My Favorite Pieces of Life Advice

Simple wisdom is easy to overlook, difficult to practice, and profound in effect
By Mike Donghia
Mike Donghia
Mike Donghia
Mike (and his wife, Mollie) blog at This Evergreen Home where they share their experience with living simply, intentionally, and relationally in this modern world. You can follow along by subscribing to their twice-weekly newsletter.
October 19, 2021 Updated: October 19, 2021

One of my goals for sharing my writing is to keep myself accountable. It fills the role of a coach who keeps telling me to stick to the fundamentals and do the little things right.

I’m absolutely convinced that the best advice for living well is simple. Go ahead and scroll through the archives of our blog, the topics can appear almost silly in their simplicity, at first glance.

How could anyone possibly need advice on some of these topics? Who’s Googling things such as “how to live simply” or “how to be kind to your kids”? Do they really not know?

Of course they do! We type these simple phrases into Google, but we aren’t looking for an instruction manual. We’re hoping to catch a vision of what life could be like if we actually started living out these simple truths.

Because let’s be honest, in the daily grind of life, we sometimes lose our way. We default to the path of least resistance. We give in to immediate gratification instead of living in a better way of being.

So What?

My wife and I aren’t special. If you met us, I think you would like us, but what we hope to offer the world is something simple. It’s not the advice of experts who have seen it all and done it all—it’s a vision. A vision of a simpler life lived more intentionally and relationally. That’s it.

And as we live it out, we share our journey publicly on a blog. Sometimes, we’ll write about things we hope to do better, and sometimes, we write about what’s worked for us and what hasn’t.

Our strength is that we take the simple-sounding advice a little more seriously than the average person. We try not to laugh it off as obvious or elementary—not until we’ve mastered it.

Now What?

Alright, so by now you’re ready for the advice promised in the title. But let me warn you, nothing on this list is going to sound earth-shattering. The power isn’t in the advice, it’s in the doing. It’s in taking hold of these simple ideas and taking them seriously. Treat them with the utmost seriousness, and I can assure you—from personal experience—that your life will be changed in time.

25 Pieces of Life Advice:

Take simple ideas seriously.

Keep all of your endeavors as simple as possible. No extra happiness is awarded in life for taking the most creative route to your destination.

Set hard limits on most pleasures. Don’t let yourself be destroyed by your desires.

Relationships are the only pleasure that grows with exposure. Friendship is the only wealth that matters.

Do the real thing. Stop planning, reading, and learning about it. Get started before you feel ready.

Find a way to clear your mind and sleep. Even the best plans are derailed by a lack of rest.

One of the most practical ways to love others in your daily life is by being reliable and responsive.

Build new habits by starting so small that failure isn’t possible (such as doing one push-up per day for 14 days).

Do the hardest things first. The little stuff will usually take care of itself.

It’s not rocket science, it’s consistency. Keep showing up and doing the work, especially when you can’t see the results. If results were instant or certain, everyone would be doing it.

Be decisive. Not deciding now almost always means a more complicated or painful decision later.

Spend less than you earn. Overspending is an avoidable source of misery.

Get really good at something. You’ll be useful to others, and this is good for both you and them.

Don’t wait until you feel like it. You tell yourself you’ll do something tomorrow, but you won’t. Don’t underestimate your ability to fool yourself with the same trick for years on end.

Life’s greatest pleasures are free. Would you rather be a billionaire without friends or living paycheck-to-paycheck with three of the best friends a person could have? That should tell you all you need to know about the value of friendship.

Enjoy the journey. Don’t be in such a hurry to be a day older.

More is never enough. If you can’t find contentment with what you have now, more will only make it worse.

Exercise every day. If the benefits of exercise came in a pill, it would be the greatest scientific breakthrough in medical history.

Spend each day trying to be a little wiser than when you woke up.

Be patient. No matter your competence or the intensity of your effort, some things take time.

Focus on the things you can control. Focus on what you can do today. Your life will be filled with far less anxiety.

If you’re a parent, you’ll never regret the moments that you say “yes” to playing with your kids when they ask. That stage can be exhausting, but it’s short and precious.

Work on one thing at a time. There’s a big cost to switching tasks that we often fail to account for.

Decluttering your home is a choice that will send positive ripple effects throughout your entire life.

Be curious about the world around you right now and how it works. Master this skill, and you’ll banish boredom forever.

This article was originally published on This Evergreen Home.

Mike Donghia
Mike (and his wife, Mollie) blog at This Evergreen Home where they share their experience with living simply, intentionally, and relationally in this modern world. You can follow along by subscribing to their twice-weekly newsletter.