Roadmaps and the Advice of Others

Eutah Mizushima

Photo by Eutah Mizushima via Unsplash

I’m always looking for a roadmap. One that will take me across the world. One that will illuminate some sort of path to career perfection. One that defines a successful relationship. There’s a great deal of distress in hacking your way to success with some sort of homemade machete. It’s crude, hard to watch, and a lot of effort – effort that may or may not make any leeway. There’s the pain of it…

We never want to feel like we’ve wasted time, that we’ve wasted our effort. Or that we just couldn’t hack it. But, no one can give you a checklist to guarantee complete, uncompromised success. They have different goals, obstacles, and ideas of achievement.

There is no one way. What we can do is be open to opportunity. We can accept our accomplishments no matter how minor they are perceived. We can stop living life through comparison. I know I could anyway.

Advice is weird in that I often wonder what makes someone qualified to give it. Because anyone is. Everyone has experience that they’ve quantified or verbalized in a way that can illuminate our own. Conversely, you see it all the time – people who choose the advice that they receive. They pick out what resonates and post it to Facebook or tattoo it on their body. We pick out what works for us and leave the rest.

Advice focuses me. Or maybe it just gives me hope. Even negative advice. Because when I hear someone say the equivalent of “you should really give up on this” and my internal consciousness gives a resounding “no,” then I know I have it in me to keep going. It’s not one person’s opinion or advice that validates what you’re doing. It’s you. You have to believe in yourself and be confident in yourself.

Here’s some of the best advice I’ve been given. There’s a high possibility that it means nothing to you.

  1. You are the culmination of the five people you spend the most time with, so choose wisely.
  2. Give yourself to the world. Your time, your talent, your intellect, your kindness… Put the best of yourself to use. Participate in life and you’ll find happiness.
  3. Think kind thoughts about yourself and about others. Speak kind words to yourself and to others. Do kind things for yourself and for others.
  4. People take comfort in the fact that they had a dream but didn’t try because when they ask themselves why it didn’t work out there is a concrete reason – “I didn’t try. If I tried, it would have worked out.” Rather than risk putting themselves out there full-force and still failing, which is much, much scarier. So try.
  5. The hole in your heart left from the negative experiences in life doesn’t get smaller; you just fill it with other things – better things. And then it doesn’t hurt so much.
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