“The advice that completely shaped my life.”

Image: iStock. 

A song you heard at the exact right moment. A book that offered advice you didn’t know you were looking for until your eyes scanned over the page. A conversation that changed your way of thinking.

It’s funny how you can hear the right thing at exactly the right time and it can stick with you forever. Not only that, but it can change your life.

Here are 10 people on the life-changing advice they have received throughout their lives, and trust us when we say, these are pretty darn incredible. Fashion journalist Paula Joye shares what she lives by. (Post continues after video.) 

1. “[Your] feelings are not always what’s important”

“My mum was dying. A friend told me ‘you have your whole life to freak out about this — don’t do it in front of her.’ It really helped me to understand that my feelings are not always what’s important. It is possible to delay a freak out, and that skill has served me innumerable times.” — DiffidentDissident

2. “Be afraid! And then do it anyway!”

“I was 13 years old, trying to teach my six-year-old sister how to dive into a swimming pool from the side of the pool. It was taking quite a while as my sister was really nervous about it. We were at a big, public pool, and nearby there was a woman, about 75 years old, slowly swimming laps.

Occasionally she would stop and watch us. Finally she swam over to us just when I was really putting the pressure on, trying to get my sister to try the dive, and my sister was shouting, ‘But I’m afraid!! I’m so afraid!!’ The old woman looked at my sister, raised her fist defiantly in the air and said, ‘So be afraid! And then do it anyway!’ That was 35 years ago and I have never forgotten it. It was a revelation — it’s not about being unafraid. It’s about being afraid and doing it anyway.” — oubird12500 (Post continues after gallery.)

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3. “If you don’t do it, you’ll still be 40, but without the degree.”

“When I was 38 I contemplated beginning a two year Associates Degree in Radiography. I was talking to a friend and had almost talked myself out of doing it. I said ‘I’m too old to start that. I’ll be 40 when I get my degree.’ My friend said ‘If you don’t do it, you’ll still be 40, but without the degree.’

“I’m nearly 60 now, and that degree has been the difference between making a decent living and struggling to get by.” – luckyhenry

4. “Everybody is looking for the right person, and nobody is trying to be the right person.”

“When I was young and having what I thought was a serious relationship talk with my first real SO, I told her that I just wanted to find the right person. Without missing a beat she said, ‘Everybody is looking for the right person, and nobody is trying to be the right person.’ That stopped me in my tracks.” – faelsoss

"Everybody is looking for the right person, and nobody is trying to be the right person." (Image via iStock.)

5. "I'm not confined to my wheelchair - I am liberated by it."

"I met a person who was in a wheelchair. He related a story about how a person once asked if it was difficult to be confined to a wheelchair. He responded, 'I'm not confined to my wheelchair - I am liberated by it. If it wasn't for my wheelchair, I would be bed-bound and never able to leave my room or house.' Amazing perspective." - RedheadBanshee

6. "If you think you know something, find someone who disagrees and listen to them."

"Not sure who said this to me but I heard this in my late teens and it completely changed the way I think. 'If you think you know something, find someone who disagrees and listen to them.' It has taken years for that to fully sink in but it's a never-ending process.

"The last part, the part about actually listening, is the tricky part, and it took me many years to get it right. But it's the best advice I've ever heard and it changed my life more than any other single piece of advice." - apopheniac1989  (Post continues after gallery.)

7. "The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The second-best time is today."

"I like it because it reminds you that not all hope is lost even if you are late trying something, but you still shouldn't delay more." - TryUsingScience

8. "You are not required to set yourself on fire to keep other people warm"

"Really hit home for me, since I grew up trying to mediate my parents' issues and had multiple friends in and out of the ER for mental health crises during my teen years, among other things. As someone who spent the majority of her life feeling like she had to take care of others at all costs, it was kinda a shock to the system to hear that I was allowed to have my limits even with people who truly needed help." - maeEast

"You are not required to set yourself on fire to keep other people warm" (Image via iStock.)

9. "Don't worry about being embarrassed"

"Think of a time you were embarrassed, easy right? Now think of a time someone else was embarrassed. It's a lot harder to do isn't it?" I don't really worry about being embarrassed any more if no one but I will remember it!"- Bmonroet

10. "Don't make professional decisions based on emotional responses"

"My old boss, the CEO of a small hospital, told me a story from back when he was a lab technician (for simplicity, let's call him Dan). Dan had forgotten to check some sort of mechanism on a piece of equipment he used, it malfunctioned and broke the equipment which ended up having around a $250,000 repair bill. The next day Dan's boss called him in to talk about it, and he was sure he was going to be fired. His boss asked him why he didn't do a proper check, made sure he understood what happened and sent him back to work. Dan asked him "Am I not getting fired? I was almost sure that's what this was about." His boss said 'No way, I just spent $250,000 teaching you a lesson you'll never forget. Why would I fire you now?'"

"It seems silly, but that attitude always resonated with me. Don't make professional decisions based on emotional responses. Always know what your goal is when dealing with someone, and what exact problem you are trying to solve. Everyone makes mistakes, and yelling at them just makes them resent you and become defensive. Being calm and understanding will make people look up to you." - Toribor

What is the best advice you have ever received? 

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