The 10 best pieces of advice you should have listened to (but probably didn't)

3 Minute Read | Author: Hannah Tattersall

From the moment we step foot into this world we are bombarded with advice. “Wash behind your ears; eat your crusts; don’t forget your jacket.” We start school and we’re told to "sit up straight; do your homework; go to bed". Then we enter the workforce, and it’s: “work hard; pay your bills on time; ask for a raise.” But how often do we really listen to all this advice? Here are 10 pieces of advice you never listened to that you really should have. But don't worry, there's still time.  

  1. Eat your vegetables. In 2015, a staggering 63.4 per cent of Australian adults were considered overweight or obese. That's more than half our population. If only we’d listened to our parents when they told us to eat more vegetables, we wouldn’t be in so much danger now.
  2. Sleep on it. Fatigue affects us both physically and emotionally. When making a huge life decision sometimes it's better to let it percolate. With a good night’s sleep, decisions will come easier in the morning.
  3. Know who you are (at every age). Socrates reputedly said "Know thyself", and never have truer words been spoken. When you know who you are, you make wiser decisions and can be smarter about your targets, goals and aspirations.
  4. Work hard. Okay, so working hard does pay off after all. Thomas Edison said, "There is no substitute for hard work", and in today's world it couldn't be truer. With smartphones, Netflix and Pokemon Go, it’s easy to have fun all the time. But if you want to succeed at what you're passionate about, those reruns of Breaking Bad will have to wait.
  5. Stop caring about what other people think. "You wouldn't worry so much about what others think of you if you realised how seldom they do." That pearl of wisdom came from Eleanor Roosevelt and she was one smart cookie. Stop caring about what other people think of you, and go for it!
  6. Don't be afraid of self-promotion. John Lennon said: "If being an egomaniac means I believe in what I do and in my art or music, then in that respect you can call me that... I believe in what I do, and I'll say it." You have to believe in yourself for others to believe in you. Forget about tall poppy syndrome and strive for the best.
  7. Be yourself. As the Bhagavad Gita said, "It is better to live your own destiny imperfectly than to live an imitation of somebody else's life with perfection".
  8. Stop making excuses. There are excuses and then there are excuses. Don’t sit back and wait for success to happen. If you want to succeed, you have to try. As Elizabeth Gilbert, the author of Eat, Pray, Love, says: "You don't have to quit your job to write a book."
  9. You can't always get what you want. It's true, be it referring to career goals or personal aspirations. But as long as you tried, you can die happy. As the song says, if you try you may find you get what you need.
  10. Don’t give up. Billionaire Andrew Abercrombie says pretty much everything that's gone well in his life has been a consequence of something that he’d planned or aspired to, not working out. Don’t let adversity get the better of you. Every loss leads to an opportunity.