1. You can learn something useful from anyone.
Whenever we find ourselves ignoring someone because we’ve already determined that they aren’t “smart” enough to say something meaningful, we’ve made a big mistake. Besides being presumptuous and arrogant, this mindset blocks out every useful thing the other person might pass along. Instead of just listening and mining the conversation for nuggets of wisdom, we allow our pre-existing bias to brand everything as “not smart enough for me.” Incredibly bad idea. I’ve yet to meet someone who couldn’t teach me something.
7. You can survive anything (assuming it doesn’t physically kill you).
More than one person has said something like this to me, and I think it’s dead on right. Often it’s rumination about how we won’t survive this or that calamity that really gets us. But usually we can find the inner reserves to overcome just about anything, and will probably surprise ourselves that we pulled it off. I’m not saying it won’t hurt like hell, or bring us to our very brink, but we usually give ourselves far too little credit for being able to overcome difficulty. I won’t quote Nietzsche here, but you get the point.
10. Just be ready.
We’ll end with a nice bit of simple logic. Just be ready…for anything. Quoting that inestimable philosopher, Mike Tyson, “Everyone has a plan – until they get punched in the face.” Exactly. So be ready to get punched in the face, and then refer back to #7 on this list.