“Most advice sucks.”
That thought is what prompted investment banker and entrepreneur Chris Hladczuk to conduct an online experiment in late 2021. He took to social media forum site Reddit and crowdsourced — from 20 million Reddit users there — the top “life tips” people wish they had known earlier in their lives. He then compiled all of the data, condensed it to one clean list, and published his findings so others could glean this wisdom.
Of course, life advice rarely applies to everyone, but these tips come pretty darn close. I wanted to share some of Hladczuk’s insightful findings with you. The advice covers a range of topics and themes, but it’s all pretty interesting. Here are the first three self-improvement tips:
1. Collect family wisdom through the ages
When it comes to keeping family memories: get a blank book, ask each family member over 50 to write down life advice that their descendants in 500 years should know, and keep passing it down generation to generation. “You now have a family treasure that gets more useful over time,” says Hladczuk.
2. Skip the dead-end arguments
Stuck in an argument and can’t get your point across? Stop, take a deep breath, and ask: “What proof would it take to get you to change your mind?” If they don’t have a clear answer on this, it’s unlikely you’re going to get any further with them, so the argument isn’t worth your time.
3. Make mistakes motivating, not maddening
Here’s one I strongly believe in: “Getting angry at people for making mistakes doesn’t teach them not to make mistakes. It teaches them to hide their mistakes.” As both a parent and a business owner, I apply this philosophy to everyone I interact with. Mistakes happen and the best thing we can do is learn from them. That can’t happen if people are shamed too much for making the mistake in the first place.