Tag Archives: advice

A Little Happier: More Advice about How to Be Successful–Check Every Box.

Last week, I talked about some excellent advice I got very indirectly — from my law-school roommate’s ex-boyfriend. You never know where good advice will come from.

Here’s something else he told me: Try to check every box. If you want a job or a position, make yourself the easy, non-controversial, inevitable choice by meeting every criteria possible.

This advice sounds rather obvious, but I’ve been surprised by how often it has come in handy.

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A Little Happier: My Former Roommate’s Ex-Boyfriend’s Lesson in How to Be Successful.

As I think back on the great advice I’ve received over the years, I’m surprised to realize that some of the best advice came from very random sources — books I skimmed, people I hardly knew.

Like my former law-school roommate’s ex-boyfriend’s advice. It has guided me for years — and I never even met the guy! And yet I’ve thought about his advice so many times: “Successful people are willing to do things that unsuccessful people are not willing to do.”

What do you think of that advice — do you agree?

And have you ever picked up important advice from an unlikely source?

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A Little Happier: Sometimes, the Best Solution Is To Do Nothing at All.

My mother made this observation about an air-conditioner vent, but I’ve found that it’s widely applicable: Sometimes, the best solution is to do nothing at all.

In the photo, you can see the vent. What do you think — were we right not to worry about a vent cover? I never notice the vent, but then again, it’s true that I almost never notice that kind of thing.

Have you ever realized that instead of coming up with some complex solution, you could just…do nothing? It’s astonishing to me how often this works.

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A Little Happier: Some Sage Parenting Advice from My Father.

My father gave me some wise advice when he told me, “As a parent, at some point, you have to switch from advisor to cheerleader.”

I hear advice all the time: “Parents need to let children make their own mistakes, let children fail, give them independence,” etc., but I understood that idea much better when my father put it into those terms.

And thinking about my own experience as I was switching from law to writing, I realize how valuable it was for me — when my parents acted as cheerleaders rather than advisors when I was making a challenging decision.

Now that I’m a parent myself, I realize that this is far easier said than done.

Have you had to hold yourself back from giving advice to your children, or other family members?

 

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A Little Happier: “Be Polite and Be Fair, and You’ll Be Fine.”

I love it when people know just what to say — for instance, when they can convey a big idea in just a few words.

I’ve never forgotten the stern look on my boss’s face as she gave me this advice, as I was about to take on a new position: “Be polite and be fair, and you’ll be fine.” And it turns out, she’s right. Being polite and being fair covers most situations.

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