Suggestions about life are a little like lottery tickets: You may collect a lot of them, but they rarely pay off. Yet if you are truly lucky, you receive a few words of wisdom that inspire you forever. That’s called hitting the jackpot.
Today is the first day of your future
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“I was considering going back to school for my master’s degree but was put off by the fact that it would take me six years—one course a quarter—to do it. I just happened to read an advice column, and the person writing in was pondering getting a degree. The columnist offered this advice: ‘Four years from now, where will you be? You can have a degree and a better job or be still doing the same thing and wishing you had the degree.’ I enrolled that day and six years later graduated with a master’s.” —Marilyn Clark, Jacksonville, Florida
“My mother always taught me never to look back in regret but to move on to the next thing. The amount of time people waste dwelling on failures rather than putting that energy into another project always amazes me.” —Richard Branson
Don’t correct everything
“One of the daily chores for my 12-year-old daughter, Joann, was to clean up after dinner, including sweeping the floor. I lamented to a coworker that while walking around barefoot in the kitchen, I could feel each and every crumb my daughter’s ‘swift sweeping’ had missed, which resulted in disharmony at home. My coworker, Kathy, who was a mother of four, gave me advice that I use to this day: ‘Wear slippers.’” —Patricia Brey, Burlington, Wisconsin
Just do it
“The best advice I got from my aunt, the great singer Rosemary Clooney, and from my dad, who was a game show host and news anchor, was: Don’t wake up at 70 years old sighing over what you should have tried. Just do it, be willing to fail, and at least you gave it a shot.” —George Clooney. Memorize these pieces of life advice that are six words or less.