1. Love is a good thing. Don’t ever be afraid to share kindness, compassion, and words that tell people how special they are.
2. Live for the good things in life that don’t hurt other people. Dream big dreams to find these things that are on the “to do list,” but don’t get so caught up in the future than you forget to "be here now."
3. Rewire yourself and your defenses to be strong before the flood takes out the levees. This is all covered in the (James) Stockdale Paradox (Stay firm in your belief that you will prevail in the end; Confront the brutal facts around you).
4. Choosing to live life is a wise decision when the choice is always between positive and negative. Never be anything other than you, no matter what befalls you. When you have the chance, smile big inside and out, even if your face can’t always show it (because of issues like the Parkinson’s mask)
5. We should respect our own talents and abilities as we seek to impress each other and ourselves. We should utilize these talents in all we do.
6. Never look down to find your heroes. Even if people are shorter than you, a different gender, a different religion, younger, a different color, suffering from an illness or condition, or if they believe in something else than us, their learning has lifted them up to greatness and experience. Whether this is Adam Bender playing sports on one leg, Malala Yousafazi recovering from being shot by the Taliban for daring to demand education for young girls, or Little Zen Monkey climbing the rock wall before she could walk, everyone has a lesson to give. Breathe it in. More than anything, respect people who keep their faith through tough times.
7. Never stop learning and never discourage other people from learning. Read for pleasure as well as to learn. Visit places where you can experience and learn.
8. Respect those people who stand up for what’s right to lead others through tough times. Remember, a leader is the person who sets the example and the tone of the nation. Do you want a hater or a uniter in charge? Respect those who help others keep the faith and never give up. That’s not an easy task, but it is the most important task.
9. Being among the flowers, waterfalls, vistas, and panoramic landscapes is a great place to be in order to recharge our batteries. For this, respect those who see the beauty in the world and fight to preserve it for all of us.
10. Respect those who have courage to get through adversity, whether it can get better or whether it is debilitating.
11. Those people who have problems with everything care about nothing.
12. I wouldn’t want to live in a world without music.
13. Don’t ask questions that you don’t already know the potential answers to.
14. If you ask someone to give you advice / help and you don’t pay for it, respect what this person says / does, especially if they respond with all that they are.
15. “Thank you” is 2 important words.
16. “I’m sorry” is 2 other important words.
17. Respect the leaders, peers, and co-workers in your field. Don’t ever think you know better than everyone else around you. If you’re the anomaly, there’s probably a reason, and it's not a good one.
18. If you have an opportunity to commend someone for his / her work, do it. If you have a chance to tell said person’s supervisor about what’s right about that person, do it. If you have a chance to put out a glowing recommendation in public, do it. If you have the opportunity to slam someone for his / her mistakes, think about it first. Is it really a wrong or did you not get what you wanted? Then, think about this quote: “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.” If you’re still wronged, tell how to fix it in the response and say why it’s wrong. Don’t trash a person’s life to seek revenge. Remember, punishment is about rehabilitation, not ending a person. Universal ethical violations are a different game altogether. Like many of you, I’m working on this.
19. Respect those who play the game to win every day until they physically can’t play anymore.
20. Everything we need to know about life is conveyed in Disney Pixar, Dr. Seuss, and Victor Frankl's Man's Search for Meaning.
21. Students should be required to take a course in positive quotes, where they are required to lie in bed contemplating the greater meaning of thoughts from Michael Jordan to Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs to Randy Pausch's Last Lecture to Neutral Milk Hotel to Walt Whitman's "Song of the Open Road" to positive Facebook memes, religious and philosophical works, movies, and song lyrics. It would be a 15-week undergraduate thesis class, where each week would require a 5-page paper and mandatory participation in groups and in front of the room discussing how 10 different quotes could be applied to life. The final would be a 10-page paper on how one quote defines life. It would be mandatory to graduate with any degree.
22. The best class I ever took was called How to Let other People’s Love and Wisdom Help You 801. It's still teaching me how to battle back against Parkinson's.
23. Shortcuts now = more work and money later
24. We don’t get anything out of succeeding with the easy things or having our victories given to us like participation trophies, so we need to remember that we need to challenge ourselves whenever possible.
25. “Getting to the top is optional. Getting down is mandatory.” Ed Viesturs
26. “I’ve failed over and over. That’s why I succeed.” Michael Jordan
27. “Don’t think. It can only hurt the ball club.” Crash Davis in Bull Durham
28. “Do THINGS That TERRIFY You!" Emma Watson
29. "You're only as sick as your secrets." Michael J. Fox
30. “Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain't all sunshine and rainbows. It's a very mean and nasty place, and I don't care how tough you are, it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain't about how hard you hit. It's about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward; how much you can take and keep moving forward. That's how winning is done! Now, if you know what you're worth, then go out and get what you're worth. But you gotta be willing to take the hits, and not pointing fingers saying you ain't where you wanna be because of him, or her, or anybody. Cowards do that and that ain't you. You're better than that! I'm always gonna love you, no matter what. No matter what happens. You're my son and you're my blood. You're the best thing in my life. But until you start believing in yourself, you ain't gonna have a life.” Sylvester Stallone as Rocky
31. “Don’t do stupid stuff.” Barack Obama
32. "I would rather be ashes than dust! I would rather that my spark should burn out in a brilliant blaze than it should be stifled by dry-rot. I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet. The function of man is to live, not to exist. I shall not waste my days trying to prolong them. I shall use my time." Jack London
33. “Folks are usually about as happy as they make their minds up to be.” Abraham Lincoln
34. “The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate” Oprah
35. “To love another person is to see the face of God.” Victor Hugo
36. "Remember your dreams and fight for them. You must know what you want from life. There is just one thing that makes your dream become impossible: The fear of failure." Paulo Coehlo
37. “Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.” Maya Angelou
38. “A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives.” Jackie Robinson
39. “Eventually, I sickened of people, myself included, who didn’t think enough of themselves to make something of themselves- people who did only what they had to do and never what they could have done. I learned from them the infected loneliness that comes at the end of every misspent day. I knew I could do better.” Mark Twight
40. “A man who views the world the same at fifty as he did at twenty has wasted thirty years of his life.” Mohammad Ali
41. “At some stage you believe you’re too exhausted to carry on. Then you take another step up and you realize you’re not too exhausted. You can take another step, and another. It’s your mind that’s exhausted, not your body. You realize you’re alone, miles from anywhere and nobody is going to help you. Only you can get yourself up the mountain. It’s knowing this that makes you think you’re too tired to carry on.” Mick Burke
42. “Even after all this time the sun never says to the earth, "You owe me." Look what happens with a love like that. It lights the whole sky.” Hafez
43. “If you ask me what I came into this life to do, I will tell you: I came to live out loud.” Emile Zola
44. Most things I learned about success, I learned on the trail when Don Lester and his wife Theresa helped my wife get to medical help after taking out her ACL (Pushing myself to get through / You don’t know your limits until you’ve found them / Helping others in need / Inspiring others through success / Having a job and / or skill that matters is everything / Leading through confidence, professionalism, and knowledge / Sticking it out as long as it takes / Celebrating others who push it up and over obstacles / Seeing the beauty in the world / Being thankful in public and professional ways / Behind the scenes work is essential or you’re going to be bushwhacking / Preparation is everything).
45. “But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. So we have come to cash this check -- a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice. We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to open the doors of opportunity to all of God's children. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quick sands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood.” Martin Luther King Jr.
46. “Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.” Andre Gide
47. “You are your most valuable asset. Don’t forget it. You are the best thing you have.” Gary Paulsen
48. “A venturesome minority will always be eager to set off on their own, and no obstacles should be placed in their path; let them take risks, for godsake, let them get lost, sunburnt, stranded, drowned, eaten by bears, buried alive under avalanches- that is the right and privilege of any free American.” Edward Abbey
49. “Faith is the ultimate passion in a man.” Soren Kierkegaard
50. “You're an interesting species. An interesting mix. You're capable of such beautiful dreams, and such horrible nightmares. You feel so lost, so cut off, so alone, only you're not. See, in all our searching, the only thing we've found that makes the emptiness bearable, is each other.” Carl Sagan