People are sharing the 'best advice they ever received' and it's simple but powerful
via Martin Westin / Flickr

Hearing the right words, at the right time, from the right person can have a tremendously positive effect on our lives. Good advice can help us get through the toughest times or avoid getting into trouble altogether.

But, of course, receiving good advice only really matters if we put it into use and share it with others.

Reddit user noob_24 asked the online forum, "What is the best advice you have ever received? The advice that has impacted your life the most?" and some of the answers are truly life-changing.

The advice ranged from simple ways to look at complex problems to lessons on how to treat your spouse or friends.

Here are 12 of the best responses.


"Use your vacation hours, and don't be afraid to call in sick every now and then either". No need to work like a dog and ignore your benefits to please a boss who doesn't notice. Vacation/staycation days are gems that everyone should take!" — CBtheNomad

"My current boss says something as a joke that has helped me a lot more than he realizes, I am a mechanic but am not always the most confident (even when I know what I'm doing). He says "only one way to fix it, fix it." Weirdly enough it always makes me focus and remember there's no secret trick he knows that I dont, just got to do it. Applied that to other areas of my life and it helps so much more than I would have thought." — gumbypunk95

"Under promise and over deliver." — Ajegwu

"Marriage shouldn't be a 50/50 split. It should be a 60/40 split where both are trying to be the 60%." — fluggelhorn

"Do your future self a favor. This relates to prepping for the next day (clothes ironed, lunch packed) to saving money to making healthy choices. It makes for easier decisions and a better life." — smom

"Nobody's looking at you. They're worrying about how they look." — the-keen-one

"When my late wife was initially diagnosed with Stage 4 breast cancer, a friend who had lost his wife to the same disease a few years earlier took me aside and told me, 'When this nightmare is over you have to be proud of yourself.' Over the next 3+ years she fought valiantly and I lived my life and based my decisions on that piece of advice from my friend. I quit my 75% travel job to spend time and help care for her - I would never wish o spent another night in a Hampton Inn rather than with her. I cashed out my 401(k) and Pension so that she could live comfortably and we wouldn't be scrimping and saving - I have decades to rebuild a plan for retirement. I will not have decades to spend with the woman I loved. She has since passed away and I am so incredibly thankful for that advice and for my following that advice. I am proud of myself and how much I loved her. I thank my friend every time I see him." — liquidreno

"I posted it elsewhere, but my step-dad once told me that: If there is a problem and you know the solution, you can solve it, so stop worrying about it. If there is a problem you can't solve, then there is nothing you can do, so stop worrying about it." — RealistMissy

"If you are ashamed to tell people what you are doing, you shouldn't be doing it." — LeeciXo

"What you did wasn't wrong, it was illegal. There's a difference.
My dad to me when I got caught with a bit of weed and thrown in a jail cell at 17."
— Dragonet17

"When I was 19 I got busted selling drugs and got some time for it. 2 months in my girlfriend at the time admitted she had slept with someone and on the jail pay phone I lost my shit on her. I was mean. .. This mid-30s guy from Maryland I had made semi friends with asked me what was wrong so I played out what she had done in an unpleasant way. Jeff looks at me and says, 'doesn't she have your kid?' I respond 'yeah and she's out doing that with a 6 month old at home.' Jeff pauses for a long moment, looks me dead in the eye and replies 'Do you think you are the hero of her story?' I don't know why but that hit me like a bus being pushed by a crashing plane.

I wasn't even the hero of my OWN story and I had gone to jail after knocking her up because I wouldn't (couldn't really but I got myself into addiction) stop being a selfish ass. She wanted to break up with me but was having a hard time with it and she felt all alone in the world and uncared for and grabbed at the first person that showed her attention. Who am I to destroy the story of her life and expect something in return?

I gave it a couple days and called her back, told her I was sorry and I understand, I would never do that again and she deserved to be happy. I told her that no matter what I would straighten out and take care of our daughter and give her room to live her life. She said it was more adult than she thought I was capable of and wanted to start with a clean slate when I got out. 21 years later we are still together.

I will NEVER forget Jeff and him saying "Do you think you are the hero of her story?" It changed me fundamentally and all I want is to not be the villain in someone else's story ever again." — khavii

"I was in a pretty negative place in college, being quite cynical and sarcastic and really insecure with myself, so much that I was ragging on friends and generally trying to build myself up by putting other people down (you know the type, the friend who thinks he's busting chops but really is kinda just being a dick). My well-liked, popular roommate/friend noticed this and sent me this little bit, which I always hang onto:

'Immediately stop picking on peoples weaknesses, do what I do, expose their qualities and strengths, it makes them feel good about themselves and you too for noticing. When you make people feel good when you're around, they are going to remember that feeling whenever you show up, you'll be well received and missed often. Plus don't you want your friends to feel good about themselves?'

It made me re-visit the way I'd been treating people around me." — DangerousPushon

This inspired Saturniqa to share a story about a friend who's "universally loved."

"This! One of my friends is universally beloved and the most popular person I've ever known. He has a big circle of close friends (real ones and not including good acquaintances) who are extremely protective of him and deeply care about him. I kid you not, everytime we hang out, 1 - 3 people on the street stop and greet him heartily with a hug, chat with him for a few minutes before they move on. It's insane.

Since I struggle often in social situations (Asperger's), I started observing him whenever he interacted with me or others, in the hope of learning something. I noticed:

He never talks badly about others, regardless of whether this person is present or not.
He never partakes in trash talk, even when everyone in the group does.
If he talks about someone, he only mentions their positive qualities without exaggerations or brown-nosing. If someone pissed him off, he tells the story in a way that is focused on the situation itself and the way it made him feel.
He always praises others for their big and small achievements. There are no traces of pettiness, jealousy or envy. You know he means it.

He shares other's happiness over things he doesn't have. Like, when one of his wealthy friends buys a second fancy car while he can't afford a single one, he'll still be like "Wow, nice man! Let me take a ride or two with this one." They'll drive around, have lots of fun and go have a drink. He also openly compliments a male friend's super fit body without fearing he might come off as "gay" and is proud and supportive when that friend gets female attention like he always does even though he (my friend) himself isn't particularly trained and didn't have a serious relationship until recently (he's 26).

Yeah, I love this guy."

Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
True

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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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
True

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.

Keep Reading Show less