If you’re young and your career is in its early days, you’ve likely been privy to plenty of career truisms and clichés.
But if “follow your passion,” “give 110%,” and “be true to yourself” just aren’t cutting it for you anymore, perhaps advice like, “don’t work too hard” and “relax” are more up your alley.
These successful people have offered some of the best — and oftentimes least conventional — advice for people in their 20s:
1. Warren Buffett: Exercise humility and restraint.
In a 2010 interview with Yahoo, Berkshire Hathaway chairman and CEO Warren Buffett saidthe best advice he ever received was from Berkshire Hathaway board-of-directors member Thomas Murphy. He told Buffett:
“Never forget, Warren, you can tell a guy to go to hell tomorrow — you don’t give up the right. So just keep your mouth shut today, and see if you feel the same way tomorrow.”
During this year’s Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholders meeting, Buffett also told a curious seventh-grader that the key to making friends and getting along with co-workers is learning to change your behavior as you mature by emulating those you admire and adopting the qualities they possess.
2. Maya Angelou: Make your own path.
In her book The Best Advice I Ever Got, Katie Couric quotes author, poet, dancer, actress, and singer Maya Angelou:
“My paternal grandmother, Mrs. Annie Henderson, gave me advice that I have used for 65 years. She said, ‘If the world puts you on a road you do not like, if you look ahead and do not want that destination which is being offered and you look behind and you do not want to return to you place of departure, step off the road. Build yourself a new path.'”
3. Richard Branson: Never look back in regret — move on to the next thing.
Richard Branson’s mother taught him that.
“The amount of time people waste dwelling on failures, rather than putting that energy into another project, always amazes me,” The Virgin Group founder and chairman told The Good Entrepreneur. “I have fun running ALL the Virgin businesses — so a setback is never a bad experience, just a learning curve.”
4. J.K. Rowling: Embrace failure.
“I don’t think we talk about failure enough,” Rowling recently told Matt Lauer on NBC’s Today. “It would’ve really helped to have someone who had had a measure of success come say to me, ‘You will fail. That’s inevitable. It’s what you do with it.'”
Before Rowling became one of the wealthiest women in the world, she was a single mom living on welfare in the U.K. She began writing about her now famous character, the young wizard Harry Potter, in Edinburgh cafes, and received “loads” of rejections from book publishers when she first sent out the manuscript, The Guardian reports.
“An exceptionally short-lived marriage had imploded, and I was jobless, a lone parent, and as poor as it is possible to be in modern Britain without being homeless … By every usual standard, I was the biggest failure I knew,” Rowling said during a 2008 Harvard University commencement speech.
She went on to say that she considered her early failure a “gift” that was “painfully won,” since she gained valuable knowledge about herself and her relationships through the adversity.
There are a total of 25 pieces of advice from successful leaders in the article. The above is just the first four. Read the full article here.