The single greatest thing you can ever be in your life is COMPASSIONATE.
The best gift you can give yourself is a SENSE OF HUMOR.
Having what everyone else has will not automatically make you happy.
Finding what WILL make you happy is one of the greatest challenges in life.
Always be nice to your waiter… and never stiff anyone on a tip.
Be smart. But more importantly, DO NOT BE STUPID.
Listen to all kinds of music – not just the current, popular crap. You’ll be surprised at how good the old stuff is, if you give it a chance.
Never be afraid to dance or sing in front of other people.
Eat fruit and vegetables every day. P.S. Asparagus makes your pee smell funny.
Be polite. Open doors. Pull out chairs. Make words like “ma’am” and “sir” and “please” and “thank you” part of your everyday vernacular.
When you hear a word like “vernacular,” look it up, learn what it means, and use it in a sentence.
Not all friendships last forever.
The friendships that DO last forever will be the most important relationships in your life. Appreciate and nurture them. They are worth it.
Get at least a little exercise every day. And don’t forget to stretch!
Keep a journal. It doesn’t have to be an everyday thing, but at least write down the important stuff so you can remember how you felt about it later.
Learn to play the piano and the guitar while you’re still young.
Master at least one foreign language.
Travel every opportunity you get.
Try to find the beauty in everything you see. There’s a tremendous amount of beauty in this wacky world, but you won’t always see it unless you look for it specifically.
Listen to the stories your grandparents tell. You’ll be SO GLAD later that you did.
Take LOTS of pictures!
Never say goodbye to someone you love without giving them a hug and a kiss and telling them so.
Don’t expect anyone, not even yourself, to be perfect. Everybody makes mistakes. Almost everything you really learn from your life experience will come from the ones you make.
Read, read, read, read, READ!
LISTEN to other people when they talk. Don’t just watch their lips move.
Give old black-and-white movies a shot.
DO NOT pick up smoking. It’s bad for you, it’s expensive, and it makes you smell awful. It’s also really, really hard to give up when you finally come to your senses.
For some reason, the more clothes you put into the dryer, the faster they seem to dry. (This theory is not without its limit, however.)
Being good at math and science can open many doors for you later in life. So pay attention – even when it’s hard, or when you think you’ll never use it.
When a girl hits you or calls your house and hangs up, it means she likes you.
Always be kind to the girls who like you – even if you don’t like them back in that way.
If you aren’t using your sunglasses, take them off. DO NOT wear them inside, or on the back of your head.
Giving to charity will always make you feel better. If you have even little to spare, share it.
If you see someone who needs help, help them. Even if you’re in a hurry or have other things to do, stop. Help them.
Never, ever hurt someone’s feelings intentionally. Even if they hurt you first. It will solve nothing, and in the end you will only feel worse.
Always be kind to animals.
Make it a habit to give compliments. If you like someone’s shirt, tell them so. If you think a girl looks pretty that day, let her know. Everybody likes a compliment!
If you’re sad, it’s okay to cry. It really is.
Every new day is a fresh start.
DO NOT INTERRUPT. It is unbelievably rude. Even if you think what you have to say is the most important thing ever said in the history of the world, let the other person finish their thought before you say it.
A wise man once said, “Silence is the hardest argument to refute.” And that is absolutely true.
Never make a promise you don’t plan to keep. If you break your promises, no one will trust you. And you don’t want to be that guy.
Always take responsibility for your own actions. If you screw up, OWN IT. The more time you spend blaming others or making excuses, the longer it will take you to learn from it and move on.
Don’t expect everyone else to do things your way. One of the great things about this world is its diversity. There are lots of different ways to do lots of different things. Understand that, and embrace it.
Play team sports. You’ll learn a lot about yourself and how to work with other people.
Stand up for yourself if you’re being treated unfairly. Don’t be a doormat.
Stand up for others if THEY’RE being treated unfairly and can’t stand up for themselves.
Don’t scratch your balls in mixed company.
Take care of your skin and your teeth.
Soaking something in white vinegar will remove the smell of cat pee. But then it will smell like vinegar.
It is better to smell like vinegar than cat pee.
Don’t try to be something you’re not for someone else, no matter who it is. ALWAYS BE YOU.
Never say never. Life is WAY too full of surprises to know anything for sure.
Don’t ever put anything in writing that you don’t want coming back to you later.
When you’re driving, always assume that the other people on the road are going to do something stupid and reckless. And always be prepared to get out of their way if they do.
Never never never never NEVER drink and drive, or get into a car with someone who’s been drinking. Never. This is non-negotiable.
It’s good to work, and to love your work. But don’t let your work become your life. You owe yourself so much more than that.
There will always be people who are more successful, more popular, more put-together, smarter or better looking than you. Admire them all you want – but NEVER let yourself believe that they’re any better than you. They’re not.
See as much live music and comedy as you can.
Learn to ski – both water and snow.
Do NOT get drunk at your office Christmas party. OR your high school reunion. (Both learned the hard way by dear old Mom.)
Pay attention to politics, and vote in every election. You don’t have to be a rabble-rouser, but at the very least stay informed about the issues affecting you and your community.
Drink lots of water!!
Choose your battles wisely. There’s no point in arguing with someone unless you know with absolute certainty that you are right.
Do NOT buy something unless you have the money to pay for it. (Credit cards = Bad.)
Keep your receipts.
Getting presents is fun – but it’s WAY more fun to give them. Try it and see!
Never answer an email when you’re angry. And ALWAYS triple-check the “to” field before you hit “send.”
You will never be able to please everyone. So do what’s most important to you and be as nice as you can to those it displeases.
The absolute WORST place to show off for your friends is in your car.
Never let your “stuff” define you. Take care of it, yes – but never let it become more important to you than the people in your life.
Load the dishwasher with everything facing IN.
Share your toys, your time, and yourself with others.
Learn about cars. At the very least, know how to change the oil and replace a tire if you need to.
All humans are equal – regardless of their skin color, religion, education, income level, political party, sexual orientation or nationality. Treat them as such.
Be self-aware. Know your strengths but also your weaknesses. And recognize when they change, for better or worse.
Hitting and kicking are not acceptable.
Eat a good breakfast every morning. Start your day off right.
Religion is a personal choice. Learn everything you can about the options out there and make your own educated decision. DO NOT believe something just because other people tell you to, no matter who they are. And NEVER judge other people for believing something different.
Offer your most sincere sympathy to someone in pain. It may not seem like enough, but it almost always is.
Don’t let the fear of failure stop you from doing something you want to do. The scariest things are usually the ones that are most worth it in the end.
Whatever age you are, remember: Nobody likes a whiner.
Nothing you say matters at all unless you back it up with action.
Don’t be a slave to fashion trends – simple and clean is always best. (And I have the photos of spiked hair and parachute pants to prove it.)
Never, never, never, never, NEVER take yourself too seriously! What’s the point of any of it if you can’t have a laugh?
Always look at the moon and the stars with wonder. Doesn’t matter how much you know about the science behind them — they are still magical.
Respect the planet that we live on. Recycle, don’t litter, and buy green when you can.
Always be original. Copycats are boring!
Forgiveness is one of the hardest things to offer someone – and also one of the most rewarding.
Dust first, then vacuum or sweep.
When you look at art, try to understand what the artist was saying. Don’t just see shapes and colors; there’s almost always more to it than that. The fun is in finding the message.
DO. NOT. GOSSIP.
Appreciate history. The ancient Greeks, the Egyptians who built the pyramids, the founding fathers, the old settlers – they were all just people, like you and me. Their stories can teach you so much about life – it would be a shame to ignore it.
Always observe your birthday, even if it’s just in a small way. It’s the one day you have each year to celebrate being alive. Recognize that, and enjoy it!
Learn to spell.
When people ask you how you’re doing, they don’t always want to know the truth.
You can do anything you want in this life, as long as you’re willing to work hard for it. Because you will always have the full support of your family behind you.
When you feel overwhelmed by negative thoughts, stop. Take a deep breath. Remember that a lot of people love you.
Nobody in this world will ever love you or believe in you as much as your mom does. Ever. You should show her that you know that by giving her a big hug every day.
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