Life advice from the Sunscreen

Originally written as an essay by Mary Schmich, then released as a song by Baz Luhrmann. A hypothetical class of 1999 gets an apt and universal life advice. Starting from worrying, through the jealousy, all the way to taking care of your hair. Here are my favourite pieces of advice from Everybody’s Free To Wear Sunscreen.

#1 Worrying

Don’t worry about the future or worry that know that worrying is as affective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum.

We worry all the time — work, journalists hanging up on us (or is that one just me?), our future. Rather than facing this uneasiness, we should be taking actions and finding solutions.

#2 Get out of your comfort zone

Do one thing everyday that scares you.

Comfort is never healthy. It keeps us from doing things we want to be doing. Getting out of the comfort zone might be beneficial and lead to many opportunities.

#3 Jealousy

Don’t waste your time on jealousy.
Sometimes you’re ahead,
Sometimes you’re behind.
The race is long, and in the end, it’s only with yourself.

One of my favourite lines in the whole piece. Emphasises that we should be focusing on now and not judging our situation by comparing ourselves to others. The race is long…

#4 Compliments and critiques

Remember the compliments you receive, forget the insults.
If you succeed in doing this, tell me how.

Focusing on our strengths and always seeing the bright side. Authors also emphasise how incredibly hard this process is — as we tend to focus on negativity.

#5 Figuring out the right career

Don’t feel guilty if you don’t know what you want to do with your life.
The most interesting people I know didn’t know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives, Some of the most interesting 40-year-olds I know still don’t.

It’s fine to be constantly looking for your destiny. You don’t need to know what you’d like to be doing straightaway. There’s plenty of time to figure this out.

#6 Objectivity

Whatever you do, don’t congratulate yourself too much or berate yourself either.

Being objective is key. We can’t be too hard on ourselves, but at the same time, being overly self-congratulatory won’t be too favourable. Keep a good balance, make your judgement sound.

#7 Opportunities

Your choices are half chance, so are everybody else’s.

Don’t hold back. Take the opportunities when they arise. Don’t worry about consequences.

#8 People will come and go

Understand that friends come and go, but for the precious few you should hold on.

A huge one. People that are around you right now, might not always be there. It’s worth stopping for a moment to appreciate what we have, and who is there for us.

#9 Hair

Don’t mess too much with your hair, or by the time you’re 40, it will look 85.

Err… Given my hairstyle and fringe, let’s just skip to the next one.

#10 Getting advice

Be careful whose advice you buy, but, be patient with those who supply it.

This reminded me of high school times when I was a regular at the gym. I’ve had so many people advising me on how to perform particular exercises. Some of these people were amiss and listening to their instructions could’ve caused some harm. But I was always grateful for their advice and always listened to it, making sure I analyse their words before implementing on the gym gear.

Make sure to read the original essay and listen to the whole song — see above.

Picture in the headline via 45Worlds


If you have any suggestions, would like to guest post or give me a feedback, feel free to email me at kl.marcel [at], tweet me @marcelkl or connect with me on LinkedIn. Thanks for stopping by, have a splendid day!