2017 is closing very soon and instead of writing up a gift guide, a how-to post or something that is super motivating, I decided to share with you 10 of my own discoveries this year. They are the 10 worst life advice that I have ever received.
Do you want to know what they are? You might have heard of them several times and from several people as well!
Growing up in an Asian household, I was taught to listen, not to ask too many questions and not to challenge the norm. It took 27 years of my life to realize that some pieces of advice that I grew up believing in were not true.
#1: Good things come to those who wait.
As much as I know this saying is meant to remind us to be patient and have faith in the process. Some of us have been taking it too literally. I agree that good things come to those who wait but better things come to those who hustle. If you wait long enough, luck might smile at you but why not go out and create our own luck and destiny? The grass is always greener on the other side.
#2: If you don’t feel comfortable, don’t do it.
The truth is, nothing worthwhile is comfortable.
Leaving a well-paid, good benefits 9-5 corporate job to be my own boss is definitely not a comfortable decision to make.
Learning how to get over my fear to publically speak in front of hundreds of people when English is not my first language is never a comfortable thing to do.
Pitching to brands and convincing them to collaborate and pay for my creative content is comfortable as hell…in my dream!
My point is, the more uncomfortable things are, the more you will grow and learn.
To my dad, I made a horrible decision to leave my full-time job and earned a lot less in the first few years of my own business. To me, the skills, knowledge and the network that I have gained are worth way more than the income I was making. The best thing is that I get to control my income and I am building my own dreams.
Comfortability is amazing but it doesn’t get you anywhere.
#3: You need to know everything 100% before starting something.
Ever heard someone said, “I need to know everything 100% before I get my feet wet”? Well, I was one of them too. Until I realized that there is no such thing in this world that is 100%.
There is absolutely no way one can understand and know 100% of anything. This is just an excuse people use to NOT get out of their comfort zone. Don’t get me wrong! I am not promoting making impulsive actions but taking some sort of actions, fail and learn is still better than no action at all. Personally, if I know 50% of a business idea or a venture that I want to invest in and I have a good feeling about that 50%, I will not hesitate to jump in.
I love challenges and uncertainties so the fact that I only know 50% of something makes it even more interesting and more exciting for me to pursue. What about you?
#4: You need to wait for the right timing!
Seriously, the best time to do anything is RIGHT NOW because the right timing for us already passed yesterday. Stop waiting! There is no such thing as the right timing. If we are alert enough and keep our eyes and minds open for opportunities, we will see that great opportunities are everywhere.
#5: You dream too big!
People will say that you dream too big because their dreams are too small. Don’t listen to their advice!
However, it is important to understand that big dreams required big hustle. Dreams don’t automatically come because you say you want them. If you are someone who hasn’t been working hard for your own goals and always talking about them, then this advice totally applies to you. Dream big but make sure your hustle is bigger than your dream. That’s the only way to prove other people wrong!
#6: Don’t embarrass yourself!
I often laugh at this advice. I lost count how many times I embarrass myself in the public, to strangers and to friends and family. So what if you embarrass yourself? Whatever you want to do, go for it. If you fail, you will learn.
Do you remember how you learned how to ride a bike? I feel zillion time and ran into the neighbor’s fence and totally scared their chicken off (yes, back then in Vietnam, people let chicken walk around the neighborhood). The whole neighborhood was laughing at me but I couldn’t care less. All I wanted was to ride a 2 wheels bike just like other kids so I could race them as my 4 wheels bike couldn’t operate as fast.
#7: Be the first mover! Don’t be a follower!
I agree with this advice but also disagree with it. Being the follower can give you a lot of benefits. You can avoid the mistakes that the first mover made. You can learn from them and be creative with your own process.
I think the key here is the words “LEARN” & “CREATIVE”. Be a good follower but don’t be a copycat! Being a good follower means you learn from what other people do in a selective way and still come up with your own concept.
You still have to respect the fact that these people have original ideas and that they took the risk to do them first. Do me a favour and don’t copy or steal their ideas. That is not called being a follower. That is called being a copycat!
#8: Go big or go home!
Yes, this advice is absolutely true if you are talking about putting in the “big” effort and work ethics in everything you do. However, to be able to be successful in anything requires patience and consistent effort.
Some people take this too literally and when things don’t grow as big as they hope for, they feel unmotivated and frustrated. Dream big but start small! The road to success is long and unpredictable. You should make baby steps and build a strong foundation for yourself. Big things will eventually come when the foundation is strong. Big things will come when you consistently work on your goals, little by little every day. Don’t overwhelm yourself!
#9: If you no longer love it, leave it!
I have to admit that this advice is not always wrong. This was the advice that got me to walk away from my 9-5 job and started my own journey (best decision ever!).
However, it’s not every day that I wake up loving this journey of being my own boss. Someday I wake up doubting myself and whether or not I made the right decision to leave my comfort zone. What kept me going? My reason WHY! I ask myself how bad I want to have the time and the financial freedom to spend with my parents, my little nephew and the people who matter to me. I ask myself how much time I still have to enjoy with them. They are what keep me going, not whether I love what I do or not.
I think our generation has grown into this mentality of fast gratification. When we fall out of love with something or someone, we get rid of it (or him/her). To have success or a successful relationship, you have to push yourself through these emotional feelings and drill down to what matters to you.
#10 The grass is always greener on the other side
#9 kinda leads me to this last “worst” advice. We always look for the next big and better thing but what I believe in is that the grass is greener where you water. I know people who spend their whole life looking for the next big thing and at the end of their life, they have achieved absolutely nothing.
Don’t be those people who are always looking for the greener side. Water your own grass, work hard on your own goals and dreams. Your grass will always be the greenest.