TIPS FOR LIVING MY PARENTS GAVE ME
This is some of the most meaningful advice they’ve given me. Have you received any great advice from your parents?
- •"In a relationship, it’s important that a person is kind."My mother said: “In a relationship, it’s important that a person is kind, because eventually, if he’s not kind to other people, he won’t be kind to you.”
- •"In a relationship, it’s important that a person be able to have fun."My father said: “In a relationship, it’s important that a person be able to have fun, because you’re not going to have a happy life with someone who can’t have fun.”
- •“Stay calm."My mother probably reminds of this three or four times each time I see her. I really need this advice. Every day.
- •“The things that go wrong often make the best memories.”My mother told me this when we were getting ready for my wedding. It’s a very good thing to keep in mind, because it’s absolutely true, and it can also help you laugh at a bad situation while it’s happening.
- •“Gretchen, you like to have a few things that you really like, instead of lots of choices.”Okay, this advice might not be widely applicable, but it was a huge revelation to me about my own nature. My mother made this comment in the context of clothes, but it’s true in many areas of my life.
- •“If you’re willing to take the blame, people will give you the responsibility.”This was from my father and perhaps the best advice for the workplace I ever got.
- •“Energy.”My father always reminds us of the importance of energy, in so many contexts -- for instance, it’s more interesting to listen to a speaker who exhibits lots of energy; it’s easier to work for a boss and with co-workers who have lots of energy; it’s easier to tackle my to-do lists and keep my good habits when I have lots of energy. In fact, the first chapter of my book, The Happiness Project, is devoted to energy.
- •"Enjoy the process.”If you can enjoy the process, you are less concerned about outcomes. That’s a big help in the world. Even if things don’t turn out the way we’d hoped, if we enjoy the process, we feel that the time and energy were well spent.
- •“All you have to do is put on your running shoes and let the front door shut behind you.”Good advice for all those who are trying to pick up an exercise habit. Just do that much! That counts!
- •Be grateful, because you worked hard for what you got, and you deserved it, but others also worked hard, and people don’t always get what they deserve.”“That’s so wonderful! Be grateful, because you worked hard for what you got, and you deserved it, but others also worked hard, and people don’t always get what they deserve.” My mother made this observation when I called home to report that I’d been elected the editor-in-chief of the Yale Law Journal. I repeated her remark to a friend, who thought it sounded like a little unenthusiastic, but in fact, it was reassuring, especially in the long run. Because it’s TRUE. You don’t always get what