5 Common Pieces Of Advice To Ignore

advice to ignore

I’ve come to realise that the advice you receive of people is usually average at best. Here I share five common pieces of advice to ignore and why. 

1) Your Parents Know What Is Best For You

They don’t. 

We evolve by being smarter than our parents and passing that knowledge on through the gene pool. Of course, parents play an enormous role as we pass through our developmental stages and are to be respected for that; but let’s not pretend that they know what is best for us.

This is often the cause of much pain and suffering as we pass through to adulthood – like living out parents’ aspirations.


2) Don’t Talk To Strangers

If you’re a kid, then this is sound advice, but don’t let that continue into your adult life.

The most meaningful conversations I have ever had have been with people I have never met. With the world so interconnected, speaking with strangers can be done from behind a computer screen. There is so much to be learnt from people all over the world with different skills and qualities.

This one is another one of those pesky complexes that parents have given to us.


3) Life’s Not Fair

Life is precisely fair and is always in a state of balance. Just because we can’t grasp the laws of the Universe with our limited Human knowledge does not mean there are not laws in place that make life ‘fair’.

Besides, what does ‘fair’ mean, anyway?

You’ll often hear this said when someone passes away – ‘life’s not fair, they were a good person’. That means we are putting our idea of right and wrong onto the situation. What happens if death is the best thing to happen to a person and they’re in a state of permanent bliss? Your judgement of life not being fair would be ridiculous.

Further, if you know of a higher power, then ‘believing life is not fair’ says you disagree with what He/She/It is all about.


4) You Only Live Once (Yolo)

The first thing is that you don’t know that for sure, you’re assuming.

The second thing is that this piece of advice often leads to reckless action with unnecessary consequences. We have been given reason and rationality for this purpose.

When you need a burst of courage, saying this to yourself may break through your self-imposed barrier. But living your life to this motto (although your life will be a wild adventure), you’ll probably end up in high-security prison. So take this piece of advice with a pinch of salt and use it sparingly.


5) Avoid Failure – ‘When You Quit, You Fail’


Fail as fast as you possibly can.

We learn by trial and error. The more tests we put ourselves through, the more we learn. Inevitably with more trial, will come more failure – more knowing what not to do. This ties nicely into the ‘Via Negativa’ philosophy which I implement in my life. 

We often don’t attempt things because of the fear of failing, usually because we fear other people’s judgment. Overcome that fear of other peoples opinions, and your fear of failure will naturally subside. 

So in reality, when you fail, you win. So fail fast, and fail with honour. 



  1. Jayne R
    January 18, 2021 / 11:47 pm

    Thanks Alex for taking the time to write your observations down for others. I particularly love the YOLO one! These thoughts made me reflect on the importance of self care – letting ourselves off the hook if you like – in order not to be constrained by limiting beliefs which tether us to the past, or consign us to a predictable future so we never actually experience life first hand.

    • User Avatar
      Alex Hickman
      January 19, 2021 / 8:30 am

      Seems you got the point of the post