Most Helpful Girl
The single best piece of ACTIONABLE life advice I've ever gotten -- hands down -- came from my grandfather:
"Before doing anything once, do it in yr head 500 times."
What he meant was this:
Before actually DOING something -- or (perhaps even more importantly) before NOT doing something -- imagine a hypothetical scenario where you repeat that same action (or INaction), over and over again, 500 consecutive times... and think about the effect on yr life, and on the lives of anyone else affected.
This was... this was fucking WOW. I think I was 11 years old when he first laid this one on me, and, it hit me HARD. I remember thinking through a couple of examples, right then and there:
• The times I'd gotten impatient and cut off conversations with friends who really needed me. What if I did *that* 500 straight times? What might those friends have done to themselves, without my help?
• The hurtful things I'd said to people I loved, or the apologies I'd failed to give. What if I did *those* things 500 straight times? What then?
I still think about this EVERY SINGLE DAY. Every day.
I think about it with EVERYTHING I do with my children. Everything I say to them, every decision I make about how to spend my time with them... everything.
500 times, in my head.
I think about it with EVERYTHING in my marriage. Everything I do or don't say to my husband... all the effort I put into keeping our sex life white-hot... all the honesty, all the communication... ALL of it. If I EVER think about neglecting ANY of this stuff, even ONCE...
...500 times, in my head.
This ONE LESSON has honestly done more to make me a better mother, and a better wife, and a better woman in EVERY part of my life... than very possibly everything else combined.
You should do this, too.
In terms of REFLECTIVE life advice... the best advice I've had there came from a pastor I know from Houston.
Impossibly tragic life, that man has had. Grew up in the Orange Mound ghetto of Memphis. Lost both parents as a kid. Lost 3 of his 4 kids... then lost his wife.
Came to Houston to help the Katrina refugees, and just... stayed.
He was always strangely serene, and at peace with life -- even though life had been so, so cruel to him. He was a widower, he'd lost two kids as babies, and another one as a teenager.
I asked him what held him together.
"One day I prayed to the Lord, and He told me:
Give up all hope...
... for a better past."
That one stuck with me forever.0
Most Helpful Guy
my life is full of harsh lessons my friend, but one of them is
never depend on anyone these days, because your own shadow leaves your side in your darkest times