Last week, I was thinking about my upcoming 25th birthday, and I jotted down a list of the most insightful and memorable quotes, life lessons, and wise words I'd gathered in my 25 years. They came from every corner of my life, including family, friends, co-workers, teachers, television shows, movies, musicians, rappers, athletes, writers, politicians, talk show hosts, fortune cookies, and famous coaches. The most enriching gift I could receive on my birthday would be to share this collection of knowledge with you the reader, in hopes that you would find the truth, guidance, and humor in it that inspired me to create it.
To all the people whose names are on this list, thank you and I hope I didn't misquote you. To the people whose names aren't on this list, many of you made a powerful impact on my life in countless other ways. Enjoy!
1) At the end of the day people won't remember what you said or did, they will remember how you made them feel. --Maya Angelou
2) Whenever you have truth it must be given with love, or the message and the messenger will be rejected. --Mahatma Gandhi
3) A smile is the same in every language. –Katie Mahan
4) The first time someone shows you who they are, believe them. –Maya Angelou
5) Women need 3 things: food, water and compliments. –Chris Rock
6) Nothing said before the word “but” really counts. –Game of Thrones
7) Beautiful women and sports make smart men dumb. –Colin Cowherd
8) Only love can break your heart. –Neil Young
9) Forget gifts given. Remember gifts received. –John Wooden
10) Holding a grudge is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die –Buddha
11) Blood makes you related. Loyalty makes you family. –Anon.
12) You'll never get what you deserve, only what you have the leverage to negotiate. –Jalen Rose
13) Study like a coach, listen like a rookie. –Ray Lewis
14) Career people shouldn’t talk about their career with job people. –Chris Rock
15) Keep your mouth shut and work hard until people respect you. –Andrew Spina
16) Good. Fast. Cheap. Pick two. –Andy Robinson
17) Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll be among the stars. –My Mother
18) Every man’s life comes down to a struggle between his duty and his love. –Game of Thrones
19) If you write about someone in an e-mail, expect them to see it. –Rob Light
20) Tell people when they’re doing a good job. –Michael Morris
21) To win a game of chess, you’ll always have to lose a few pieces. –Hunter Peebles
22) Don’t let making a living prevent you from making a life. –John Wooden
23) Be more concerned with your character then your reputation. –John Wooden
24) See everything through from A to Z. –Talin Parseghian
25) Any problem that money can fix is not a real problem –Anon.
26) The things you own end up owning you- Fight Club
27) The prettiest people do the ugliest things, for the road to riches and diamond rings. –Kanye West
28) The amount of wealth acquired in the United States from slavery is unquantifiable. –John Sosa
29) More decisions are made about ego than money. –Richard Dubin
30) The bible is a collection of stories about ordinary people doing extraordinary things with the power of God. –Kurt Warner
31) Whatever god you believe in, we come from the same one. –Macklemore
32) Hell is not a place you go if you’re not a Christian. It’s the failure of your life’s greatest ambition. –Immortal Technique
33) Cherish the little things, because one day you will look back and realize they were the really big things. – The wall inside of Dogtown Coffee
34) Most people are as happy as they make up their minds to be. –Abraham Lincoln
35) You can't live a perfect day without doing something for someone who will never be able to repay you. –John Wooden
36) The happiest people are those who do the most for others. –Booker T. Washington
37) A person’s character is their destiny. –Fortune Cookie
38) There’s no testimony without the test. –Crystal Kaliyma
39) If you want something you’ve never had, do something you’ve never done- More Than A Game
40) It’s not what you’re capable of, but what you’re willing to do. –Mike Tomlin
41) A great leader is a servant first –Ray Lewis
42) You are who you are in crisis – Colin Cowherd
43) Never say never. The pain from the past makes the pleasure way better. You gotta feel the lowest lows to get the highest highs. –Wax
44) Much can be accomplished when no one is concerned about who gets the credit --John Wooden
Art and Music
45) Once you create something, it doesn’t belong to you anymore. –Dave Matthews
46) Every creative person is secretly afraid that one day they’re going to wake up, and everyone is going to know that they’re a fraud. –Jim Norton
47) When you make TV, you’re not just competing against other TV shows. You’re competing against anything anyone could do in their spare time. --Dennis Deninger
48) Everyone should have one movie that they've never seen just because it infuriates and perplexes everyone they know. –Bill Simmons
49) When words fail, music speaks. –Dave Goldenberg
50) Leadership in the film and television industry is about the liberation of talent. –Ed Sabol
51) Write something worth reading or do something worth writing about. –Jack Gravina (quoting Ben Franklin)
52) An investment in knowledge pays the best interest. --Benjamin Franklin
53) Never test the depth of a river with both feet. –Africa Proverb
54) If you tell one lie, you’re going to have to tell 50 more to protect it. –My Grandmother
55) He that speaks much is much mistaken. –Benjamin Franklin
56) If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough. –Albert Einstein
57) It is better to be thought a fool, than to speak, and remove all doubt. –Dena Goldsmith
58) A man who stands for nothing will fall for anything –Malcolm X
59) The older I get, the wiser my father becomes. –My Father
60) It doesn’t matter who is right, only what is right. –Greg Brooker’s Fortune Cookie
*As you probably noticed, many of the most important lessons I've learned have been from John Wooden, who is perhaps the most brilliant and influential writer I've ever had the pleasure of reading. Here is his list of 9 Promises That Can Bring Happiness, which I think about daily, and is the strongest moral compass I have:
John Wooden’s 9 promises That Can Bring Happiness
1. Promise to talk about health, happiness, and prosperity as often as possible.
2. Promise to make all your friends know there is something in them that is special and that you value.
3. Promise to think only of the best, to work only for the best, and to expect only the best in yourself and others.
4. Promise to be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own.
5. Promise to be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind.
6. Promise to forget the mistakes of the past and press on to greater achievements in the future.
7. Promise to wear a cheerful appearance at all times and give every person you meet a smile.
8. Promise to give so much time improving yourself that you have no time to criticize others.
9. Promise to be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear, and too happy to permit trouble to press on you.
-J Fonts (@JohnAnthony37)
John Fontanelli is a staff writer for the 2 Man Weave. He lives in Los Angeles, California