Worst Advice Ever

It’s spring time and that means graduations are happening all around the country. The Commencement addresses often involve providing advice to the fresh graduates as they commence the next chapter of their lives.

Social media also provides a platform to provide advice. There’s a lot of it out there, not all of it good.

Here’s some of the worst advice I’ve heard:

You can be/do anything. No you can’t. The sooner you realize this, the better. The reality is we can’t be/do most things. What you can do is be the best “you” that you can be. Our “work” in life is to discover our own unique gifts and talents, which everyone has, and bring them to the world. Most can do a few things exceptionally well. Figure that out.

Failure is not an option.  Oh yes it is. Failure is always an option. Believing it’s not an option often results in people being too afraid to do anything. Our world would still be in the dark ages if failure wasn’t an option. Success comes from failing forward. The key is to view failure as a learning experience to propel one forward. Fall down, get up! Failure develops resiliency and grit, two key attributes to succeeding.

Never give up. This is a doozy and just plain dumb. It’s also the most often repeated. It’s usually attributed to Winston Churchill. He didn’t actually say “never give up,” and if he did, it’s because the world was in a life and death struggle with arguably the most evil person to ever walk the planet. If you’re in a life or death struggle, okay, don’t give up. In everyday life, however, there are lots of times to give up. Most companies give up on their original product/service idea and stumble onto something better. If you’re in hole, give up and stop digging. If you’re in a bad job, relationship or business, it’s more than okay to give up and free yourself to move on to something better. Successful people know what and when to give up. There’s one thing to never give up on: yourself.

So what’s some of the worst advice you have heard or experienced?