Here’s the thing about life lessons: They’re not one-size-fits-all. Below are six pieces of advice that while well-meaning, may do you more harm than good. Check it out, think about it, and proceed with caution.
1. Drop everything and do what you’re passionate about. Yeah, go for gold! Go for after your dreams! Turn them into reality. “But to drop everything?” Remember: reality bites, and if we may add, hard. Yes passion is important, vision is important, heart is important. But so is money, planning, logistics, and all those ugly mundane tasks.
2. Forgive and forget. Forgiving is great—we highly recommend it. But forgetting? Not so much. Remembering the fault of the other is similar to learning from our mistakes. It’s learning to become more careful, it’s learning how to protect yourself from further harm.
3. It’s useless to worry. Keep calm. Think of worrying as being more aware of whatever possible risks in your planned actions. It encourages preparation and helps us think two steps ahead, which is always a good thing.
4. Don’t complain. Things could be worse. Especially when you’re the one giving out advice, be careful with this one. Putting things in perspective is good, but this one right here can invalidate the person’s feelings or concerns. “You lost your job? At least you still have a roof over your head, and food on the table.” While not having a roof over your head and food on the table is heavier, it doesn’t erase the fact that the lighter “tinier” problem is still a problem.
5. Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars. Is this permission to just settle? Or, you know, a suggestion to be content when landing in the safety net? Dude, never settle for the stars if what you want is the moon.
6. ‘Don’t change. We’ve received this countless times in palanca letters during high school retreats and looking back, it’s the worst piece of advice ever. Don’t change? But change is the only thing constant in life, honey. As life changes, we have to change with it. While growing up, we will face new circumstances that will render all the previous ones obsolete. Perhaps what you shouldn’t change are the morals and values you’ve learned in kindergarten: You have to be kind. Wash your hands before eating. Respect your elders.
[h/t Manila Bulletin]