Looking for advice?

I am big believer in the power of a well-written list. I’m also intrigued by advice so you can imagine my delight when I came across Thomas Jefferson’s ‘A Decalogue of Canons for Observation in Practical Life’ in Shaun Usher’s ‘Lists of Note.

Written in 1825, this list of ten pieces of salient advice formed part of a letter to a friend’s grandson who had been named after Jefferson. The letter ended thus:


Jefferson’s original letter – not a great image so it’s difficult to read but it’s somehow exciting to see these wise words in his own writing

  1. Never put off till tomorrow what you can do to-day.
  2. Never trouble another for what you can do yourself.
  3. Never spend your money before you have it.
  4. Never buy what you do not want because it is cheap; it will be dear to you.
  5. Pride costs us more than hunger, thirst and cold.
  6. We never repent of having eaten too little.
  7. Nothing is troublesome that we do willingly.
  8. How much pain have cost us the evils which have never happened.
  9. Take things always by their smooth handle.
  10. When angry, count ten, before you speak; if very angry, an hundred.

Coaching isn’t about your coach giving you advice – it’s about coaches like me helping clients like you to find your own answers, devise actions plans and give yourself your own advice. However, we can be inspired in our search for answers by the wise words of others. One piece of advice that I now often give myself came from Bruce Lee

‘Absorb what is useful.

Discard what is not.

Add what is uniquely your own’

Today’s pebble for you to consider is this:

What’s one piece of advice that really means a lot to you? Will you share it with us?


Turning over pebbles is the blog of Thinking Space Coaching. 

If you’d like to make progress in your work and life, why not email me to see how we could work together?

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6 Responses to Looking for advice?

  1. Susannah says:

    This is my favourite – “Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it.”

  2. Pete says:

    My mum always said, ‘if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all’. That’s served me well both personally and professionally!

  3. Barbara Rogers says:

    One I came across recently is, Be quick but don’t hurry. That’s helped a lot. There’s more in it in practice than meets the eye!

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