Author Topic: Best advice you ever received?  (Read 305 times)

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Offline millahh

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Best advice you ever received?
« on: June 17, 2018, 09:39:05 AM »
I don’t know if this thread will see a lot of activity, or a little, but here goes:

As the title asks, what is the best advice you’ve ever received?  Personal, professional, whatever.  I’ve recently done a lot of reflecting on some that I received a long time ago, and figured it could be an interesting discussion if a few of us shared.

For me (both professional):

-“Perfect is the enemy of good enough”.  I happened to hear this in a training on my second day of work, fresh out of grad school.  It helped me to focus my thinking around what was truly necessary to achieve a given objective, and to begin with that end in mind (essentially, having a good strategy).  I don’t know that I could have articulated it this way at the time, but it brought down a major aspect of strategic thinking to seven words.  And keeping this principle in mind is responsible for a substantial portion of my career success, I’ve been surprised how any people do not get this, or how many see it as a revelation when I say it.  For me, it has been a keep to effectiveness (and more importantly, avoiding unneeded work!).

-“Work pays you three ways: the money you take home, in experience/learning, and in the network you build”.  It’s about playing the long game.  I know that I’ve consistently been a bit underpaid in my job since I’ve started it (13 years now, across four different roles), but I know that the experience I’m building, at the rate I’m building it, can catapult me into a higher bracket in the near future.  I wouldn’t trade the growth I’ve had at my job for any (plausible) amount of money at a different one where my situation would have been more rigid, or where I couldn't have built incredible cross-functional relationships.  This philosophy got me to director and a clear part of leadership succession planning by 40, and will hopefully get me my own shop by about 47.  Certainly worth a few thousand here and there.
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Offline Adami

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Re: Best advice you ever received?
« Reply #1 on: June 17, 2018, 10:07:23 AM »
Give the situation it’s due.



Also “never ageee with Stadler”
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Re: Best advice you ever received?
« Reply #2 on: June 17, 2018, 10:09:21 AM »
Always carry an extra pair of underwear to work.
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Offline Stadler

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Re: Best advice you ever received?
« Reply #3 on: June 17, 2018, 10:44:46 AM »
I have a fair amount of these:

- See the world as it is, not as you wish it would be.
- You miss 100% of the shots you don't take.
- Tend your own garden.
- A lowered head gathers no lead.  (Probably inappropriate today, given the events of the last five odd years, but back when I learned this, the euphemism at GE for being "fired" was being "shot"; the wisdom was keep your head down, do your work, and shut your pie hole.)
- See the bigger picture. (This is similar to Millahh's second one).
- There's always a bigger fish.
- If you have to tell someone you're [insert trait], you're probably not [insert trait].
- Beer then liquor, never sicker, beer then wine, you'll be fine.




They kind of all fall into a similar vein; I kind of reject the ones that encourage everyone to be their own personal Chi Guevaras. Not everything has to be a fight, and sometimes you expend more energy being a nuisance than you gain back in "change".   I think the recent trend of trying to be simultaneously a "unique individual" and a "harmonious part of the larger group in love and peace" is a large part of some of the problems we're facing as a society.
« Last Edit: June 17, 2018, 10:50:53 AM by Stadler »

Offline Cool Chris

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Re: Best advice you ever received?
« Reply #4 on: June 17, 2018, 10:59:10 AM »
My boss struggles with this immensely, we've actually talked about it a few times, with me saying these exact words:

-“Perfect is the enemy of good enough”.

- If you have to tell someone you're [insert trait], you're probably not [insert trait].

You mean all those people who have told me they are vegan, aren't actually vegan?!
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Online Kattelox

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Re: Best advice you ever received?
« Reply #5 on: June 17, 2018, 12:16:21 PM »
Good ol' mom and dad... not particularly advice, but rather a lesson when a certain other family member would mouth off: "It's not what you say - it's how you say it." Obviously applicable to a lot of situations in life and one I've had to remember many times.
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Re: Best advice you ever received?
« Reply #6 on: June 17, 2018, 12:34:14 PM »
Whatever my mom said
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Offline lonestar

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Re: Best advice you ever received?
« Reply #7 on: June 17, 2018, 12:37:31 PM »
The two biggest pieces of wisdom I've heard both came from the rooms of recovery...

"You're not that fucking important..."

"Wish in one hand, shit in the other, see which fills up first..."
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Offline millahh

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Re: Best advice you ever received?
« Reply #8 on: June 17, 2018, 01:13:01 PM »

- A lowered head gathers no lead.  (Probably inappropriate today, given the events of the last five odd years, but back when I learned this, the euphemism at GE for being "fired" was being "shot"; the wisdom was keep your head down, do your work, and shut your pie hole.)


This is an interesting one, and may depend on company culture.  In some companies (mine included), it's more about picking your spots about when to make noise, rather than to just keep you head down.  But, we are pretty lean a pretty entrepreneurial as big companies go.  Given the forced rankings and the 20/70/10 thing at GE, I could image it being a bit more complicated.

And "being shot" is a euphemism??  The GE termination process must be serious!  :biggrin:

Whatever my mom said

Funny, I'm the reverse, whatever my mom said to do, the right decision is to do the opposite.  It's like he Constanza rule.

Also “never ageee with Stadler”

If Stadler agreed with this, would reality undo itself?


I also forgot one of my other favorites: "If you're the smartest person in the room, you're in the wrong room"
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Offline Adami

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Re: Best advice you ever received?
« Reply #9 on: June 17, 2018, 01:18:11 PM »

- A lowered head gathers no lead.  (Probably inappropriate today, given the events of the last five odd years, but back when I learned this, the euphemism at GE for being "fired" was being "shot"; the wisdom was keep your head down, do your work, and shut your pie hole.)


Disagree with this. In principle.

My school recently had a HORRIBLE teacher. Doing major injustices and ruining our educations. Plenty people wanted to keep their head down, do their work, and move on. Myself and some others decided to do something about it. It was tough and took many months, but he was eventually let go and replaced with a much better teacher.

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Offline Phoenix87x

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Re: Best advice you ever received?
« Reply #10 on: June 17, 2018, 04:08:58 PM »

- See the world as it is, not as you wish it would be.


Words I absolutely live by.



"You're not that fucking important..."


This is important to me as well. I try and stay humble as much as possible. Don't always succeed, but I try.
« Last Edit: June 17, 2018, 04:17:27 PM by Phoenix87x »
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Re: Best advice you ever received?
« Reply #11 on: June 17, 2018, 06:13:54 PM »
"Wish in one hand, shit in the other, see which fills up first..."

Dude, you have no idea how many times I've used this since you dropped this pearl on me (or the forum in general) many years ago.   :tup

I don't know if people gave these two to me, or if just picked them up on my own along the way.  These are the top 2 'rules of life' I live by.

1.  The only thing you HAVE to do is breathe.  Meaning, EVERYTHING in life is a choice... all dependant on the outcome or consequence you're looking for (or are trying to avoid).
2.  No matter what you do, unless you die, life goes on.  Meaning, don't sweat everything.  The sun will rise again tomorrow, the Earth will keep spinning.  You can't change the past, so there's very little worth in dwelling too much on it (unless you're learning from it).

One I picked up recently was "If your absence doesn't bother them, your presence never mattered".
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Offline chknptpie

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Re: Best advice you ever received?
« Reply #12 on: June 17, 2018, 08:34:12 PM »
Before I got married my grandmother told me to always put myself first. It was surprising to me based on the generation she came from. But she said to always take care of myself, then my husband, and then the kids (if we decide to have any).

Offline Cool Chris

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Re: Best advice you ever received?
« Reply #13 on: June 17, 2018, 08:39:12 PM »
Before I got married my grandmother told me to always put myself first. It was surprising to me based on the generation she came from. But she said to always take care of myself, then my husband, and then the kids (if we decide to have any).

I agree with the sentiment, except that when you have kids, it usually goes yourself, then kid(s), then spouse.

Some people might say to take care of your kids before yourself, but if you are not taking care of yourself, you are not going to be in a good position to take care of anyone else.
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Offline TheRich13

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Re: Best advice you ever received?
« Reply #14 on: June 17, 2018, 08:43:13 PM »
There are more horses asses in the world, than there are horses.

You don't have to brush all your teeth, just the ones you want to keep.
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Offline Stadler

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Re: Best advice you ever received?
« Reply #15 on: June 18, 2018, 07:47:32 AM »

- A lowered head gathers no lead.  (Probably inappropriate today, given the events of the last five odd years, but back when I learned this, the euphemism at GE for being "fired" was being "shot"; the wisdom was keep your head down, do your work, and shut your pie hole.)


Disagree with this. In principle.

My school recently had a HORRIBLE teacher. Doing major injustices and ruining our educations. Plenty people wanted to keep their head down, do their work, and move on. Myself and some others decided to do something about it. It was tough and took many months, but he was eventually let go and replaced with a much better teacher.

It's not meant to say never stand up to injustice.  It's meant to say that the prima donna puts a target on their back.  It's meant more in the context of the "individual" that thinks they're so special that they don't have to follow the rules. 

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Re: Best advice you ever received?
« Reply #17 on: June 18, 2018, 08:11:41 AM »
"Wish in one hand, shit in the other, see which fills up first..."

Probably a distant related to an italian expression that rhymes and goes "Chi visse sperando morì cagando", which literally means "He who lived wishing died shitting"  ;D
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Offline Podaar

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Re: Best advice you ever received?
« Reply #18 on: June 18, 2018, 08:24:38 AM »
Wisdom from online forums should be seen as entertainment, not help.

Offline Adami

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Re: Best advice you ever received?
« Reply #19 on: June 18, 2018, 08:40:53 AM »

- A lowered head gathers no lead.  (Probably inappropriate today, given the events of the last five odd years, but back when I learned this, the euphemism at GE for being "fired" was being "shot"; the wisdom was keep your head down, do your work, and shut your pie hole.)


Disagree with this. In principle.

My school recently had a HORRIBLE teacher. Doing major injustices and ruining our educations. Plenty people wanted to keep their head down, do their work, and move on. Myself and some others decided to do something about it. It was tough and took many months, but he was eventually let go and replaced with a much better teacher.

It's not meant to say never stand up to injustice.  It's meant to say that the prima donna puts a target on their back.  It's meant more in the context of the "individual" that thinks they're so special that they don't have to follow the rules.

See, when I see "keep your head down", I read that as staying under the radar and never standing up for what you feel is right.

What you described might be best stated as "don't be a dick". Which is always good advice.
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Re: Best advice you ever received?
« Reply #20 on: June 18, 2018, 08:53:59 AM »
Wisdom from online forums should be seen as entertainment, not help.

Always carry an extra pair of underwear to work.

You're welcome.
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