1. “We judge ourselves by our intentions but others by their actions” This put a lot of things into perspective for me.
2. When you are torn between 2 choices, always pick the one that will make the best story – grandpa always said this and once I started following it, life became a lot more interesting.
3. “The master has failed more times than the beginner has tried” was an offhand comment from a friend to get me to play chess with him and it stuck with me.
4. “If you want to be good at something you first must be willing to be bad at it.” My guitar teacher said this to me after I expressed that I felt like giving up because I wasn’t making the progress I thought I should be making. It made a lot of sense to me and it helps motivate me whenever I attempt something new.
5. “Do you feel victory when your words cause pain?” I grew up in an abusive environment and I left it but it took years for me to leave the actions I’d learned behind as well. I wasn’t a good person because I had no example. Being a good person is all I want to be.
6. My wife was the the first person to tell me that holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. It gets attributed to a number of people who probably didn’t say it, but it really hit home when she was the one who told me.
7. A sergeant of mine in the Marine Corps once told me “no matter how big the plate in front of you is, the only way to finish it is one bite at a time.” It’s amazing how many times over the years I’ve had to remind myself of this great piece of advice.
8. “How you live each day is how you live your life.” Simplistic, I know. Up until the point that I heard that from a friend, I had all these awesome ideas of who I was, who I was gonna be and what I wanted to do, but hearing this made me realize I wasn’t going to do or be any of the things I thought unless I started living them each day.
9. “Everyone is the main character of their life.” Now I stop and think whenever someone is being self absorbed. It’s just they’re excited over something that happened in their life because that’s what’s most important to them.
10. When I was 12, I was criticizing someone’s project in shop class. A girl came up to me and told me very calmly “you’re always criticizing people, why are you so mean?”. It was a very simple thing to say, but it hit me hard while my personality was still developing. I think her neutral tone was important too. Something clicked, and I realized she was right – I was kind of an asshole. It changed the way I behaved forever. I guarantee she does not remember the exchange, or even me at all. Sometimes it doesn’t have to be something poetically profound, just something true said with honesty at the right time in your life.
11. As a teenager I started pouting after a coach yelled at me. He looked at me said “the time to worry is when I quit yelling at you because that means I’ve decided you’re not worth the effort.
12. “Every job has stuff in it you hate. The question is really if the stuff you love about the job outweighs the parts you don’t like.” At the time I was feeling guilty because I was in a patch where I was having a rough time with my job, which is a competitive “dream job” so I felt like I didn’t have a right to complain and felt guilty for not liking that part of it. But she reminded me it’s ok to not like things and remember why I wanted the job in the first place.
this with your friends!