The Most Memorable Advice of 2023

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Written By Pinang Driod

In a year when global temperatures reached a record high, artificial-intelligence advancements sparked questions around work and human interaction, and wars raged in Europe and in the Middle East, Atlantic writers and other experts offered pragmatic wisdom on navigating everyday experiences with friendship, family, and work.

Their words point to the virtues of finding wonder in mundane moments, navigating grief with a spirit of acceptance, and prioritizing human connection.

As 2024 approaches, we’re reflecting on some of the most memorable advice shared this year. If this guidance resonates with you, carry it with you into the new year.


The Quiet Profundity of Everyday Awe

That feeling of being in the presence of something vast is good for us. And, counterintuitively, many times it’s found in completely unremarkable circumstances.


The Most Misunderstood Concept in Psychology

“Boundaries” have taken off, but the concept has become misunderstood, joining the pantheon of misused psychology jargon.

Quote card that reads “Boundaries are often thought of as rules for other people, but in reality, they’re rules for ourselves. They’re our own definition of what we’re comfortable with, and our own choice about what we’ll do if someone ignores the boundary.” — Olga Khazan, staff writer

What the Longest Study on Human Happiness Found Is the Key to a Good Life

The Harvard Study of Adult Development has established a strong correlation between deep relationships and well-being. The question is, how does a person nurture those deep relationships?

Quote card that reads “Relationships keep us happier and healthier throughout our life spans. We neglect our connections with others at our peril.” — Robert Waldinger and Marc Schulz, The Harvard Study of Adult Development

The Hardest Decision Mothers Make

Why is life so good at presenting situations in which you need to be in two places at once?

Quote card that reads “Sometimes the only thing that gives me solace is the knowledge that we’re all trying, and failing, and then getting up and trying again, to be true both to ourselves and to the people we love.” — Mary Louise Kelly, a host of NPR’s All Things Considered

How America Got Mean

In a culture devoid of moral education, generations are growing up in a morally inarticulate, self-referential world.

Quote card that reads “You have to give to receive. You have to lose yourself in a common cause to find yourself. The deepest human relationships are gift relationships, based on mutual care.” — David Brooks, contributing writer

What Losing My Two Children Taught Me About Grief

Never say “There are no words” to the grieving.

Quote card that reads “The reason [grief] hurts so badly is because we love them so much … The pain can be understood not as a bad thing to avoid, but as a beautiful tribute, a sign that our hearts are still working.” — Colin Campbell, writer and director

The Very Common, Very Harmful Thing Well-Meaning Parents Do

Surveilling your kids will only backfire.

quote card that reads “Equipping our kids with good judgment—and letting them experience the consequences of messing up without trying to get in front of every mistake—is the only way to raise young adults who will be equipped to function on their own.” — Devorah Heitner, author

Live Closer to Your Friends

They make your life better. So why not turn them into your neighbors?

quote card that reads “Many people are prepared to move for a new job … or even just for an adventure. Moving to be closer to buddies should be no different. Friends are not incidental to a good life; they’re essential to one.” — Adrienne Matei, writer

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