I’m taking a completely different tack this week for my Friday Five. I’ve been kicking around this post for about as long as I’ve had this blog, and a couple of things have happened this week that inspired me to finally get it done. This blog will be just about the Five:
The Five Best Pieces Of Life Advice I Ever Received
1. Two better, one worse
That was the shorthand a former roommate of mine had for one of his major life philosophies: No matter where you are in life, and no matter what skill you’re talking about, there are always two people that are better off and one that’s worse.
It wasn’t the numbers specifically that he was going for, simply the sentiment. There’s always room for improvement. There are always going to be people that are better off than you. There are always going to be people better than you. And there will always be people who will be striving to be where you are in life.
I’ve found that once I accepted that, the little inequities I perceived in my life became easier to deal with. There’s still room for improvement, and things for me to strive towards. But there will always be others that are trying to get to where I am.
2. Ask for what you want
This is part of a dear friend of mine’s 5 rules for powerful living, and it’s the one I’ve seen the most real-life impact from. It’s applicable basically everywhere. Rather than immediately diving for a compromise, or settling for less, or asking for a level of support you really didn’t want – ask for what you want. You’ll be amazed at what happens.
3. Trust is given. Distrust is earned.
Whenever I meet someone, I’m willing to believe anything that they tell me. After all, the vast majority of people are well-intentioned and honest. Why should I think otherwise?
That is, until you give me a reason to distrust you. Earning my distrust actually takes quite a while. But once it happens it’s near impossible to earn my trust back.
And I’ve found that living life that way works just fine. 99% of the time someone I trust will do just fine by me. And 99% of the time if I trust someone who’s earned my distrust I wind up getting burned.
4. Don’t get promoted out of what you love doing
This is a take on the “grass is greener” concept. This was originally passed on to me by a mentor I had when I first became a trainer. He was also a trainer who’d recently taken on a management position. Within about a week he realized he’d made the worst mistake of his life. He was miserable. He hated life. He wasn’t doing what he loved doing – training.
If you’re happy where you are, why change? Although, if you’re not happy, it’s time to move on.
5. When you’ve made your point, stop talking
This is both advice I try to follow and a peeve of mine. Once the point is made, the argument won, the discussion complete, there is no reason to keep rehashing things and reiterating your point from other angles. Especially when it’s an argument that’s involved. Carrying on only leads to more hurt feelings and deeper wounds.