3 Pieces of Life Advice You’re Given That Make No Sense (And What They Really Mean)

In society today we have so many opinions about how one’s life should be lived. When you’re surrounded with so many people who care about you, but present their opinions and “should”s in a very vague and nebulous way, it becomes difficult for you to grow as a human being and learn from your surroundings. So, I’m here to clarify some of those terms for you. Clarity is the first step to growth. With clarity comes awareness and action. Here goes.

Trap alert: It might be any person’s natural tendency to try and clarify these phrases absolutely rather than indefinitely. I encourage you to look at things indefintely because then you will be able to learn to appreciate discovery versus an endless search of final destinations. Treat clarity with curiosity beyond my text.

Just be yourself

What people mean: Cut the crap and don’t think too much.

I just had to write this phrase as the first one simply because it is the most expressed one wherever you go today. When people suggest you “just be yourself” they aren’t really clear as to how that looks like for you, if not for them. But one thing is for sure; they want something good for you when they say it.

What it really means: Choose to experience your own world right now and maintain focus on it without any distractions or shoulds. 

Why? The best part about this phrase is that it has 3 parts to it that once understood, you’ll be able to actually know what that looks like for you.

  • Just – Indirectly implyng “let go of what you’re holding on to and initiate this process”. In other words, CHOOSE now to be so.
  • Be – Not “do”. To be is to experience. To experience is to feel. And to feel is to think. Ask yourself: “What does it feel or look like to be around me?” An easy start would be to actually ask your closest friends and family this question. You’ll get an idea of what you are like. Remember, “be” not “do”. Experience vs Action. Two different things.
  • Yourself – This is going to sound obvious, but it really is about you and nobody else. When you get curious about your own world with its imperfections and greatness, you’ll discover that you are who you need to be right now.

Simply put, focus on you and actually be that.

Put yourself out there

What people mean: Go and get discovered.

Whenever I was told to put myself out there I asked ‘out there where?’, only to be retaliated with ‘out there, man! You know what I mean!’. Haha. It’s so vague as to what ‘out there’ is or looks like that it beats the whole purpose of the advice itself. That said, I was even more curious about the purpose behind exerting any effort or force to actually make myself (miraculously, maybe) exist in that unknown and vague realm called ‘out there’. I don’t think I have ever met someone say “oh man, have you been ‘out there’? I was just there 2 days ago and it was amazing! I got everything I wanted in life just by being ‘out there’! You’ve got to go! Put yourself out there!”

No. Lol. Just… No.

What it really means: Choose now to embrace who you are, believe in yourself, and pursue what’s meaningful to you.

The reason this expression may resonate with many people even though it may not make any sense whatsoever is because of the belief that once a person stops hiding, believes in him/herself, and decides to pursue something that matters to or benefits them so much, they grow and contribute to themselves and others. The ‘out there’ realm is actually good for you!

Get really clear on what you’re about, what you want, why you want what you want, and pursue it. I promise you that you’ll find yourself teleported into ‘out there’ in no time. There is some good stuff inside you that is waiting to be discovered by you and will be a treat for us to experience.

Everything happens for a reason

What people mean: Don’t be too negative about what just happened. Surely, there’s something good in it for you. You never know.

When you hear this particular expression, does it really make the pain go away? No it doesn’t. At least not to the majority of the population. Most of the time you just nod your head in agreement and say “I know. You’re right” just to shrug off the fact that you were given advice that doesn’t really help or make sense. To simply neglect your experience that has become so certain for you and shift your focus to another one that has uncertainty written all over it isn’t really a skill that many people have and use. If anything, this very expression lies under the “easier said than done” umbrella.

What it really means: Trust the process. There is light at the end of the tunnel. This experience is meant to grow you.

I’ve found that the best way to translate this expression into a simple and effective definition is to consider the following approach: Embrace the current experience you’re in for whatever it is (pain or pleasure) and let it guide you to an empowering moment that eventually helps you see how pivotal that experience was to your growth as a person. Do understand this is may take you time to reach. In other words, trust the process knowing that whatever you’re going through is meant to grow you. But do not shrug any feelings off. Feel them. There is light at the end of the tunnel. Don’t try and connect the dots now. That’s what this statement means.

 

Remember, all these pieces of advice are very valuable and are expressed with great care and love for you. The key here is to stay curious and use them as methods of self-discovery rather than tools of conclusion. We are not here on this Earth to conclude; we are here to learn, grow, and contribute to ourselves and others.

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