often overlooked and easy to fake. This is why people appreciate those who take the time to understand who they are and they’re more than likely to extend the same genuine interest in you. I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I’ve been blessed because of this advice.
3. Growth of any sort requires energy
I’ve received many sage advice from elders that didn’t come in neat little quotes like they do in the movies. Often, the adults in my life dispensed these important lessons in unexpected ways.
I vividly remember the day I saw my mother lying on the floor. She was purple and gasping for air. Later, I found out that she had suffered from severe pneumonia. She was a smoker. I also found out later that my father was incapable of handling emotional stress.
A lot of personal growth happened during my mother’s recuperation. At sixteen, I unwittingly found myself managing our restaurant while keeping up with my studies and balancing a myriad of other responsibilities. At the brink of fatigue, I somehow managed to confront my father so I can ask for his help. He simply told me to go to sleep.
For you to handle whatever life has in store, you have to learn how to optimize and manage your energy. Improve your health, learn to hold back in situations that provoke you, give your best to your duties and passions, never allow yourself to feel depleted, and yes, sleep.
4. Intention is the mother of guilt
When one is young, the world could really be whatever we make it and we set out with the best intentions. The reality is that millions of things will go against you. It’s nothing personal; that’s just life. When we fail to get the result of our intent, this is where guilt rears its ugly head. Avoid the heartache and divorce your best intentions from its result.
Looking back on it now, I was somehow fortunate that my whole town wanted me to learn this important advice. When I was in my late teens, I was intent on exploring my interest in men. Well, it didn’t take my neighbors long to get the worst ideas and very soon my small town was abuzz with scandal. Like anyone, I was thrown into an emotional roller coaster, but I dread to think about the possible turmoil I’d have gone through if I’d allowed guilt to completely overcome me.
More on this story in the next advice.
5. What other people think of you is none of your business
Inevitably, I was confronted by my father at dinner. My mother was in hysterics trying to protect me, but I was convinced that I no longer had to be anything other than who I was. I admitted my indiscretions.
Ironically, opinions can only weigh you down if you let them. Don’t make the mistake of needlessly putting that ball and chain on you. If you do find yourself held back, just know that true liberation is always available to you. Accept that opinions are out of your control. If they’re unconstructive, they shouldn’t be any of your damn concern. Dance to the tune of your true self, walk the path of your convictions, and fly to the heights of your aspirations.
What do you think of these advice about life? Feel free to share the pearls of wisdom that have changed your life in the comments section—they may be game changers for someone else. For more updates or even a nice chat, you can reach me on Twitter, Facebook, and Goodreads. I wish you all the very best!