52 life lessons I learned by asking 52 people the same questions:
“Happiness and success will pass, what endures is creating meaning in your own life and in the lives of others.” – Tom Rath
1. “If you are going to eat shit, don´t nibble.”
Reminder: Positive impacts are created by how well you deal with the negative aspects. Push through.
2. “Fear is a natural reaction to moving closer to the truth”
Reminder: The more uncomfortable you are today, the more comfortable you will be tomorrow.
3. “Pickles made me happy.”
Reminder: Focus on the little things everyday that make you smile……and eat more pickles.
4. “I have come to believe that one of the most important things, is to see people. The person who opens the door for you. The person that pours your coffee. Acknowledge them. Show them respect. The traditional greeting of the Zulu people of South Africa is `Sawu Bona.´ It means, `I See You.´ I try and do that.”
- If I Could Tell You Just One Thing / Richard Reed (conversation with Bill Clinton)
Reminder: Be nice to people and people will be nice to you.
5. “The only currency that matters in this world is what you share with someone else when you are uncool.”
- Daring Greatly / Brene Brown (line from the film Almost Famous)
Reminder: Be vulnerable.
6. “The single easiest way to find out how you feel about someone. Say goodbye.”
Reminder: Tell people what they mean to you every chance you get.
7. “It’s the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting.“
Reminder: Nothing ever big happened by dreaming small.
“What’s the world’s greatest lie?” the boy asked, completely surprised. It’s this: That at a certain point in our lives, we lose control of what’s happening to us, and our lives become controlled by fate. That is the world’s greatest lie.”
Reminder: We create and control our future.
8. “The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are.”
Reminder: Be true to yourself.
9. “Most successful people are people you’ve never heard of. They want it that way. It keeps them sober. It helps them do their jobs.”
Reminder: Knowing your WHY is the easier part. Living your WHY demands self-control, self-assessment and self-awareness every single day.
10. “It is not what you preach, but what you tolerate.”
Reminder: Reputations are built on what you do, not what you promise.
11. “We can either make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same.”
Reminder: Positivity is a choice.
12. “Thankfully perserverance is a good substitute for talent.”
Reminder: You have this one advantage over everyone.
13. “Typically, people who exercise, start eating better and becoming more productive at work. They smoke less and show more patience with colleagues and family. They use their credit cards less frequently and say they feel less stressed. Exercise is a keystone habit that triggers widespread change.”
Reminder: Write exercise at the top of your daily to-do list. Write it twice when times get tough.
14. “Victory favors the team making the fewest mistakes.”
Reminder: Professionals do it until they cannot do it wrong.
15. “Don´t play everything. Let some things go by. What you don´t play can be more important than what you do.”
- Eleven Rings by Phil Jackson (taken from Steve Lacy who played with Thelonious Monk)
Reminder: What we say “no” to ultimately determines how well we do the things we say “yes” to.
16. “You don’t get to pick your family, but you can pick your teachers and you can pick your friends and you can pick the music you listen to and you can pick the books you read and you can pick the movies you see. You are, in fact, a mashup of what you choose to let into your life. You are the sum of your influences. The German writer Goethe said, “We are shaped and fashioned by what we love.”
Reminder: Our decisions today determine our future tomorrow.
17. “Growth comes at the point of resistance. We learn by pushing ourselves and finding what really lies at the outer reaches of our abilities.”
Reminder: You can always run for five more minutes.
18. “Self assessment is more important than self awareness.”
Reminder: Be brutally honest with yourself.
19. “I know of no case study in history that describes an organization that has been managed out of a crisis. Every single one of them was led.”
Reminder: People. People. People.
20. “Being honest about the existence of a small blemish can enhance your offerings true beauty.”
Reminder: Honestly first, second and third.
21. “Don’t aim at success, the more you aim at it and make it a target, the more you are going to miss it.”
Reminder: Don´t worry about making something great, worry about getting great at the making.
22. “You never know where somebody’s going to end up. It’s not just about building your reputation; it really is about being there for other people.”
Reminder: The person serving you coffee today could be your boss tomorrow.
23. “There are always more of them before they are counted.”
Reminder: Problems are always bigger in our heads.
24. “No one owes you a great career. You need to earn it — and the process won’t be easy.”
Reminder: Having a career you love is a privilege, not a right.
25. “Never underestimate the vital importance of finding early in life the work that for you is play. This turns possible underachievers into happy warriors.”
Reminder: Never stop trying new things and meeting new people. The dots will eventually connect.
26. “We don’t tell ourselves, `I’m never going to write my symphony.´ Instead we say, `I am going to write my symphony; I’m just going to start tomorrow.´”
Reminder: Read this everyday.
27. “Think about your hero. Do you think of this person as someone with extraordinary abilities who achieved with little effort? Now go find out the truth. Find out the tremendous effort that went into their accomplishment, and admire them more.”
Reminder: Most overnight success stories are 10 years in the making.
28. “Greatness is not a function of circumstance. Greatness, it turns out, is largely a matter of conscious choice and discipline.”
Reminder: Exciting lives are created by good choices and boring routines.
29. “Life is a helluva lot more fun if you say yes rather than no.”
Reminder: I met my wife doing something I originally did not want to do.
30. “If you can’t learn, you can’t thrive.”
Reminder: Figure out how you learn best and keep auding and making improvements to the process.
31. “The most promising ideas begin from novelty and then add familiarity.”
Reminder: You do not have to reinvent the wheel, just add to the conversation.
32. “What gets measured gets improved.”
Reminder: Tracking your health, performance etc, has never been easier, so take advantage.
33. “Just because you have someone´s email address does not mean they want to hear from you.”
Reminder: Think of how you can help others, not of how they can help you.
34. The Ultimate Elevator Pitch –
“Simply create a one-sentence answer to the following four questions:
- What do you do?
- What problem do you solve?
- How are you different?
- Why should I care?”
Reminder: You never know who you are going to meet, so be prepared.
35. This is not a quote, but in this book, General George C. Marshall, was referred to as an, “Unnatural Genius,” and it dawned on me that I had never heard that before. Is there a higher compliment?
Reminder: Never stop learning, trying new things and meeting new people,
36. “Acronym of FAILURE:
F — Frustration (you don´t have any answers)
A — Aggression (Misdirected)
I — Insecurity (You can´t cut it anymore)
L — Leadership (You abandon it)
U — Undisciplined (You stop practicing fundamentals)
R — Resentment (You assume the victim´s role)
E — Excuses (It´s everyone´s fault but your own)”
Reminder: Most of the time success is found by analyzing and fixing failures.
37. “Ultimately, our progress, our growth, and our happiness comes from our ability to look within ourselves and ask the important questions.”
Reminder: The quality of our life is determined by the quality of the questions that we ask others and we ask ourselves.
38. “You need to stretch people to help them achieve their full potential. The most powerful way to do this is by having the courage to say, `I believe in you.´ These four words constitute the most inspirational message a leader can convey.”
Reminder: If you focus on supporting others, people will eventually support you.
39. “Leadership requires two things: a vision of the world that does not yet exist and the ability to communicate it.”
Reminder: Think like a philosopher, but communicate like a truck driver.
40. “The only guarantee, ever, is that things will go wrong. The only thing we can use to mitigate this is anticipation. Because the only variable we control completely is ourselves.”
Reminder: We cannot control what happens, but we can control how we react and respond.
41. “We all fool ourselves from time to time in order to keep our thoughts and beliefs consistent with what we have already done or decided.”
Reminder: Operate in reality.
42. “We convince by our presence.”
Reminder: Stand up straight and smile.
43. “Positive thinking must be followed by positive doing.”
Reminder: After reading a book or listening to a podcast — do something about it.
44. “Those who succeed in an outstanding way seldom do so before the age of 40. More often, they do not strike their real pace until they are well beyond the age of 50.”
Reminder: Life is long. Slow down and keep collecting and connecting your dots.
45. “Being present, paying attention to what’s going on rather than being caught up in your thoughts, can yield immense rewards. When you exhibit presence, those around you feel listened to, respected, and valued.”
Reminder: Most people are so worried about what they are going to say they do not listen to what is being said. Do not be like most people.
46. “Happiness and success will pass, what endures is creating meaning in your own life and in the lives of others.”
Reminder: Never stop asking yourself how you can make the lives of the people around you better.
47. “For me, happiness is the joy we feel striving after our potential.”
Reminder: It’s the journey….
48. “The man who can drive himself further once the effort gets painful is the man who will win.”
Reminder: What was impossible in the past is normal today.
49. “Work is a rubber ball. If you drop it, it will bounce back. The other four balls: family, health, friends, integrity, are made of glass. If you drop one of these, it will be irrevocably scuffed, nicked, perhaps even shattered.”
Reminder: Friend, mother, father, partner, husband, wife is much cooler than any job title.
50. “The easiest thing to sell is truth.”
Reminder: Never work on something you do not believe in.
51. “You buck yourself up with the thought that `this too shall pass,´ but then you remind yourself that it may not pass anytime soon, and so you re-dedicate yourself to making the absolute best of what you have now.”
Reminder: My wife and son are the only things that matter. Make them smile……at all times.
52. “You and everyone you know are going to be dead soon. And in the short amount of time between here and there, you have a limited amount of f*cks to give. Very few, in fact. And if you go around giving a f*ck about everything and everyone without conscious thought or choice, well, then you’re going to get fucked.”
Reminder: Just because a great writer used a bad word in his title, does not mean you should.
And there you have it, my favorite 52 quotes for 2017.
Originally published at hackernoon.com