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Heidi Shaffer, Published January 16 2014

Five Thing Friday: Shaffer shares 5 pieces of good advice

They say good advice is rarer than rubies. Since I’m not sure who “they” are, and I have some very wise women in my life, I think this saying is a load of crap.

Here are five of the best pieces of advice those wise women have doled out.

1. “Always say ‘please’ and ‘thank you.’ ”

Before you roll your eyes, let me clarify. As a kid, my mom forced me to write thank-you notes after each birthday and holiday. I hated it then, but I love it now.

Thank-you note time is now a moment to reflect on the things for which you are grateful from the people you love most. Thanks, mom.

2. “If you don’t want your husband to eat your leftovers, put them in an opaque container.”

My lifelong friend Sarah gave me this tip at my bridal shower, and it’s saved me many lunches. Let’s just hope my husband never develops X-ray vision.

3. Take responsibility for what’s yours.

One of my workplace mentors had a more colorful way of saying this, but I think of this wisdom so often.

You can’t control what other people do, so just do your best at the responsibilities that have been given to you.

If everyone did this, wouldn’t life be grand?

4. “Be your authentic self.”

During the first session of last year’s 35 Under 35 Women’s Leadership program, United Way of Cass Clay President Sher Thomsen told us to make the most of the six-month program.

But she also reminded us that it’s OK if something doesn’t resonate with you. She encouraged us to find the advice that rang true and find our authentic selves.

5. “Sometimes saying, ‘No,’ means someone else can say, ‘Yes.’ ”

Dr. Susan Mathison wrote this back in 2012 in a column for SheSays at a time when I needed to hear it.

It’s hard for many people to turn down invitations, but once we’re stretched too thin, we’re not doing anyone a favor.

But think of it as passing that opportunity onto someone who isn’t overwhelmed and able to give their best.

Readers can reach Forum features editor Heidi Shaffer at (701) 241-5511