posted in: Life, Life’s Lessons 88 comments

Maya Angelou quote

Don’t wish time away

Don’t miss out on eating dessert for breakfast.

Don’t hold your farts in.

Don’t cut your own hair. 

Don’t talk yourself out of an opportunity to try something new.

Don’t go to bed angry.

Don’t wake up angry.

Don’t be late.

Don’t be rude to the waiter/ waitress/ barista/ cashier/ cleaning lady.

Don’t close your heart to kindness.

Don’t shake hands limply.

Don’t talk yourself down.

Don’t pick at pimples.

Don’t build so many walls that you can’t be reached. 

Don’t be strong all the time.

Don’t worry about the dishes, until you absolutely have to.

Don’t be a jerk when driving.

Don’t ignore your email inbox to the point of having 1,976 unread emails.

Don’t buy what you can make.

Don’t ignore your instincts.

Don’t worry about singing in the car, just do it.

Don’t tell lies about other people to make yourself look good.

Don’t be lazy. Unless it’s the weekend. Then be lazy.

Don’t be too hard on yourself if you’ve had a bad day with the kids/ failed at your diet. You’re human. Be human.

Don’t judge others. You don’t know their story.

Don’t stick your nose in where it doesn’t belong. 

Don’t slurp your soup.

Don’t be afraid of what people think. 

Don’t make everything a competition. 

Don’t compare.

Don’t say, “I can’t.”

Don’t spend more than you earn.

Don’t buy what you don’t need just because it’s cheap.

Don’t bake using cake mix (feel free to disagree with me though).

Don’t scrimp on a good mattress.

Don’t forget to brush your teeth before you go to bed.

Don’t be ashamed to admit you totally rocked to Justin Timberlake’s “I’m Bringing Sexy Back” (what, just me?).

Don’t be afraid to apologize.

Don’t call each other names in a fight. Fight hard, but fight clean.

Don’t neglect books. Read, and read a lot.

Don’t say no to travel. Seeing the world opens your eyes in surprising ways.

Don’t stalk your ex on Facebook. Just don’t.

Don’t think that the world is against you. Sometimes, it’s just you against you.

Don’t hold onto grudges. 

Don’t be afraid to let go of the people who should no longer be in your life. 

Don’t forget to say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’. 

Don’t forget to tell your children you love them.

Any words of wisdom for me?

Have you linked up with Elaine and I for Old School Blogging? This month, we’re talking about all things five! The linky is open until July 25.

Alison Lee is a former PR and marketing professional turned work-at-home mother. After a 10-year career in various PR agencies, and of the world’s biggest sports brands, Alison traded in product launches and world travel, for sippy cups, diapers, and breastfeeding. Alison's writing has been featured on Mamalode, On Parenting at The Washington Post, The Huffington Post, Everyday Family, Scary Mommy, and She is one of 35 essayists in the anthology, My Other Ex: Women’s True Stories of Leaving and Losing Friends. In 2012, she founded Little Love Media, a social media consultancy specializing in blog book tours, and because she doesn’t sleep, is an editor at BonBon Break, an online magazine. Alison lives in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia with her husband and four children (two boys and boy/ girl twins).

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  • July 22, 2013 Jessica

    Great advice! I don’t think I could improve on it. πŸ™‚
    Jessica recently wrote…[109-111/365] Catching UpMy Profile

    • July 25, 2013 Alison

      Thank you, Jessica!

  • July 22, 2013 Poppy

    I have violated a lot of this advice recently and you’re totally right πŸ™‚
    Poppy recently wrote…Preventing Mutant Running BlistersMy Profile

    • July 25, 2013 Alison

      You’re still awesome. πŸ™‚

  • July 22, 2013 Ilene

    Don’t buy what you don’t need. Yes. And never, ever ignore your instincts. They are always right, aren’t they?
    Ilene recently wrote…Go For It!My Profile

    • July 25, 2013 Alison

      Oh, always!

  • July 22, 2013 Nicole

    What an awesome list! I love ‘Don’t shake hands limply.’ My husband and I refer to that as the cold, dead fish handshake and it’s a definite no-no!
    Nicole recently wrote…Race Recap: Wolf Run 7-Mile Trail RaceMy Profile

    • July 25, 2013 Alison

      Yes, us too! I cannot stand it.

  • July 22, 2013 Susan

    Hi Alison. I’m a new follower of yours and just wanted to say that I loved this post so much I’ve shared it! And not only that but it’s going to be printed out and stuck on my memory board today. So thanks for your wisdom.
    Susan recently wrote…Inhabiting Your PassionsMy Profile

    • July 25, 2013 Alison

      Susan, thank you so much for your kind words, and for stopping by!

  • July 22, 2013 angela

    I need to work on these lovely, enjoy-life rules!

    • July 25, 2013 Alison

      I’m sure you’re doing awesome, Ange!

  • July 22, 2013 Tracie

    This is a great list! Especially, “Don’t think that the world is against you. Sometimes, it’s just you against you.” I need that reminder sometimes.

    I would add: Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
    Tracie recently wrote…Making Grown Up DecisionsMy Profile

    • July 26, 2013 Alison

      Yes, that is super important!

  • July 22, 2013 Brittany

    Man, oh man, how I LOVE this post! Especially “Don’t talk yourself out of an opportunity to try something new.” I seriously need to work on that one more. Great advice!!
    Brittany recently wrote…Reliving my 21st BirthdayMy Profile

    • July 26, 2013 Alison

      Thanks Brittany!

  • July 22, 2013 Kerstin

    Where do I sign? Yes, yes and yes! Actually, 47 times yes.
    I’ve always loved that Maya Angelou quote – that’s one thing Oprah and I have in common, he he.
    Kerstin recently wrote…Sure I have an opinion!My Profile

    • July 26, 2013 Alison

      Maya Angelou is the bomb!

  • July 22, 2013 Tamara

    I would also add – don’t pick at your mosquito bites. Wear gloves if you have to because you can’t stop scratching while you sleep. The holding farts in made me laugh out loud.
    Tamara recently wrote…Vertigo.My Profile

    • July 26, 2013 Alison

      Oh yes, pesky mozzie bites!

  • July 22, 2013 Julia

    Great advice, you totally reminded me that I have peach pie in my fridge that I should have had for breakfast.
    Julia recently wrote…Feeling 32My Profile

    • July 26, 2013 Alison

      I hope you did have that pie for breakfast. πŸ™‚

  • July 22, 2013 Lady Jennie

    There is SO MUCH wisdom here!!!!

    I love these 2 – don’t shake hands limply. And sometimes it’s just YOU against you.

    And I don’t even have one fart of wisdom to let out so I’ll just stick to your list. πŸ˜‰
    Lady Jennie recently wrote…I’m Going to BlogHer in ChicagoMy Profile

    • July 26, 2013 Alison

      Y’know, I like to think I learned a little something in my 36+ years. πŸ™‚

  • July 22, 2013 Tonya

    I love everything about this, but mostly it’s simplicity. And that Maya quote has always been one of my favorites.
    Tonya recently wrote…There Is Still So Much More To Share…My Profile

    • July 26, 2013 Alison

      Thank you, Tonya.

  • July 22, 2013 Kim

    Love this list. It is so wise. ‘Don’t talk yourself out of trying something new’ stuck out for me – I do that sometimes. But I never seem regret it when I swallow my fear and just do it – usually the opposite, actually. πŸ™‚
    Kim recently wrote…They’re Singing My SongMy Profile

    • July 26, 2013 Alison

      Right? I have to remind myself of this frequently too.

  • July 22, 2013 NJ

    Lovely lovely advice! I’ll add Don’t post passive aggressive update on Facebook. You’ll end up looking like a jerk.
    NJ recently wrote…{Treats From The Archives} Sibling AngstMy Profile

    • July 26, 2013 Alison

      Hahahaha!! YES, exactly.

  • July 23, 2013 Melissa Olivero

    What a great post and amazing advice! Hopefully I can stop breaking some of these rules. πŸ™‚
    Melissa Olivero recently wrote…How I RelateMy Profile

    • July 26, 2013 Alison

      Thanks Melissa! Well, they’re not rules as such, just some ‘guidelines’. πŸ™‚

  • July 23, 2013 Kir

    as always you say it so well, with so much truth, heart and conviction.

    It’s not always easy to side step the Don’ts…but writing them and making yourself accountable for them is such a beautiful and brave thing to do.
    Kir recently wrote…When Hope is a Four Letter Word {Ketchup With Us}My Profile

    • July 26, 2013 Alison

      Why thank you my friend. Always lovely to see you in my little space!
      Have fun in Chicago! xo

  • July 23, 2013 Jennifer

    Oh my goodness, I can not stand a weak handshake. One of my pet peeves. BUT, I do go to bed angry all the time. It is actually my advice to couples getting married, go to bed angry, things never look that bed after a good night’s sleep.
    Jennifer recently wrote…Summer Loving {Creative Writing}My Profile

    • July 26, 2013 Alison

      That’s interesting! I for one, can’t. When I’m angry, it feels like I can’t breathe, like something is squeezing my heart. So I have to work it out before I go to bed.

  • July 23, 2013 Kathy Radigan

    What a great list of “Dont’s” I have to say I am guilty of a lot of them. Will be working on them!!
    Kathy Radigan recently wrote…When it Takes More than a Kiss to Make it All BetterMy Profile

    • July 26, 2013 Alison

      Kathy, I’m sure you’re already pretty awesome as you are. πŸ™‚

  • July 23, 2013 Laurie

    Nope…you pretty much said it all! πŸ™‚
    Laurie recently wrote…What is Wrong With a Mega Church?My Profile

    • July 26, 2013 Alison

      Heh, thanks Laurie!

  • July 23, 2013 Leah Davidson

    I feel like I need to print this list and put it up where I can see it daily!! I would add to the “don’t be late”, “don’t be too early either”. I hate that! I count on every extra second I have. If someone is early – they make me look late! Love the maya angelou quote too – it has gotten me through many guilt ridden parenting moments.
    Leah Davidson recently wrote…My White Picket Fence and GardenMy Profile

    • July 26, 2013 Alison

      Maya Angelou is my everyday inspiration!

  • July 23, 2013 Leslie

    I’m so guilty of many of these! One of the most important life lessons here: β€œSometimes, it’s just you against you.”
    Leslie recently wrote…{30 Things} Strengths & WeaknessesMy Profile

    • July 26, 2013 Alison

      It’s the truth. πŸ™‚

  • July 23, 2013 Jeanne

    I recently started following you. What a great list! I think I need to print it out. Don’t hold in farts made me laugh and I love don’t worry about the dishes unless you have to.
    Jeanne recently wrote…A Whole Lot of AwesomeMy Profile

    • July 26, 2013 Alison

      Thanks for stopping by and the follow, Jeanne!
      The fart thing? My husband’s advice. πŸ™‚

  • July 23, 2013 Michelle

    What a great list! I think I would have a really hard time adding to it!! One of my favorites is don’t say I can’t!
    Michelle recently wrote…Back to School Shopping with YouNeverLoseMy Profile

    • July 26, 2013 Alison

      Thanks, Michelle!

  • July 23, 2013 Robyn

    Don’t even think about ironing!
    Robyn recently wrote…Happy Approximation of Pi Day!My Profile

    • July 26, 2013 Alison

      Hah! That’s right! I don’t iron. Period.

  • July 24, 2013 Alma

    Print it and pinned on the bathroom wall. Seriously need to practice more of these dont’s. Like “letting go of people that should not be in my life.” Loved this.
    Alma recently wrote…Plucking PetalsMy Profile

    • July 26, 2013 Alison

      Life is too short for no love. So fill it with love. Right? xo

  • July 24, 2013 Natalie

    I think if we all followed your list our lives would be a little bit easier πŸ™‚
    Natalie recently wrote…We’re in a GrooveMy Profile

    • July 26, 2013 Alison

      I need to follow my own advice. πŸ™‚

  • July 24, 2013 Christine

    I kind of love this post so much. Don’t hold in your farts made me laugh out loud. But I have to say that I kind of have to slurp my soup if I’m eating noodle soup πŸ™‚
    Christine recently wrote…All-night Walk Under the MoonlightMy Profile

    • July 26, 2013 Alison

      Well, that’s different then! (I still love ya)

  • July 24, 2013 Lisa L.

    Hi Alison! Just stopping by to say thanks for commenting on my post. It was a lot of fun to participate. I am definitely following you now. πŸ™‚

    This post is so inspiring. There are so many Dos and Don’ts that you should apply to your life. It’s crazy how much it helps you make a decision.

    Mostly Lisa

    • July 26, 2013 Alison

      Thanks for stopping by, Lisa! Sometimes, life is made easier if we just follow a few wisdoms. πŸ™‚

  • July 24, 2013 Elaine A.

    Don’t pick your nose while other people are watching? And p.s. they can see you in your car. πŸ˜‰ Sorry, I just witnessed this today, TWICE. lol.

    And is it okay to be late if you were because you were finishing your dessert for breakfast? Just wondering…

    This is great. Lots of good advice.
    Elaine A. recently wrote…Going Back in Time…My Profile

    • July 26, 2013 Alison

      Hahaha! I know, people seem to think their car is private. Well, it is if it’s in the garage. Parked. With the door closed.

      As for the question: dessert for breakfast on the go. So, no excuses. πŸ™‚

  • July 24, 2013 Stevie

    I don’t think I have anything to add to this! But I am guilty of a few of these from time to time. Oops. πŸ™‚
    Stevie recently wrote…Ticktock Goes the ClockMy Profile

    • July 26, 2013 Alison

      That’s alright, so am I!

  • July 24, 2013 Mama and the City

    I had to come to this list multiple times because, I wasn’t sure if I was indadvertedly doing something from it. This list is dangerous. I. Must. Print.
    Mama and the City recently wrote…Quality Time With The Family – Working Mom EditionMy Profile

    • July 26, 2013 Alison

      Hah! That’s okay, no one is perfect. I don’t take my own advice sometimes. πŸ™‚

  • July 24, 2013 My Inner Chick

    So many amazing “Don’ts’ Seriously, I cannot pick because they are all incredible…especially the one about farts.

    You Rock So damn bad. xx
    My Inner Chick recently wrote…Just For The Pure Fun Of ItMy Profile

    • July 26, 2013 Alison

      Hah! I know, I’m such a legend when it comes to gross bodily functions. xoxo

  • July 26, 2013 Angela

    Don’t stop writing! πŸ™‚ Thanks for the reminders.
    Angela recently wrote…Fun For FridayMy Profile

    • July 26, 2013 Alison

      Yes, how could I forget that one?

  • July 27, 2013 Allie

    LOVE this!! I just popped over from Live, Love, Surf and so glad I did. SO many good points…but I’m still going to bake with cake mix otherwise, no one will eat it! Thanks for the perspective…
    Allie recently wrote…NOWHERE TO RUNMy Profile

    • July 27, 2013 Alison

      Cake mix – the root of many disagreements πŸ˜‰
      Thanks for stopping by, Allie!

  • July 27, 2013 Bev

    Don’t be afraid to leave a comment on someone’s blog, especially if it really speaks to you.
    Bev recently wrote…Five Things I Hope to Get Out of My First Blogging ConferenceMy Profile

    • July 27, 2013 Alison

      That is good advice!

  • July 27, 2013 Heather

    I love this and agree with all of them, except “Don’t bake using cake mix” — that is the only way some of us know how to bake! πŸ™‚ I particularly like the reminder to continue reading. I’m an avid reader, but it seems that the more time I spend blogging, the less time I spend reading. Big mistake since my writing is at its best when I’m reading frequently.
    Heather recently wrote…Up NextMy Profile

    • July 28, 2013 Alison

      The cake mix thing has its fair share of supporters and detractors! See, the thing is, I want people to know it’s actually quite easy to bake without the cake mix. Truly!

      Oh yes, good writing comes from a lot of reading. I really, really believe that.

  • July 27, 2013 Vicki M. Taylor

    Don’t be afraid to put yourself first. I love all the “don’ts” – it’s a wonderful list. Followed you from SITS. Hav a blessed day!
    Vicki M. Taylor recently wrote…Friday Five Minute Exercise – TrustMy Profile

    • July 28, 2013 Alison

      I love that, Vicki! Thanks for visiting.

  • July 27, 2013 Cassi

    “Don’t hold your farts in.” HA! My husband wishes we could do that!
    Cassi recently wrote…First Trip into Old School Blogging – Lists of FiveMy Profile

    • July 28, 2013 Alison

      Hah! My husband is a big proponent of “Just Fart”. πŸ™‚

  • July 28, 2013 Kim

    All great advice! We all need reminders at times to stop wishing life was better in some way or another. I’m so guilty of this unfortunately. Depression, angst, and even regret has been a cruel mistress. I struggle with it on an almost daily basis. I’m slowly getting better but those three things do have a vice grip at times.

    And by the way, I totally agree with not holding farts in. Farts are funny!
    Kim recently wrote…Road Trip! Adios, Vegas!My Profile

    • July 28, 2013 Alison

      Kim, I wish you lots of love and light in your battle with the demons who tell you, that you’re not good enough. Because YOU ARE.

  • July 28, 2013 Jennice

    Lovely post as usual #SITSsharefest
    Jennice recently wrote…Old School Blogging: The Crazy Five EditionMy Profile

    • July 28, 2013 Alison

      Thank you, Jennice.

  • August 2, 2013 Meng Yuen

    Wonderful article I read at today. You really have a flair for writing. Love all the lists you had compiled. Remember me? we were in the same theory music classes.

    • August 2, 2013 Alison

      Thanks Meng Yuen!
      Gosh, those classes were very long ago. πŸ™‚

  • August 3, 2013 Amy

    I love how some of your don’t are for negative things and some are to not forget positive things. So they apply to us all. I would, at this point in my life with my oh so helpful 2 year old sous chef, disagree with no cake mix. It’s all I can do to get with some milk and an egg in a bowl before he’s helped it all over the kitchen. But I won’t disagree with it in a year or so.
    Amy recently wrote…Mommy FAIL Friday – Icing EditionMy Profile

    • August 3, 2013 Alison

      I knew the cake mix one would be a dividing opinion πŸ™‚

  • August 10, 2013 Stephanie

    I need the boxed cake. Maybe sometimes I’ll do a homemade cake – but the box is a gift from God.
    I’d say… don’t be afraid to stick up for yourself and hold your ground is important to me.
    Awesome post!

    • August 10, 2013 Alison

      Different strokes for different folks πŸ™‚
      Thank you, Stephanie!

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