The Best Advice You’ve Ever Received

by Jenny Hansen

This snippet came in a newsletter from Harvey Mackay and I can’t stop thinking about it.

Pencils by Krisin Nador ~ via WANA Commons

Pencils by Krisin Nador ~ via WANA Commons

Make like a pencil  and get the lead out…

by Harvey Mackay   

A young boy asked his mother what he should do in order to be a success when he grew up. The mother thought for a moment, and then told her son to bring her a pencil. Puzzled, the boy found a pencil and gave it to her.

“If you want to do good,” she said, “you have to be just like this pencil.”

“What does that mean?” her son asked.

“First,” she said, “you’ll be able to do a lot of things, but not on your own. You have to allow yourself to be held in someone’s hand.

“Second, you’ll have to go through a painful sharpening from time to time, but you’ll need it to become a better pencil.

“Third, you’ll be able to correct any mistakes you might make.

“Fourth, no matter what you look like on the outside, the most important part will always be what’s inside.

“And fifth,” the mother finished, “you have to press hard in order to make a mark.”


OK, I don’t know about y’all, but that little story just blows me away! I should only dream of being such a wise mommy. I don’t even know which point makes me the happiest, they’re all so good.

As I read this, I could hear my mother in my head saying: “Always do your best. Your best will always be good enough for me.” Isn’t that just the best advice?

What’s the best advice you ever received from your parents, elders or “wise ones?” Throw it out there…it’s Friday, the perfect day for some extra wisdom! Continue the discussion at the #SocialIn hashtag on Twitter or SocialInDC on Facebook!

~ Jenny


About Jenny Hansen

By day, Jenny provides training and social media marketing for an accounting firm. By night she writes humor, memoir, women’s fiction and short stories. After 18 years as a corporate software trainer, she’s delighted to sit down while she works.

When she’s not at her personal blog, More Cowbell, Jenny can be found on Twitter at JennyHansenCA or at Writers In The Storm.

© 2016 Jenny Hansen. All content on this page is protected by copyright. If you would like to use any part of this, please contact me at the above links to request permission.

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