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17 awesome pieces of life advice straight from our readers.

From the serious to the silly, readers shared their favorite life tips.

17 awesome pieces of life advice straight from our readers.

Good advice is hard to find.

That's why we recently reached out across the Upworthy Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr accounts asking you, our readers, what was the single most valuable piece of advice you've ever received. The answers ranged from funny to serious to heartfelt and emotional.

Below, however, are 17 of our favorites.


1. Don't complain about getting older: not everybody gets the privilege.

Over on our Facebook wall, Carol shared a short story about her husband of 21 years dying of cancer. Her story was filled with bits of advice about aging and relationships, and one line stood out: "Don't confuse intelligence with maturity."

2. On relationships — always appreciate your friendships.

This piece of advice comes from Rachel on the keys to a successful marriage. Over time, feelings may change for the ones we love, but so long as friendship remains a constant in our lives, it can work.

3. Keep moving forward, you'll make it.

This story from Ketanie tackles the aftermath of a serious car crash that left her in a coma. After she woke, she was told she might lose her leg and not walk again. She made it her goal just to move a little bit each day, and after months, she's back up and walking, able to take care of her girls once again.

4. Too often, we're too worried about what others think.

Sometimes we focus too much on what other people are doing, what credit other people are getting, and letting jealousy of these individuals bring us down. When those moments happen, it's good to put on the blinders and focus on what's going on in our own lives.

5. You can't control what others think of you.

Sienna shared this bit of advice, which has been attributed to probably close to a dozen sources (must be that good if everyone wants credit for it, right?). But it's true: You can't change what someone thinks about you. You can only change how you act and what you do. It's up to them to change their perception.

6. Unsolicited advice should be taken with a grain of salt.

Ever have someone just come up to you and start offering up advice about something you really didn't need anyone else's opinion on? It's kind of annoying. Instead of offering unsolicited advice, offer to help, instead.

7. There's no step too small.

Terri wrote that after she had her first child, a friend offered her this bit of advice: Too often, we try to do so much or we look at the things that need to be done and find they just seem so overwhelming. Life doesn't have to be so overwhelming. Just take things one step at a time.


8. You're your own worst enemy. Be your own best friend instead.

If you're anything like me, you're probably your own worst critic when it comes to, well, everything. I like to think of myself as a good friend to others, but I'm certainly not one to myself. Maybe if I put the same level of compassion into how I treat myself as I treat others, I wouldn't always feel so anxious.

9. Don't sweat the small stuff.

Patty wrote about a piece of advice her father gave her before she got married.


Now, to be clear, this isn't a free pass to forget your spouse's birthday (and no one should feel obligated to put up with someone being truly neglectful). The point here is that in the big scheme of things, any one single day is only a fleeting moment. If you're spending your life with someone you love, then every day is a gift.

10. Don't put other people out; don't let them down.

Whenever possible, avoid inconveniencing others (especially friends, family, and loved ones). If something you're doing must inconvenience anyone, it might as well be you and not them, right?

On the flip side...

11. It's OK to need help.

In this submission, Wendy tells us about some advice her dad gave her. "People need to be needed," he told her. If someone offers up help, don't hesitate to take them up on it.

12. Nothing worth doing comes easy.

Life is full of risk-taking opportunities. And while the word "risk" implies that something could go wrong or things could get worse, it also comes with the possibility that things could get much, much better. Now, of course, a great many risks aren't worth taking. Which ones you pursue is entirely up to you.

13. Relationship advice is a tricky tightrope.

Alyssa wrote about a relationship she was in once that had taken a toll on her personal and professional life. It was toxic, and others around her knew it. While this advice isn't for everyone (there are obviously some very real reasons why some people in toxic relationships don't or can't leave), for Alyssa, asking this question led down the path to happiness.

14. Think about the future.

This advice, shared by Kate, is an important truth about life and regret — regret both of what we do and what we don't do. In her work as a nursing assistant, Kate took care of elderly people. One woman gave her the simple advice to live life without regrets (which, hey, is pretty common advice, right?) but when she clarified it, it became way more profound.


15. Life's not fair.

Eugene shared a story about his growing up with a brother who had a tendency to take stuff out of his room without permission. After complaining about it, he came to realize that simply complaining didn't do anything. He had to accept and acknowledge the world for what it was (unfair) before he'd be able to change things for the better.


16. Revenge is a dish best served...

Melinda shares a classic bit of advice right up there with "kill 'em with kindness." Some people say, "Don't get mad, get even." Even better, though, is simply living well and letting those who've wronged you see what they've missed out on (and hopefully learn from their mistakes).

17. It doesn't get any more basic than this: Be kind.

Maybe this goes without saying, but being kind is one of the best things any person can do for themselves, for those around them, for friends, for strangers, for family, and for the world.

Be kind.

Courtesy of Tiffany Obi
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With the COVID-19 pandemic upending her community, Brooklyn-based singer Tiffany Obi turned to healing those who had lost loved ones the way she knew best — through music.

Obi quickly ran into one glaring issue as she began performing solo at memorials. Many of the venues where she performed didn't have the proper equipment for her to play a recorded song to accompany her singing. Often called on to perform the day before a service, Obi couldn't find any pianists to play with her on such short notice.

As she looked at the empty piano at a recent performance, Obi's had a revelation.

"Music just makes everything better," Obi said. "If there was an app to bring musicians together on short notice, we could bring so much joy to the people at those memorials."

Using the coding skills she gained at Pursuit — a rigorous, four-year intensive program that trains adults from underserved backgrounds and no prior experience in programming — Obi turned this market gap into the very first app she created.

She worked alongside four other Pursuit Fellows to build In Tune, an app that connects musicians in close proximity to foster opportunities for collaboration.

When she learned about and applied to Pursuit, Obi was eager to be a part of Pursuit's vision to empower their Fellows to build successful careers in tech. Pursuit's Fellows are representative of the community they want to build: 50% women, 70% Black or Latinx, 40% immigrant, 60% non-Bachelor's degree holders, and more than 50% are public assistance recipients.

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Yesterday I was perusing comments on an Upworthy article about Joe Biden comforting the son of a Parkland shooting victim and immediately had flashbacks to the lead-up of the 2016 election. In describing former vice President Biden, some commenters were using the words "criminal," "corrupt," and "pedophile—exactly the same words people used to describe Hillary Clinton in 2016.

I remember being baffled that so many people were so convinced of Clinton's evil schemes that they genuinely saw the documented serial liar and cheat that she was running against as the lesser of two evils. I mean, sure, if you believe that a career politician had spent years being paid off by powerful people and was trafficking children to suck their blood in her free time, just about anything looks like a better alternative.

But none of that was true.

It's been four years and Hillary Clinton has been found guilty of exactly none of the criminal activity she was being accused of. Trump spent every campaign rally leading chants of "Lock her up!" under the guise that she was going to go to jail after the election. He's been president for nearly four years now, and where is Clinton? Not in jail—she's comfy at home, occasionally trolling Trump on Twitter and doing podcasts.

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Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash
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Glenda moved to Houston from Ohio just before the pandemic hit. She didn't know that COVID-19-related delays would make it difficult to get her Texas driver's license and apply for unemployment benefits. She quickly found herself in an impossible situation — stranded in a strange place without money for food, gas, or a job to provide what she needed.

Alone, hungry, and scared, Glenda dialed 2-1-1 for help. The person on the other end of the line directed her to the Houston-based nonprofit Bread of Life, founded by St. John's United Methodist pastors Rudy and Juanita Rasmus.

For nearly 30 years, Bread of Life has been at the forefront of HIV/AIDS prevention, eliminating food insecurity, providing permanent housing to formerly homeless individuals and disaster relief.

Glenda sat in her car for 20 minutes outside of the building, trying to muster up the courage to get out and ask for help. She'd never been in this situation before, and she was terrified.

When she finally got out, she encountered Eva Thibaudeau, who happened to be walking down the street at the exact same time. Thibaudeau is the CEO of Temenos CDC, a nonprofit multi-unit housing development also founded by the Rasmuses, with a mission to serve Midtown Houston's homeless population.

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Empathy. Compassion. Heart-to-heart human connection. These qualities of leadership may not be flashy or loud, but they speak volumes when we see them in action.

A clip of Joe Biden is going viral because it reminds us what that kind of leadership looks like. The video shows a key moment at a memorial service for Chris Hixon, the athletic director at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida in 2018. Hixon had attempted to disarm the gunman who went on a shooting spree at the school, killing 17 people—including Hixon—and injuring 17 more.

Biden asked who Hixon's parents were as the clip begins, and is directed to his right. Hixon's wife introduces herself, and Biden says, "God love you." As he starts to walk away, a voice off-camera says something and Biden immediately turns around. The voice came from Hixon's son, Corey, and the moments that followed are what have people feeling all their feelings.

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With the election quickly approaching, the importance of voting and sending in your ballot on time is essential. But there is another way you can vote everyday - by being intentional with each dollar you spend. Support companies and products that uphold your values and help create a more sustainable world. An easy move is swapping out everyday items that are often thrown away after one use or improperly disposed of.

Package Free Shop has created products to help fight climate change one cotton swab at a time! Founded by Lauren Singer, otherwise known as, "the girl with the jar" (she initially went viral for fitting 8 years of all of the waste she's created in one mason jar). Package Free is an ecosystem of brands on a mission to make the world less trashy.

Here are eight of our favorite everyday swaps:

1. Friendsheep Dryer Balls - Replace traditional dryer sheets with these dryer balls that are made without chemicals and conserve energy. Not only do these also reduce dry time by 20% but they're so cute and come in an assortment of patterns!

Package Free Shop

2. Last Swab - Replacement for single use plastic cotton swabs. Nearly 25.5 billion single use swabs are produced and discarded every year in the U.S., but not this one. It lasts up to 1,000 uses as it's able to be cleaned with soap and water. It also comes in a biodegradable, corn based case so you can use it on the go!

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