O's 101 Best Pieces of Advice

All the wisdom you need to do almost everything better...and while you're at it, feel happier, healthier, more chic, less stressed, and ready to take on the world.

How to Tell a Rumor from the Truth


Think about whether you're dealing with a piece of information or just hearsay. For example, if someone says, "Barbara saw the boss and his secretary leaving the Hilton," that's a concrete detail you can verify, but "Barbara heard the boss is having an affair" is likely salacious gossip. It may be a subtle difference, but it matters. That said, you can never know definitively unless you're an eyewitness. So my rule of thumb is: Don't believe until there's a reason to.

—Ana Marie Cox, columnist for the Guardian and founder of the political gossip blog Wonkette

How Not to Embarrass Yourself at Karaoke


Warm up all day. Start by counting aloud when you wake. Later, laugh out loud; we laugh higher than we talk, so you'll be activating your upper register.

Lubricate your voice, especially if you're nervous (stress can dry out your vocal cords). Half an hour before you sing, eat a little bread soaked in olive oil.

Breathe from your diaphragm. You'll generate the air you need to produce a melodious tone. Inhale through your nose and push your belly button out. Exhale and let your navel go back in.

Feel free to change keys. Even the pros sing in a lower register when their voice gets tired.

Sing with joy, from your heart, and no one will care how you sound.

—Debra Byrd, vocal coach for The Voice and vocal producer for The Next: Fame Is at Your Doorstep

How to Fake It Till You Make It


The philosopher William James believed that acting a certain way could make you feel that way. Hundreds of experiments have proved him right. A Clark University study showed that smiling made people feel happier. (For best results, smile wide and hold for 20 seconds.) At the University of Rochester, when researchers gave subjects an unsolvable problem, those who folded their arms in a stubborn pose persevered nearly twice as long as others. And a study in Singapore revealed that clenching your fist powers your willpower. Try it next time you're avoiding French fries.

—Richard Wiseman, PHD, psychology professor at the UK's University of Hertfordshire and author of the forthcoming book The As If Principle

Advice Hall of Fame


It is better to ask some of the questions than to know all the answers.

—James Thurber

Advice Hall of Fame


Expect nothing. Live frugally on surprise.

—Alice Walker

Advice Hall of Fame


When people show you who they are, believe them the first time.

—Maya Angelou

Advice Hall of Fame


When people talk, listen completely.

—Ernest Hemingway

Advice Hall of Fame


Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out just how far one can go.

—T.S. Eliot

Advice Hall of Fame


Don't ever confuse—your life and your work. The second is only part of the first.

—Anna Quindlen

Advice Hall of Fame


The best way out is always through.

—Robert Frost
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