I’ll never forget when an email popped in my inbox a few years ago from a good family friend and mentor of mine. She told me she had been sent an email with this list the night before and woke up thinking about how true these “rules of life” really are. She made me promise that I’d at least read the entire list because she was in fact older and wiser than me. Of course, I listened. To this day, I have that email printed out and stored in a safe place. And yes, I’ve definitely pulled it out a few times and have found it’s been a good reminder from time to time.
1. Marry the right person. This one decision will determine 90% of your happiness or misery.
2. Work at something you enjoy and that’s worthy of your time and talent.
3. Give people more than they expect and do it cheerfully.
4. Become the most positive and enthusiastic person you know.
5. Be forgiving of yourself and others.
6. Be generous.
7. Have a grateful heart.
8. Persistence, persistence, persistence.
9. Discipline yourself to save money on even the most modest salary.
10. Treat everyone you meet like you want to be treated.
11. Commit yourself to constant improvement.
12. Commit yourself to quality.
13. Understand that happiness is not based on possessions, power, or prestige but on relationships with people you love and respect.
14. Be loyal.
15. Be honest.
16. Be a self-starter.
17. Be a decisive person even if it means you’ll sometimes be wrong.
18. Stop blaming others. Take responsibility for every area of your life.
19. Be bold and courageous. When you look back on your life, you’ll regret the things you didn’t do more than the ones you did.
20. Take good care of those you love.
21. Don’t do anything that wouldn’t make your mom (or dad) proud.
-H. Jackson Brown Jr.