My parents have given me seven pieces of advice that I’ve never forgotten.
My mother:
– “Stay calm.” My mother probably reminds of this three or four times each time I see her. I really need this advice. Every day.
– “The things that go wrong often make the best memories.” My mother told me this when I was nervous before my wedding. It’s a very good thing to keep in mind, because it’s absolutely true, and it can also help you laugh at a bad situation while it’s happening.
– “Be grateful, because you worked hard for what you got, and you deserve it, but others also worked hard, and people don’t always get what they deserve.” My mother made this observation when I was elected as editor-in-chief of the Yale Law Journal. I repeated her remark to a friend, who thought it sounded a little unenthusiastic, but it was reassuring. Because it’s TRUE. You don’t always get what you deserve, even when you work hard, and my mother’s observation has been very comforting to me when things didn’t go my way.
My father:
– “If you’re willing to take the blame when you deserve it, people will give you the responsibility.” This was perhaps the best advice for the workplace I ever got.
– “Energy.” Very true. The first chapter of The Happiness Project is devoted to energy. (Here are seven tips for giving yourself an energy boost in the next ten minutes.)
– “Enjoy the process.” If you can enjoy the process, you are less concerned about outcomes. That’s a big help in the world.
– “All you have to do is put on your running shoes and let the front door shut behind you.” Good advice for all couch potatoes trying to pick up an exercise habit–and really, for anyone trying to adopt a good habit. Just start.
Have you received any great advice from your parents?

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