What’s the Best Piece of Advice You’ve Ever Received?

When I started the Living With Money podcast, I really wanted to hear everybody’s individual story.  Every person on this planet is unique.  Everyone has different stories.  Everyone has different experiences.  No two people are the exact same.

For the last couple of months I’ve been concluding all of my interviews with the same question:

“Whether it is a personal or professional thing, what is one piece of advice that you’ve received that has always stuck with you?”

I ask this question for two reasons:

  • It REALLY gets the wheels spinning in the guests’ head, and gets them thinking back about all of the best things they’ve heard. That makes for a really thoughtful answer.
  • Even though some of the underlying concepts might be the same, every single person has had a different variation of advice. No two pieces of advice have been the same.

I always make sure to distinguish that it can be a personal OR professional piece of advice, and funny enough, usually the advice can apply to BOTH.

Let me give you some examples.

When I talked with my brother, Casey Mullooly, in Ep. 60, he cited a piece of advice our dad had given us growing up.  “You play baseball against yourself”.  At first glance, it obviously applies to baseball, but the underlying point touches every aspect of your life.  As Casey put it:

“It’s this idea that you’re all you have, and there’s no good or bad. There’s only you.”

Whether that’s in a personal sense, or professional, the message still hits home.

Another example was when I spoke with Blair duQuesnay of Ritholtz Wealth Management in Ep. 59.  Her advice was the power of having a positive mindset.  As Blair put it:

“It’s the concept of having a positive mindset. The power of positivity. I was a pessimist. I was like always disgruntled, you know, why am I not progressing further in my career? Why does my boyfriend make more money than me? And all this stuff. And once I flipped in my mind to seeing the positive aspects of everything, I’m still a realist, but I have an optimistic mindset today, that changed everything for me”.

Clearly there in Blair’s example, having a positive mindset affected both personal and professional hurdles she was facing at the time.

When I talked with Sam Reyes from the Out of Office Blog in Ep. 56, she talked about not letting the little things set you back.  As Sam put it:

“Don’t let little things that set you back. Don’t worry about your siblings or your parents or your friends and what they’re doing. Live your life for you, do what makes you happy. This is us, we’re the only people that are living our own lives.”

As long as you’re happy, where you are in your career, or in your personal life, should be enough.

All of these examples can be applied to pretty much every aspect of your life — whether it’s your relationship with a family member or significant other, making financial choices, or making career choices.

I was recently interviewed for the podcast this week, and Casey walked into my office after listening to the episode and said “so what’s YOUR best piece of advice?”  It got me thinking.

My first reaction to Casey was “well you stole my answer!”  The piece of advice my dad gave us all those years ago, mentioned above, really IS my favorite piece of advice.  But that’s taking the easy way out of the question.

My favorite piece of advice that I’ve heard recently came from the book Self Compassion, which Casey talks about in his episode.  I just got finished reading it, and in the book Dr. Kristin Neff quotes Charlie Chaplin:

“Life is a tragedy when seen in a close-up, but a comedy when seen in a long-shot.”

That quote hit me like a ton of bricks.  It’s true.  We all get so caught up in the day-to-day craziness, especially now with social media, that we constantly make bigger deals out of small incidents.  I’m extremely guilty of it.  It’s something I’m consciously working on as we speak.  Being able to take a deep breath, zoom out, and ask “is this really worth getting worked up about?”

If you can do that, you’ll find your days go by a lot easier.

So – let me ask YOU: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

Let me know in the comments, on Twitter (@TimMulloolyMAM), or via email tim@livingwithmoney.com.

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