- Start each day by remembering and, if possible, thanking in person those people who
were especially kind to you the day before.
- Be grateful, and I mean be grateful for everything. Sometimes a person will go
out of their way and do something for you that makes you wonder if you would do
the same for them. Be especially grateful to those people, for they are "holier
- If you don't have enough to do, do something for someone else.
- Keep your expectations low. That way you will constantly be pleasantly
surprised when even small, but good things, happen to you.
- People come and go into and out of your life. They change jobs, they get
married, interests shift, and at some point some will die, we hope later than
sooner. Be they near or far, close friends or just acquaintances, never take
anyone for granted. I always thought that my mother would be there for me, but
that was not to be, and when she died, when I was but 14 years old, it left a
hole in my life that never totally healed. It gets a little easier as time
passes, but the memories never really go away. Never take anyone for granted.
- It's perhaps easier to say than to do, but be kind to everyone. Treat people
with politeness and respect. You won't be able to do this all the time. No one
can. The good news is that it gets easier as you get older and everyone seems
to be your friend.
- And avoid people who treat you with disrespect like you would avoid the plague.
- Be gracious in victory and defeat. You will experience both.
- By example my dad taught me to take the high road, which makes choices in life quite
easy to make, even though carrying out those choices may not be so easy. You are your
word, so be an honorable person. It's the right thing to do. In short, don't
just be a person, be a just person.
- On the subject of money, don't get caught up with it. Money is for comfort and
security and you will pretty much know when you have enough of it. You don't
need to have everything you want and you don't have to have the best of what you do
acquire. The crucial words here are "enough" and "good enough".
- Use sarcasm cautiously. It's OK to use on occasion, but it wears thin quickly.
And never, never use sarcasm in an argument. It will only anger your opponent.
- Choose a mate carefully. I lucked out, but it took two tries, one more than it
should have. Should you marry, that person you marry will be with you for a
long, long time. Choose carefully and take your time.
- And never, never criticize your mate in public. It's mean and counterproductive.
If you have "issues", discuss them privately at an appropriate time.
- Be an animal person. If at all possible, choose to have an animal (or animals) in your
life. For me it's always been cats, but you can pick. It's always good to
do something for someone else and animals count as someone else here. For
me it was, in chronological order, Ma, Willie Mays, Blue Chip, Egbert,
Lois, Pandu, Sigmund, Perl, Amber, and Zizou. Wonderful cats, every one.
- Don't lose control of your weight. It is much harder to lose weight than it is
to maintain it, especially as you age.
- Be a good listener. You will learn a lot more by listening than by talking.
- The biggest evolutionary error happened when non-human animals, especially
ones we enjoy as pets, ended up with lives shorter than our own. Our pets
are so much nicer than we are. They deserve better.
- Don't apologize! Change your ways.
- Walk! It's free and good for you.
- Don't worry about things you have no control over. (The foundational belief of Stoicism.)
- Shun favoritism, even if, or maybe especially if, you are the one being favored.
- Be careful what you say. Some things can never be taken back.
- Don't run yourself down. Others will happily take care of that task for you.