10 Lessons My Mother Taught Me

Happy Mother’s Day and thank you to moms everywhere. In particular, thank you to my wonderful, inspiring mother for years of wisdom and guidance.

1. Stand Up Straight. Shoulders up, back, down. Standing up straight portrays confidence, strengthens back muscles and makes you look long, tall, lean and mean (not really mean). Picture a string, pulling you towards the sky from the top of your head.

2. Everything Happens for a Reason. During my most difficult times, when I felt the world was spinning out of control, when I felt supremely disappointed or crushed or disheartened, my mom would repeat this sentiment. The reminder to have faith in events to come has guided me through life’s trials and comforted me to no end.

3. Write Thank-You Notes. Especially in the digital age, a handwritten thank-you note makes a huge difference. Write thank you notes to hosts, to gift-givers, to teachers and to mentors. My mom explained that these people spent time and resources to consider my well-being. A five minute thank you note is the least I might do to express true gratitude.

4. Find the Best Fit. My mom always told me to try for the best. Yet, by best, she never meant “the best” according to others, she meant “the best” as in the best fit for myself. For example, when I applied to schools, my mom told me to choose the college at which I could see myself being most challenged, successful and happy.

5. Take Care of Self. My mom has always encouraged me to sleep long hours, eat enough and eat well, exercise and care for mental health. Especially transitioning into the adult world, the ability to care for self-health is an important life skill.

6. Value Authenticity. Whether regarding jewelry, friends or smiles, authenticity matters. False representations of situations produce bad relationships and misunderstandings. A truly authentic life is a fulfilling life.

7. Have a Colorful Imagination. With a colorful imagination, life has no bounds. The ability to imagine the “impossible” allows for the ability to accomplish the impossible. With a colorful imagination, boredom ceases to exist. The world promises endless excitement.

8. Tell the Truth. Honesty is always the best policy. My mom taught me that open honest communication produces the best relationships. Living with integrity simplifies life as well.

9. Be Polite. Say please and thank you. Say sorry and you’re welcome. Say good morning and after you and good evening. My mom believes in good manners and kind treatment towards others. Politeness makes the world a more pleasant place.

10. Love. Do not be afraid to connect with people and to be vulnerable. Give love and, in return, receive love. Love makes life worth living.