Fitting for Mother's Day, nu? I didn't even plan it that way, but sometimes things just work out. ;)
"Start at one end, and work your way across."
Simple, but incredibly effective advice. Whenever I'm overwhelmed by a task, I remember these words of wisdom. Originally applied to cleaning a room (and this remains the most appropriate application), this advice can also be adapted to meet challenges of other natures - schoolwork, assignments at an actual job, anything really that would benefit from being broken into manageable chunks. Essentially every single time I cast my gaze across our living room, utterly destroyed and strewn from wall to wall with Legos, train tracks and other toys, immediately after registering my chagrin and dismay, I hear these words. "Start at one end, and work your way across." Or when the house cleaners are due to arrive for their monthly visit, and I have to tidy the apartment before their arrival - start in one room, clear it, declare it done, move on to the next room, rinse, repeat. It's been a task management strategy that has stuck with me and served me well countless times.
"It never hurts to ask. The worst they can say is 'no.'"
More often than not, my general tendency is to try not to inconvenience anyone else. Sometimes though, it's important to remember that perceived inconvenience isn't necessarily the same as actual inconvenience. More broadly applied, this advice is about allowing yourself to take chances you might not normally take. Best case scenario: you get something you didn't expect, at little-to-no extra cost to you. And more often than not, if a request is denied, you're no worse off than you were before.
"Just smile and nod."
This was more of a directive than anything, but it's one of my favorites. If you love someone, sometimes the best thing you can do when they're being completely incomprehensible and weird, is just smile and nod. As with the previous advice, this one can be more broadly applied. Go with the flow. If it doesn't really matter (and so many things, ultimately, don't), just let it go. Smile and nod. It's not worth getting into a semantic argument or making someone else feel bad just to prove a point. This is especially hard for me sometimes, because I have a really tough time letting something go if I know I'm right. You also have to be careful when deploying this particular tactic, however, because poorly timed (or poorly executed) smiling and nodding can come off as patronizing or condescending. It's a fine line. But one that is worthwhile to learn to tread.
And there you have it. Happy Mother's Day, Mom! :) Love ya.