Starting from a young age, people will love to share their advice with you. Little kernels of wisdom that they want to imbue you with to try and give you the knowledge that they’ve gained. Even as an adult, this flow of information won’t cease even in the slightest. There will always be someone who has more experience there who will feel the need to share it. Sometimes, that advice isn’t always great. Weed out some of the bad advice here, taking the most valuable stuff with you.
#1. Sticks and stones.
I remember my family echoing this to my brothers and me as kids, even when we said terrible things to each other. Words can hurt and can affect how you see yourself and others. I still remember some of the things that were said to me, and they don’t hold a candle to some of the worst that I’ve heard toward or about other people. You may not be a kid anymore, but your words matter. How you treat someone else matters. Always. Even a stranger. Treat others with kindness and be vocal about what hurts you. This is one of the only ways that you can work toward making a kinder world, for you and others around you. Which leads to number two…
#2. Making waves is a bad idea — stay quiet instead.
As a society, we’re starting to get into the mindset of using your voice, but there are still many people out there who hear otherwise. If someone is hurting or harassing you, you have every right to speak up. Hell, if they just bother you, it’s still within your prerogative to say something and loudly. Remember, you aren’t required to set yourself on fire to keep others warm — your focus should be on yourself and your own. If you don’t like something, say so.
#3. Anger is a bad thing, and you should always keep it in check.
Wait, what? How can this be good advice? Well, anger is a valuable emotion, like every other emotion in the spectrum. The problem is that most people were told this exact thing as a child and learned to tamp down any semblance of anger from their external interactions. It would just build and begin to bubble over. Being angry is okay. It can drive you to do incredible things, like overcoming an astonishing amount of adversity or even to merely prove someone wrong and accomplish something you never thought you could do. Anger is only a problem when it becomes violent or is avoided entirely. Learning to interpret and articulate your anger appropriately can be the best thing you can do for your mental health, as well as for those around you that you love.
#4. If you work hard, everything will work out.
The hard truth is that you can do everything right and work hard, but still come out the loser on some things. That’s the nature of things. Life isn’t an afterschool special, and the solution won’t just fall into your lap. Having said that, having hope that you can succeed is the best way to approach everything that you do. There is a chance that you could make it, you just have to have enough courage to try. There are dozens of stories of people who stumbled into their once-in-a-lifetime, dream-job careers by merely having hope and thinking outside the box. Sometimes, they try something that they would have altogether dismissed before. And if you do fail, know that you’re in good company. Don’t stop dreaming and don’t stop working as hard as you can.
#5. Don’t take a risk, go with that is the safest choice.
This, I think, is the most common among younger people. Especially around the age where their future suddenly comes into sharp focus, and they need to make a decision. When someone decides that they want to pursue something that involves a creative career, most people will advise them to instead choose a more stable career, like accounting or business. Working a standard 9-to-5 isn’t for everyone, and I count myself among those people. Hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of people have managed to make their dreams come true in a creative career. It takes hard work, probably more so than other professions, but it’s definitely worth the uphill battle. I’ll take it every day of the week over being put into a career that I hate. I would rather fail in the end than have not tried at all.
Some of these pieces of advice may not seem like bad advice, but deep down can cause more harm than their intended good. It doesn’t matter how well-meaning people are if the advice doesn’t work as it was meant to. When it comes down to it, you learn best by doing and experiencing for yourself. You know the path you’re heading down and your intuition will start to kick in, telling you what advice to listen to and which to ignore.