rules to live by- Thom Williams
Listen to the other person. It's hard to do because you're too busy talking trying to get your own point across. Everybody's got their own, chasing their favorite phantom, you know. But if you listen to the other person, there's something about the other person. There's something about the moment that they're in that has nothing to do with you; that if you can listen to, it'll teach you. It can change everything.
Emerson said to have a friend, be a friend. People always bitch and moan about their friends and blah blah blah. Why don't you be a friend? Lead the way by... And even if the people, even if it's hard to find a friend and people let you down, you still be the loyal one. Because anybody that I know who is really loyal, I look up to that person. You know, Thom Williams, I've been lucky my whole life, people have had me on a pedestal like I'm this special person. But when I find somebody who is loyal, really loyal, I look up to that person and I'd like to be like you. Even if they're the simplest person in the world, even if they're dumb, I don't care. If they're loyal, that to me is hard, right there. And that's what I'm looking to see on this trip. I would rather have that then brains, anytime. Brains are a dime a dozen, hired by the hour....
This is another Emerson quote because I was thinking Emerson when I wrote this. Your goodness must have an edge to it else it be none. Keep a little edge about yourself. Don't be afraid to think what you want and say want you want and think for yourself and go your own way a little bit. Don't be afraid of that. It's hard in the world because everybody wants you to be like them and be like what they want you to be. This and that. But keep your edge to you. It's hard to understand but I like the idea of: unless you've got a little edge, you're not really a "good" person. And I have a feeling, you know, that say, even Jesus, you know, kicked money launderers out of the temple, you know what I mean? I have a feeling that Mother Theresa in India would get up some days and say "God, if I see one more beggar I'm going to blow my brains out." I think it's like that. You know what I mean?
I mean, I'm sure. Because you know that's true even in the story of Jesus who's so selfless, Jesus alot of the times is going "Man, I can't believe I gotta, like, carry the world on my back. Can't believe I gotta die for this world...this world sucks."
And how about this one? Show compassion to the weak. Show compassion...to the weak. Defend the weak. You who are strong, you are smart, you who all have money. You cannot turn your back on the weak. You cannot do it.
Ghandi said that "A society is judged by how they treat the weakest person." Not how they treat the strongest.
Another thing that's really good to remember, and I've seen this come down in my life, Expect anything. Anything can happen. You got to remind yourself of that. Something really great could happen. Something really awful can happen. You cannot be surprised. God forbid (knocks on desk) somebody dies. Anything can happen. You win the bleeping Powerball...that can happen, too. Anything can happen, and you've got to know that. You can't pretend that it won't. It will.
Develop your brain. This is a quote from somebody I forget who, but it's a good one: He who sees much can endure much. I've told you this before, my mother died. Ms. Friedman came to me and she said "Did knowing everything you know help you when your mother died?" Took me one second, the answer was yes. Even in the face of death, what I knew helped me.
You gotta believe in your brain.
You who compete, whether it's in the world of academics or the world of athletics or the world of just life. You're competing. I've always been a competitor. Don't ask for mercy, don't give any.
Here's a hard one, Deny thyself, Deny thyself. We've talked about this one before. Try for self-mastery of your lower impulses. I'm a guy... (shrugs) I know all about lower impulses. I've got em all. Every single on of them. And my mastery of them? Sometimes yes, sometimes not as much. But you've got to try for mastery of your lower impulses. Lower impulses like the killers: Jealousy. Jealousy can bring. you. down. Anger. All those things. You've got to try to be better, you've got to try to master your impulses of human sexuality, of that little voice inside of you that says in terms of alcohol or drugs, going, go ahead, just do it, nobody cares. The Greeks talked about that. About how there was this little voice inside of you that will say "It doesn't matter what you do." It doesn't matter what you do...but it's not like that. Everything matters. Every, Last, Thing. Matters.
Like I said, the jury's out on that, I'm 60 years old and I'm still fighting my lower impulses. It's a war.
Be generous. I really believe in that one. I really believe in that one. I was lucky to have good grandparents, a grandfather who'd give you the shirt of his back. He showed me. If you give something, don't give to get. Don't give to expect. Just give because it's great to give. It'll make a person out of you. Giving is the best thing. People who are not generous, who are Scrooge-like, parsimonious, my heart breaks for those people.
Then, there's love. What. Can you say, about love.
Most mysterious thing in the world.
I found as I got older
Love picks you
you don't pick love.
You went out to look for it
You'd never find it.
It can make you or it can break you.
It's the funniest, weirdest thing about it.
It's like poison.
And like the antidote.
I just do not know what to think about it. As I got older I think more like Freud. Sigmund Freud, thinking: It's just stuff left over from when you were an infant. You're crying in the dark for somebody to love you. Spend your life doing that.
Here's one that I think about today: Learn to say goodbye gracefully.
I don't know what to say about that. People leave all the time. People leave all the time. People leave your life all the time. There are exits all the time. You have to be graceful all the time.
Keep an open mind. This is what I think.
Be young before you're old.
I'm almost done, this is a good, long list.
GO with what got you here. Here's one from sports that works, every minute of your life. Go with what got you there. If you're funny, be funny, if you're smart, be smart. If you go with your heart, go with your heart. Whatever got you to be where you are, go to it. Go back to it. And that way, listen. That way. That way it can tell you what to do in those moments of life when you're like "What am I supposed to do now?" Which happened alot. What am I supposed to do now? That's a big question, well, the answer, is, go with what got you there. How did you get to where you are?
And another one that I say to my friends that all say: This is really great advice: I'm going to give it to you now: Be more like yourself.
Be, more, like, yourself.
The worls doesn't want you to be like yourself. The world wants them to be like you, or them to be like them. You gotta be more like you! Think of what it is you like to do! Think of where it is you like to go! Think of how you like to spend your time! Especially when things get tough, things get hard, be the thing that you are.
Be more like yourself, it's great advice, I don't know how the hell I thought of it. But it seems to really be important to alot of people when I say it to them.
How about this? This is one that's really hard but I advise you to do this: Be humble enough to fail. Be humble enough to fail at something. If you want to be good, you have to be bad. Think of every sport you ever played, weren't you crap when you started? Think of any musical instrument you started to play, think of anything, think of you as a baby trying to get up and walk. You fell, hit the coffee table. That's the way it goes. But you know what? You got to be humble enough to fail. You've got to be able to suck at something a million times before you're better. But it takes humility. The people who don't have humility can't achieve that. Because they're too busy like all tight and stuff, no! Fail! You fail, you get better. It's the way it goes.
It's a trick. It's a trick to get you not to fail, it's an illusion, to be too scared to fail. It's weird.
Work hard and be good at something. Pick something, be good at it. If you work hard, no matter what it is, you are going to walk away and feel better. I don't care what it is; you want to be good at pruning trees, it doesn't matter what it is, there's no such thing that's better than another. I don't care if somebody's a bleeping brain surgeon, or if they're the guy cutting the lawn out there. If that guy's out there thinking: I'm going to cut this lawn great today, I'm going to really do a great job, that guy's walking away and he's feeling good about himself. It's the way it is.
Success leads to success. Success leads to success. Do something you're good at. You're going to find something else you're good at.
And remember, I love you guys.
[T.Will changed my life. I'll miss him forever.]