Family

25 non-cliché pieces of life advice that will help you find happiness.

What has someone said to you that you can never forget?

Recently, my older sister told me that being in your 40s feels like being in your 20s, minus all the insecurities.

"Nice!" I thought. "Something to look forward to."

But I don't think she knew how much difference her advice really made for me. It soothed my anxiety about approaching the big 4-0. It caused me to shift my thinking about getting older. It also got me excited about reaching that particular milestone because I knew exactly what she was talking about.


I wanted to engrave the words into my brain. It's the first thing that comes to mind when I stop to think about my age and how it makes me feel. I've since enlightened at least a handful of people with my sister's brilliant observation.

You never know when you'll hear something like this that will make you stop in your tracks and think about the world in a new way. It could be something your boss says in passing, or a motto a family member lives by, or even something a stranger casually — and randomly — mentions in passing.

In fact, one Redditor posed a simple yet powerful question about this: "What has someone said to you that you can never forget?"

Here are 25 of the most inspiring and thought-provoking responses:

1. Simple yet profound.

"The quieter you become the more you can hear." Image via ALUCARD53/Reddit, used with permission.

2. On being patient and taking a leap of faith.

"You will never be good at something in the beginning." Image via squidgymon/Reddit, used with permission.

3. On making mistakes.

"The only person to never make a mistake, is the one who never tried anything." Image via ConcentricSD/Reddit, used with permission.

4. See this, professors? You never know whose life you're touching.

"If you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always got." Image via gronke/Reddit, used with permission.

5. On first judgments.

"The weirdest people always have the darkest stories." Image via ajchann123/Reddit, used with permission.

6.  This one is applicable to most things in life.

"I can teach it to you but I can't learn it for you." Image via katarokkar/Reddit, used with permission.

7. Remember this next time you have a bad day.

"It's a bad day, not a bad life." Image via kikisaurus/Reddit, used with permission.

8. Note to beginners everywhere.

"The Master has failed more times than the beginner has ever tried." Image via PrisonWorker12345/Reddit, used with permission.

9. On mental health.

"We take the time to treat sprained ankles. It's the same way with minds." Image via Aayin/Reddit, used with permission.

10. Even using chess as a metaphor for life.

"When the game is over the king and the pawn go in the same box." Image via My_legs_are_asleep/Reddit, used with permission.

11. A testament to the phrase "practice makes perfect."

"Don't practice until you do it right — practice until you can't do it wrong." Image via sonofherb/Reddit, used with permission.

12. Yep. It's that simple.

"You deserve to be happy." Image via Holska/Reddit, used with permission.

13. On dealing with grief

"Grief is just love without a home." Image via mjforever33/Reddit, used with permission.

14. One mother's humble financial advice.

"If you live like you're rich when you're not rich, you'll never be rich. But if you live like you're poor when you aren't poor, you'll never be poor." Image via Ribonacci/Reddit, used with permission.

15. On meeting new people.

"Everybody knows something you don't, so treat them like it." Image via PrahblyDrunk/Reddit, used with permission.

16. One grandma's skeptical advice on life.

"Don't believe anything you hear and only half of what you see." Image via Ophiopogon/Reddit, used with permission.

17. Preach!

"Live as if you'll die tomorrow, study as if you'll live forever." Image via Herr_Beans/Reddit, used with permission.

18. Ain't that the truth.

"Love isn't how you feel about someone else. It's about how they make you feel about yourself." Image via Seeyouyeah/Reddit, used with permission.

19. Putting it all in perspective.

"Someday, someone you love is going to die. Then you'll realize that none of this matters." Image via jamhandy/Reddit, used with permission.

20. This is something to think about if you're feeling insecure about your appearance.

"Don't worry about what you look like. Nobody cares; they're too busy worrying about what they look like." Image via dycentra/Reddit, used with permission.

21. On toxic relationships.

"Sometimes you just have to let a ship sink." Image via tofu_llama/Reddit, used with permission.

22. A little encouragement to get through a difficult situation.

"If you turn your back now you will regret about this your whole life. If you push further you will look back and just laugh about this moment." Image via gameofbongs/Reddit, used with permission.

23. YOLO!

"It's better to regret something you have done, than to regret something you haven't done." Image via droidloot/Reddit, used with permission.

24. True story.

"Surround yourself with people who inspire you." Image via dubai_dan/Reddit, used with permission.

25. On controlling your temper.

"Those you anger you, control you." Image via viralplant/Reddit, used with permission.

While these are certainly not one-size-fits-all remedies for life, I imagine we can all relate to most of these musings.

Life can be tough and weird and wonderful and glorious and sad and crazy. So if you're feeling lost, confused, or uninspired, turn to this list and remember: You're not alone.

Connections Academy

Wylee Mitchell is a senior at Nevada Connections Academy who started a t-shirt company to raise awareness for mental health.

True

Teens of today live in a totally different world than the one their parents grew up in. Not only do young people have access to technologies that previous generations barely dreamed of, but they're also constantly bombarded with information from the news and media.

Today’s youth are also living through a pandemic that has created an extra layer of difficulty to an already challenging age—and it has taken a toll on their mental health.

According to Mental Health America, nearly 14% of youths ages 12 to 17 experienced a major depressive episode in the past year. In a September 2020 survey of high schoolers by Active Minds, nearly 75% of respondents reported an increase in stress, anxiety, sadness and isolation during the first six months of the pandemic. And in a Pearson and Connections Academy survey of US parents, 66% said their child felt anxious or depressed during the pandemic.

However, the pandemic has only exacerbated youth mental health issues that were already happening before COVID-19.

“Many people associate our current mental health crisis with the pandemic,” says Morgan Champion, the head of counseling services for Connections Academy Schools. “In fact, the youth mental health crisis was alarming and on the rise before the pandemic. Today, the alarm continues.”

Mental Health America reports that most people who take the organization’s online mental health screening test are under 18. According to the American Psychiatric Association, about 50% of cases of mental illness begin by age 14, and the tendency to develop depression and bipolar disorder nearly doubles from age 13 to age 18.

Such statistics demand attention and action, which is why experts say destigmatizing mental health and talking about it is so important.

“Today we see more people talking about mental health openly—in a way that is more akin to physical health,” says Champion. She adds that mental health support for young people is being more widely promoted, and kids and teens have greater access to resources, from their school counselors to support organizations.

Parents are encouraging this support too. More than two-thirds of American parents believe children should be introduced to wellness and mental health awareness in primary or middle school, according to a new Global Learner Survey from Pearson. Since early intervention is key to helping young people manage their mental health, these changes are positive developments.

In addition, more and more people in the public eye are sharing their personal mental health experiences as well, which can help inspire young people to open up and seek out the help they need.

“Many celebrities and influencers have come forward with their mental health stories, which can normalize the conversation, and is helpful for younger generations to understand that they are not alone,” says Champion.

That’s one reason Connections Academy is hosting a series of virtual Emotional Fitness talks with Olympic athletes who are alums of the virtual school during Mental Health Awareness Month. These talks are free, open to the public and include relatable topics such as success and failure, leadership, empowerment and authenticity. For instance, on May 18, Olympic women’s ice hockey player Lyndsey Fry will speak on finding your own style of confidence, and on May 25, Olympic figure skater Karen Chen will share advice for keeping calm under pressure.

Family support plays a huge role as well. While the pandemic has been challenging in and of itself, it has actually helped families identify mental health struggles as they’ve spent more time together.

“Parents gained greater insight into their child’s behavior and moods, how they interact with peers and teachers,” says Champion. “For many parents this was eye-opening and revealed the need to focus on mental health.”

It’s not always easy to tell if a teen is dealing with normal emotional ups and downs or if they need extra help, but there are some warning signs caregivers can watch for.

“Being attuned to your child’s mood, affect, school performance, and relationships with friends or significant others can help you gauge whether you are dealing with teenage normalcy or something bigger,” Champion says. Depending on a child’s age, parents should be looking for the following signs, which may be co-occurring:

  • Perpetual depressed mood
  • Rocky friend relationships
  • Spending a lot of time alone and refusing to participate in daily activities
  • Too much or not enough sleep
  • Not eating a regular diet
  • Intense fear or anxiety
  • Drug or alcohol use
  • Suicidal ideation (talking about being a burden or giving away possessions) or plans

“You know your child best. If you are unsure if your child is having a rough time or if there is something more serious going on, it is best to reach out to a counselor or doctor to be sure,” says Champion. “Always err on the side of caution.”

If it appears a student does need help, what next? Talking to a school counselor can be a good first step, since they are easily accessible and free to visit.

“Just getting students to talk about their struggles with a trusted adult is huge,” says Champion. “When I meet with students and/or their families, I work with them to help identify the issues they are facing. I listen and recommend next steps, such as referring families to mental health resources in their local areas.”

Just as parents would take their child to a doctor for a sprained ankle, they shouldn’t be afraid to ask for help if a child is struggling mentally or emotionally. Parents also need to realize that they may not be able to help them on their own, no matter how much love and support they have to offer.

“That is a hard concept to accept when parents can feel solely responsible for their child’s welfare and well-being,” says Champion. “The adage still stands—it takes a village to raise a child. Be sure you are surrounding yourself and your child with a great support system to help tackle life’s many challenges.”

That village can include everyone from close family to local community members to public figures. Helping young people learn to manage their mental health is a gift we can all contribute to, one that will serve them for a lifetime.

Join athletes, Connections Academy and Upworthy for candid discussions on mental health during Mental Health Awareness Month. Learn more and find resources here.

That first car is a rite of passage into adulthood. Specifically, the hard-earned lesson of expectations versus reality. Though some of us are blessed with Teslas at 17, most teenagers receive a car that’s been … let’s say previously loved. And that’s probably a good thing, considering nearly half of first-year drivers end up in wrecks. Might as well get the dings on the lemon, right?

Of course, wrecks aside, buying a used car might end up costing more in the long run after needing repairs, breaking down and just a general slew of unexpected surprises. But hey, at least we can all look back and laugh.

My first car, for example, was a hand-me-down Toyota of some sort from my mother. I don’t recall the specific model, but I definitely remember getting into a fender bender within the first week of having it. She had forgotten to get the brakes fixed … isn’t that a fun story?

Jimmy Fallon recently asked his “Tonight Show” audience on Twitter to share their own worst car experiences. Some of them make my brake fiasco look like cakewalk (or cakedrive, in this case). Either way, these responses might make us all feel a little less alone. Or at the very least, give us a chuckle.

Here are 22 responses with the most horsepower:

Keep Reading Show less

This guy would have a hard time saying "french fry." Tragic.

Processed food gets a bad rap. But without it, we might have never been able to even say the word “food.” Or “friendly,” or “fun” or “velociraptor” for that matter. Why is that?

“F’s” and “v’s” belong to a group of sounds known as labiodentals. They happen when you raise your bottom lip to touch your top teeth and are used in more than half of today’s human language. But science suggests we didn’t always have this linguistic ability.

As hunter gatherers, our ancestors ate a diet that was minimally processed and required more effort to chew. As a result, by adolescence their teeth would develop what’s called an edge-to-edge bite, where the jaw is elongated so that both the bottom and top teeth are completely flush with one another.

Cue the Neolithic period, where widespread agriculture meant more soft foods like stew and bread and less laborious chewing. Over time, the slight overbite that most people are born with stayed preserved, because chewing was less of an arduous process.
Keep Reading Show less

"Veteran" mom and "new" mom parent differently.

When a couple has their first child, they start out with the greatest of intentions and expectations. The child will only eat organic food. They will never watch TV or have screen time and will always stay clean.

But soon, reality sets in and if they have more kids, they'll probably be raised with a lot less attention. As a result, first-born kids turn out a bit differently than their younger siblings.

"Rules are a bit more rigid, attention and validation is directed and somewhat excessive," Niro Feliciano, LCSW, a psychotherapist and anxiety specialist, told Parents. "As a result, firstborns tend to be leaders, high achievers, people-pleasing, rule-following and conscientious, several of the qualities that tend to predict success."

Keep Reading Show less