The New York Times

The Best Advice You've Ever Received (and Are Willing to Pass On)

This article originally appeared in The New York Times.

A few years ago, I crowdsourced an entire book, called “The World According to Twitter.” Every night for 100 nights, I tweeted a provocative question; I published the best responses. (Sample question: “Supply the subject line of an email you really, really don’t want to open.” Sample answer, from @pumpkinshirt: “To my former sexual partners, as required by law.”)

But one response changed my life. I asked: “What’s your greatest regret?” And @susanchamplin replied that regret was her only regret. “Wise advice: You made the best decision you could with the information you had at the time.”

I found that idea profoundly liberating. When you’re contemplating your own mistakes and failures, it lets you off the hook. It says, “You did your best, didn’t you? Now quit beating yourself up and be glad you learned something.”

Lately I’ve been thinking: How many people have life-changing words of advice

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