18 July 2013

16 – The Best Advice I’ve Been Given

I shared some advice I got from my dad in a previous essay. This one continues in a similar vein. I got the urge to make this list this morning. So I did.

The advice I live by came from different sources. My parents and grandparents. Construction workers, carpenters, retail cashiers, bakers and butchers. They’re responsible for the words of wisdom that guide me. Please note that I acquired none of them while studying and then working inside the university bubble (see #7 below).

I’ve chosen not to accompany each pearl of wisdom with an origin tale or advice on how to apply it. You’re smart and the best judge of how such things can be applied in your own life. Sometimes it’s best to just let the words do the talking. But if you really do want to know, just ask (see #4). I'd also be grateful to know what words of wisdom resonate with you.

But enough from me. Here’s the best advice I’ve ever received, in no particular order:

1 – Measure twice. Cut once.

2 – Slow down, you’ll live longer.

3 – You don’t ever hate anyone.

4 – The only stupid question is the one you don’t ask.

5 – You either pull together or you pull apart.

6 – Wish in one hand. Shit in the other. See which one fills up first.

7 – You don’t need a university degree to be smart.

8 – Stain with the grain.

9 – It’s hard to soar like an eagle when you’re flying with turkeys.

10 – Don’t buy anything unless it’s on sale.

11 – Right tighty. Lefty loosy. 

12 –  Don't trust people who smile at everything. 

13 – Don’t forget the little people.


  1. My mom always told me to "be better than the other person," e.g., take the high road.

    Also, write thank you notes.

    1. That's excellent Christy. Thanks for sharing. You gotta love motherly wisdom!

  2. Great advice. As I read this I realize I didn't the types of parents or grandparents who offered quotable sayings. It has been fun to sit and think of the different ways to apply these! Thank you :)

    1. I've always liked the fact that some of them rank among the funniest things I've heard as well! And it says a lot when a person's advice can be applied in many different ways too. Cheers!


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