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mindyourmind Monday: Advice
What’s the best advice you’ve been given?
As we move through life, we carry with us the advice we’ve collected from those around us. These various words of wisdom can come to shape who we are, how we navigate our days, and how we talk ourselves through tough times. This month the mindyourmind team is sharing some of their favourite advice that they’ve been given.
Elora: While completing my Bachelor of Social Work degree, one of my professors told my classmates and I to “stay curious.” This advice has stuck with me since then. Not only can it apply to my work but to all areas of my life. To me, staying curious means asking questions, thinking critically, and not being afraid to dive deeper. Plus life is more interesting when you lead with curiosity!
Heather: So many different words of advice have impacted me over the years. I think about the saying, “Treat people as you want to be treated”, although it’s cliche, it’s important to think about as we navigate life. We may draw upon different inspirational quotes or words of advice in different phases in our lives, as things will resonate with us differently, depending on the situations we’re in. In the last few years through all the uncertainty, I have thought about “Embrace change”. Simple words but very profound. If we can accept that change is the only thing that is certain - in any aspect of our lives, it’s a little easier to understand and navigate our circumstances. Life is full of challenges and surprises!
Natalie: When I was young, since I was not good at socialising, my dad gave me 4 pieces of advice. They were: 1) Don’t mind what others think about you, take constructive criticism but not judgement. 2) Don’t be afraid of being giving more than receiving: we are often afraid that we are taken advantage of, but if you think what you are doing is right and you are happy with it, what do you have to lose? 3) Be humble, there is no need to boast, as if you are competent enough, others will acknowledge you. 4) Don’t compare yourself to others: everyone is different and on their own journeys, whether that be career or self-growth. Do what you want to do at your own pace and don’t feel it is a must to have something by a certain age.
Kyle: Pomodoros! Sorry, I don’t have a lot of personal advice that I fall back on but I do have a time management technique that has saved my ass on many occasions. “Pomodoro” is Italian for tomato, it’s also a 25-minute interval of time, named after little retro kitchen-timers that were shaped like tomatoes. With the Pomodoro Technique, you set a timer for 25 minutes and work on one task, without interruption, until it stops. Between pomodoros, take short breaks away from your workspace. Do this enough and you train your brain to immediately go into a deep-focus “flow” state whenever the timer starts and the frequent small breaks help prevent burnout. Also, when you feel like you absolutely can’t get a task or project started, you can always commit to one pomodoro and do just a little bit - I find that’s usually enough to get momentum going. The technique’s not everyone but I’d be lost without it.
Sanchi: The best advice I have received is from my favourite band- BTS. They are huge advocates for self love and have always promoted these values through their music. Their song- “Love Myself-Answer” has my favourite lyric that translates to- “The me of the past, the me of the present and the me of the future are all me and I should love them all.”I have always struggled with self love and accepting changes within myself. As I move forward in life I want to keep reminding myself of how I change and how each change is a change that I should and will love.
Scarlett: The last piece of advice I received from my mom was her writing inside a photobook she gave me for my birthday, which ended up being the day before she passed (she had written it months in advance, she was organized like that). The photobook was of our first and only full family tropical vacation, and while it involved some of the best memories of my life, it also was unfortunately tainted by some other difficult factors for me. So inside the photo book, something my mom had written was this: “Remember in life, some of the best times can be bittersweet and it can be tough to swallow that but when you can get past the bitter, the sweet is so wonderful.” It has been an enduring reminder for me to try not to lose sight of the good by getting too lost in the bad.
Michelle: When I was applying for a job, as a cashier, my mother said to me “the squeaky wheel gets oiled”. She said I should go back to the store and talk to the person in charge and just ask if they’ve made any decisions on hiring.I thought it wasn’t a good idea to bug the manager but I went to the grocery store and got hired on the spot! Soooo be that squeaky wheel… ask for what you want and advocate for yourself!
Josh: I come from a great family of advice givers. Sometimes too much. My dad still tells me I should take more probiotics on a weekly basis. And while I’m not sure of the efficacy of long-term probiotic use, I am sure we all have someone like that in our lives. But there are a few gems that I’ve had in my life that I like to live by. I’ll tell you one that my grandmother likes to say. It’s a dutch expression that roughly translates to “you are to be pitied” and it absolutely drips with humour and sarcasm. It’s often said around our family when someone is being dramatic and wants to complain. It’s something of a reality check that jests at the current issues we’re struggling with. While it’s important to focus on the issues at hand, it’s also important to frame them in light of a bigger picture. As my family were immigrants that survived living in some of the worst places hit by WW2, it’s our humour in dark times that remained intact - and I cherish it.
Simran: Growing up, my Ba (grandmother) would repeat this piece of advice to me often. She would say that you need to have a good education, be financially independent, and take care of your physical and mental health because at the end of the day only you are going to be there for yourself. When I was younger it felt a bit selfish and dark. As I grew older I understood where she was coming from. As women we’re often expected to put others before us often at the cost of ourselves. Her sharing this with me was her way of pushing me towards a life where I felt confident in my ability to support others while not sacrificing myself.