It takes courage, confidence and practice to flip a pancake, Julia says.

“You should never apologize at the table. People will think, ‘Yes, it’s really not so good.’”

Julia Child famously wrote this line in her autobiography, “My Life in France” (and one of my all-time favorite books). I think it’s such a great life rule. If you set something up with an apology, your audience will think it’s not so good. Whatever you make, serve it with confidence and a smile. Let your audience decide for itself.

“I don’t believe in twisting yourself into knots of excuses and explanations over the food you make. Usually one’s cooking is better than one thinks it is. And if the food is truly vile, as my ersatz eggs Florentine surely were, then the cook must simply grit her teeth and bear it with a smile — and learn from her mistakes,” Child wrote.

I sometimes need to remind myself of this. I was recently applying for a magazine job. In my cover letter, I wrote, While I don’t have magazine experience, I’ve used a similar editing style …

Luckily I had a friend read over my letter who told me not to write that. Never use “not” or “don’t” on your resume or cover letter. Present your experience without apology and let the hiring manager decide if you’re a good fit or not.

Today, after the gym, I stopped for a few groceries then was walking home. A man approached me, started his spiel with “you’ll probably tell me no, but …” then started telling me he and his daughter were staying at a shelter and needed food. I didn’t have any cash on me since I just brought my ID and debit card to the gym, but I handed him some bananas. So clearly his approach worked, but I left thinking about how if he hadn’t started by giving an out, more people might help him out. (Though I knew I was going to help him when he talked to me rather than shaking a can at me. I hate that.)

I’m declaring this Great Advice Week on the Living Life Big Blog. As a rules follower, I love carrying little tidbits through life with me. If you’ve heard some great advice in your days, please, please share. I’d love to hear.

Julia Child also says the first pancake never turns out. I like to keep that in mind.

More links you might like:

Some great advice

More good advice

Cluff’s rules

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