Around 7 years ago, in our last week of business school, we were given a thin booklet with a list of quotes from older alums – their key learnings as they reflected on their lives (many I am guessing were in their 50s+ when they were interviewed). These were the top 10 that stood out to me back then, and I came across this list earlier today in the morning. All of ’em still hold true.

  1. Happiness is a choice. If you think the world is full of beauty and opportunity, your mind will filter what it sees to find examples of beauty and opportunity. If you think the world is full of problems, that’s what you will see.
  2. The height of a man or woman is not measured when they are standing on their wallet. Ironically, 20 years out of business school, there is little correlation between the people who have lots of money and those who are happy, or likeable, or fulfilled. Find a better scorecard.
  3. Have the confidence to let others shine — particularly, if they work for you.
  4. Designate tech-free areas of your life. Have both times and places that you will not look at any web-enabled device.
  5. Passion for your work adds context and meaning to the highs and lows of any job.
  6. Being smart only gets you as far in the long-run. It’s the relationships that you build in your career that have the greatest effect.
  7. Be humble but never belittle yourself. There’s a fine line between the two.
  8. No amount of professional success will ever compensate for failure at home.
  9. Life is an on-going game — failure is inevitable, harm is optional.
  10. Questions endure but answers change.