Wisest Things My Dad Has Said to ME

  1. 1.
    "No one remembers how long anything took. They only remember how good it was in the end."
    I have thought of this and acted on it often. I have quoted it to people who have taken it as mantra. I also used it verbatim in a short story, "The Impatient Billionaire and the Mirror For Earth" in "One More Thing."
  2. 2.
    "How about this: only say what you like, and only keep what they like?"
    The most useful advice on standup comedy I have ever heard. My dad suggested it when I was talking on the phone to him in my early days of being an open mic comic at age 23. He's never done standup. But this is my touchstone principle for balancing my personal voice with my populist philosophy. If I love something and they don't like it, I keep trying to figure out how to make them feel what I do.
  3. 3.
    "If someone has a very fancy chess set, they probably don't play chess. And if someone has a library of first editions, they probably don't read."
    Wise principle for all of life.
  4. 4.
    "I like it when you write things that only you could write."
    He said this today in describing why he had been secretly hoping that one of the projects I was working on wouldn't work out. (It didn't, so he felt safe saying it.) I was moved and inspired to start this list. (Note: after I showed him this list, he said that he had said - or at least meant to say - a more universal statement; "I like it when you do things that only you could do.")