best-advice

Last week, I wrote about my daughter’s high school graduation and the unavoidable bittersweet emotions that accompanied it. In the same vein, dispensing advice to grads (and anyone else within earshot for that matter) seems equally unavoidable this time of year.

I think the best advice I ever got was from a boss early in my career who told me: “Go with your gut. Then verify.” This has resonated with me over the years for two key reasons.  First, you have to trust your instincts.  Second, you don’t know everything.

I always try to listen to that little voice inside my head — call it “instinct” or “the voice of experience” or  “intuition.” Whatever it is, it’s usually spot-on.  Then, I go to my trusted partners and resources to confirm that this is the right thing to do.

Newswoman and talk show host Katie Couric published a book recently in which she asked a number of prominent people for “The Best Advice I Ever Got.” Here are some of the standouts:

“Be patient and persistent. Life is not so much what you accomplish as what you overcome.” Robin Roberts, Good Morning America Host

“…Resolve to grow intellectually, morally, technically, and professionally every day through your entire work and family life… Ask yourself every day, Am I really up to speed? Focus on your weaknesses and on ways to overcome them.” David L. Calhoun, CEO of the Nielsen Company

“If you really believe in yourself and your art, then you have to create your own opportunities. You can’t wait for someone else to do it for you.” Susan Stroman, Broadway Director

“Keep trying doors; one will eventually open… Fearlessness is not the absence of fear. It’s the mastery of fear.” Arianna Huffington, Founder of The Huffington Post

“You quit, you fail.” Morgan Freeman, Actor

“We are all frightened by change and by the unfamiliar, but those who remain open – despite their hesitations – can discover new worlds and opportunities.” Vera Wang , Fashion Designer

“If the world puts you on a road you don’t like, if you look ahead and do not want that destination which is being offered and you look behind and you do not want to return to your place of departure, step off the road. Build yourself a brand new path.” Maya Angelou, Author

And, Katie’s own take on things: “Finding your passion will eventually get you to where you’re supposed to be.”

Good advice.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever gotten?   Please feel free to share it below in the comments section. I’ll post some of this wisdom next time.  (That’s the thing about good advice. You have to keep it in circulation.)