There have been a number of books written detailing the best piece of advice a person ever received.
That advice ranged from always wearing clean underwear to never going on a date without cab fare home to visiting the ocean at least once a year.
I was lucky enough to have a very wise friend a long time ago. He gave me a number of pieces of advice, ones that I find still find myself repeating, both to myself and others.
The best piece of advice he gave me was “We are, all of us, works in progress.” It was a reminder that we were never done evolving, that even the best of us were not perfect, that we were truly a work in progress.
The next best was, “Nothing is wasted.”
Everything prepares us for the next thing.
Our lives are linear; we cannot get from one point to the next without passing through all the stages in between.
Nothing is wasted. We learn from it, we gain insight and understanding, we develop scars to remind us of the lessons.
Every experience has value.
Nothing is wasted.
I think the best advice is advice that we use in our daily lives, advice that causes us to think, or shakes something loose in our minds, allowing us to see something familiar in a new way.
Sometimes the thing we see is ourselves.
Sometimes we are hesitant to give advice, even when we’re asked for it.
We have this sense that giving advice makes it seem that we believe ourselves to be experts, or that the person we’re giving the advice to is obliged to take it, which is untrue.
Sometimes advice is one of those things that you give as best you can, and then let go of, knowing that the person you’ve given it to might, or might not, follow it.
Sometimes what we would do is not what another person CAN do, for whatever reason.
On the other hand, being unwilling to give advice might do a larger disservice.
Maybe it will turn out to be the best advice someone else has heard, too.