What’s the Best Advice You’ve Ever Been Offered?

They say that in times of great strife, when it literally feels like there is no way out, there’s no greater solution than the one gained by seeking advice from someone who is able to look at the situation at hand with fresh eyes, and a brand-new perspective. After all, you never know what type of refreshing insight an unexplored perspective might inspire!

And so, we asked some of our writers a burning question: what’s the best advice they have ever received, in any context? Take a read at what they had to say, because remember, when coming face to face with a tsunami of an issue that might seem insurmountable, you never know what gems a new perspective might surprise you with!

1. One Destination, Many Paths

“The university I went to had the motto ‘one destination, many paths’ and it’s proven to be really impactful in my life. We might have a plan for how we want our lives to be, but then get discouraged when things fall through. So this serves as a reminder that you can still get where you need to even if it’s via a different path.”

– Anum Ahmed

2. Don’t Let Your Tank Hit Empty

“Not sure what the best advice was, but what I use most is to always fill your gas tank when it’s half empty. It’s a metaphor for life. Granted, very upper middle class as far as gas-filling protocols.”

– Sarah Mohr

3. Go With the Flow

“I’d say for me, it has been to not worry about my future after school so much to the point where I obsess over it and try to plan out my entire life. Also, that whatever I do decide to do at university is entirely my choice! Whatever flows organically and naturally will happen, so just put faith in Allah that it will all work out!”

– Imaan Asim

4. Remain Centered 

“My dad always said that as long as your remain centered in your sense of self, nothing that happens around you will ever affect you. And that has helped me out when I feel negative because of where I am at, or who I am around, tbh.”

– Noor Masr

5. The Company You Keep

“For me, I would have to say that when I was struggling with making company I was comfortable around/company that I felt was positive (I was slowly becoming a more jaded person as a result), my father advised me to take up volunteer work. I distinctly remember him telling me that in an activity where people have voluntarily given up their time to help others, I was sure to find endlessly positive people. Not only was he correct, but I also discovered how much I adored volunteer work! You heard it here first, folks: you can never truly go wrong by trying out something new!”

– Anonymous

6. Benefit of the Doubt

“Give people the benefit of the doubt where possible. We will almost never be able to experience the combination of circumstances that led them to the point that they’re at.”

– Arif Farooqui

7. Trust the Timing of Life 

“It’s better to be happy and unmarried than unhappy in marriage. A lot of my cousins and friends have been getting married and settling down, and that hasn’t happened for me yet. Sometimes, there’s this feeling of ‘Why not me?’,  or ‘Was I too picky?’ etc. So this is a reminder that I’m in a good place right now, and that piece will fall into place when it’s time. But rushing the process or getting married for the sake of being married can lead to unhappiness and conflict that I don’t need.”

– Anonymous

8. Your To-Do List 

“Tackle the most difficult thing on your to-do list first. The rest of the day will get easier and easier from there.”

– Arif Farooqui

9. Save Some Love for Yourself Too 

“So, I was never the type to do what made me happy. I mainly focused on what made others happy, even if that resulted in me being unhappy. And as I have grown up, I listen more than I speak at times. I realized that my happiness meant more to me than it ever did before. I realized that my life had meaning, that I held a purpose in life, whether it was for myself or for others, and I knew that I needed to give myself more respect and dignity. I allowed many toxic people into my life to please them and others. I am not here to please you, or anyone else. I am here to please myself, selfishly or not. I cannot be the best version of myself if I can’t love who I am first and foremost. And with that, people who are not good for you, will quickly remove themselves. You don’t need to do the cleaning up, especially when people are quick to get up and leave when sh** hits the fan. It’s the people who stick around, and dig you out of the mess, those people are worthy of your friendship. If you can hit rock bottom and people are still going to be there for you, those are the true people you want in your life. Not the ‘here when it’s convenient’ people. Those types just take up valuable space and we all deserve what is meant for us. Sometimes we just need to make room for it. Simply put, my life has meaning, regardless of what others may think. I owe no one my happiness. That rightfully belongs to each individual. It’s your choice if you wish to share that part of you with others. But you are entitled to keep it for yourself. Selfish or not, you can’t be your best self if you aren’t happy with yourself first and the world’s expectations of you are irrelevant. You do, first and foremost, what you would expect out of yourself. Be your genuine, original self, even if it results in people leaving your life. You were better off without them if they couldn’t accept you as yourself.”

– Amina Radwan

10. One Step at a Time 

“‘One step at a time.’ This was not so much advice itself but the lead by example way in which my parents taught me this. I think our generation is in such a rush to achieve success (which we have no real concept of in my opinion) and we are under such immense pressure to do so quickly (thanks to social media). Because of this, we are missing out on the key learning experiences that will inevitably lead to said success. I wouldn’t normally be able to grasp this concept, if not for my parents actually applying this in their own lives and showing me that it works.”

– Adil Moazzam