What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

Caped Crusader suggests that we each “comment on the most memorable quotes and/or advice we have personally heard or received during our lives; not something we have read.”

I think this is a terrific idea, so I’m asking you four you help, instead of providings thoughts for the day today.  Unfortunately, I’ve drawn a complete blank as to my own experience.  I’ll bet you can do better.

Be Sociable, Share!
  • jj

    Two pieces of parental advice.  1. – Always recognize someone who wants to help you.  2. – Try not be your own enemy.

  • Beth

    From my grandma:  You are never lost until you run out of gas.

  • Danny Lemieux

    1. Nobody owes you anything.
    2. Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good. 

  • Caped Crusader

    This was previously entered in a quotation section but I will repeat it. It is very simple and down to basics advice and if followed will make you life smoother, and encompasses such things as doing a good job, helping others when necessary, and generally leaving a good account of yourself in all that you do. Definitely will make life smoother and more successful.
    “Now boys, I can sum up this entire Uniform Code of Military Justice in one damn sentence. Don’t be a problem, and you won’t have a problem.” Sergeant William Andrews –West End High ROTC 1951. Perhaps the wisest thing I ever heard personally, uttered by a Purple Heart recipient shot in the buttocks in the Battle of the Hurtgen Forest WW2.

  • DL Sly

    I have been on the receiving end of many wise and unwise pieces of advice, but the one that has always struck me deepest (from experience, sad to say) is: Speak when you are angry and you’ll make the best speech you’ll ever regret.

  • https://picasaweb.google.com/102427392960537405774 Kevin_B

    I can’t think of much (and I’ve been given a lot of advice over the not so many years of my life). I however have a few on raising children from my now 78-year old grandmother (bless her heart).
    – You need lots of patience and lots of love in parenting.
    – Be consistent when dealing with children.
    – If you say a certain act will receive a certain reaction, make sure it does and does so consistently.
    – Keep your promises.
    – Nothing wrong with high, but realistic expectations for your children.
    And one from my parents:
    If you have a goal or set of goals you want to achieve, you will have to work hard. There will be adverse times, but you shouldn’t give up, slack off or let despair get the best of you. Keep on working hard and pushing through. Don’t loose focus.

  • Charles Martel

    It may not have been the best advice but it was the most memorable. It was from a girlfriend who wanted to break up with me.
    We we’re standing on a broken down pier at Land’s End, the place where San Francisco reaches furthest into the Pacific.
    “Go west, young man,” she told me.

  • http://thoughtyoudneverask.blogspot.com/ zabrina

    “Lock your doors!” (when leaving in the car). (From my mother, ad infinitum.)
    From my Grandma, on the eve of my wedding, when I asked her advice about how to attain a long-lasting marriage:  “The woman has to give more than 50%.”
    From my mother-in-law, on the eve of my wedding, in answer to my same question: “In marriage you will learn a lot of things about your spouse. Never use them to take advantage of or hurt him.”
    From my friends in a 12-step program:  “You are not the center of the universe. God’s got that covered.”

  • lee

    My mom always told me, “Don’t trouble trouble until trouble troubles you.”
    The advice I hand out at work, “If you’re really miffed, wait a day or two before replying in an e-mail. And even then, you might want to consider doing it face to face, or over the phone. Never rant, accuse, apologize, etc., in an e-mail, or via voicemail. Leaving a trace can come back to bite you in the a$$.” Call me cynical!
    And I think the Waffle House waitress’s admonishment can be helpful in many situations: “Your head has to be off the table to order.” 

  • http://ruminationsroom.wordpress.com Don Quixote

    Lee reminded me of one my Dad said — “Never write anything in a letter you wouldn’t say to the person’s face.”

  • Ron19

    I started searching my memory for the good advice from others that I choose to follow, and couldn’t come up with anything memorable or worthy of passing on.

    Then it occurred to me to look at all the advice I rejected, and boy, there is some really awesome stuff in that category.

    However, to protect the guilty (me), I’m not going to show you how foolish I’ve been.


    I’ll always remember the tender advice my mother shared with me at a casino: “Never split face cards”.

    She also cautioned, “people who are tight with their emotions are also tight with money”. 



  • Danny Lemieux

    Two more:

    1) From a favorite uncle, a variation on DQ’s advice: “Never put anything in writing that you can’t defend in court”.

    2) From my wife…’would you please shut up and listen?” 

  • http://OgBlog.net Earl

    Grandmom: “You’ll catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.”
    Dad: “Never commit to spending significant money without sleeping on it.”
    Both of these have been VERY helpful, and Dad’s is one we’ve never broken, and it’s saved our heinies a couple of times.  I’ve broken Grandmom’s on numerous occasions, and almost always been sorry afterward.
    And then there’s Mom’s:  “Come on and let’s get this work done.”  Best thing ever to use with kids.

  • http://bigfoodetc.blogspot.com Marica

    “Never ask anyone to do anything you haven’t done, or wouldn’t do, yourself.” Dad. 

  • http://furtheradventuresofindigored.blogspot.com/ Indigo Red

    Most of the great advice I was given and often took to heart proved to be a big load of dung. One bit of advice, however, has served me well. It was given me by my architecture history professor in Florence, Italy, “Never put Doric capitals on Corinthian columns.”

  • lee

    Earl: My husband has a more cynical version–“You’ll catch more flies with honey than with vinegar, but you’ll catch even more with $h|±.”

    Don Quixote: Your father’s advice is more about be honorable; mine’s more about covering one’s backside. 

  • http://OgBlog.net Earl

    Lee: Tell your DH I LOVE that!!
    AND that Grandmom was a genuinely nice person, and not a Bill Clinton, which explains the difference between honey and $h!t.
    One other thing that Grandmom always used to say, the minute I came in the house:  “There’s cookies in the pantry!”  She was a difficult old lady in some ways, but I loved her dearly, and miss her a lot.

  • Allen

    Frim an early mentor mine: if you wish to be not confounded, stop doing experiments.

  • roylofquist

    From my father: There are two ways to be rich – have more or want less.

  • http://caedmon-innkeeper.blogspot.co.uk/ Caedmon

    Not much in the great scheme of things but “Read Wuthering Heights before you’re too old for it.” Same applies to Stendhal, as I found out too late. Caped Crusader: Sergeants give great advice, not all of it repeatable in mixed company.  

  • Old Buckeye

    When I got married, my mom told me not to regale her with details of any marital riffs because my husband and I would kiss and make up, but she would not forget anything negative I told her about her son-in-law.
    My dad was a tinkerer and I was always watching over his shoulderwhenever he was fixing something. He advised me to always draw a picture of what the thing looked like BEFORE starting to tear it apart. That little bit of wisdomhas helped me tremendously in many situations.

  • batlaplante

    I’m retired military. Best advice had to do with complacency: “Good enough isn’t. Good enough gets people killed”.

  • Danny Lemieux

    DQ, this column is so full of good advice I just have to “book”mark it as a keeper.

  • Navy Bob

    Something happens, we make it mean something.

  • Jose

    From my Dad: Two women living in the same house won’t get along.

  • MacG

    A friend was once advised “You are about the busiest person I know.  Don’t confuse busyness with productivity.”

    My uncle told me “Never run another man’s traps.”

    My mother “Breathe through your mouth when cleaning the cat box.” 

    Dad modeled fairness to me.  like not getting too mad at me for speeding when he had done the same with me in the car and sticking up for me when he saw me shoved out of the way shortening my turn and a game in a public place.

  • http://ruminationsroom.wordpress.com Don Quixote

    One from my Granddad — “Everything in moderation [pause] including moderation!”

  • Michael Adams

    From my mother:  It doesn’t matter what other people think, as long as your conscience is clear.

  • gpc31

    Four from my Dad:
    1) “Hard by the yard, a cinch by the inch.”
    2) “You can never change just one thing.” [which explains my mechanical ineptitude]
    3) “I see, said the blind man to the fool.”
    4)  All of Kipling’s “If”, but especially:
    “If you can fill the unforgiving minute
    With sixty seconds worth of distance run,
    Youris the earth and everything that’s in it.
    And-which is more – you’ll be a Man, my son.”

  • notomarx

    Can’t remember who exactly said this to me first but it still appropriate.
    “What Goes Around Comes Around”.  It may take time but the one’s who think they are pulling the wool over the sheep’s eyes and getting away with it but Time will tell who gets the last laugh.

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

    Whisper it around the grapevine social circle. There’s no need to put it in a letter or challenge the person to their face. It works better that way for people that can’t handle confrontation.

  • Caped Crusader

    “Most sports are played with some form of ball. Keep your eye on the ball at all times and know where the ball is at all times. Know what your relationship is to the ball every second, and what your responsibility is to the play being run every moment.”    Coach Joe Shapiro, West End High 1950
    “I smell, you stink”    Anna Dembsky, homeroom and English teacher,  West End High 1950-1952      
    Teaching the finer points of the English language. A great and loved teacher who gave her students a great appreciation of, love for, and understanding of the English language, and it’s literature. A 4’10” red headed dynamo, with a Polish accent, who was an honored guest at our five year reunions. I can still recite verbatum poems memorized in her class, especially A.E. Houseman’s, “To an Athlete Dying Young“.