Chinese parents are fond of telling their children “我食盐多过你食米” (lit. I’ve eaten more salt than you’ve had rice) to indicate that they’ve accumulated more life experience, and therefore their words carry more salt *ahem* I mean, weight. In this blogpost, you’ll find life advice from 50 people, who first heard it from their parents. I’ve arbitrarily grouped those 50 pieces of advice into 8 categories: Money, Attitudes, Work, God, Family/Children, Relationships, Health and Dreams (and not in any particular order). Have a read and see which ones you can especially relate to. 🙂 *Have edited certain quotes for clarity and length.
Here are 3 nuggets of wisdom I found didn’t quite sit nicely in any category, but which I love anyway:
#1: My mum’s best advice to me is “Don’t do anything against your conscience, be true and good to yourself and others!”
#2: My late dad’s best advice to me: “Don’t make decisions when you’re angry. Don’t make promises when you’re happy. We should always weigh the pros and cons in order to make a sound decision.”
#3: My mom once said “Always believe in yourself. Even if your chances are slim, or when everyone else doesn’t believe you can succeed, persevere! People will look up to you because you’re sticking to what you believe in, and they will admire that in you.”
#4: My parents’ best advice to me is to always be on the selling side and not of the buying side. This taught me to always think of ideas and ways to sell or be a seller instead of always spending money!
#5: My parents’ best advice to me was to help the less fortunate when we can, and not to waste food.
#6: My parents’ best advice to me is to BE HAPPY! Stay positive & always have a smile no matter what happens. Life is much simpler when you’re happy & carefree!
#7: My parents’ best advice to me is to never give up despite all odds. Looking back, I realise that all the problems were so minute as compared to what the adults were facing. At that time, I was only concentrating on my issues and felt so stressed – be it BGR or studies. I’m sure my parents had much bigger problems than I had; putting food on the table, job security, taking care of the household & the kids, etc. Despite their struggles of being poor and needing to feed us kids well, my parents never gave up encouraging us that it is OK to try and fail and we should never give up trying. I am so thankful for this advice as it stuck with me till today and it’s the same I’m telling my kids today! Hope to instill the same values in the next generation!
#8: Always be humble and never proud and arrogant even if I have done well or surpassed others!
#9: My dad’s best advice to me was to “Be grateful for everything and everyone that has crossed your path. Even if the person has fed you only a morsel.”
#10: My mom’s best advice to me is to always think positively and never ever let negative thoughts or words bring me down..
#11: My mother’s advice to me: never to look back in regret but to move on to the next thing. A setback is never a bad experience, just another one of life’s lessons.
#12: “No one can make you feel inferior except yourself’.
#13: My best advice from my parents is to be humble and to not give up easily.
#14: Doing the right thing is more important than doing things right.
#15: The best piece of advice my parents ever gave me is to enjoy life in the moment. Of course, they advise me about planning for the future and about saving up money but they also understand we get just this one life and we should go on as many adventures as possible.
#16: My mum’s best advice to me is to live life to the fullest, even during hard times. Life is short, so lead a meaningful one, be compassionate, kind-hearted, and helping people in need. There are bound to be ups and downs, challenges and obstacles in life but be positive and never give up. Be brave and determined to conquer any difficulties because when there is a will, there is a way, just like sunshine after the rain.
#17: My mother’s best advice to me is to take one day at a time, don’t worry as worries will not take you anywhere. Everything will be alright and will work out for me. Make the best of everything I do and be kind to everyone.
#18: My dad’s best advice is to roll up your sleeves and get your hands dirty. That way, you will learn more.
#19: My dad’s best advice to me is “Always give your 101% in everything you do. If you succeed, give yourself a pat on the shoulder. If you fail, try, try, try again, and even if you have to fail again, at least you know you’ve tried your best and have no regrets.”
#20: My dad’s best advice to me: Put your head down and work hard. Never wait for things to happen, make them happen for yourself through hard work and not giving up.
#21: My mom’s best advice is that life is all about hard work and treats. Work hard every day, always strive to achieve your greatest potential, and then treat yourself with small rewards like dark chocolate, a good cup of coffee or a nap. Also, whether they are mental, physical, or anything in between, people’s disabilities do not define them. Thirdly, be your own best friend and you’ll never feel lonely. And always remember to be true to yourself.
#22: My parents’ best advice to me is “the grass is greener on the other side but grass doesn’t grow on its own. There must be water, sunlight and someone’s effort to maintain it. If you want something, there’s no easy way out. You just have to work for it.”
#23: My parents’ best advice is to love and prioritize God and the rest will come naturally.
#24: My mum’s best advice to me is “don’t compare your life with others; the grass always looks greener on the other side. Pray and thank the Almighty for the blessings He has showered upon us!”
FAMILY / CHILDREN
#25: My parents’ best advice to me is to LOVE your child the way we love you. Spread the love in the family.
#26: My parents’ best advice to me is “Love your family and you will have a rewarding life and filial children in your lifetime. Live your life to the fullest!”
#27: Best advice given to me from Mak was “Never separate a son from his mother, for she is still his heaven. A respectful son to his mother is as respectful to his wife and children.”
#28: My mum’s best advice to me is “You have two ears and one mouth. Listen twice as much as you speak”. Often the conversation ends in fights and arguments because one of us fails to listen sincerely. I think this advice is really great and looking back on 36 years of marriage, I think we have followed her advice wisely.
#29: My dad’s best advice to me was to never love my husband 100%. That we, as wives, deserve to love ourselves with at least 40% from that total, because we are the ‘backbones’ (the support) to our husbands. The rest of that percentage, you can give to your children (I have 4 haha!). Always take good care of yourself. Life is short, so love your family properly but never forget about yourself.
#30: My parents’ best advice to me was on the day of my wedding. They told both of us the following: 1. Never put each other down (criticize, insult, make negative remarks, make negative/disparaging jokes, etc.) either in private or in front of others, including your own family. Always ensure that you maintain each other’s dignity. 2. Always be sensitive to each other’s needs. 3. Identify the issues which your spouse is sensitive about, try and understand why your spouse is sensitive about these things, and avoid raising these issues or creating these sensitive situations. 4. Always respect each other as husband and wife. 5. Each spouse has an equal/balanced role to play to maintain the marriage, family or household, especially when it comes to decision making, as well as family or household chores. When deciding on something major, both sides should have a say. 6. In-laws and relatives (and friends). It is important to get on well with everyone as much as possible! 7. Do not forget important days, like birthdays and anniversaries, and celebrate the occasion. 8. Don’t always go with convention/follow the crowd. Be practical. 9. Have pleasant surprises (which do not have to be expensive/costly) for each other now and then. But make sure the surprises do not inconvenience your spouse or put him/her in a spot. 10. Make sure you give each other adequate space – to hang out with your own friends now and then, do your own things, etc. 11. When you do something for your spouse, don’t keep counting them and expect your spouse to reciprocate in the same manner! 12. Finally, everything said and done, if you do or say something which hurt your spouse, intentionally or otherwise, don’t wait too long to apologize.
#31: The best advice from my mum was to learn to give up on my ex-bf (3 years) when he ask for a break up with me. I was so heart broken. I cried every night in her arms. Those were the darkest months of my life. Thanks to my mum, I managed to survive that episode.
#32: My mum’s best advice to me is don’t let other people make the choices for you and don’t let no one push you around. Be confident and proud of yourself!
#33: My parents’ best advice to me was: a marriage isn’t 1 + 1 =2. It is 0.5 +0.5 =1. Marriage is about removing each other’s bad habit(s) to become one. Marriage isn’t about possession, but it is about appreciating each other, loving each other through good and bad times.
#34: My mum’s best advice to me is to consider marrying a good man who is kindhearted and faithful, not based on looks alone!
#35: My parents’ best advice to us came not in words but in actions. They have shown us how to be appreciative, thankful and kind. In short, to show respect to all regardless of one’s profession and to never look down on others. And when the going gets tough, that’s when we have to be tougher! To keep going and never give up!
#36: My mum’s best advice to me is that there is no Prince Charming. Even if he exists, you shouldn’t count on him to provide for you or be the only one who handles financial issues. You should be a strong, independent woman. Mom taught me early on to understand financial basics and to set myself up for a stable future regardless of whether I have a partner to share that future with. Because of her, I always try to save 20% of my pocket money and invest my savings in fixed deposits.
#37: My parents’ best advice to me is to open my eyes BIGGER & marry the right guy!
#38: My Dad’s advice to me is ‘Treat others as you want to be treated’.
#39: My dad’s best advice to me is never disturb other people’s rice bowl no matter how much you despise that person.
#40: My parents’ best advice to me is to stay healthy and happy because these two are the most important things in life!
#41: My parents’ best advice to me is ‘study hard, play hard and health is wealth!’
#42: My mother once told me “Do the best you can every time. Sometimes, people will think that your efforts are not enough, that you are not good. But the important thing is how do you feel about it. Did you do your best? If the answer is ‘yes,’ you can feel proud, even if, to the world, you look defeated”. And my father once told me: Always remember that you work with people. People like you, with problems, with loved ones, with sad days and joyous days. So, every time you do something, think of the repercussion that your actions will have on other people, because that person on the other side is not really different from you!
#43: My mum’s best advice to me is to give and take. I learned from her that giving is a lot harder than taking, but the former is much more satisfying when it is done. She told me that giving makes one happy. I am sure she is right because half of her life, she has been giving me what I need, and in spite of all those years of giving, she is happy.
#44: My dad’s best advice to me was : “Don’t owe anyone any favor. When they ask it back from you, it will never be something you can return.”
#45: My mum’s best advice to me is to have integrity in life; it takes a long time to build a character that is trustworthy but just one moment and one foolish deed to tear it down!
#46: My mum’s best advice to me is never give up on your dreams and as long as you have done your best, never regret your decisions.
#47: My parents’ best advice to me is “be true to yourself and you will find the path that suits you the most!”
#48: ‘Doers achieve what dreamers believe. If you put your mind to it, you can do it. Be careful what you wish for because you might get it.’
#49: Be Strong enough to overcome failure and Happy enough to overcome sadness!
#50: “No matter what you’re given, do the best you can and give your all. In all things, compete against yourself. Be better than you were yesterday. You have a name – so leave your mark and continue moving forward.”
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