It's easy to ignore old-fashioned sayings about life, either by brushing them off as overused, or believing they're outdated and therefore no longer true. But there really is a wealth of wisdom to be had in the old advice our grandparents used to share, as well as other pearl drops of life advice from yesteryear.
Times change, of course, so it's important to give old sayings a modern spin. But even in their original form, some old school life advice can still be useful today. "While some old sayings may seem cliche, take a deeper look and see how they relate to your life," author and life coach Jaya Jaya Myra tells Bustle. "Can you relate? Do you understand why a saying came into existence and find its underlying truth? Sayings are meant to be little gems of wisdom that when contemplated and acted upon, can make huge differences in your life."
If you need some relationship advice, or a little motivation to get up earlier in the morning, these tried and true pieces of life advice are definitely for you. So give these sayings a chance, and revisit them whenever necessary — they may end up being just what you needed to hear. Here are 11 pieces of old-fashioned advice experts say you should totally follow.
1. "Early To Bed, Early To Rise"
The full saying — which is attributed to Benjamin Franklin — is "early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise." It's basically saying that going to bed early, and getting up on time, will greatly improve your life. And it's kind of true.
"It shows how powerful consistency and a positive routine is for emotional happiness, [since] the mind craves consistency and is rarely happy without it," says Myra. "There is also evidence that suggests that waking at sunrise or before can have positive effects on mood, willpower, and overall wellbeing. It gives people a more positive mental outlook on life and can help you feel prepared to overcome any challenges the day may bring." So, even if you love staying up all night, this may still be worth a try.
2. "Always Be True To Yourself"
While this one sounds cliche AF, it's still important to "always be true to yourself." That's because it's so easy to get swept up in pleasing others, either at work, in your relationship, or even in your friendships. "We find ourselves adjusting, compromising, refining our actions, reactions, thoughts and beliefs to make sure there is peace and happiness in the relationship," Josh Klapow, PhD, host of The Web radio show, tells Bustle. And yet this habit can truly take a toll.
"When we betray ourselves, when we are not true to our core beliefs, our core desires, then any of the attempts we make to accommodate will be less than authentic and fall short," Klapow says. But if you can remember to "stay true to yourself," you'll be more likely to watch out for your own needs, and have better relationships as a result.
3. "Never Go To Bed Angry"
One piece of solid relationship advice: don't ever go to bed angry. "People who go to bed angry at their significant other do so at their own risk," life coach Mitzi Bockmann tells Bustle. "They risk not sleeping because they are obsessing about the perceived wrong. They are also most likely putting off resolution of the issue, which could make it grow into something big."
So heed this advice, and try not to go to bed angry. You may not be able to fix whatever you're arguing about with your partner, but you can agree to reconvene in the morning, and discuss things then. By making that promise to each other, you can both cool off — and get a good night's sleep — knowing that you'll be able to talk it out soon.
4. "You Can't Take Your Money With You"
Although this phrase reminding us that we can't bring our things with us when we die is super dark, the ultimate message speaks a lot of truth and can still resonate today. Serving as a healthy reminder to reevaluate your relationship with things, such as money and other worldly possessions, this old-fashioned piece of advice can help you gain perspective on what's important in life.
"Rarely do people think about how much money they made or how successful they were when they are dying," says Bockmann. "Instead they think about the quality of their relationships. So make relationships a priority when you are living."
It's obviously great to have career goals, and to take pride in being financially sound — and making smart financial decisions. But if you feel like you might be too focused on money and material possessions, it can't hurt to rethink your priorities.
5. "Don't Spend What You Don't Have"
Another great old-fashioned money-related saying? "Don't spend what you don't have."
While this isn't always possible — especially if you have major expenses in life, like student loans — it is a good idea to try to live within your means, whenever possible.
"Our grandparents didn't use credit cards and had less debt and less stuff," Bockmann says, and that may be something to strive for. By paying attention to what you spend, and eliminating needless purchases wherever possible, you'll be well on your way to more financial freedom.
6. "Some People Never Change"
Has your grandma ever said something along the lines of "some people never change"? Well, she may be right. And, it's a good thing to keep in mind. As psychic and spiritual counselor Davida Rappaport tells Bustle, you shouldn't live your life expecting others to change. Not only is that unfair to them, but many people get stuck in their ways, and thus can't become a different person — even if you really want them to.
This knowledge can give you license to forgive family members who might not be living up to your expectations. It also serves as a healthy reminder in relationships. As Rappaport says, "Accept the person for who they are or be mindful of their attitude and behavior. Or move on."
7. "Trust Someone As Far As You Can Throw Them"
To "trust someone as far as you can throw them" essentially means don't trust them at all. Or, at the very least, trust them, but have a fair amount of self-protecting skepticism.
"A good example of this today is online dating," says Rappaport. "You may fall in love with someone you are chatting or texting with but have not met in real life. They expect you to trust them sight unseen; they want you to believe everything they tell you, and you do too." And yet, as we all know, you should never go all-in with someone, until you've established a relationship.
8. "Always Wear Clean Underwear"
When you were a kid, did your family members remind you to wear clean underwear whenever you left the house? The joke was that, as Bockmann says, if anything were to happen to you — like needing to take a trip to the doctor, unexpectedly — you wouldn't be embarrassed by showing up with dirty underwear.
But the idea extends beyond that. While we can't always have clean underwear (and that's OK), it's always confidence-boosting to put your best foot forward, while leaving your house as prepared for the day as you could possibly be.
9. "Actions Speak Louder Than Words"
"People say a lot of things, but in many cases their actions may be contrary to what they say," Rappaport says. But this can extend to you and is especially true today, when it's so incredibly easy to support causes or make promises on social media, without actually following up. If you want to make a difference remember that, in many cases, your actions speak louder than words.
10. "Neither A Borrower Nor A Lender Be"
While it's always OK to ask for help when you truly need it, it's never smart to get into the habit of borrowing money from friends or family — much less lending it out. "Money has a funny way of ruining relationships," Rappaport says. If, for whatever reason they aren't able to pay you back, that can really damage your relationship. So keep this quote from Shakespeare's Hamlet in mind the next time someone asks you for money.
11. "If You Have Two Good Friends, You Are Lucky"
This is another one you may have heard from your parents or grandparents, and it serves as a great reminder that you don't need everyone to like you. As Rappaport says, "Today, we have so many 'friends' — childhood friends, BFFs, social media friends, etc." And it can sometimes create pressure to have more friends and more followers. But if you have one good person to lean on — even if it's your mom, your dog, or your neighbor — that's really all you need.
These old fashioned sayings really do have a place in our lives today — especially when you feel like you need to form better habits, create healthier relationships, or refocus what matters to you most.