Imagine a friend comes to you for advice. He's struggling. She feels hopeless. He wants advice. You only have a minute to make a difference, because prattling on never works. As with any powerful message, short and sweet is the key: the best advice only takes a few words.
So if a friend needs help, what should you say?
You can't -- or shouldn't -- try to give her specific advice. But you can give her a new perspective, the motivation to make a fresh start, or the inspiration to turn his dreams into reality.
Here are a few things you can say that can make a major difference:
1. "Stop waiting. Go."
You don't have to wait to be discovered. You don't have to wait for an okay. You don't have to wait for someone else to help you.
You can try to do whatever you want to do. Right now.
You may not succeed. But you don't have to wait.
2. "Tell someone who really needs to hear it, 'I'm sorry.'
We all make mistakes, so we all have things we need to apologize for: words, actions, omissions, failing to step up, step in, show support...
So say you're sorry -- even if it's been years since you let that person down.
But never follow your apology with a disclaimer like "But I was really mad, because..." or "But I did think you were..." or any statement that in any way places even the smallest amount of blame back on the other person.
Say you're sorry, say why you're sorry, and take all the blame. No less, no more.
That way you both get to make the freshest of fresh starts.
3. "Think of the word 'love' as a verb."
There are people you love... but when you're with them, does that feeling show in everything you say and do?
Love is a feeling, but love should also be an action. Actively love the people you love. Show them you love them by words and deeds.
When you make love a verb the people you care about know exactly how you feel. Make sure they do.
Because when you do... they'll do the same for you.
4. "You're already amazing. Just be yourself."
We all worry about what other people think. Yet no matter how hard we try, we can't be all things to all people.
But you can be as many things as possible to the people you love.
And you can be the best you.
Be yourself. That is the one thing you do better than anyone else.
5. "Every day, take a moment to feel good about how far you've already come."
You have big plans. You have big goals. You're never satisfied, because satisfaction breeds complacency.
So most of the time you're unhappy because you think more about what you have not achieved, have not done, and do not have.
Take a moment and think about what you do have, professionally and especially personally. You have a lot more than you once ever imagined was possible.
Sure, always strive for more... but always take a moment to realize that all the things you have, especially your relationships, are more important than anything you may hope to have.
Unlike a want, what you have isn't a hope, a wish, or a dream. What you already have is real.
What you already have is awesome. And it's all yours.