COMMENTARY 791.3: Wisdom in 20 Words or Fewer: Part One

Since my children were small, I launched their day with the invocation to “be good, have fun and learn.” I hope they remember that mantra, but now that my daughter Samara is beginning her independent life as a college freshman 3,000 miles away, I think a more detailed set of maxims is needed. So, I’ve begun to assemble a collection of concise (20 words or fewer) insights that I hope will guide, protect, nourish and inspire her to reach her potential for happiness and success.

Here are the first ten:

  1. You will be as happy as you are willing to be; choose to be happy.
  2. Have fun and enjoy your life, but never confuse fun or pleasure with happiness.
  3. Never let your happiness or sense of self-worth depend on someone else’s love or approval.
  4. Pain is inevitable but suffering is a choice.
  5. How you deal with what happens to you is more important than what happens to you.
  6. Real friends make you feel good about yourself but encourage you to be even better.
  7. It’s not just what you say, do, or intend, but how you make people feel that is most important.
  8. Failure is not a fact; it’s a perspective. Find the lesson in every setback and you’ll never fail.
  9. It’s never wrong to admit you were wrong; no one is always right.
  10. Don’t let grudges or resentments ruin your life or your day; let go, forget, move on!

This is Michael Josephson reminding you that character counts.

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