5 Pieces of Advice From My Parents I Live By
We grow up hearing great pieces of advice from our parents. As children some of it we listen to. Some of it we ignore. Some of it we think is plain crazy. Some pieces of advice, as we become adults, we carry with us and follow. Here are five pieces of advice my parents gave me that I live my life following.
1: Think Before You Speak – Up and Then Down
This is one of the first pieces of advice I remember and probably the one that took the longest to really sink in. You see, as a young child I frequently repeated things or said things I should not have. For example, at one of my dad’s company picnics my parents introduced me to one my dad’s coworkers and my response was “oh, the asshole.” Imagine the horror on my poor parents’ faces. That is just one example of many my parents could probably tell you.
Comments like that are why my parents repeatedly said to me “Think and then speak Joseph” or “Up and then Down”. Going along with this advice, my mom used to tell me my mouth would get me into trouble some day. I can say she was right on that one, but it still took me until about 26 years old to really put this wonderful piece of advice into regular practice, and it is one that I will keep in practice for the rest of my life.
2: If You Cannot Diet, Do Not Try Drugs
That is not exactly the way my mother put it. Here’s how it went. One day as a teenager I asked my mom if she ever tried drugs when she was younger. She grew up in the 70’s so it was a fair question. What’s your anti-drug? When she said no she probably saw some doubt in my eyes so she continued “when I realized I couldn’t diet and food isn’t even addictive, I realized I shouldn’t try drugs.” My mom had no idea at that moment, and will learn when she reads this, that that single piece of advice is the reason I have never tried drugs. Trust me, it’s for my own good, I truly have an addictive personality.
3: Never Threaten To Quit
At 15 years old when I entered the workforce my father gave me several pieces of advice and continues to do so to this day. One piece of advice he gave me that I have always lived by is – you never threaten to quit. If you say to an employer that you quit it’s because you plan on walking out the door and not going back. He even said that if you quit and a company offers you more money to stay, you still quit and walk out the door. You never know if the company is giving you that raise just to then fire you once they find your replacement at a lower salary. This piece of advice has always made me really think, and think hard, before quitting any job I have had…and there have not been many. I started working at 15 years old and at 33 I am at the fourth company I have ever worked. I have been with my current company for over nine years!
Have you ever said “I quit” and later regretted it?
4: Consider the Source
This is probably one of the single most valuable pieces of advice I received as a teen and kept me in the right state of mind whenever someone bullied me. Even today with the haters. Funny how we have come up with haters, which almost sounds more playful, instead of still calling them bullies, even in adulthood. So what does consider the source mean?
One day I heard some smartass say a negative comment about my mom in front of her. If you knew my mom you’d realize how crazy that is since she is one of the sweetest and caring woman you’d ever meet. When I asked her how the comment did not bother her and she said “whenever someone insults me I consider the source.” She further explained that when someone insults her she thinks: do I know this person, do I respect this person, does this person’s opinions mean anything to me? If the answer to any of those questions is no, why let the insult mean anything to you? Anytime something negative is said about me I remember this piece of advice. Guess what, it works! If I don’t know someone, like someone, or respect his/her opinion then I’ll be damned if I’m going to let his/her opinion mean anything.
My advice, only listen to the people you care about and respect. Before you let anyone insult you, try to bring you down, or ruin your day…remember to consider the source.
5: You Can Do Whatever You Set Your Mind To
My parents have been my greatest fans throughout my entire life. They are always there to guide me, to give me great advice, and trying to steer me in the right direction. All the while trusting my decisions…and supporting me in what ever my decisions are.
My parents have always told me I can do whatever I set my mind to. Since a young boy I have accomplished whatever I have truly set my mind to. On the flip side, and definitely more as a kid than now, they also told people “good luck getting him to do anything he hasn’t set his mind to”. You too should know that you can do anything you set your mind to. Whenever I feel stressed, lost, or confused on what my next step should be, I remember this piece of advice to anchor me and give me the motivation I need to keep pushing forward. I can tell you that right now my mind it set on We Talk About It Now.
What great pieces of advice did your parents give you?