People Are Sharing The Advice They Received That Initially Seemed Strange But Turned Out To Be Remarkably Insightful

    Sometimes a nickel's worth of free advice ends up being priceless.

    At some point or another, we have all been in a situation where we received some good advice that we really needed. But then there are other times we get advice that doesn't seem to make sense in the moment, but becomes clear in time.

    "Be on time and don't be an asshole."

    Recently, Reddit user deepsafferentk00 was curious about the latter when they asked: "What's a piece of advice you've received that initially seemed strange but turned out to be remarkably insightful?"

    Mindy Kaling and Emma Thompson in conversation, with Thompson saying "Very good advice."

    The thread got thousands of responses from people eager to share the wise advice they have gotten. Below are some of the top and best answers:

    1. "This is not mine but something I read somewhere. But essentially, a girl was practicing archery and kept messing up, and the instructor told her, 'You’re failing because you’re too focused on the target and not your own actions.' She proceeded to say that it was the best life advice she had ever gotten."


    2. "When you move, the first thing you set up is your bedroom. When everything is chaos and you're exhausted from moving boxes all day, you have a place to crash that is ready for you."


    3. "Everyone is either going through a storm, coming out of the storm, or preparing to enter a storm. That is the cycle of life until you die."

    "Me at 15 years old: 'Damn, nana, that is such a negative point of view.'

    Me in my 30s: 'Holy shit, nana was right.'"


    Empty road leading towards a storm with lightning and a tornado in the distance

    4. "We as humans tend to pick up the habits of the people we hang out with, so surround yourself with people whose habits you actually want to emulate."


    5. "My first boss told me just before firing me: 'You know how to work efficiently, but you don't know how to look like you are working efficiently.' Later in life, it hit me: People will look for perceived value even more than the real one you give. So my advice in work environments is to look like you are busy — if you finish a five-day project, it doesn't matter if you needed two days to do it and spent three days on Reddit (like I am just now, LOL) or you spent the entire week deep into it. Just make sure you look busy during that week."


    6. "'Some people need to be excluded from social plans even if it makes you feel like a bad person.' For context, a person in our friend group always killed the vibe and had tantrums, and finally my friend gave me this advice. She said I was so lovey and caring and inclusive but needed to take this advice."


    Four women sitting together on a sofa, three chatting, one looking excluded

    7. "My grandfather said, 'Dump her back!' It was his response when I told him my girlfriend broke up with me for another guy. I thought, WTF? A few months later, she tried to reconcile. I dumped her back."


    8. "You need to get out of your own way. We are so often our own barrier to what we want."


    9. "'Being angry and resentful is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.' It’s some pretty sound life advice."


    Man with beard, arms crossed, in button-up shirt and trousers, exudes confidence

    10. "'Define your own success' and 'Decide what promotion you are willing to sacrifice for' — came from a mentor in the military. He told me about a former boss of his who was a three-star general, and when he didn't get selected for four-star, he had a complete breakdown. He had achieved success by any reasonable measure. General officers are already in the less than 1% category, and he had gotten to the .01% range. Yet he never saw himself as successful because someone else had more."

    "It took me a few years for that advice to really sink in. I saw some of my peers chasing promotions for no good reason at the expense of everything else in their lives. Some became so focused on it that they did some very unethical things, which, in a twist of irony, caused them to not get the promotion they craved. All because they couldn't see that they had already achieved a level of success they once would have been over the moon about."


    11. "'Let them be the ones to tell you no.' So often we don't go after what we want because we tell ourselves 'no' on others' behalf. It's important to learn to put yourself out there, and if you don't get what you want, you aren't the one who withheld it from yourself."


    12. "My ex-wife once told me, 'Buy perfume from a company that makes perfume.' Meaning, some clothing companies, actors, etc. might have a perfume brand, but buy perfume from a company for whom that is their primary focus. This advice generalizes nicely to nearly all purchases."


    A collection of perfume bottles on a display shelf

    13. "'Progress, not perfection.' Helped a lot to hear it when I did."


    14. "There is no one-size-fits-all solution for bullies. Meaning just because something worked against one bully doesn't mean it will work against another. Most people will advise you to either ignore the bully or face the bully and then tell you how they or someone they know solved their bully problem. Carefully think before applying their solution because it may not lead to the same outcome."


    15. "'Sometimes love isn't enough.' This was a really hard one to learn, especially when you love someone so much. But sometimes that isn't enough to help them, or save them from themselves. They have to love themselves enough to want to change, and you can't force that no matter how much love you give them."


    A man in the foreground looks troubled while a woman in the background appears to be yelling

    16. "'Always run your own race.' Yeah, yeah, I know, total dad answer. I work with students, and so many are comparing themselves to others and listening to misleading advice. I frequently need to remind them they are the only one on their path."


    17. "Best hiring advice I ever got: 'I can teach anyone a skill. I can't teach them an attitude.' It actually doesn't matter that much what a candidate knows or is familiar with, if they're willing and able to learn and can get along. If they can't get along, then it doesn't matter what they know or can do."


    18. "'Comparison is the thief of joy' and likewise, 'Don’t let perfect be the enemy of good.' Stop looking to others to set the rules for your own life and for what happy or successful means, and don’t obsess or focus too much on small details when it’s the bigger picture that you frame to make a life and what makes work, work."


    19. And lastly, "'It's possible to do your best and still fail.' Kinda depressing one, but it helps not to focus on negative things. Life is unfair, and sometimes you just can't succeed."


    Man in yellow sweater looking up thoughtfully with hand on chin

    You can read the original thread on Reddit.

    Note: Some responses have been edited for length and/or clarity.