Have you ever had a stranger walk up to you and offer unsolicited advice? On many occasions I have. One time it was an usher in church who spotted my anklet and cornered me during offering. She gave me a full sermon on how it was devilish and I’m better off without it. Another time it was a vendor in the market in Abakaliki who categorically said wearing ripped jeans showed I lacked “home training”. I was too shocked to muster a response.
As a young woman living in Nigeria, getting advise either unsolicited or solicited comes with the territory.
More often than not, these pieces of advice come from a place of genuine concern. However, I think the delivery is where there’s a bit of a challenge. Some people believe that they know what career path is best suited for you and they’ll give you an earful of why you should not only consider their suggestions but also hit the ground running. Other times it’s the aunties that remind you of how you’ve gotten to a “marriageable age” and end up bombarding you with stories of how time is not on a woman’s side and your biological clock is ticking.
In the midst of it all, I have gotten some really quality pieces of advice across different facets of life. I also asked a few of my friends to share. Here’s what I put together:
- I remember a friend’s dad once said “Time doesn’t exist”. Those words struck me and I’ve held on to them for almost 10 years. If you’re wondering what this means like I did all those many years ago, it simply means “the concept of time is fickle”. It’s one of the things we can never get back in life. Never miss out on the chance to tell the people closest to you how important they are. You may not always have the opportunity to do so. Make that phone call, send that DM, send that whatsapp message, visit that loved one; simply keep in touch.
- Itohan says “Moments count. Take a lot of pictures while you can; you’ll be happy you did when your loved ones are no longer there. Easy with your words around your family – you can’t undo your words.”
- Someone I respect a lot once said “Life is choice driven”. These words birthed one of my most consistent prayer points – to make choices that will continuously set me on the right path – as choices can easy make or break one.
- “Don’t camp out where God has called you to pass through.”
- Abra says “One day could change your life forever.“
- Itohan says “Don’t let anyone tell you that you are too young or old to do something.”
- Never stop being curious, ask questions, explore the unknown. Never assume you know too much to learn something new.
- You can’t do mighty works from your comfort zone, there’s got to be some sacrifices.
- Chinenye says “Work for others, while doing so remember to work for yourself.”
- Stop trying to find the right person and start trying to BE the right person.
- Jane says “Sometimes the first ride doesn’t rock your boat, you might have to go a second and sometimes a third time.”
- Femi says “Finding what works for you is more important than what society expects to work for you.”
- Zig Ziglar famously said “Money isn’t everything… but it ranks right up there with oxygen.” In other words secure the bag – legitimately of course.
- Chinenye says “Invest your money, enjoy your money, problem nor dey finish.”
- Itohan says “Just because you can pay for it doesn’t mean you can afford it!”
- Kaykay says “Dealing with life and life issues can be tough especially because we do not have all the answers even though we wish we had. To help me, I got a mental ‘Leave it for God to do’ box. When you plant a seed, digging the ground to check it’s progress kills the progress. When I put things in my ‘Leave it for God to do’ box, I apply the same philosophy. If God cannot do it, it cannot be done. I literally, LEAVE IT.”
- Femi says “Faith is understanding that when it doesn’t go your way in the short run, it’s for your good in long run.”
- It’s okay to put yourself first. You’d be betraying yourself if you did otherwise. Even the airlines tells us to “fit your own oxygen masks first”.
- Itohan says “Forgive and go easy on yourself.”
- Chinenye says “The relationship you have with yourself is the most complicated. You can be disgusted with yourself, you can be disappointed with yourself, you can hate yourself but never despair.”
I hope you found something new in this post.
I’d love to read some of the best words of advice you have received over time.