a list for friday: 5-word advice

I have always wanted to write an advice column, primarily because it would be a way of telling people what to do. (This may also be why I enjoy editing.)

However, I would not take paragraphs to dispense my wisdom to readers. My angle, which inexplicably no magazine has gone for, would be answering every question with five words, max.

Think about it—the solution to almost every problem can be summed up in a very short sentence. Consider a conundrum you’re facing right now. Which of these could be helpful tips?

  • Stop it.
  • Fix it.
  • Do it now.
  • Don’t wear that.
  • Avoid the drama.
  • Apologize.
  • Eat less. Exercise more.
  • Dump him.
  • Don’t call him.
  • Take a deep breath.
  • Tell your kid no.
  • Keep your mouth shut.
  • Why do you care?
  • Get some sleep.
  • Say thanks.
  • Practice some more.
  • Turn off the TV.
  • Compromise.
  • Don’t compromise.
  • Get there early.
  • Wear navy.
  • Let it go.

What five words of advice would you add?

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