Hey man, Do not worry. Things will be fine soon. “Just stay positive.” Classic advice, right?
Ever wondered how convenient and easy it is to offer a piece of advice (you and I included). Just visit my profile, and you’ll find tons of it. Apologies, but there is so much I need to share with an eventful life I’ve had.
Advice is well-meant, and we shouldn’t doubt the intentions of the provider. But a critical fact is our understanding of the cliché advice. What should we infer out of these gems loosely tossed at us for making our lives better?
A piece of good advice at bad times solves no purpose. Some advice by the provider becomes a solution well given, while the receiver only takes it as blabbering.
“Stay positive,” you said.
Sure, I am pant shitting, but positively. Problem solved. Period
The post is not ranting but addressing a dilemma we face in our daily lives. There are times we check google or some fancy quotes on Instagram and aligning our lives situation accordingly. Alas, it doesn’t happen, and we tend to delve into introspection as to why nothing works for us.
The problem is not you but the understanding. Not every situation needs you to be positive.
I dare say that our discussion is not to undermine the advice but enhance the perception. Though cliche, still relevant.
5 cliché pieces of advice we need to understand better
#1. Be positive
I had to start with this one. Tell me how? While it looks like the king of advice due to its fitment everywhere, it becomes irksome due to repetition.
You just lost your job; be positive.
Someone close passed away; be positive.
It is saying every problem has one solution; be positive. No matter what the situation is or the gravity of the issue, all you can do is stay positive, and life will get better. All I could say from experience is that a balanced approach is a way forward.
Perhaps, the aesthetic works well here. How else would you convince the sufferer for the brighter side?
It makes sense to say be positive rather than be balanced. Also, it doesn’t come out too well.
I can’t say whether this is going to stop in the future. Perhaps, we should align as to what the ask is. Be positive, as cliche as it seems, is an alternate way to look at things. In times of distress or life in general, it is advisable to take things in our stride and look forward. While the advice is to be positive, we should accept the situation as is. Rather than being emotionally overwhelmed, calm and forward-thinking helps in better decision making.
#2. Be yourself
Classic advice everybody keeps shoving down your throat for no reason. As if, be yourself is a passage to glory.
Be yourself, and everything falls in place. No matter who you are.
“If you’re annoyed, express. If you’re angry, become enraged.”
That’s being true to our moods, but where to draw the line.
I’ve had it on several occasions and told myself; be yourself. But what if the solution is something else and all you need is to be or act like a different person.
Moreover, do we understand what it is to be yourself?
The concept is skewed and complex because what others want us to be is different from what we are.
Your current self reflects your past and the things that made you who you are now. Identifying with yourself is primary to create a scope for improvement and growth as an individual. At most times, you have to adapt and adjust as per situations and demands. It is about being the best version of yourself, considering the gravity of the issue at hand. At the same time, it also means respecting people around while maintaining a balance between individualistic traits and the sanctity of circumstances.
#3. Follow your passion, and do what you love
Once you take a plunge into the self-help world, chances are it is familiar to you. After all, what better than doing what you love, follow your passion, and do what you love, and you never have to work for a day in your life.
It is one piece of advice that pulls you out of misery, revealing pastures you never knew existed. The downside is nobody prepares you for this situation. We grow in a controlled environment within influential walls created by a figure of authority and a constant influx of data through various sources.
Moreover, the world glorifies the people who made it through their sheer passion, but what about the rest. For every individual that made a fortune following their passion, millions could not. Passion is not some miracle drug for success and progress.
Yes, passion is paramount, and it helps to find joy in work, but passion alone is not the answer to every problem. We need a realistic approach towards available opportunities and our strengths. You may love painting but may not be good at it.
It is not always about following what you are good at because you love something. Aligning with situations, needs and then aligning your skillset to add value is a better solution. Maybe start something as a side hustle and see how it goes. Build upon something in your spare time or with your job, and then analyze. Perhaps, you can gauge whether your passion is worth following and provides social security. No point pursuing what you love but end up defaulting on payments and starving.
#4. Good things come to those who wait
“Good things come to those who wait, but only what’s left from those who hustle!”
The whole “good things come to those who wait” is delusional. The truth is far from it. The right way to describe could be “good things come to those who wait after doing the hard work consistently.”
You can’t expect to be sitting and waiting for things to materialize. At least it hasn’t happened to me yet. Pretty sure it is the same for everyone.
Agreed, we sometimes get unexpected results while we waited, but it’s a rarity. The truth is that desires or expectations are only met once you slog and put in the work.
Perhaps, good things come to those who want it so bad they can’t sit idle waiting for it to happen.
Do not wait for good things to happen. They are a culmination of effort and perseverance over a period. Waiting for good things to happen magically is like waiting for the food to end up automatically in your stomach. Nothing substitutes effort and diligence. Maybe your good thing comes after five years of a wait while somebody else gets it in three years. The fact that it took discipline and persistency remains. We have to step and carve our path rather than waiting.
#5. Always have a Plan B
A recent study by (Shin and Milkman, 2016) revealed the risks of having a Plan B if you want your Plan A to be a success. The problem with Plan B is that you invite complacency into your actions. It never lets you commit fully to your original plan. Being aware that an alternative is available throws you off track. Agreed, plan B is fruitful in some cases, but it also hampers your chance of achieving the original one.
The research conducted found that once you have a fallback plan, the desire to achieve your primary goal decreases. Even if we were not to take the research findings, having a Plan B is detrimental to our efforts.
Our 100% cushioning by a fallback plan is sure to make us contented and at ease.
Have a Plan B when Plan A is not your primary objective. The advice works well when undecided. Although there is no harm in an alternate track, it jeopardizes the will to achieve something. If you are unsure about the goal and believe your pursuit might end up in a futile effort, backup is a good option. Critical to understanding that Plan B is a good backup when your primary objective is unclear.
On a final note
There is no life manual available out there. What works for others seldom works for everybody else. There could only be suggestions and theory testing. We live by trial and error and find ways that help us move ahead. Success for one through some methods is no guarantee that it works for everyone else.
Nobody lives your story. Thus, no one qualifies passing judgment or tell you the ways to lead your life.
Make your manual and keep tweaking it till you find the right match.
Shin, Jihae & Milkman, Katherine. (2016). How backup plans can harm goal pursuit: The unexpected downside of being prepared for failure. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes. 135. 1–9. 10.1016/j.obhdp.2016.04.003.