Looking for answers to life's questions

Good Advice

I’ve said before how fond I am of Chicken Soup for the Soul books. I typically read one story a night just before drifting off to sleep. I take whatever I’ve been reading or watching on television into my dreams so I work to keep things light. I bought the book The Best Advice I Ever Heard: 101 Stories of Epiphanies and Wise Words. I’m coming to the end of it and thought I would pass it on to my niece. She’s young, in college and asking a lot of questions while getting every imaginable answer. It made me wonder about the wisdom that’s passed down from generation to generation.

Heard anything astounding lately?

I didn’t get advice from my parents. They weren’t the kind of people who talked to their kids. My dad would drop little sayings on occasion. “Never vote for an incumbent”; ‘There is nothing more dangerous than a closed mind’; ‘He who hesitates has lost’. Mom told me one New Year’s eve after a little bit of celebrating, that no one would ever take care of me the way I could take care of myself. She was a little late with that advice and offered nothing to implement it with. On rare occasion, she would spill a little story of something that she had dealt with in a way that taught me I needed to be strong.

There was the time she had a flat tire with my siblings in tow. She called my dad at work. Apparently he was less than helpful and told her to handle it. She did, Once the tire had been changed, she drove to the nearest tire store and bought four new tires. Problem solved. It was a lesson for him as well. She always said that when someone (dad) told her no, all bets were off and she would find a way to do whatever he said no to. Like how she taught herself to drive when he was away on maneuvers and couldn’t stop her. Those were sound life lessons for me.

Our Nash Rambler with new tires. ALL 6 of us slept in it on trips.

I picked up what I know about life from books, life experience and the School of Hard Knocks. Then I found out some of the books were outdated. I’ve learned to listen carefully to advice from friends and other family members, smile and weigh it for a glimmer of good sense. Then do what I always do, trust my gut. It will never fail you if you pay careful attention. The truth for everyone depends on what filter people see information through.

What could I pass on to my impressionable young niece?

My niece is still the smallest in her class.

Always be truly yourself. It’s your job. Be kind and honest no matter what it might cost at that moment. Do what sings to your heart, the rest will take care of itself. Read and listen to things that are contrary to what you believe at the moment. Take everything with a grain of salt. Only part of it may hold true for you.

People are filled with good advice. I think most of us hear advice with a tunnel through our ears. You know, in one ear, out of the other.

Did you get any good advice and did you pass any on to friends and family?

From my heart to yours,

Marlene Herself

 

 

 

Comments on: "Good Advice" (74)

  1. I’m being totally honest here, Marlene. Each post you write just gets better and better. I loved this and I so love the Chicken Soup books. What a wonderful gift to pass on to your niece. My mother always told me we are blessed if we have one good and true friend in the world.

    Liked by 5 people

  2. It was simple but my dad always said ‘if you don’t ask, you don’t get’. Ironically, his way of teaching me to speak up for myself which he didn’t care for *too* much. Nevertheless, a good lesson paired with ‘the worst someone will say is No’.

    Liked by 4 people

    • VERY sound advice from your dad, Sam. I was never taught to speak up. Quite the opposite. Excellent advice. No won’t kill you either. Just maybe disappoint and send you in a better direction. 😉 Thanks for the visit.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Thanks for your thoughts and sharing your experiences.
    Quite a few of your points ring true to me.
    I love the beautiful way you share – thank you ❤ all the best

    Liked by 3 people

  4. PS I learnt from life and examples that independence kindness and self confidence are very important

    Liked by 3 people

  5. The only real advice my mother gave me was: The people who mind don’t matter, and the people who matter done mind, when I was worrying about what people thought about me. I was an awkward, solitary child. It didn’t really help when I was young, but as I got older I found it sound. Lacking my own children, I have written a Letter to my Nieces, passing on things I have learned from an interesting life, 15 rules for growing up into a kind, decent and loveable human being.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Your mother was her own person, Marlene, at a time and place when women were expected to know there place. Good for her. Alternatively, I wish she had been able to hold you and love you and be the mom you needed her to be. In the end you’ve learned to trust your gut and follow your own advice and those are wonderful qualities for getting through life. I think we all think “if I had known then what I know now.” Life is the greatest teacher. Sometimes we need that lesson more than once, or in different ways. That has certainly been true for me.

    Here are the positives I learned from my mom:

    *The Golden Rule, do unto others as you would have them do on to you.
    *You should always greet even your worst enemy with a smile and a hello.
    *Walk with your head up (I loved to walk looking at my feet…painfully shy)

    And from my dad in his very short life:
    *the bees are your friends
    *be kind to animals
    *treat everyone with respect

    Big hug

    Liked by 3 people

    • You had some wise parents, Alys. Those are all good pieces of advice. Have you passed that on down to your kids? I’d bet you did.. My poor mom had no direction either. It was a different time and she did learn much later in life. I was lucky not to have the hard life either of my parents had and I’m sure they often thought as I did.; it would sure have been nice to have a heads up about things.I guess that’s why good advice is so hard to come by. None of us had a manual. 🙂 But with this collection of good advice, we will get the manual reprinted for some of us soon. 😉 Hugs.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. My mother often gave me advice. I always listened, but it often seemed that the things she wanted me to do or try were still a bit beyond me, being the late bloomer that I was. More than their advice, I appreciated that my parents were always there and willing to listen to me when I needed them.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s the thing about advice. It doesn’t always apply to the person it’s being given. You were wise to listen and them follow your own council. My daughter was a late bloomer too. I’m glad your mother was available to listen. That’s often more important than advice. Most often we know what to do but when we say it out loud to someone else, it will either ring true or hollow in our ears. I found that being listened too was more important than anything else. Thanks for adding to the conversation. .

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Everyone wants to give advice!! And, for that reason, one needs to be able to sift through all the advice and figure out what works, and what simply doesn’t! So your points about taking advice with a grain of salt and knowing yourself well enough are critical! It seems your mother did give at least some good advice, by example if not by words. My mother’s best advice was, in the face of any obstacle or rough patch, “Think of it as an adventure!” Drove me *crazy* to hear that when was a kid but now I see it was profound.

    Liked by 4 people

    • You made me laugh, Kerry. Thinking of a rough patch as an adventure takes a great deal more maturity then most young people have. I even forget that once in a while. Very good advice though. Thanks for adding to the conversation. I’m going to be collecting some great wisdom here.

      Like

  9. I learned long ago that most people really don’t want advice so I don’t give any. But if someone asks me for some advice, I now inquire if said person wants my real opinion or if they’d like me to tell them what I think they’d like to hear. Or I will just let them know that I trust they will find the right solution for their issue. 😉

    Liked by 3 people

    • That’s pretty good insight, Sabine. Most that ask for advice really just want someone to listen and hear them. They need to say things out loud and see how it sounds to them. Your trick to make them responsible for their own decision is a good one. Thanks.

      Liked by 2 people

      • I never intended to “trick” anyone, Marlene. I just realized that if I gave an opinion, I’d get criticized and my response would get picked apart. 😉 Plus most of the time it’s really difficult anyway to have a full understanding of someone else’s situation. A smile and “you can do it” works most of the time. 😀

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  10. One of the things I remember being told was, “if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.” That taught me about kindness, something I hold onto even now. Thanks for sharing, Marlene. I love hearing your life stories!

    Liked by 3 people

  11. Marlene, thank you for this wonderful post!

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Reblogged this on charles french words reading and writing and commented:
    This is a wonderful post from Marlene of “insearchofitall” !

    Liked by 2 people

  13. My parents weren’t (in the case of my mother still isn’t) the sort of people to tell me what to do. They taught by example mainly, but both of them made it quite clear that, like them, I should follow my own path… oh, and grow vegetables!

    Liked by 3 people

    • You were fortunate to have that kind of parent, Jan. Leading by example is the best way to teach. As children, we are more observant than good listeners but children miss very little. I didn’t know vegetables came from anywhere other than a can until my mid thirties. 😉 Now I will eat or drink nothing out of a can. ) Following your own path is excellent advice. Thanks for stopping by and joining the conversation.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Right. I can identify with your experience. My parents either didn’t give advice, or gave bad advice, but the lessons I treasure from them are what I learned from their example. My father knew the names of every tree in the forest, and every kind of fish, and loved and wanted to raise every stray animal, even crows, raccoons, squirrels – anything in trouble. My mother was always concerned for the planet and constantly searched for ways to mimimize her footprint (though that wasn’t an expression she had heard of). She reduced, reused, and recyled things that would surprize you, and I do that too. She also kept a huge beautiful garden and taught us that the best way to care for your family is to feed them healthy fresh food, home cooked, and preferably raised yourself, to include chickens, rabbits, and pigs.

      Liked by 2 people

  14. I love this

    Liked by 2 people

  15. My late father was a priest, and one of the things I so admired about him was that he didn’t preach his faith; he lived it. He taught by example, which is the most powerful lesson of all.

    Liked by 2 people

    • You are quite right, Liz. Children are watching what others do as much as what they say. Sometimes we learn from seeing what we don’t like, as to how we would rather be in the world. Thanks for the visit, Liz.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. I forgot about those chicken soup books!! This sounds like a good one.

    I think it is interesting that your mother never verbally taught you stuff, but yet, she led by example, which really is a better way of learning. (Monkey see, monkey do, and “actions speak louder than words.”

    My mother’s favorite saying and she is still using it and she is almost 85 is a Buddhist expression I believe “and this too shall pass.” It has served me very well…

    Listening to your gut, or now, what people like to say, your HEART, is always the best way to go. I have always advised my three sons to follow their heart and not worry what other people say. Do whats right for you is the best advice.

    Love the photo of the car and your mom…. funnily enough I have a very similar photo and our car was also being repaired, similar era, similar pose, similar car.

    Peta

    Liked by 3 people

    • We must be on a similar wavelength here Peta. My nickname as a child was because of that saying. It followed me through my young life. I’d mimic what I observed. 🙂 My son found a color copy of that car online and I went nuts with the rest of my siblings. The exact color and year. How ironic. You were extra wise to teach your children to follow their hearts and trust their gut. I’ve live by that and when I didn’t, I paid a big price. Thanks for contributing to the conversation. I love that you did.

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  17. The two best pieces of advice I was ever given – do what you love and the money will follow AND the best revenge is to be happy.

    Liked by 3 people

    • I love both pieces of advice, Erin. There is even a book titled “Do what you love and the money will follow”. 🙂 Just need to figure out what I love. 😉 I like the last one to be happy is the best revenge. Perfect. Thanks for the visit. Love seeing you. Hope you are doing really well. Not sure if you are still blogging since I don’t get notifications from you anymore. I’ll have to look again.

      Like

  18. I love that your mum bought an entire set of new tires, Marlene! 😉
    The only person giving me advice is my mum, my dad never cared enough, and everybody else seemed to wound up their own lives. One that comes to mind and that I had to learn the hard way, was ‘When it comes to money, all friendships end’ (it’s a German saying, I’m not sure if there’s an American equivalent). Time and circumstances proofed to me that my mum was right in saying this sadly. Being independent is essential.

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  19. You are the wise one, Marlene. I loved this post (had to read it twice). Your mother had a strong sense of self, and that left a mark. You are constantly filled with (and dispense) common sense, words of wisdom, and an outlook on life that everybody needs. Thank you for being you, Marlene. You make a difference.

    Liked by 4 people

  20. “Do what sings to your heart, the rest will take care of itself. Read and listen to things that are contrary to what you believe at the moment. Take everything with a grain of salt. Only part of it may hold true for you.” This is wonderful advice Marlene. Some words that anyone can take and apply to their own individual situation. You niece is very lucky to have these words as guidance for her in her life. I always enjoy your insights into life. I still have much to learn.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Be patient with yourself, Amanda. It all comes very slowing in it’s own time. I’ve been away for awhile and not getting to the blog world and don’t see it changing for 2 more weeks. I think I’ll melt into my chair then and get caught up. Lots of things in the works. 🙂 Thinking of you and will see you soon. I so hate getting behind but it can’t be helped right now. Sigh. Hugs.

      Like

      • Don’t give it a second thought, Marlene. Just start reading the blogs from when you have free time. I think if you try to catch up on all those past posts it will simply stress you out as new posts come in on top. Blogging is only one small part of life. It needs to be prioritized down at times. Your insights and comments are always valuable and welcome whether frequent or isolated. As your advice says, Doing what sings to your heart should be the overriding objective.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Thanks for understanding, Amanda. See you soon. 🙂

        Like

  21. You have the most interesting stories, friend! That piece about the tires with your mom, WOW!! So awesome!
    My parents…well, I was adopted by my grandparents. They were in their upper 40s by the time they adopted me. They definitely had a distinctive way of doing things in a way that is very different than parents today, I think. My mom gave a lot more advice than my dad. My dad was career military and to this day, I think he still plays the part. Haha. And now…yowza. We lead such different lives. I love them to pieces for everything they did, but it can be difficult to relate to them given the generational difference and my penchant for being a free spirit. But well…details. Hehe. I hope you’re having a great weekend! xo

    Liked by 3 people

  22. My mom gave terrible advice! Her most constant mantras were to 1) always worry about what others think of you, particularly your weight 2) comply with your husband’s wishes in every way, because it is a woman’s duty, 3) never ever question religion, god, jesus, whatever – if you question, it means you are a sinner. *sigh*

    So like I said above, I learned from her example instead. She was an amazing woman. Like your mother she made her own way because no one ever helped her out. Your mom seems like a powerhouse! I LOVE her bold action.

    I have been leaving such long comments, so sorry. But there is one more thing I wanted to include. A friend of mine and former fellow student in the anthropology department at Brandeis posted this on facebook the other day and I love it so much: “Sending yet another student off to do her first ethnographic fieldwork (with demobilized female fighters of the FARC), I told her about the importance of humility, patience and persistence. As ethnographers, we are there to learn, without presumption of knowledge, and our learning is contingent on people’s willingness to teach us; nobody owes us anything. We need time. Building trust is slow. We can’t rush it. And we should not be discouraged by closed doors, but gather the confidence to knock on them again and wait for an answer. Be humble, patient, persistent, I told her. Then I realized that this is also true for life in general.”

    Liked by 3 people

  23. I like your friend’s advice!

    Liked by 3 people

  24. Hey hey Marlene! I can not even believe how far back I need to go to catch up so I’ll start at the beginning and go backwards. Like the Benjamin Button of the Blog-a-sphere, ha ! I’m trying really hard to remember advice from my parents. My mother was not the type to give advice. She made rules. ‘My way or the highway’ was her mode of operation.

    I’m not one to give advice much either unless someone specifically asks, “what would you do?” Because, ‘no one likes a know-it-all’ 😀 xK

    Liked by 2 people

    • We are of the same mind here, Kelly. I don’t give advice. I ask what they think they should do and why. I’m the sounding board so they can hear what they are thinking. It usually works. My mother was a carbon copy of yours. No discussion. I do what you are doing when I’m behind on reading. Like right now. All I’m getting done is answering comments. Friday I can breathe again. 😉 Hugs.

      Liked by 2 people

  25. Hi Marlene,I’ve just come across your blog after reading an insightful comment you wrote Amanda’s blog, and I’ve signed up for more! Your mum sounds about as demonstrative as mine was, but perhaps that was the way of things in the mid to late 20th century. I never minded going to the dentist because the dentist actually touched my face. It was about as close I ever got to physical contact. Mum still managed to teach me some quality life lessons though, some things worth hanging onto.

    Liked by 3 people

    • My mother was German and went through some horrors during the war. I learned to understand her inability to show any affection when I understood her history. But like you said, You still learned some good life lessons as did I. In the end, I could see there was a lot of love there. Thanks for the visit, Chris. I’m swamped with family visiting and big chore getting done but I’ll stop by to see you shortly.

      Liked by 1 person

      • We saw a documentary when we were in the UK on what happened in Germany, and to the Germans, at the conclusion of WW2. It was horrific. I hope your mother wasn’t a victim of any of the post war horrors. The war itself would have been bad enough! I keep hoping the documentary will come here, as it’s something everyone should see. The retaliation was apparently an even worse genocide that the horrors that occurred during the war. Mankind are certainly queer folk!

        Liked by 2 people

      • I can’t watch anything related to WW2. I weep loudly and deeply. My mother could not speak of the atrocities that happened to here and her family as Germans. My dad told me a little that he had gleaned from her. I was smart enough to not ask. Humans very often are not human. ;(

        Liked by 1 person

      • You are so right about that. We’re a savage beast! I just don’t understand any of it.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Marlene, I’ve looked up that documentary. It’s called, The Savage Peace. If your mum lived anywhere where these atrocities were perpetrated…. it was just awful, and a story not told for 70 years.

        Liked by 2 people

      • I was completely unaware of this part of the aftermath of WWII. I found “The Savage Peace” on Netflix and have marked it to watch.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I’m pleased you have, but please don’t expect to see anything, ‘feel good’. It’s as close to anything I’ve seen that made me feel ashamed to be human’.

        Liked by 2 people

  26. I love the Chicken Soup Books too… Even had them for the classroom when I was teaching. Uplifting short stories are a great way to end the day and sharing personal stories and inspirational books with friends and family is a great way to share the love!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Before my son left to go back to Arizona this morning he had been browsing all my books over the last few days and commented on the eclectic collection. He left with a copy of CS Random Acts of Kindness. 🙂 Made my a proud mom. I’ve been the family & friends lending library for years. Chicken Soup is what I read before sleep each night. I’ve never heard of them being used for teaching but it’s a wonderful idea! Your students were very fortunate. I have your blog page open and will stop by shortly. Thank you for the visit.

      Liked by 2 people

  27. I am late arriving here Marlene.. and like you I learnt many things the hard way and through relying upon my own gut instincts my friend.. My mother never gave advice and shirked it, in fact I had to tell my sisters and brother about the birds and bees and tell my sisters what to do when the entered puberty ..
    I do not think you can give wiser advice to your young niece Marlene.. Following our hearts and being true to ourselves and kind and caring of others holding respect for all things..

    I had to smile at your Mothers determined spirit when confronted with No, and those tyres a lesson for your Dad…
    And that Quote is so true Marlene, many people may know our lives but not our stories..

    Sending love your way, and Hope that you are feeling less tired Marlene..
    I have felt better this week, and today made a real attempt at getting back into WP again..
    Love and Hugs my dear friend..
    Take care of yourself..
    Much Love ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • We are in alignment, Sue. I’m starting to feel less stressed and exhausted as well. Trying now to get a post done. My first quiet day in 3 weeks. Yay! I’m with you on being behind as well. I get to what I can and let the rest go till I can get there. Glad you got a chance to stop by for a visit. I had to do the same for my sister, BTW. Poor thing thought she was dying.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Likewise Marlene.. She often tells me about that day, and calls me her Mum as I think I did more for my siblings than my mother did.. A sad fact I would rather not admit.. but true none the less.. ❤ we have many parallels in our lives Marlene.. ❤

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  28. antonia_ said:

    Wow this is such a wonderful post! Can’t wait to read more

    Liked by 2 people

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