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The Best Piece Of Self Development Advice is Back!

Life Coach teaching kidsBefore I get into today’s post let me ask you a couple of questions:

Are you the kind of person that procrastinates about important tasks and always waits until the last minute to do them, and you can’t quite work out why?

And/or do you have children that resist going to bed when you tell them to, resulting in a protracted battle of wills ending up in tantrums and tears. And the kids aren’t happy either?

If you answered yes to either of the above questions, then I have great news for you.

My first newsletter since my move to Aweber has just gone out and it covers both those issues, and gives you solutions too.

Woo-hoo baby!

So if you’re interested, sign up at the bottom of the post or in the blue box in the left sidebar. You also get my ebook The 50 Greatest Motivational Quotes Of All Time – And Why? that one reader recently described as “fairly interesting” and another said “not bad at all Tim

Does it get any better than that?

I think not!

The Best Piece Of Self Development Advice is Back!

Rarely does a month go by when I don’t get asked by another Life Coach or self development blogger what my best piece of coaching advice is. I must confess that even though I’ve answered that question numerous times, I’d be lying if I said I always gave the same answer.

I have two dogs and as you can imagine, I love them both to bits. Being asked to give my favorite piece of self development advice feels a bit like being asked to pick my favorite hound, I simply cannot do it.

Having said that, I often feel obliged to give an answer even if I regret it later when my mood changes or I think of something else.

Last summer I ran a post asking for your Greatest Piece Of Self Development Advice and I got some stormers.

Unfortunately though, I didn’t really do anything with the follow up post, other than announce the ‘winner’. As such, all that really cool advice largely went to waste in the comments, rather that reaching a wider audience.

This time it will be different though, because I want to follow up with a post highlighting what I think are the best ones. How many that will be? I have no idea as it really depends on you and how many answers I get, but probably about 20 or so.

What’s In It For You?

I will give an hours free coaching/consulting valued at $250, to a random person that enters a suggestion I then use in the follow up post, as well as a free copy of How To Be Rich and Happy.

Or if everything in their world is totally hunky dory and couldn’t be better, they can have a $25 Amazon voucher*

I will combine the best comments in a post. If you have a blog or a website I will also link to you so you can grab some traffic and lovely Google juice as well as looking like the self development genius you undoubtedly are!

That’s like writing a guest post for me without having to actually go to the trouble of writing a guest post for me.

I had planned on giving it to the ‘winner’, but quite honestly, I know that will just stress me out deciding which is the best one and I’m fine and dandy being unstressed thanks very much

These are the rules and there are NO exceptions.

Your piece of advice must be no longer than 50 words and I do NOT want an explanation of why you like it. Just the advice ma’am, just the advice.

It must be left in the comments. Not only will I not take answers via e-mail I will delete them and not reply. I’m serious about this because I get enough e-mails as it is!

Do not enter your URL in the body of the comment or it will get snagged by my spam filter.

If two answers are similar or even effectively the same (and I expect this), then I will chose the one that I think is explained most clearly and concisely. So don’t worry about what other people say.

I will leave this open until Friday 20th May at 6.00pm EST and then post the best ones the following week.

So whatchya waiting for? Dazzle me with your brilliance!

*I will use a random number generator to decide the winner. If the winner prefers the Amazon voucher (sniff) I must point out it will only work at There is no cash equivalent or exchange. So if you live in Kurdistan and don’t want coaching and can’t access, you’ll have to trade it for a goat or something.

How To Be Rich and Happy can be either hard copy or ebook if the winner is in the US. If he or she lives anywhere else (including Canada) it will be either the ebook or Kindle version.

90 comments to The Best Piece Of Self Development Advice is Back!

  • I don’t know if quoting another person is against the rules but, I’ve stumbled upon in and find it great. :)

    “He who has a why to live can bear almost any how.” – Friedrich Nietzsche

  • When your goal seems overwhelming, break it down into the smallest steps possible and follow them one at a time.

  • Own up! Everything that you are feeling or doing is because you want to feel or do that. You have to take 100% responsibility for everything that has happened or will happen in your life.

    • One of only 3 clients that have ever fired me did so because I insisted he take 100% responsibility for his life and not the 70% he was prepared to accept.

      In case you’re wondering and I’m not joking, one of the other 2 told me God had told her not to work with me.

      If she was in direct contact with God I’m not sure why she really needed a Life Coach.

      • Now that’s funny! Reminds me of this stellar aphorism — You are known by the quality of the enemies you acquire. Gee, I hope God isn’t one of them…

  • Success comes down to habits. Achieve greatness by starting small. Make it so you can win. And think ‘victory’ to condition yourself to like new habits. For example, I had to do 1,000 pushups/week. I did 8 sets of 25 (start small) randomly during the day, 5 days/week.

  • In sort of the same vein as Chris’… without exception, everything you do has a positive intention. It rocked my world from the minute I heard it, and I have loved the reverberations.

    • Tut tut Ms Paritee, you gave me an explanation ;-)

      • The rules were only for if you wanted a shot at the voucher, right? :-) I hang out in your comments for all the fun and banter and as my dad would say “edjamacation.”

        BTW, you are affecting generations with your coaching and self-development advice! My 10 year-old daughter said the other day at the amusement park “I need to, I mean I want to go on the Superman ride 1st.” And she did that because she’s heard me correct my need to’s and have to’s. She’s heard me do THAT because of 2 questions you asked me during a coaching session. “Karen do you know how many times you’ve said I need to, I have to, during this conversation?” I don’t remember how many times I had said it, but since the only thing I have to do is die, all of my usage was superfluous. (And if you were pointing it out, I gathered I had said need and have to a lot.) Then you asked me what I would say to a client who said that. So thanks to you, since I knew what I would say, I decided I would either take my own advice, or if it wasn’t good enough for me to take, to stop giving it. I still say need to/have to like a reflex sometimes, but I also reflexively say “I mean I want to” and it’s still interesting how it feels in me when I make that shift that reminds me that I own everything.

      • That’s sooo cool. I always encourage clients with kids of an appropriate age to ask the kids to pick them up on the wrong kind of language. The kids get a great kick out of pulling their parents up and learn a valuable lesson at the same time.

        Up to now, only 4 kids have been beaten to death my parents driven to the brink of insanity, so I think that’s a win!

  • Okay, so the worst thing that could happen is that you die of embarrassment and that hasn’t happened yet so the odds are low and if it does? Hello posthumous fame!

    Tracy ‘There is a reason nobody pays for my advice’ O’Connor

    • It’s more likely to happen that you making the final cut to be honest!

      But I think we both knew that :)

      • Well, see you didn’t give me enough space to conclude my advice as I usually do with “And you need to quit whining because I have five kids and I’m not even about to listen to you go on”.

        What I loved most about working with you is learning that I don’t have to value patience and understanding if I don’t want to! ;-p

  • One of the biggest sources of our suffering is trying to live our life by other peoples value systems. Invest the time to discover your own values, do your best to live by them and align them with a bigger vision to help others.

    • Yeh cuz like you don’t know I’m a sucker for anything value based. Slam dunk!

      • I can see you now in Tesco’s, doing all your cheapskate shopping using just the Tesco Value blue stripe brand. (Sorry for all non-UK readers who don’t get this reference). When I was a student I lived off Tesco Value bread – 7p per loaf.

  • See things the way they are and not worst than they are. And once you see it as it is, then take the time to see it better than it is. And once you see it better than it is, go ahead and make your move and live the life.

  • Don’t spend a dime on an education institution UNTIL you know what you want to do with your life. Often your perception of what a job is and what it actually is are quite different. Volunteer, intern, or shadow a career. You will know if it really is what you want to do with your life.

  • CJ

    Begin noticing. Notice what rocks you, what you do because you’re “supposed” to, what you do that’s mindless following. Notice what your body says. Scrunched shoulders, indigestion and headaches don’t lie; neither do goosebumps and pitter-pattering heart. Start leaning toward that which you notice you’re craving more of.

  • Begin with compassion for yourself and attempt nothing further until you have that in hand.

  • “Nothing changes until you take action.”

    You can read what to do and know what to do, but eventually you have to just do it.

    • It was thinking about you and the fact that you ‘won’ last year and then that damn Amazon voucher wouldn’t work, that made me add the caveat.

  • Always visualize success – whether it is for a presentation at work or preparing for a soccer game. When I visualize myself succeeding and everyone around me is smiling and supporting me, it makes it more likely to happen for real when the actual moment comes. Buh bye negative self talk.

  • Jo Cuppy

    A student disappeared from my class because he couldn’t stand the idea of trying and failing. That student would have undoubtedly had a lot more compassion for anyone else. Next time you berate yourself, think, “How would I treat another person in this situation?”

  • Chris B

    Argue for your limitations and they will be yours.

    Go ahead – say, “I’m not really very good at “xxx”.” or “I couldn’t do that!”, and whaddaya know, you’re right!

  • Stop worrying about what has or hasn’t happened in the past, or what may or may not happen in the future.

    You’re here now. That’s where you need to start from.

  • Billy Bruce

    Best advise ever (in my opinion, of course): “You Are What You Think About.” – Earl Nightingale.

    • I’m gonna chalk that one up to you Billy, because Earl Nightingale never posted on my blog, the selfish bastard. Just because he’s been dead 20 years is no excuse!

  • Norcross

    Simply put: own it. Whatever “it” may be. Don’t focus on what others are doing around you, they have no real input in the outcome.

  • Never hide your light. Aiming for average is what keeps the average so low. Never apologize for being who you are, and that’s easiest if you never give less than your best. Maintain a code of honour. Model vulnerability, confidence, and integrity; it’s easier if you’re serving others.

  • The only people that will laugh at your failures are those who would never try themselves.

  • Lori Thiessen

    “You can get sympathy or you can get better but you can’t get both. You can be in your comfort zone or you can have growth, but you can’t have both… You can have excuses or have results, but you can’t do both” -Mario Cortes

  • It’s never too soon, nor too late to follow your passion!

  • Alice

    Without action nothing will change and if nothing changes then guess what. Nothing changes.

  • Ask for help.

    I wanted to keep it short but the system said it was too short.

  • It’s fun to read these, Tim. I hope mine is uplifting

    I used to work at a cemetery. I’d help people at the time of death with their choices burying their friend & family member. Go walk in a cemetery & notice how many are younger than you. They don’t have the opportunity you have now, anymore. We’re all just one wrong step from another forgotten name on a headstone. It’s hard to think about. That’s reality. Maybe it’s time to stop trying to find blame and excuses. Go make a difference.

    Or, at least that’s one thought that keeps me going.

    And, when you walk through that cemetery, you’ll never feel more alive. :-)

    • I sometimes say to clients, “Do you realize in about 125 years time everybody on this planet will be dead and there will probably be about 8 billion new people, 99.9999999999% whom knew you ever existed.

      It’s a sobering thought.

  • Give yourself permission to fail and learn to love it. Fear of failing prevents us from doing so much. It’s the first step to honest living and real growth.

  • Great idea Tim!

    My best piece of self development advice is…


    Change is inevitable, but rarely do people use the resources and tools available to facilitate that change in their own image. My greatest advice is that you have some control over your destiny, and your goal should be to never stop exploring those boundaries. Personal development doesn’t end until the day you die.


  • Hi Tim,

    Just a brief one that I use when I feel it is appropriate;

    “Don’t just accept ‘what is’…consider ‘what if’, open up the possibilities”

    thanks & be good to yourself

  • Catherine

    We each control the two most powerful – yet intangible – entities in our lives: language and perception. How we talk to ourselves (thought) and to others is crucial, and hugely affects our perception. Our perception is our reality, and we choose the tone ourselves.

  • Dave

    “Fail Forward Fast”

  • bioslava

    Well… I’d like to quote my previous quote :)

    “Do not take it personally! Nothing that others ever do is personally addressed to you!”

  • Here’s a quote I like…

    “If you don’t change your beliefs, your life will be like this forever. Is that good news?” William Somerset Maughan

  • Helen

    Treat yourself like a friend. Next time you tell yourself you’ll never achieve something, you look too fat or you’re too old or stupid, imagine saying the same words to a friend and imagine their reaction! You’d never be that mean to a friend, so why do it to yourself? 

  • Thekla Richter

    When you say yes and agree to do something, be conscious of the things you are therefore choosing NOT to do with your finite time and energy. Truly following your values requires you not only to honor those values but make space in which to live them.

  • “Imagine” – John Lennon – add anything after “Imagine” you like and make it so.

  • Make as many mistakes as you make, and practice the circus bow* when you fail. (When trapeze artists get dropped, they do somersaults as they fall, jump off the net, and then bow with a flourish, to warm applause). This way, you’re not scared to take risks (it’s all a game), and you don’t punish yourself when you fail.

  • Maggie

    Each moment comes by only once. Keep asking yourself: ‘Is this the best use of my time right now?’

  • One of my favorites is “Request Instead of Complain”.

    When something happens not to our liking, instead of just complaining, turn it into a request of what you would like to happen. For instance-when your kids leave their dishes on the table for the gazillionth time, instead of saying why did you leave the dishes on the table again?”, say “I “would really appreciate you clearing off the table.”

    And I would really love to win that coaching session and book. Definitaley not the voucher. :-)

  • My best bit of advice is two pieces.

    One is that no matter how much you try to control the future, now matter how much you think you know where you will be in the future, things change extremely fast and your path can alter in a matter of seconds (Earthquakes, Floods, Losing a job, Car accident). So adaptability and acceptance of change is the best thing you can do for yourself.

    The second part is, that no matter how pear-shaped stuff looks at the time, it will more than likely open unexpected doors, it’s the universe’s way of making you stop and re-evaluate. What you do with these events is your choice. Make the right one.

  • While reading some of the other’s comments, I have also had a little phrase running through my head.

    Give yourself permission. Whatever you are afraid of, permit yourself to work past it, to try something new or to feel what you feel.


  • From sci-fi writer Bruce Sterling: “Follow your weird . . . Forget trying to pass for normal.” Don’t just follow your bliss. Find your sacred obsession and you’ll find your purpose. “Woo the muse of the odd.”

  • One of Michael Heppell’s – “Think ‘How’ instead of ‘Why’”. My favourite example is, “How can I get the best out of this situation?”

  • Thanks so much people. I am now closing the comments and will publish the top 25 or so in a post toward the end of next week and also announce the ‘winner’.

    Thanks so much for your input, I really appreciate it!