I’ve received my own fair share of advice in my time and many of them have been helpful. In the same vein however, many of them can classify as the worst advice you could ever give to anyone and SHOULD NOT be taken as they are.
Most times, people can advise you because they just want to sound motivational or they can end up giving you advice based totally on situations they have been in and not considering your own context or maybe they just really have nothing to say. Either ways, it is important that you are able to discern between good and bad advice and know which ones you need to tweak before taking them into cognizance.
- Fake it till you make it.
LOL! That’s all I can say. In some scenarios, this may be good advice that would only work if you are trying to correct something that is holding you back from achieving. For instance, if you are trying to be more confident in connecting with people, acting confident and doing things that project confidence can help you build your confidence. However, if you’re faking it prove something to other people or to prove your worth then this is totally bad advice. You would end up putting so much effort into faking it that you won’t even have the resources to become it at the end of the day.
- It’s not far. You can trek it.
This is usually the worst and most evil advice. If anyone tells you this, please confirm that it is actually trekking distance before you set out. If not, you will end up trekking from one city to another.
- Education/A good grade is not important so far you have skill and talent.
While it is possible to make it without education or good grades, it is important to aspire for and work towards it. Even with the best skills, education would open doors for you in places that your skills cannot and it would help you to develop those skills even more.
- Be like ‘so and so person’.
It is okay to have role models with certain traits you admire and want to take after. However, patterning your whole life after someone else is a waste of time and energy. Rather use this energy to be the best version of yourself that you can be.
- Be Yourself.
I always think this is silly when people say this to me because in actual fact, it really is not possible to be anything other than yourself. Even if you try to be another person, you are still yourself. Also, people are now so quick to use this as an excuse for bad behavior. They say things like “That’s me!” or “That’s just who I am”. So I think what whoever says this to you is really trying to say is BE THE BEST VERSION OF YOURSELF. Keep striving to be best version of you that you can be. Simple.
- Never say never.
Random person: Tomi, let’s jump off this cliff!
Yes! I said never. And there are a million other things I would say “never” to. You actually have choices in this life and there are some to which you must say NEVER. If someone tells you this, they are probably trying to give you hope about something. What they should be saying to you is that there is always hope and nothing is impossible.
- Don’t cry over spilled milk.
This is basically saying don’t cry or be sad over what you cannot change. I think an important part of emotional strength is letting out your feelings from time to time. Suppressing your emotions can lead to unexpected outbursts later on. So, it is okay to cry or be sad over spilled milk. The important thing is not to cry over spilled milk for too long. Get up, go to the grocery store and buy another carton of milk!
- A shortcut is always a wrong cut.
Honestly, I just think that not everything in life has to be so hard. There are things you can spend less time and energy on and still get the same result. For example, you can make use of networks that you have to get some things done and save time/resources to do other things. A shorter process does not ALWAYS mean you are doing things the wrong way. I think whoever giving you this advice is just trying to say that you should be honest in your dealings and follow due process, not that you should not do things in a shorter, faster way if you have the opportunity.
- Never stop fighting for what you believe in.
Haha! I imagine this is the kind of advice that Hitler had because I don’t want to believe that some time in all those years, he did not realize that he was doing something wrong. Sometimes you realize that what you believe in is wrong or false. It is stupid to keep fighting at this point. You become a zealot instead of hero. While fighting for what you believe in, be open-minded to other people’s opinions and to realizations that you might be on the wrong path.
- Always speak your mind.
If you were raised by African parents, then you probably already know that this is bad advice. Sometimes just shut up and listen. Wisdom is profitable to direct.
- Forget about the past.
First off, I don’t think it is possible to just develop selective amnesia over some things that you have been through. Also, is forgetting really the goal? I think we should actually acknowledge mistakes that we have made so that we can work on them to do better. What you should really be told is not to obsess over the past. Let it go. You might not forget but don’t hang on to it obsessively such that it prevents you from taking greater strides. Rather, use it to make better decisions in the future.
- The only person you can trust is yourself.
Bad advice. Very bad advice. No man is an island. It is okay to be critical of people and their intentions at first. This is how you are able to choose people you think that you can actually trust. Even at this, some people will still break that trust. That however, does not mean that you should not trust anybody at all. Human beings are essentially social beings. We thrive on social interaction. You would need to relate on a trust level with business partners, friends, or spouses if you do decide to get married. You can’t be very successful in these relationships if you have that mindset that the only person you can trust is yourself.
- Live each day like it is your last.
I’m sure we’ve all heard this before. I think it makes zero sense. If it were my last day, I would clear out my bank account and go on a shopping spree. I would eat every single unhealthy thing I’ve ever avoided. I would probably even go and look for people’s trouble and literally put myself in harm’s way. If I lived everyday like it is my last, I would go broke in a week. There is a reason why planning is important. There are days ahead and we need to live and plan towards them.
- Time heals everything.
This is another advice that probably comes with good intention but makes no sense. The person is probably just trying to console you over something. Imagine you get a flat tyre and you take this advice that time heals everything. Do you leave your car or bike and wait for time to fix it? You would literally wait forever. You get your tools and you change the tyre or you call a professional to do it. Time does not heal everything. It is what you do in that time that matters.
- Opposites attract.
I only know this to be true for the north and south poles of magnets. In life relationships like business or marriage, it is important for you and you partner to have similar basic values and principles. It is okay to be different in some ways. You can complement each other. However, having totally different values, principles etc would eventually lead to conflict. A fundamentally honest person cannot be comfortable doing business with someone that does not value integrity. You have to be similar on the core. Interests, skills etc can be different and complement each other.
- Follow your passion and the money will come.
“Follow your passion” can be good advice but you cannot guarantee that the money will come. Being passionate about something does not mean you’ll make a lot of money from it. If you keep expecting some big payday, you might eventually get frustrated. Follow your passion but keep in mind that you may have to do other things to make money. Follow your passion because you love doing it and because your happiness is important. YOU CANNOT GUARANTEE THAT MONEY WILL COME!
- Be confident.
This is the most hilarious one ever. “Be confident”. You think my lack of confidence is because I was telling myself “Be nervous. Be a coward.” Of course, I’m trying to be confident. The advice you should be giving me is what to do to feel, be or look more confident. Telling someone to be confident is just funny advice honestly.
- Don’t care what anybody thinks.
Imagine walking into a corporate job interview in a bikini and ratchet make up. Everybody is thinking “Err…a hooker seems to have lost her way.” But of course, you don’t care what anybody thinks. Then they call on security to escort you away from your dream job. Lol! You should care what people think sometimes. Let your inner critic out sometimes. The real advice here is not to become attached to people’s approval. Don’t develop approval mentality such that you can no longer think for yourself or make decisions without obsessing over whether you would be accepted or approved of by other people.
- Be the best at whatever you do.
It is not possible to be the best at EVERYTHING you do. Some things are done just for fun. Striving for competition in these things would just take all the fun away and if you take this advice to heart, you would always be sad anytime someone beats you. It’s better to say “put in your best in everything you do.” That way, even if you don’t emerge the best, you are at peace and satisfied with yourself knowing that you put in your best.
- Final piece of bad advice: Don’t share this post.
Someone advised you to keep this post to yourself and not share? BAD ADVICE. Ditch it! Share as many times as you can. Hahaha!
Sigh! This was a long post. Finally done. Thank you for reading to the end. Tell me. What is the worst advice you have ever gotten? Comment section open! Stay consistent and keep challenging the status quo.
Your tiny eyed story teller.