Self-Directed Living

Fancy Hands Review: How to Hire Your Own Virtual Assistant for Just $15

Total Reading Time: 6 minutes.
Today, we’ll be talking about Fancy Hands, a service that offers U.S. based virtual assistants to anyone in the world. I’m also going to show you exactly what to expect, and how to make the most of this investment in your freedom.
The best part? It’s not expensive to get started, they’re only $29.99 a month. And you can also get 50% off your first month — so only $14.98 to start.
Now, let’s dig in…
fancyhands
We all want one thing:
More free time. For what? Mainly, more time to focus on the more important things. Who defines these “important things”? Well, you do. How often do you find yourself handling annoying, random BS tasks that you wish someone else could do. Too often. Right?
If only we could blow away the competition by getting more actual “work” done and not having to deal with these boring, nonsense tasks. Or what if we had someone to help with the little things so we could focus on being creative and producing good work?
There are far too many judgements and preconceptions about what having an assistant really means. But here’s the deal, we’re living a self-directed lifestyle, right?
And if we want to be free and achieve great things we need to focus on what’s important. Outsourcing the minutiae of everyday life is one of them.

Snapshot of My Dashboard

This snapshot of my Fancy Hands dashboard shows you my usage for the last few months. The statistics that blow my mind the most?
451 CALLS that I didn’t have to make, and 4.1 DAYS of time saved. Remarkable.

Fancy Hands - personal stats
A lot of time and money saved.

Examples of Recent Tasks

Fancy Hands will handle just about any type of task for you, within reason. Below are 5 recent tasks I had my assistants perform:

  1. Shipping issue: Call Frank & Oak (an online retailer) and find out why I haven’t received my shirt yet. If it’s still available please have them send it to me, I still want it. If it’s no longer available and they can’t send it to me just get a refund please.
  2. Lost Kindle: I just took this flight (see below for details and seat number) and forgot my Kindle in the seat pouch in front of my seat. Can you please contact the airline and recover it? Contact them locally and specifically ask them to grab it from the plane. I will pay for shipping if needed.
  3. Accommodations: Can you please find me accommodations for the night of June 30th in Rio de Janeiro? Highly rated is the biggest priority. Hostels are fine, but decent reviews with cleanliness as priority. Please reply back with 3 options, and then secure a reservation for the one I choose.
  4. Purchase: Can you please find me an Apple (genuine only) 60W MagSafe 2 Power Adapter? I’m okay with used (this will be a backup). Once you find the best priced one just purchase it and ship to my home address.
  5. Research: I need to find best service that will handle my postal mail. I want this service to receive all my mail, scan it, and forward me any items I specifically request (no packages, just letters & regular mail). I need this service to give me a California mailing address (preferably San Francisco) that looks like an actual address. I need great customer service and a strong track record (FYI: I went with Virtual Post Mail).

If it’s legal, they’ll probably do it. Here’s a huge list of common tasks they can do. What can they not do? Here’s a breakdown of that.

How to Effectively Assign Tasks

This was by far the hardest part for me, and is generally the most difficult piece for most people.
Delegation is a skill that takes time to learn (a very valuable one at that). Always approach your assistant with an “if this then that” framework to your task.
Just remember “IFTTT = If This Then That”. Don’t confuse this with the service. The more you can think of obstacles and “what if’s” ahead of time, the less back and forth you’ll have. Patience and detail are key to your success here.
Note from Arman: Think of it as a game. If you’re able to get your tasks completed with no questions or obstacles, you win. The better you get at this, the better you’ll eventually be at managing a dedicated assistant, and eventually, an entire team.

Fancy Hands Final Review and Notes

Value

Overall, Fancy Hands offers an incredible value. With the smallest plan you receive 5 tasks for $29.99/month. According to Fancy Hands, the average task is something that can be completed in under 20 minutes.
My statistics show that I’ve saved 4.1 days or over 98 hours of time. This means each task is taking approximately 27 minutes. So let’s find out how what this would cost you per hour, based on the entry level plan.
At $29.99/month for 5 tasks, that’s $6 per task. Each task at 27 minutes means you’re paying around $13 per hour of work. This doesn’t even consider the money your assistant can save you through the tasks.
Here’s the key: If you make more than $13 an hour, you’d be making a very wise decision to use a service like Fancy Hands. The more you can free yourself from things that don’t require your personal attention, the more successful and fulfilled you can be.

User Interface/Accessibility

The service is constantly evolving and keeps getting better. To submit a task, you currently have all these options:

  1. Email
  2. Through the website
  3. Fancy Hands mobile app
  4. Record a voice memo through the app
  5. Call them
  6. Text them (SMS)

Very flexible. I love the voice memo feature, because as tasks come to mind I can quickly record and outsource immediately.

Quality of Work

I find that the average assistant wants to go above and beyond your expectations, especially if you’re friendly, clear, and use the IFTTT method above. Fancy Hands assistants are all U.S. based, sharp, and detailed.
I’ve had assistants put together massive amounts of research, build beautiful spreadsheets, and fight for me with customer service departments. I’ve been thoroughly impressed on multiple occasions.
I’ve also had assistants that complete tasks quickly, and don’t always ask the necessary questions to deliver exactly what I asked for. In part, that’s my fault because I wasn’t clear enough.
As I mentioned, it’s important to be as clear as possible, otherwise you’ll get what you ask for.

Consistency

My experience has been pretty consistent. Most assistants do the job as asked, and occasionally one will go far beyond expectations.
There have been two or three occasions where I was disappointed with my assistant. The fix was simple: ask for the task to be reassigned.
After each task is complete you can leave a thumbs up or down, so it’s clear that quality is being monitored.

Responsiveness/Speed

The biggest benefit of a non-dedicated assistant service like Fancy Hands is that you can submit as many tasks as you like at the same time. A single, dedicated assistant can only handle so much.
This means you’ll have multiple assistants working on your tasks, and as you become an experienced delegator your needs may grow. This model is the most scalable and many people opt to stay with Fancy Hands rather than Zirtual for this exact reason.
Most tasks are looked at within an hour or two, some right away. Many are even completed that quickly. Time to completion all depends on the type of task. I’d estimate most are completed within 48 hours.
See my final review and ratings below. Overall, I recommend Fancy Hands to anyone with no reservations.
[review] 


 
Use my link (it’s basically a referral coupon) to try Fancy Hands at 50% off your first month. That works out to only $14.98. It’s an investment in yourself that will leave you instantly feeling less stressed, less busy, and more in control.
Please comment below with any questions and feedback. If you do sign up, please let us know how it goes. Help us all learn from your experiences and share your successes/struggles.

The Psychology of Happy: A Case Study on 4 Real People and the Truth about Happiness

Total Reading Time: 6 minutes
My friend Jonathan is the kind of guy who shows up at the airport and purchases a flight the day of his departure. He doesn’t make appointments, he rarely commits to events in advance, and hardly ever prepares for anything. He’s a happy-go-lucky guy and believes in living as spontaneously as possible.
You could say Jonathan is living for today.
My friend Rachel is driven by success. She lives by her calendar and knows exactly where she’ll be at any given time in the next three months. She’s organized and will always give you a yes or no answer. She loves to plan ahead, and endlessly researches her options before making decisions. She enjoys being in control, and likes to stick to a plan.
You could say Rachel is living for tomorrow.
My friend Ricardo is apathetic. He generally appears to be sad/depressed, and doesn’t get excited very easily. He tends to be negative toward himself and others. He views the world in a cynical way, and believes most people are bad. He likes to take the easy way out, and would rather most people left him alone.
You could say Ricardo is living in the past.
Jonathan, Rachel, and Ricardo are three people I was thinking about a lot during my recent trip to Brazil. At times, I found myself wavering between the present and the future. Frustrations with technology (lack of Wi-Fi) and deadlines (that I’d given myself) had me living in the future. The raw energy of the World Cup and its significance in my life had me living in the present.
I couldn’t quite settle, so I kept straddling. After spending some time reflecting on this, I divided us humans into four different personality types and studied each of their habits/lifestyles. Within these personality types we’ll analyze the character traits and identify the correlations to happiness.

What Is “Happy” and Why Is It so Difficult?

Most of what we know about happiness is wrong. Pursuing happiness is just that — an endless pursuit of an unattainable reality.
This isn’t as somber as it sounds, I promise. Being aware of this hoax is the first step. Below, you’ll learn about an alternative angle that is both attainable and worthwhile.
We’re all craving this feeling of happiness, but we’re not able to hold onto it beyond temporary moments of joy. Why should happiness be this complicated? Who are these rare people that appear to be happy all the time? What makes them special?
Happy is an emotion. Emotions are temporary, they’re constantly changing. We can change our emotional states, but we can’t always control them.
Our emotions should be used as a tool. For example, if we’re feeling sad that’s our emotions telling our brain, “Umm…excuse me, change something fast! Or else I’ll just keep feeling sad over here.” Unfortunately, we identify with our emotions and allow them to control us, rather than use them as the tool that they are.
Happiness, on the other hand, is this idea that maybe one day we’ll just be happy forever. Long-term infinite happy = happiness.
In essence, being happy for more than a temporary amount of time is not possible.
So what would Jonathan, Rachel, and Ricardo say? They’re living in a way that feels natural to them. It’s likely they (like us) were programmed to act this way from a very young age. Most of us don’t think twice about these habits — yet they identify who we are.
Should we succumb to living by past (ineffective) virtues? Should we be shaped by people and events from our past? Let’s examine the fundamentals by which these people live.

Jonathan: The Happy-Go-Lucky Adventurer

Jonathan’s free-flowing lifestyle could be considered hippy or Eastern by many. He dislikes commitment, but if you asked him he’d tell you spontaneity is the preference. Jonathan is indeed very present, and he’s generally happy. He lives for today and has no regrets. He doesn’t however exude much aspiration or have grand goals for the future.
People like Jonathan will generally allow (and embrace) life coming at them. He makes living in the moment a priority and works hard to maintain that virtue.

Rachel: The Ravenous Futurist

Rachel is an achiever. She lives for the future. She’s not all that happy right now, but she believes that when that big day comes (when she’s achieved all her dreams), she’ll be happy. Rachel is always busy and has trouble getting into a flow, because she finds it hard to be present.
Note: Rachel is very stereotypical of many entrepreneurs and solopreneurs.
Rachel is committed to growing. She “gets it” when it comes to success. Unfortunately, her desire to control everything in her environment leads to stress. It also leads to periods of anxiety she can’t control.

Ricardo: The Apathetic Negatron

Ricardo is bored. He allows himself to float along the river of life, and feels like a victim of the world. He isn’t happy and doesn’t see much hope for change. His cynicism only feeds his dwindling hope, and after years of this he’s become quite miserable. Ricardo has lost the ability to see the beauty of life. He attaches no meaning or significance to his time here.
We now understand these three mindsets and lifestyles. Let’s recap:
Jonathan is generally happy and lives in the present, Rachel is rarely happy and lives in the future, and Ricardo…just doesn’t give a sh*t. As I mentioned above, let’s forget about the pursuit of happiness. Let’s focus on something better: fulfillment.
In order to truly be fulfilled we need two things: to grow and to contribute. By living in the trap of the three realities above, you’re missing these two things.

You: The Fulfilled Rockstar

Now here comes…you.
You are in awe every day with the magic of life. You aren’t concerned with being happy all the time, because you know that’s not possible. Life comes with its ups and downs, all you can do is limit your suffering. Your concern is to be fulfilled.
You have goals for the future (big ones) that you’re working toward every day, but you aren’t attached to the result or goal itself. You live with gratitude every day. You know to feel grateful you must appreciate what you already have, and that this is the first step to getting more of what you want.
You balance your needs for spontaneity and security. You welcome new experiences. You let go enough to enjoy the serendipity of life. You don’t live for the pursuit of happiness, wealth, or some elaborate and grandiose vision. Your reality is rooted in the present, while being excited and optimistic of the future.
You dedicate yourself to growth and creating value for others, because that increases your sense of significance and contribution. Your life is driven by a deep purpose.
You are fulfilled. You have an underlying sense of contentment, significance, and gratification. Your fulfillment magnifies the positive and reduces the negative.
What’s the fastest way to shift into feeling fulfilled?

Look back at what you’ve already accomplished, rather than forward at all you haven’t. — Tweet this!

Always look for the lesson in life. Know that what you once considered failures are actually just temporary hiccups, designed to be training along the way. These experiences are what will allow you to contribute to others and feel true fulfillment.
To contribute, we must grow. To grow, we must experience. And to experience, we must take action and let go.
So go on and be that inspiring example of the fulfilled rockstar you already are.
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What do you think about happiness? How will you incorporate this idea of being fulfilled in your life?
Supplemental Resources:

  1. The Science of Happiness – An Experiment in Gratitude
  2. Gratitude: Louie Schwartzberg at TEDxSF
  3. Harvard Magazine: Science of Happiness

Photo credit: Snowboarding in MaldviesCC License

How to Create a Custom Gmail Inbox and Save 8 Hours per Week on Email

Email. According to a McKinsey study, on average we spend 2.25 hours (or 28%) of each day on email. The average person receives/sends 105 emails a day.
2.25 hours a day equates to 45 hours per month. On email. In one year, you’ll spend 540 hours or 22.5 days on email.
Shocking, isn’t it? Ready to get even crazier?
Let’s crunch some more numbers using common averages. A person who generally begins working in the professional world after college is 22 years old. If this person were to retire at age 60 and never look at email again (which won’t happen), that would be 38 years working. That’s 20,520 hours on email. 855 days on email.
2.34 years…on email
In the video below you’ll learn how to create an inbox that shows you only the most important emails. This strategy is the foundation of a system I created to make email as painless and effortless as possible.
If you follow the steps in this video and implement the rules I lay out, you’ll easily save up to 8 hours per week on email — getting at least 50% of your time back.

 
There’s a ton of content in the video, and I really want to make sure you’re able to implement it and see results right away So I went ahead and created a downloadable PDF summary guide for you to download and reference any time you like. It’s yours to keep, fo’ free.
You’ll also find the action items from the summary guide below.

Free Summary Guide

Here’s the download link: http://wilg.me/1jRQW86 — Right-click and select “save file as…”

Summary of Action Items

In this one video you learned how to:

  • Create a customized, automated gmail inbox
  • Correctly set up your priority inbox
  • Create a to-do/action section
  • Send mail from other non-Gmail accounts
  • Check mail from POP3 accounts
  • Use forwarding for automation

Create an Action Label

  1. Click/choose Create new label from the left-hand side menu
  2. Name it: Action, To Do, @, or any name you choose

Setting up your Effortless Priority Inbox

  1. Click the Gear (Settings) icon in the upper-right corner
  2. Choose the Inbox menu
    1. Inbox type: Priority Inbox
  3. Select Inbox Sections:
    1. Section #1: Important (not Important and unread)
    2. Section #2: All Starred
    3. Section #3: “Action” or “To Do” section (Action label created in previous step for this section)
    4. Section #4: Everything else

Send Mail As

  • Do you have more than one email? Add them to your Gmail account and utilize the Send Mail As feature
  • Send email from an alternate email address: @yahoo.com, @about.me, @[personal-domain], etc.

Check Mail from Other POP3 Accounts

  • Receive emails all in one inbox
  • Add your alternate POP3 email addresses and Gmail will check for messages and deliver them directly to your inbox
  • Add a work email or email addresses from a personal domain
    • Make sure to label the incoming messages so you can distinguish which address they were originally sent to

Forwarding

  • Automatically forward emails based on pre-set filters
  • Example: Evernote email address
    • Bills/Receipts can be forwarded to Evernote and organized saved
    • Save important business expenses, donations, tax-deductible items, etc.

Make sure you take action right away and implement what you learned from the video.
Most importantly, make sure you immediately start batching your email checking into sessions. Divide this out into three times per day and set a time on the calendar. If it’s not scheduled email time, do not open your email.
Using the new inbox setup you created, you’ll find it much easier to identify the important emails and focus only on those. Especially if you start eliminating and preventing spam and junk mail. Go spend your newfound free time working on more important things — or just enjoying life.

Note from Arman: This content is just one module from the 11 inside my Effortless Email course on Udemy. Use this link to receive a special launch promo of 75% (use coupon code “wilg75” if you don’t automatically see the discount).
Photo credit: Business Girl — CC License

How and What to Pack for Your Next Travel Adventure

Ah…packing. The unpleasant, lingering step-sister of traveling.
In this short video you’ll learn how and what to pack for your next travel adventure. During this particular trip, I’ll also be working from abroad. You’ll get an overview of all the tools and equipment I recommend you carry if you’ll be doing the same.
For the traveling solopreneur and digital nomad, it’s all about balancing work and play. You don’t want to feel guilty about exploring, but you also want to stay productive. I had to mess up a few times to learn the lessons. The first time it really hit me was when I made this video in Southeast Asia.
Having the right tools and packing correctly is a big part of it. Whether you’re on vacation, a workationor just living the Freedom Lifestyle — there’s something in this video for you.
 

How and What to Pack for Your next Travel Adventure


 

List of Tools to Pack the next Time You Travel

  1. Tumi Carry-On 22″ Luggage
  2. Apple 13″ MacBook Pro with Retina Display
  3. Kindle Paperwhite with Wi-Fi
  4. Moleskin Classic Notebook
  5. Charles Schwab Bank ATM card  — Reference articleGet Rid of ATM Fees Once and for All
  6. Chase Sapphire Preferred
  7. CitiBusiness AAdvantage World Master Card
  8. Moo Business Cards
  9. 3m Nexcare Moisturizing Hand Sanitizer
  10. Travel Power Adapter
  11. Mophie Juice Pack Powerstation
  12. Rode Smartlav Lavalier Microphone for iPhone and Smartphones
  13. Samson Go Mic Compact USB Microphone
  14. Ethernet USB Adapter
  15. Bose QuietComfort 25 Headphones
  16. Xertube Resistance Band
  17. Adidas Men’s Sport Performance Climalite (for the gentleman)
  18. eBags Packing Cubes

Bonus items not mentioned in video:

  1. AirComfy Inflatable Travel Pillow (I never leave home without it)
  2. The Noteboard Pocket-Size Dry-Erase Board
  3. Tortuga Backpacks (awesome all-in-one alternative — a friend’s company)
  4. Portable and Adjustable Tripod Stand Holder for Smartphone for shooting videos)
  5. Case Logic Macbook Pro Sleeve (waterproof)

 
This list of equipment and electronics is constantly evolving. The clothes and gear you pack can change based on the destination, but it’s also generally the same.
But who knows, I might discover some different undies one day.
What are some items you can’t travel without? Do you have any tips for packing light?

6 Odd Ways to Be Productive While Traveling

Total Reading Time: 5 minutes.
It was only after four days that the feelings of responsibility and guilt began setting in. I was halfway around the world, settling into life in Southeast Asia. It was a completely new reality. The culture was intoxicating and I was ready to learn more about this exotic world.
The purpose of the trip was simple: to travel, work, and live the Freedom Lifestyle to the fullest. As you might guess, this isn’t an easy task, but it’s doable.
You’ve been there, we all have. You finally break away from the day-to-day routine and get an opportunity to travel, work remotely, or just work from home for a couple days. Yet, your mind starts playing this constant internal tug-of-war. It becomes a battle of work vs. play.

Staying Productive: How Do you Balance Work and Play?

How do you stay productive when you’re outside of your normal environment and/or comfort zone? When traveling, you’re presented with limitless possibilities of how you can go about your day. You’re continuously dazzled by “the new”.
This Southeast Asia adventure lasted 97 days. During the adventure I had to experiment and try many different strategies to stay productive. It wasn’t easy, and I made plenty of mistakes. After all, I was both traveling and working on multiple business projects. I learned some big lessons and was even able to pull off a product launch at the tail end of the trip — but only after learning those lessons.
Travel shouldn’t prevent the work from getting done. My readers expect content, regardless of the environment I’m in. Your customers, clients, and/or readers expect the same.
After all, living a Freedom Lifestyle is all about being able to do what you want, when you want, how you want (and even with who you want). I sat down recently and brainstormed some strategies for working more productively, maintaining your rituals, and still having fun while traveling.
 

The Strategy: Simplify

Keep things simple. Every experience and situation is different. There is no one-size fits all solution. The main idea is to avoid doing what doesn’t work. Focus on the 80/20 of your business/work.
Simplify as much as possible. You will not have as much time as you’re used to.
The key is to focus on two areas: the highest revenue generating activities, and high lifetime value work.
 

6 Tips to Stay Productive While Traveling Without Feeling Guilty

These strategies are useful for solopreneurs when they’re traveling, visiting family/friends, or working in any new environment.
They’re also useful for everyday humans who might be working from home, working remotely, or traveling for business.
 

1. Don’t Set a Schedule

If you set a schedule, you’ll set yourself up for disappointment. Even if you’re traveling alone, it’s likely someone or something is going to pull you away from your work. Plus, you want to have that flexibility. That’s the whole point.
If you get pulled away, you’ll feel awful and guilty. The goal is to avoid this feeling as much as possible.
Instead, set constraints, which is what Dr. Seuss did. Or at least set minimum thresholds. You can decide on the number of hours you must “work” every single day. Hit that number, and you’re good.
Decide whether it’s best to work in the morning, afternoon, or evening. But whatever you do, hit that goal. For example, during my trip to Brazil for the World Cup I made a goal to spend at least 3 hours per day working.
 

2. Have an Accountability Partner

Have someone either work with you at the exact same times, or check in with you daily to make sure you’ve hit your target. This can be someone from your company, or a business partner. But you can also hire a friend for the job.
Discuss the plan in advance and tell them how important it is for the both of you to hit your daily goal for hours worked. If there’s no incentive for this person to hold you accountable (they won’t also be working), make it fun for them.
For each day you don’t hit your goals:
A) You give them a dollar. Each time you don’t hit your goal, the money owed doubles.
B) You have to donate money to a cause you are against. Note from Arman: I like this one 🙂
C) You have to donate money to a charity of their choice.
D) You have to do them a favor. Or they get to make you do something.
 

3. Work Anytime and Anywhere You Have Time

This is a key lesson I learned and shared in this video. You never know when there will be some downtime.
Be prepared, carry your gear everywhere, and always be willing to put in some work — even if it’s only ten minutes.
 

4. Work Offline

You can brainstorm, mind-map, write, plan, design, and do so many more activities offline.
Don’t prevent yourself from working just because you don’t have Wi-FI. You’ll find that working offline is quite fulfilling. You’ll have less distractions, and will do better work.
Carry a pen and moleskin notebook at all times. Use your devices in offline mode. You don’t have to be online to get real work done.
 

5. Have the Right Tools

Invest in the right tools to make working from anywhere as easy as possible. Whether it be a USB microphone, a good set of noise-cancelling headphones, or a travel adapter. Invest in the tools you need now. If you don’t, you may regret it.
Natalie Sisson, of Suitcase Entrepreneur, has a ton of content on this topic. Here’s a list of some travel tools to help you work from anywhere.
 

6. Work When Others Are Around

This isn’t conventional advice, I know.
If you wait until you have free time, or try to break free from your friends or travel group, you’ll never get anything done. That free time will never come. It’s hard to break away from the group.
So what’s a traveling solopreneur to do?
Work in front of them. Pop on your headphones, get in the zone, and get to work. If you do this a few times, you’ll get awesome results.
This works because the people around you will see that you are serious about your work. They’ll respect the time you’re putting in, and will make it easier for you to make time.

What tips or advice do you have for staying productive while working remotely? Are there any methods or tools you rely on?
Photo credit: Sunny Saturday on Ipanema BeachCC License
 

27 Amazing Pieces of Advice from Everyday Remarkable Humans

Total Reading Time: 4 minutes.
Recently, I was feeling inspired to learn more from my friends and network. So I randomly posed a simple question on my personal Facebook page:
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received for your life or career?
The answers were remarkable, to say the least. When I was in college I learned something I’ll never forget: the fastest and most effective way to learn anything is to ask people questions and listen.
If we can learn how to be more open-minded, we will have built a durable foundation for education and success. Being open-minded simply means being aware of the many different realities and patterns of life. Understanding that the reality and lessons we attach ourselves to is only one perspective.
Being curious and willing to weave new pieces into your “reality quilt”, is the best way to grow. Not every perspective or point of view should be adopted. If something catches your attention and inspires you, then listen.
My goal when I asked that question was simple: to learn from the everyday remarkable people I’m grateful to know, and share their unique perspectives and wisdom with you.
We all know the value of listening to famous people that are full of inspiring wisdom. These people have earned the ears and respect of others by delivering consistent results.
Nevertheless, I believe everyone has an incredible story. The person sitting right next to you on the subway, the elderly lady walking her dog to the park, the young waiter at your favorite restaurant, and the mother of two at the grocery story—they can all teach us something. All we have to do is ask, and listen.
With that said, below you’ll find some of best advice this amazing group of people have ever been given.

Life and Career Advice from Everyday Remarkable Humans

 
“Be happy, regardless of where you are or what you’re doing. It’s a state of mind that you control, free from any outside influence. If you master that, you’ve mastered life.” – Johnny P.
 
“It’s not your problems that define you, but how you handle them.” – Nasim A. — Tweet this!
 
“The past is of no use. The future does not exist. No other time in your life exists besides this very moment.” – Azadeh J.
 
“If you want to be interesting, be interested.” – Aran W. (via his grandmother) — Tweet this! 
 
“Fail fast. Stack cheddar.” – Eumir N.
 
“Leave your ego at the door.” – Akhil Anumolu — Tweet this! 
 
“Start a separate savings account for weddings.” – Lindsey F. 
 
“We judge ourselves by what we feel capable of doing, while others judge us by what we have already done.” So go do stuff! – Christopher D. (via Henry Wadsworth Longfellow)
 
“We are the average of the five people we spend the most time with. Health, happiness, success—it is all determined by the people you are around.” – Christopher D. (via Jim Rohn)
 
“No one will fight for you if you don’t fight for yourself.” – Aman Manik — Tweet this!
 
“Only do what you love and love what you do. Once you know your strengths, align them with your passions in life and find a career that can uniquely help you align the two. Then strap on and enjoy the ride.” – Human Z.
 
“Never make a decision out of fear!” – Emily Moberly
 
“Put 10% of every paycheck and cash gift in an interest-bearing account. It won’t be felt today, but will pave the way for a carefree retirement.” – Serah S.
 
“Sh*t happens for a reason. The past is the past. The future is the key.” – Shawn R.
 
“Keep your friends close and your guacamole closer.” – Ketan A.
 
“Dress for the job you want, not the job you have.” – Furheen M.
 
“Don’t sweat the petty stuff and don’t pet the sweaty stuff.” – Hedie J. (via George Carlin)
 
“Don’t judge people, always put yourself in their shoes.” – Armig S.
 
“When you show yourself to the world and display your talents, you naturally stir all kinds of resentment, envy, and other manifestations of insecurity… you cannot spend your life worrying about the petty feelings of others.” – Christian J (via Robert Greene)
 
“Never lose your beliefs, or you’ll lose yourself.” – Sharihan A.
 
“In life you generate the results you think you deserve.” – Goli S.
 
“Start your own business.” – Shadee Daneshvar
 
“We are not meant to live in socially acceptable boxes.” – Rita H.
 
“Never forget what you are, for surely the world will not. Make it your strength. Then it can never be your weakness. Armour yourself in it, and it will never be used to hurt you.” – Rezsa F. (via George R.R. Martin, Game of Thrones – Tyrion Lannister)
 
“You trade each day to live. What will you do today?” – Paulino B.
 
“In the long run, it does not matter how smart you are of if you receive those lucky breaks. The surest way to have success in your career is to set ambitious goals, work hard, and have a great attitude.” – Nick S.
 
“Never stop being curious. This characteristic alone has the power to invoke a high level of happiness and success. ‘Curiosity has its own reason for existing. (via Albert Einstein)'” – Sirj Goswami (via his father)
 
Bonus:
“Most people have no idea how much potential they have to do amazing things. One day as you’re living your life, you’re going to wake up. You’ll realize how easily you can have everything you’ve ever wanted. Never let this knowledge go.” – Arman Assadi (via his 6th grade teacher)
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So, I’ll ask you the same question: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received for your life or career? 
Photo credit: Flickr CC License