By Mims Cushing

It’s almost 2017 and perhaps this is a good time to give kids and grandkids some “words to live by.” What good are we if we don’t convey a thing or two to the future generation? So here is a random list which, if I ever thought they might listen, I would tell them. And it could be useful for you as well.

  1. Be nice to yourself. Nobody deserves it more.
  2. Do at least one nice thing for someone every day. Smile at cashiers. Say thank you and please to teachers, maintenance people, Uber drivers.
  3. Be yourself. Al Roker says, “It’s too much work trying to be somebody else.”
  4. Nobody loves a sourpuss. Smile! You may not always feel like it, but fake it. You’ll grow into your smile.
  5. Keep friends long enough so that treasured stories will surface.
  6. The value of things doesn’t climb in relation to its dollar value. Three bunches of flowers from a grocery store often last longer than flowers from a fancy florist.
  7. When you buy a piece of clothing, go to your closet and pick out one thing to give to charity. If you buy two things, donate two things, and so on. You prevent clutter in your home and do a good deed to people in need.
  8. Be careful about the day-to-day things you buy. If you control the little things you purchase, you’ll be able to save money for that big thing you need.
  9. Make sure your college-bound 12th grader won’t be lured into signing up for too many credit cards. Freshmen are often bombarded by credit card companies when they sign up for courses. Two cards are plenty. Debt is a horrible elephant to bear.
  10. When you travel, take one third of your stuff out of your suitcase. Less is more. Most likely you pack way too much. If you always return home having many items unworn, you brought too much.
  11. You don’t need a lot of stuff to be happy. The mall is a greedy money pit. If you say you are just going to window shop, forget it. You will buy.
  12. Our family went on a decluttering spree last year and kept only the things we really love. Look at an item on your shelf and say, “Would I buy this or want this today? Do I really love it?” If the answers are no, donate it. That’s advice from Marie Kondo, author of “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.”
  13. Read Tammy Strobel’s “How One Woman Radically Simplified her Life and How You Can Too.” She writes: “…Living a simple life isn’t about deprivation … It’s about giving yourself the time, freedom and money to pursue your dream. Simplicity isn’t about austerity. It’s a revolution in personal growth.
  14. “Bloom where you are planted” is a good adage. You cannot always live where you want to. If your company moves you and your family, squat and own your turf.
  15. Do not wait around for the perfect job. Jump into a field that you enjoy and work so hard that you can’t help but be noticed and advanced.
  16. Give yourself time to dream about making yourself a better person … at any time of your life.

Now, go back to Number 1. Happy New Year everyone!

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