“Think hard about who you marry. It’s the most important decision you will ever make. Devote yourself to your kids. Nothing else is guaranteed to make you happy”

This advice was taken from a graduation speech by David Brooks, journalist from the NY Times to the at Rice University graduation class …

“Over the years, we all pick up good advice. Spend a year abroad. It’s bound to change your life. Think hard about who you marry. It’s the most important decision you will ever make. Devote yourself to your kids. Nothing else is guaranteed to make you happy. The only thing I’d add is, create a posse of dead people. Create an entourage of heroes. Put their pictures on your wall, and keep them in your mind.

They will remind you of your place in the hidden river of wisdom. They’ll serve as models. They’ll give you an honest perspective on how you’re doing. They’ll remind you that your blessings don’t come from you but from those who came before you.”

Live off your parents as long as possible.

Guy Kawasaki is a Silicon Valley venture capitalist. He was one of the Apple employees originally responsible for marketing the Macintosh in 1984. Guy’s advice …

“Remember these ten things: if just one of them helps you, this speech will have been a success:

10. Live off your parents as long as possible.
9. Pursue joy, not happiness.
8. Challenge the known and embrace the unknown.
7. Learn to speak a foreign language, play a musical instrument, and play non-contact sports.
6. Continue to learn.
5. Learn to like yourself or change yourself until you can like yourself.
4. Don’t get married too soon.
3. Play to win and win to play.
2. Obey the absolutes.
1. Enjoy your family and friends before they are gone.”

Link to speech Guy has given six times at commencements, graduations and baccalaureates.

Parent the child you have, not the one you wished for

I came across this quote in an interesting post Parent The Child You Have at http://warriormummy.wordpress.com. It reminded me of a few quotes from Dr Phil’s book Family First …

“One of my goals as a parent was to help my children achieve their own goals while pursuing their own passions.”

“Authenticity is fostered when you set goals suited to the youngster’s interests, abilities, and talents.”

“One of the great responsibilities you have as a parent – and one of the greatest gifts you can give your children – is to teach them to develop their gifts fully and to build their lives around whatever it is that fulfills them.”

“If you want to play a game, go to where it’s played and find a way to get in. Things happen when you get in the game.”

The full quote from Chris Mathews speech to the 2006 graduating class of Fordham University …

“Today’s Rule One: Get Yourself In The Game!

Ever watch a little kid standing alone courtside while the big kids play basketball? When a ball goes out of bounds, he runs for it and passes it back in. And as time goes on, when an older kid has to get home for dinner, somebody yells, “Hey punk, wanna play?”

That’s the heart of it there: If you want to play a game, go to where it’s played and find a way to get in.

Things happen when you get in the game”

“Sometimes quitting is strategic, and sometimes it can be your best possible plan”

From the a podcast titled “The Upside of Quitting” on Freakononmics.com

“To help us understand quitting, we look at a couple of key economic concepts in this episode: sunk cost and opportunity cost. Sunk cost is about the past – it’s the time or money or sweat equity you’ve put into a job or relationship or a project, and which makes quitting hard. Opportunity cost is about the future. It means that for every hour or dollar you spend on one thing, you’re giving up the opportunity to spend that hour or dollar on something else – something that might make your life better. If only you weren’t so worried about the sunk cost. If only you could …. quit.”

“Be polite, don’t try to be friends with everyone around you. Instead, spend time nurturing your relationships with the people who matter most to you.

From a post titled 60 Ways To Make Life Simple Again

1. Don’t try to read other people’s minds. Don’t make other people try to read yours. Communicate.
2. Be polite, but don’t try to be friends with everyone around you. Instead, spend time nurturing your relationships with the people who matter most to you.
9. Surround yourself with people who fill your gaps. Let them do the stuff they’re better at so you can do the stuff you’re better at.
44. Spend time with nice people who are smart, driven, and likeminded.
60. Make mistakes, learn from them, laugh about them, and move along.

‘If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?’ And whenever the answer has been “no” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.”

From a commencement address delivered by Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple Computer and of Pixar Animation Studios, on June 12, 2005 …

When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: “If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you’ll most certainly be right.” It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” And whenever the answer has been “No” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.

Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.