For me, life has had its seasons of ups and downs. During the ups I’ve felt on top of the world without a care. However, when I’m going through rough times I remember the bits of advice I discovered through my mother, friends, strangers, movies, music, and from important people that have come before us. Some advice was better than others, but below are some that have proven to work for me time and time again. Having this advice with me has made life easier to handle and I hope sharing this with you will give you guidance during those tough times.
1. Many times in our life we have to deal with conversations that make us nervous and scared. Some of these conversations are more trivial, like telling a best friend that the new dress she has is not flattering for her. Perhaps you’ve had to tell your parents that you are pursuing a career in music instead of going to law school after they bought you a gavel. That’s awkward. Think about the time you had to tell someone that you love that you don’t feel like the relationship is working. I know that when I need to have a difficult conversation, I think of the saying my Uncle Emmanuel told me:
“Being able to have difficult conversations with people makes you go from being an ordinary person to an extraordinary one.”
This saying has held true to my life and will continue to do so. Taking control of your life and not letting feelings inside of you boil up can free someone from a life of anxiety and what ifs. If you tell someone how you feel and be raw with those feelings, eventually you will be at peace with the emotions that caused you the pain in the first place.
2. This next one seems pretty cliché and when you are going through struggles in your life this might be the last thing you want to hear. Are you ready for it?
“Everything in life happens from a reason.”
Everything you experience is a learning experience. Take a step back and think about a time you embarked on a new journey, such as going to college or starting a new job. The people you meet and the skills you learn will give insight about who you are and who you are not. Just remember everything does happen for a reason because there is always something to learn, even if at the time it doesn’t seem so.
3. This next one is from my main man Mahatma Gandhi. This man dedicated much of his life to promoting a non-violent approach for the independence of India from the British. Even after his death, he is still affecting the world today, with advice like the following:
“Be the change you wish to see in the world.”
Many believe that we live in a world where we can’t love or trust our neighbor anymore. Our world has been characterized as place where violence and vengeance are chosen over peace and forgiveness. The tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut or the gang rape of the innocent Indian women on the train can shake the hope that the world can change. Though there are a lot of bad people in the world, there are just as many if not more people out there who are willing to do good. If you see something is wrong, change the world by leading by example. Start small and fight hard and your voice will be heard.
4. As you get older, you are bound to find people who think differently than you and through various conversations with these people your views will be challenged. When it comes to your defending what you believe in, this advice could be useful:
“If you don't stand for something, you'll fall for anything.”
It is important to stand up for what you believe in. Sometimes people feel as though saying their true opinion sometimes comes off as being intolerant, but it doesn’t as long as you respect and hear the other person’s view. Think about if Martin Luther King, Jr. had halfway believed that African Americans deserved equal rights. This would have caused our country to remain in a time of intolerance, ignorance, and segregation. I know that I can always respect someone that can back up their opinion properly and thoroughly, even if I don’t agree with it. I use this advice to give me that strength to stand up tall when I express myself in those sometimes-tense debates.
5. Ever feel like your life is in a never-ending hot mess train, struggle bus, or shamble city? I know I do. It kind of seems that you will never get out of your trouble. Well my mother always tells me this and because she is African, I’d like to say it’s an African proverb, but it’s not. Anyway, the following advice gets me through those rough times:
“This too shall pass.”
It is so simple and very true. No matter how big a situation is or how much it hurts, it will eventually pass. That break-up, the fight with your friend, financial stress, the disappointment with a grade, the anger you feel against a parent, or the plethora of other things in life that can bring us down can really seem endless. This advice helps me remember that the stresses that were relevant three weeks ago did pass.
6. My newest addition to my advice collection comes from the movie The Perks of Being a Wallflower. I think that everyone can benefit from the following quote:
“We accept the love we think we deserve.”
We all wanted to be appreciated and treated like the queens and kings that we are. The love you receive from friends, lovers, and family is the love you allow to come into your life. If you think you deserve a love that is self-giving, nurturing, and patient, then that is the love you will get. This is not because all these people will magically come to you, but because you won’t tolerate anything less.
Photo Credit here.