Know your intention, and align your actions with it.
Maybe you’ve seen this advice on my Begin page. I use it for marketing reasons, but it’s life wisdom first and foremost. When my kids come to me with a problem, feel stuck or are angry about a situation, I tend to start my response with: what is your intention? Then any “advice” I might have on steps to take usually sort of makes itself evident.
Remember, perspective is everything.
Got this a long time ago from a boss. A bossy boss, actually, but still, it’s a good one. Anytime I’m aggravated about something I take a step back and tell myself to remember it is my perspective. When I change the viewpoint, I get a new attitude, answer or approach, pretty much every time. Then I can move myself on to this next one…
Do something about it!
I was sitting around a campfire as a teen. My extended family had gotten into this state park thing with RVs. I was on the edge of the age of wanting to be there unless I found cute guys with guitars. It was summer, I was itchy, and as I scratched my legs they flaked off a lot of skin. I said it about three times, “UGH I can’t stand this my legs are so dry. Ew it’s like snake skin. This is so gross–” Then startling me out of the dark came a THUD! at my feet as my aunt’s voice said, “THEN DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!”
She had thrown me a bottle of Nivea lotion. That’s all. Except it was the first time I heard myself as a grown-up, going on about something trivial. I was wasting all the nice quiet time we could have spent firegazing together. Plus, that’s either a personal problem or I might have asked for help, but nooo, I sat there whining. So Do Something About It! is one of my all-time favorites.
It Has a Few Words and You Can Act on It
Typically, the best advice can be distilled down to relatively few words, and it is actionable. You might get a longer talk surrounding it, or a thoughtful subtle after-effects, but the core of great advice is that you can apply it, and repeat it to yourself and others.
That means it’s memorable and it can change you. Which makes it very valuable.
Like a great song on the old American Bandstand show, when the kids used to rate the record on if “it had a good beat and you could dance to it,” blog posts that stick with people and/or get them moving have the most value, too.
It’s a noble cause, to deliver good advice to our readers. We should do it often. Perhaps not always (let’s not smother the world with only how-tos and wisdom), but when we offer help, we can strive to subtract words, add actions and make it memorable.
Here are some examples that have been brought to my attention from both friends and research online. Visit them all, they are wonderful!
- Find 10 people. This was Seth Godin’s advice. It’s so comforting to know that an “A-lister” is okay with what I ended up doing naturally. I didn’t know it was a strategy, but I was glad to find this one from 2009! When I write to you here, this is how I hope to connect to you, and hope you will help me build a tribe of peaceful, happy people doing in business for themselves.
- Write a list post as an alternative to guest posting. This came from Pat Flynn. And others… My friends at The Sparkline, formerly Corbett Barr’s ThinkTraffic, caught my eye with list posts and the advice/examples contained with them a while back, too. Especially this one. But I met Pat first, and his posts were recommended to me a lot for this review. Which, by the way, IS a list post. (See, I remembered.)
- Lift Heavy-ass Weights. This advice came from The Sparkline. Actually, it’s from a quote by Ronnie Coleman, who notes that we’d all like to be bodybuilders but we don’t want to… you guessed it, do the work. I think Ronnie Coleman and my aunt with the Nivea would really get along. I’ll always remember this post for reminding me that I have a long way to go before I judge my results. Like 100 blog posts?
- Learn to knit in 4 fast steps. I’m so happy this is on the home page at Sheep & Stitch. Many blog posts here give concise, helpful advice. I am not ready to knit yet but now I know where to go when I am.
- Do one thing different every day. It’s classic advice, but made new by the list of suggestions on Digital Photo Mentor. You don’t have to be working on a photo hobby to get a ton of value from the creativity exercises on this post.
- Keep your asparagus tips from getting mushy. So, I cook a lot and love my veggies: thank you babyboomster.com for this tip! Not every bit of advice has to be life-altering. In fact, don’t the best things in life often come in little packages? Like asparagus tied in bundles so they stand up in a pot when you give them a quick boil. Hooray! Blanched tender-yet-crunchy asparagus with no icky tips!
- Look for travel advice from unexpected sources. Thank you Global Bookshelf, for this post. I dream of travelling more one day, to a lot of cool places. In the meantime, I like to read about that possibility. It’s amazing, the way books are curated at the Global Bookshelf. This post gives me books to help me plan future travels, even though I’m not ready to hop on that world adventurer wagon myself quite yet. Yep–a reading list is actionable.
- Drop out of more groups to improve your relationships. This advice is from Smart Business Revolution with John Corcoran. John tells you how make a big difference in the quality of relationships as you network with people in person and online, with this one bit of actionable advice. You have joined Facebook groups, LinkedIn groups, Meetups, etc. But too many means you can’t go deep with any. You have permission to cut back!
I know there are hundreds of examples that we could share–let’s do! Please comment below with your favorite advice, and/or any links to blog posts that really delivered something memorable and actionable to your life.
For longer advice, my 36-page eBook on becoming a 10-Minute CopyMaster is free, from me to you!