Managing Oneself Mind & Psyche

5 Common, Yet Perfectly Useless Pieces of Life Advice We Hear Every Day

Do what you’re passionate about, act confident, follow your gut feeling. We hear these god-given truths all day, and yet never really know how to put them into practice. After all, they may just be perfectly useless. Here is what they really mean...

#1 Do What You’re Passionate About!

We all know that we’re meant to do what we’re passionate about. And when we receive this little advice, we know that it’s right, but yet somehow still don’t really know what to do.

I mean…

How does ‘doing what you’re passionate about’ even look like?

Most of the stuff I usually hear from people is something along the lines of ‘I don’t even know what I’m passionate about!!!’ or ‘How do I know what I’m passionate about in the first place!’

And they are perfectly right. The fact that passion itself isn’t even an actionable word makes this God-given truth rather confusing than helpful.

The reason being that passion itself is an end result. It is like profit in a company.

Passion itself is the end result of your daily activities that you enjoy soooo much, that everytime you get to do them, you feel energized and excited at the same time! The excitement you get when you practice your passion is led by an unshakeable belief that there is nothing that could possibly change your mind about doing what you enjoy doing.

In fact, you and I know, that if you’re truly passionate about something, you would probably do it for free.

Perhaps ask yourself ‘What am I willing to do for free?’ or ‘What am I willing to struggle for?’

These simple but effective questions put things into a different perspective and help you shape your belief.

#2 Be or Act Confident!

The question I always ask myself is ‘How am I supposed to be confident when I have nothing to feel confident for?’

Most of us live in the delusion that being confident is knowing every little bit of facts and figures your recruiter wants you to know to get the job. We assume confidence to be something that comes from being unshakeable and having an I-know-it-all attitude.

Like not having any anxiety in your relationship, or not being afraid to get rejected in social situations or having all the answers at the team meeting.

The reality is that you and I both know that it rationally, isn’t impossible to have all the answers and that it is impossible to possess EVERYTHING you ever dream of.

The point is that confidence actually comes from being okay with your weaknesses.

Confidence comes from being comfortable with rejection in social situations. Confidence comes from admitting and being comfortable with the fact that you suffer from anxiety in your relationship. Simply said,

Confidence comes from being okay with being imperfect. 

The lesson here is, that you should never be afraid to be vulnerable. Get comfortable with the fact that you have weaknesses and soft sides that may not be favorable to everybody. You were not born to be confident by adjusting to everyone’s life, but to be confident by who you truly are.

#3 Stop Comparing Yourself To Others

To be told to stop comparing yourself to others is up there with most other perfectly useless life advice we hear way too often.

You and I have seen an ungodly amount of articles and videos headlined ‘How to stop comparing yourself to others’.

… and to a certain degree, they work.

But let’s be honest, no matter how many articles we’ve read and how many videos we’ve watched, we both know that the constant comparison game is a major life-struggle. And once we fall prey and our ego is hurt, we let our self-image get fragile, which usually ends up in self-loathing.

The reality is that comparing yourself to others, is inevitable. Humans are naturally wired to constantly judge, assess, and evaluate each other across many domains… 

She’s taller, but I’m prettier, I wonder if Bob makes more money than I do, Gosh, I wish I could go on a holiday like she does. 

We all have a natural drive for pride, status and being on top of the hierarchy. This all lies within our anthropological background.

The way forward is to decide how you want to measure your life. It is to decide what metrics you will use to measure your success.

Indeed, that’s pretty hard to figure out.

Many of us live under the belief that we have to measure our success by the amount of money we have on our bank account. We do this because we believe this is an economic and a rational measurement. But in reality, we know, that going through life with a mindset like this will potentially cost you relationships and will, in fact, affect your well-being like hell.

Some think that being the biggest drug dealer in town is the way to measure their success. The only problem being that they may eventually find themselves shot.

The point is that we have to be very cautious about how we measure success as this will always have certain consequences to it.

Success should be measured so that your life is filled with happiness and meaning on your journey to success and that the only person you ever compare yourself to is the person who you were yesterday.

#4 Just Be Yourself!

If you’ve ever read a Forbes or any other sort of career articles, on how to ace your first job interview, you may be familiar with this one.

And indeed, there is some practicality to this advice! We all sort of know what it means and why it could be useful.

But let’s be honest for a second. If you’re in your early twenties, we know those little moments where we just feel lost. Lost in life.

This is perfectly understandable and I’m the best example of such.

Psychology says that between 18 and 25, we feel the most lost in life. In fact, we feel so lost, that we literally feel like we’re going through a quarter-life crisis. Some of us establish our solid sense of self a little earlier than 25, others a little later. And some… just never really do at all and go on to become goat farmers somewhere on Tahiti.

(not downgrading any goat farmers here)

The reality is that to be yourself requires a serious load of self-awareness. It requires you to know your inner values and beliefs that you are confident about communicating with those around you.

There are many ways of how we can become more self-aware. My typical practices involve meditation and journaling.

Click here and scroll to page 33 to read on how I meditate and keep my weekly journal. 🙂

#5 Follow Your Gut Feeling

This little saying never made any sense to me. Up until the point where I found an answer that literally made my hair go up. 

We have all heard famous celebrities and mostly our friends and parents give us the advice to ‘follow our gut feeling’, hoping that it will somehow reap a better outcome. Yet we also know that our gut and stomach can’t actually think and we, therefore, live under the false hope that our tummy will somehow tell us what path will lead us to success.

Indeed, neuroscientific studies have shown that people who make a decision based on their ‘gut feeling’ or intuition often experience the better outcomes in the long run than those who always rationally evaluate situations.

The reason being that our intuition, emotions, and feelings don’t come from our gut or heart, but originates from our limbic brain. Unfortunately, our limbic brain does not have the capacity for language. It is therefore incredibly difficult for us to articulate our emotions during certain moments.

This is why questions like ‘Why do love your girl- or boyfriend?’ are so difficult to answer. Sure, we may start to mention some superficial traits like she’s funny, he’s smart, they make me laugh blah blah blah, but we also know that there are millions of other people who are funny, smart and make us laugh. These are simply rational traits anyone could have.

The reasons why we love our partner are much deeper. They are so deep, irrational, and emotionally anchored, that we can’t even find the words to say them. They are hidden deep within our limbic brain. This is why we say ‘I can’t say how much I love you!’.

The best way to go forward is to know that our intuition, for the most part, will not fail us. Go by the decision that feels right to you and that you would not regret 5 years down the line.

Intuition is a capacity for attaining direct knowledge or understanding without the apparent intrusion of rational thought or logical inference.

I hope this article helped you understand some of the common life advice we hear, but never really know how to put into practice.

Do you also struggle with putting these tips into practice sometimes? What is some advice you hear too often you believe is kinda useless?

WAIT! Before you go!

Click the LIKE button below. If you want to brighten up my day, hit the SHARE button. 🙂

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11 comments

  1. I think you have borrowed my brain for this blog, haha.
    I COMPLETELY agree with what you say.
    I wrote a blog like this once, but named it ” “Shit” people say”.
    Your title is just a bit more sophisticated 😉

    “Just be yourself” is the absolute worse one and I have been Skeptical to that each time I hear it.
    For example, when people write their resume letter, they follow the advice on the internet. Some even pay a huge amount to get it reviewed by an expert.
    Is that “being yourself”? I think not.
    Even in daily life, at work I have to be a professional. Role model even since I am in a Team lead position.
    At home, nah.

    Also, what is up with the constant “act confident”.
    Because of this, people forgot how to be humble.
    And humbleness happens to be my favorite quality in one individual.

    I absolutely hate getting advice like this, because it is not realistic in any way.
    Thanks for this post! I am so happy to see that people think the same as I do 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahaha! Love the title you gave it! So good!!!

      And yes, it is literally what you said that has always confused me like crazy!!

      I completly agree with you on the humbleness part. People literally act like they have got it all figured out when in reality they haven’t. They then see themselves as ‘confident’, when in reality most are just depressed (especially my age).

      I’m myself a huge fan of humbleness! Great to hear that we think alike! 🙂

      Like

  2. Great article with some really good points! I particularly dislike it when people say “just be yourself”…I’m not even sure there is such a thing; most of us adopt different personas depending on the situation and company.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I clicked and read your 3 pages on consistently journaling, meditating as a reflective exercise, and trying on The Friends do-gee-flotgy as well. Cool beans!

    Awareness is 🔑, if we truly desire finding our true north. Some would ask: “What the /Where the heck is that?” This is where specificity comes in. It took me years to learn where North was for goodness sakes. 😂 Got It now though!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. You make a fair point about what you said! Especially the one about being yourself but I have an example everyone can relate to.

    You walk in and you be yourself a few days later people are wishing you were not being yourself… Seriously what do you want us to do listen to your advice and just nod our head???? 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Sorry if I worded it wrong I really loved the post I was just saying how sometimes you lose yourself because you don’t know how to be yourself. That’s all I meant sorry if the way I worded it made it seem weird 😬😅

        Liked by 1 person

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