Thirty Three Things


I am 33 years old, hitting the “middle third” of my life. Others have pondered the questions of how to live – the “Good Book” and shelves full of self-improvement books are proof.

Below are my personal observations and collected quotes or maxims (Mary Schmich, JP Barlow, Ehrmann, etc) that reflect my current viewpoint on how to live.

  1. Do what you love, and do it often.
  2. Everyday, ask yourself, “What did you learn today?”
  3. Excellence is doing ordinary things extraordinarily well.
  4. If you can do it now, do it now.
  5. Happiness is a choice, not the result of how life treats you.
  6. Be patient. No matter what.
  7. Assign responsibility, not blame.
  8. Remember compliments you receive. Forget the insults.
  9. Say nothing of another that you wouldn’t say to his face.
  10. Almost anything is possible.
  11. It’s not as bad as it seems, but it’s not as good as it seems.
  12. Don’t ask more of others than you can deliver yourself.
  13. Tolerate ambiguity.
  14. Laugh at yourself frequently.
  15. Concern yourself with what is right rather than who is right.
  16. Never lie to anyone for any reason.
  17. Learn the needs of those around you and respect them.
  18. Don’t be reckless with other people’s hearts. Don’t put up with people who are reckless with yours.
  19. Reduce your use of “I”
  20. Don’t keep score. The key to success is having both partners try to give more than they get out of the relationship.
  21. Remember that your life belongs to others as well. Don’t risk it frivolously.
  22. Admit your errors freely and quickly.
  23. Remember that love forgives everything.
  24. Understand humility.
  25. “You shouldn’t wear cashmere until you can pay for it yourself.”
  26. ‘Live well’ within your means / Live ‘well within’ your means
  27. Don’t waste your time on jealousy. Sometimes you’re ahead, sometimes you’re behind. The race is long and, in the end, it’s only with yourself.
  28. Don’t trouble yourself with matters you truly cannot change.
  29. Don’t waste your time worrying about getting old.
  30. Do what you can with your twenties. And, at thirty, try a little harder.
  31. Il faut choisir: vivre ou raconter – Between living one’s life or narrating it, you can only choose one.
  32. Be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations. In the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.
  33. Isiah 40:31