We’ve all been bombarded with pieces of advice from family and friends in which we never really paid much attention while growing up. I could remember all the times when my parents would nag me with their repetitive words of wisdom which I would agitatedly respond to them that I “get it.” Now older, there are many bits of advice that I have overlooked are starting to make sense. Although I have some regrets in life, I still take them as valuable life lessons because everything you do is meant to teach you something about it. Nevertheless, if I could go back in time (though there’s still time, it’s never too late!), I would definitely listen and follow to every simple and important advice my parents and friends have repeatedly been telling me throughout my life so that I could be prepared in the future. Here are 10 pieces of advice you should have listened to.
Sleep is for the weak!
Not that we shouldn’t sleep when we’re feeling tired or when the clock chimes to bedtime, but we should be attentive to excessively sleeping beyond the sleep range. The range of the hours of sleep adults needs to function at their best is on average between seven to nine hours. When we excessively sleep more than we should, we lose precious daytime to do the important things we need to do, either for work or personal life. When we’re oversleeping past noon, other people have already gotten up and accomplished more tasks than a person who starts off their day with half the day gone. That leaves the sleepyhead with nearly not enough time to get what they need to get done which hinders their progress to become productive, efficient, and, most of all, successful.
Dreams are just dreams until you take action
When I was younger, like middle school and high school, I used to be one of many kids who naively believed that they were geniuses, life was as easy as pie, and that their dreams were to change the world one day. I would talk passionately about my big dreams with other like-minded people as though we were planning and setting out on a new adventure. However, at one point, you realize that talking about dreams gets you nowhere near to realizing them. It’s good to encourage and be encouraged to discuss dreams openly with others, but we cannot ignore the hard part: the act of doing. Putting action to make your dreams come true is an endeavor, one that will likely cause people to pull their hairs out, drive insane, and feel beaten up. But it’s sooner better to struggle earlier when you’re young than struggle later when you’re older. Making your dreams come true is hard, but just remember that when you think you’ve had enough, hear the wise, motivational words of Shia LaBeouf imparted to the world to get you back up: “Don’t let dreams be dreams. Just do it!”
Get ahead by getting some work experiences or an internship
Somehow, though I have to thank my stupidity for a large part of it, it took me longer to realize and understand that you need some work experience if you want to enter the industry. I’ve always ignored this advice from my friends and family because I believed that your school background and sheepskin was more than enough as credentials to enter the workforce. However, everything is a competition and employers will overlook an inexperienced person compared to an experienced person who has dipped their toes into the rocky currents of the sea.
If you want to succeed at what you’re passionate about, there’s no time for dilly-dallying playing video games or watching reruns of movies and television shows because it won’t help you get anywhere near of achieving your dreams. Sure, it might feel good having fun doing all those things, but working hard is the only option to get dividends of progressing one step closer to accomplishing your dreams. There’s no substitute for hard work. You want something, you have to work hard and earn it.
Learn additional skills to make yourself look unique from anyone else
I don’t know how many countless of times when my parents advised me to go out, learn and develop some additional skills so that it would help me have an advantage over the many people trying to enter the industry. When you have different skills other than the one you are most passionate about that you went to school for it, employers and others will see you as someone who is diverse, trying to develop their knowledge base and improve themselves for the better. They will see you as someone who likes to go out of their comfort zone to learn new things to get new and different opportunities. Moreover, it shows them that you are not stagnating in this ever-changing world and confined to only doing one thing that matters to you.
Don’t waste money on studying the arts if you know you have the talent for it
This point goes out to the kids who are interested in studying art, or anything related to it, for college but are contemplating if they should get themselves into debt in the process. Don’t waste your money on studying art if you know you have the talent to make a career out of it. The reason being is that it’s hard to make a career out of art, no matter how much effort you put into it. Most people who dreamed of being an artist are probably no longer in pursuit of it anymore because the job prospects are so low for it, and they end up having jobs that they don’t like. You have to really think about it and understand if you can see your talent in the art will get you far in the world. If you know you’re talented in art, there’s no point in putting more money into studying it because you can develop and hone your skills yourself. Be smart about where you invest your money when searching for what to study at college because, in this ever-changing technological world, you need to study the ones that will have higher demands in jobs once you get out and enter the workforce to pay off that debt.
Have a plan B, C, D, etc.
My father always advised me to have a plan B if plan A didn’t work out. From the start, I never really paid much attention to this advice because there are no other plans than just the one in which I was passionate about to pursue a career out of it. But, in this world, nothing goes as ever planned, and you always need backup plans in case things don’t work out. Having a plan B, C, D, etc. doesn’t mean you’re giving up on your dreams, it means you have something to fall back to while you’re restructuring your plan A.
Build a portfolio to showcase your talents to potential employers
As a writer, I’ve been told many times that I would have to build a body of works to prove my ability to potential employers when applying for a job. This is one of the many pieces of advice that I should have listened back then as I am now struggling to hurriedly put a wholesome portfolio together. When you don’t have a portfolio to show off your talents, potential employers are going to be under the impression that you talk the talk but do not walk the walk.
Get involved in your local community
Humans by nature are social beings, and we need to be around with other people in order to be happy, secure, and healthy. My mother would always advise me the importance of getting out of my comfort zone to meet new people as it helps to stay active and to show that there’s more to life. What’s more, getting involved in your local community can help about connecting and expanding your network, which reinforces to employers that you’re actively bettering yourself to gain key skills in communication, leadership, and time management.
Listen to your heart
At the end of the day, you are the only one who knows how you want to spend your time doing in life. There are going to be many noises from friends, family, and others who will give bits of advice and direction on what to do with the time given to you. Sure, you can heed and ask for advice and opinions here and there but, they are ultimately not you and do not know what will put you on the path that is right for you. It’s important to always listen to your heart because the number priority in life is none other than you.