Words of the Wise

“I always pass on good advice. It is the only thing to do with it. It is never of any use to oneself.” – Oscar Wilde

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How true, Mr Wilde.

Although, today I would like to share a few pieces of advice that have been of great use to me:


“You are not the “Every-man” (or woman)”

This was advice given to my Advertising class by one Mr Richard Buddle. He was urging us to remember that advertisements have target markets which may not always include ourselves. This advice, however, is applicable to so many other situations – it is always helpful to remember that not everyone is like you. In fact, probably nobody else is. In some ways, this is the root of all tolerance and understanding.


“90% of people are shits. Try to be part of the 10%”

This one is my Dad. He says loads of things that are really useful and inspiring, but this one comes up for me every day. Just a plain speaking reminder to do the right thing by yourself and by others – and to do this because that’s the kind of person you want to be.


“The first time someone shows you who they are, believe them.”

This is Maya Angelou, author of I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. Obviously it wasn’t delivered to me personally, but I just think this is gold. So often we want people to be a certain way, despite the fact that they keep telling us otherwise. We can’t (and shouldn’t try to) change people – we must accept who they are and decide what role they might play in our lives.


“It’s good enough for Jazz”

Not exactly advice, although I use it that way! This was a brother of an acquaintance playing in a Dixie Jazz trio. His trumpet wasn’t cooperating with the idea of being in tune, but they needed to get on with the gig. I use this phrase to remind myself not to be such a perfectionist and that sometimes “near enough” really is good enough. Unless (as Billy Connolly points out) you’re a pilot.


“Never underestimate the strategic value of doing absolutely nothing”

This is another Dad-ism (maybe he should have got his own post?). This is not an excuse for inaction, but rather his version of “fools rush in”. A “wait and see” approach is often advisable; let the facts reveal themselves so you have the whole picture and things often turn out for the best.

What advice have you received that was truly useful? Do share!

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8 Comments

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8 responses to “Words of the Wise

  1. Philos - Sophia

    I quite like this one by Schopenhauer – “Every man takes the limits of his own field of vision for the limits of the world” – btw your Dad sounds rather smart…

  2. ljwpossum

    Dad is definitely smart and always ready with an dave-ism or two e.g. – ‘We are but corks floating on the sewer of life.’
    I think he gets his ‘wise gene’ from Grandpa who famously said ‘You can’t be all things to all people’. Something I think we all need to remember. Glad you started with Oscar – he’s one of my faves for witty quotes and advice. One of my favourite Oscar Wilde quotes is ‘Be yourself, everybody else is taken’. In a time when we are constantly being encouraged to invent our brand, sell every minute of our lives on social media, remodel ourselves with a slice, dice, tweak and jab, loose weight and emulate the mysteriously famous – these words seem pertinent. Before I sign off, I would like to give the final word to a woman/Muppet after my own heart. The great, the faboo my spiritual twin, Miss Piggy whose words ‘Never eat more than you can lift’ form the basis of my personal diet plan. As she says herself “I am a pig, and as a pig, I have always stood out”. I do want to issue warning, however, while advice is useful and often inspiring ‘Nobody is the suppository of all wisdom’ T Abbott.

  3. Marilyn Barclay

    Can’t possibly resist an invitation to share my favourite sanity saving advice – ‘You can’t control what happens to you, only how you react to it’

    M

  4. Kim

    Great post! I always love a good quote. Following on from the theme of things our dads say. Growing up my dad would always say to us kids “party hard and be good to your parents”. I used to always laugh, along with a “daaaaaad” as i smiled at him…but as i’ve gotten older I can see now what he was saying in a clearer light. Party hard certainly didn’t mean literally attend a party and go hard, he was saying, go out there and make the most of it, give it all you’ve got. Leave no stone unturned, you don’t know unless you try….and you’ve got nothing to lose. AND always treat others (especially those that are older than you) with kindness and respect. Love my dad x

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