Wednesday, February 8, 2012

A Little Piece of Advice

I ask for advice often. I also jump at the chance to share advice with others.

I view advice as enlightened perspective. It allows me to see a situation in a new way and explore options that I would have never thought of on my own.

Advising someone isn't the same as telling someone what to do. Instead, it's sharing an experience or a piece of knowledge and then letting that person make a more informed decision about the choice or dilemma he or she is struggling with with at the moment.

I value every piece of advice I have ever been given. To me, even "bad" advice is a good thing. I know when advice is bad. I know it's bad because I know taking the advice will lead me somewhere I don't want to be (figuratively and possibly literally). Hence, even bad advice pushes me in the right direction.

I think everyone can benefit from a little piece of advice every now and then, so I felt compelled to compile some of the best advice I have ever heard.

Here is that compilation:

On making a big life decision: 
"I never like to live life with regrets. I always choose happiness." 

On getting what you want: 
"Act like you know what you're doing and you're where you're supposed to be. No one will question it."  

On hitting a bump in a relationship: 
"This is either a bump or the end. Either way, you will look back in five years and laugh. You will laugh with your current boyfriend (or girlfriend) and think about how silly this fight was. Or, you will look back with your friends and laugh because you thought it mattered so much in the first place." 

On getting good grades: 
"Grades don't matter that much; getting experience in your field does. Most employers won't even look at your GPA."
*Note: I still obsess about my grades. But, hey, I like this advice. 

On maintaining a balance: 
"Know how to step away from work-related distractions. Don't ever forget to make time for the people who matter most. Don't ever forget to make time for yourself."  

On facing rejection (job or otherwise):
"Don't be discouraged. If you weren't a good fit for them, then they probably weren't a good fit for you either."

On getting out of a "funk":  
"Drink coffee. Coffee is magical. " 

On learning to appreciate what you have: 
"Write down a list of everything you are thankful for in life. Keep that list by your bed. Add to it often. Refer to it when necessary."

Use these pieces of advice whenever and however you want. I honestly don't even remember who said them. I may have made some up myself.  No matter who they came from, they helped me at some point. Now, they are all in one convenient place for you. Consider this the Compelled To Do So advice column.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

My New Mantra

Recently, I felt compelled to adopt a new mantra. According to one of the all-powerful online dictionaries, a mantra is "a word or sound repeated to aid concentration in meditation." That's exactly what this is.

Here's the mantra: It's not my fault.

This mantra is so very simple yet so incredibly effective.

Too often, I blame myself when things go wrong. If a friend or a loved one is upset, I instantly think that I am the cause of at least a little bit of their distress. If plans fall through, then I assume that I did not take the necessary precautions to keep the schedule running smoothly. If I do poorly on a project or test, then I tell myself that everyone else did better and that I didn't properly prepare.

I assume way too much, and I take blame for things that have absolutely nothing to do with me.

Recent realizations:
  1. I cannot control someone else's mood.
  2. I cannot control time.
  3. I cannot be void of mistakes.
  4. I wrongly blame myself for things that happen as a result of 1, 2 and 3.

I assume fault that's not mine, and I worry about problems I didn't create.

Adopting the "it's not my fault" mantra has helped keep my spirits up and my stress-level in check. With this attitude, my head stays clearer. I am able to quickly solve the problem, instead of dwelling on how the problem was created.

Now, I am certainly not saying that I am never to blame. I am simply saying that I am not always to blame. And I am definitely not using my new mantra as a chance to point the finger at someone else. I am instead insisting that blame solves nothing.

With this new mantra, I remind myself to have confidence in my actions and clarity in my reactions.

I am finally understanding how important it is to give myself the same grace and patience I give others.

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