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

Mike Fitsko is a retired principal and longtime columnist from New Braunfels.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.