And who gave it to you?
Advice giving is not an easy task but everyone does it now and then. Sometimes when it's not wanted as well. Advice is often given based on our own experiences of life, after all, we only have our own frame of reference to go by. Speaking from my own experience I have had multiple pearls of wisdom from friends, family, and colleagues over the years. Some not so good advice as well. However, I have to say hands down that the best advice I have ever been given was by my late father.
He valued education and had a solid work ethic. He had worked most of his life from the age of 11 upwards and was orphaned at a young age. He started to earn a living traveling from village to village in Bangladesh teaching the local children English. This taught him the value of standing on his own two feet early on and working hard to earn a living. He was self-taught and loved studying. It was through his study that he was able to settle in England and continue his passion for teaching.
I remember it clear as day. I was only 11 years old and a quiet, shy child. My father called me into his study looked me dead in the eye and said;
“Listen love, I’m not going to be around forever. And I don’t know who you will end up with, whether it will be a good man or not. I hope and pray he will be good to you. But you can’t depend on that becoming a reality. You have to be able to stand on your own two feet in life, no hand outs. Don’t expect anyone else to bail you out. I don’t want my daughter to have to put her hand out to any man for her keep. You study hard so you can work in a profession not just a job, train and work hard and you will become self sufficient. That way I know you will be able to take good care of yourself. And if you end up with a good man who takes care of you then that is a bonus. At least you will have prepared for the worst. That will bring me peace of mind”
I remember feeling quite upset thinking about my father not being around in the future. I also felt determined by his words. My 11-year-old self was motivated by this advice and I vowed silently that I would not let my father down. I would follow his advice and become a professional so I could secure employment long term and become financially independent. That way I wouldn’t need anyone else to support me. So began my journey into long hours of study. I developed a passion for learning and enjoyed understanding things from different perspectives. I still haven’t stopped learning. Any opportunity for CPD (continued professional development) and training I get, I attend. Inspired by my father I entered the helping profession, it opened so many doors and work has always been plentiful across both Social Work and Counseling roles.
The reason I chose this bit of advice as the best ever is that it is so true, it has helped me in so many ways. Thankfully I ended up with a loving husband who does take good care of me, but I have not become complacent. I have worked and studied my whole life. A few years ago my husband was made redundant- had I not been in a stable profession with constant work available we would have really struggled. To date, I have worked consistently across various roles and been the main breadwinner for quite a few years. This was only possible because I heeded the advice that my father gave. I have passed these pearls of wisdom on to my children as well.
What life-changing or significant advice has anybody given you and how has it helped you in your life so far? I would love to hear your comments and pearls of wisdom.