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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.

It's one thing to see a little kid skateboarding. It's another to see a stereotype-defying little girl skateboarding. And it's entirely another to see Paige Tobin.

Paige is a 6-year-old skateboarding wonder from Australia. A recent video of her dropping into a 12-foot bowl on her has gone viral, both for the feat itself and for the style with which she does it. Decked out in a pink party dress, a leopard-print helmet, and rainbow socks, she looks nothing like you'd expect a skater dropping into a 12-foot bowl to look. And yet, here she is, blowing people's minds all over the place.

For those who may not fully appreciate the impressiveness of this feat, here's some perspective. My adrenaline junkie brother, who has been skateboarding since childhood and who races down rugged mountain faces on a bike for fun, shared this video and commented, "If I dropped in to a bowl twice as deep as my age it would be my first and last time doing so...this fearless kid has a bright future!"

It's scarier than it looks, and it looks pretty darn scary.

Paige doesn't always dress like a princess when she skates, not that it matters. Her talent and skill with the board are what gets people's attention. (The rainbow socks are kind of her signature, however.)

Her Instagram feed is filled with photos and videos of her skateboarding and surfing, and the body coordination she's gained at such a young age is truly something.

Here she was at three years old:

And here she is at age four:


So, if she dropped into a 6-foot bowl at age three and a 12-foot bowl at age six—is there such a thing as an 18-foot bowl for her to tackle when she's nine?

Paige clearly enjoys skating and has high ambitions in the skating world. "I want to go to the Olympics, and I want to be a pro skater," she told Power of Positivity when she was five. She already seems to be well on her way toward that goal.

How did she get so good? Well, Paige's mom gave her a skateboard when she wasn't even preschool age yet, and she loved it. Her mom got her lessons, and she's spent the past three years skating almost daily. She practices at local skate parks and competes in local competitions.

She also naturally has her fair share of spills, some of which you can see on her Instagram channel. Falling is part of the sport—you can't learn if you don't fall. Conquering the fear of falling is the key, and the thing that's hardest for most people to get over.

Perhaps Paige started too young to let fear override her desire to skate. Perhaps she's been taught to manage her fears, or maybe she's just naturally less afraid than other people. Or maybe there's something magical about the rainbow socks. Whatever it is, it's clear that this girl doesn't let fear get in the way of her doing what she wants to do. An admirable quality in anyone, but particularly striking to see in someone so young.

Way to go, Paige. Your perseverance and courage are inspiring, as is your unique fashion sense. Can't wait to see what you do next.

Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
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Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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