Not so very long ago, I spoke to a college class at Georgia State University in Atlanta through the magic of modern technology. Please don’t ask me how it works because I’m fundamentally technologically challenged. But in every sense, I was able to teach the capacity-filled class and they were able to interact with me.
Toward the end of my talk, the professor from Georgia State decided to conduct a Q&A session allowing the students to pick my brain on a variety of topics. One student, Tanner, asked me quite seriously, “Mr. Fitsko, what is the best advice you ever received in your life?”
Stumbling to retrieve an acceptable response, I stalled saying “Why that’s a great question, Tanner.” Then there was the longest pregnant pause you could ever imagine.
Finally, I said it was most likely something one of my favorite high school teachers once told me: “Mike, remember good, better and best. Never rest until your good is better and your better is best.”
Well since my exchange with Tanner, I’ve made it a point to ask others — both young and older — that same question about the best advice they ever received. I continue to be impressed with the broad range of responses — some insightful while others simply humorous. See if you don’t agree.
• “Never put the key to your happiness in someone else’s pocket.” — Carol Winkler
• “Never take your life too seriously because none of us is gonna get out of here alive.” — Norman Stacey
• “Never write anything down on paper you wouldn’t want read in a courtroom.” — Lawyer Mike Dritz
• “If at first you don’t succeed, lower your standards.” — Ben Miller
• “If you want to have love, then do the work of love, even if at the beginning you do it without love.” — Dr. Ryan Lozano.
• “Your days may be long, but trust me, life is short.” — Campbel Tayler
• “Always remember that self-pity is like drinking salt water — it dries white on your lips and turns your soul into brine.” — David Timmermann
• “It’s no good to be different just for the sake of being different. But even worse is to be the same when you’re not.” — Tom Polluck
• “Don’t be like me.” — father to his son Richard Esquivel
• “Measure yourself by the people who measure themselves by you.” — Virginia Holden
• “Never pick a fight with a bully bigger than you or a woman holding a heavy kitchen utensil.” — Bill Morton
• “When you’re given a choice, choose the one that is going to challenge you the most.” — Teacher Irene Newman
• “Believe in yourself and don’t ever, ever let anyone make you feel unworthy. You are a child of God, so you have little need for the recognition or approval of others.” — Jessi Perez
• “It’s useless to try and argue with someone who believes his own lies.” — Cindy Castello
• “In life you’ll find some people drink from the fountain of knowledge, while others just gargle.” — Ray Griffin
• “Always remember the two rules for success in life — 1) Don’t tell everything you know, and 2) ___________.” Dave Stewart