Practice “doing without” (or “going without.”). Even young kids can learn the concept. Nobody get everything they want. Sometimes it’s harder than others, but it’s not the end of the world when we have to do without something we want.


Purpose is more important than happiness. Having a purpose (or looking for it) will save you. (And sometimes finding a *new* purpose is what you need.)

16, 21

“Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak. Courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.” - Winston Churchill

16, 21

Shirts and pants don't go into the laundry inside-out. From now on, they will be responsible for turning their laundry right-side-out. Will help instill that laundry is not done by the laundry fairy.


There will be some losses or changes that completely shake you to the core. But remember that some bad experiences are like pooping your pants - Totally horrible but also kind of a relief.


We feel best when we create. No amount of food, video games or any self-destructive habits will fill that hole. So why fight it?!? Create something, even if it’s as small as a little sketch or poem. Grow a garden, bake a cake. Start a business! Whatever your beautiful heart desires.

12, 15, 18, 21

It’s so tempting to write someone off, to dismiss them as “less than.” They’re too young or too old to be taken seriously. They speak a different language or have a different skin color. They may be poor, uneducated, disabled or just simply unattractive. RESIST that temptation. Remember that every human being is God’s creation, a masterpiece cloaked in dignity. No matter what they look like or even what they’ve done, everyone you meet is deserving (and in need) of respect. To be humble is to remember this. (Start lesson young, phrased age-appropriately, and reticket yearly. Look for opportunities to discuss.)

8, 10, 11, 12, 16, 21

Repeat after me: “I am beautiful I am loved I am safe I am free. I don’t need to be like them I just need to be like me.”

7, 8, 9, 13, 16

Following your conscience is more important than getting ahead and will make a greater difference in how happy you are. Getting ahead or not isn’t entirely up to you, but listening to your conscience is.” - Senator Mitt Romney (paraphrase)


Great article on making math fun:


That little space between stimulus and response...that’s all the control we get. That space is ours to do with. That space is fertile ground for addiction, for faith, for peace or pain. When the sh*t hits the fan, resist the urge to run away from the pain. Trying to dull it will only make it grow deeper roots.


There’s a difference between looking cool and being cool. A person who wants to look cool is trying to impress other people. A person who is actually cool is true to himself /herself. Dress how it makes YOU happy! And fun fact, it’s those people who are the most well-liked because they sort of give others permission to be themselves…and everyone wants to be seen and liked for who they really are. So if you want to be popular remember three things: Be kind. Be yourself. Don’t judge


It's very important to me, the idea of the scale of good and bad, of beauty and suffering. I think we should do everything we can to increase the beauty and to take away from the suffering. We have to work hard to tip the scale in the direction of good.


Play this every year between 12-21.

12, 14, 16, 21

Tragedy may occur in your life, but it does not need to define your life. YOU get to do that...through the choices you make. _______I know you’ll make good ones. xo


The bull-sh*t never ends. Dealing with the bull-sh*t IS your job. If you think you’ll ever reach a “post-bullsh*t stage in your life, you’re wrong.

12, 15, 19, 21

“When little people get overwhelmed by big feelings it’s our job to share our calm, not join their chaos.” L.R. Knost

1, 2, 3, 4, 10

Kindness Confidence = Popular (Be kind to everyone, paying no attention to social status, age, looks, money or disability.) Be confident: Know that you are enough. You’ll never be perfect but no one else is either. When you mess up it’s not the end of the world- laugh at yourself when possible. Learn from failures. Don’t fake interest in people or things that don’t fill you up. Be who you are! People gravitate towards kindness and confidence


Focus on the lesson not the pain.

14, 21

Sad but important fact: You’ll never be enough for some people. Never. -Chasten Buttigieg


Happiness: Someone (or some creature) to love, something to do and something to hope for. Don’t get too caught up in the rat race, money doesn’t mean you’ve arrived.


Anger is the bodyguard of sadness.


No matter how successful you become you’re still expected to act with integrity and respect.

14, 18, 21

Best song for a good cry: “And so It Goes” by Billy Joel.

15, 21

Surround yourself with people and ideas that inspire you and captivate you. Life is too short for destructive relationships.

13, 18

Grandpa used to keep a hundred dollar bill stashed discreetly in his wallet “for emergencies.”


Remember: “C’s get degrees.” Don’t tie yourself in knots over grades.

17, 18

Teach them how to eat a chicken wing in one bite


Keep going. Push yourself. The struggle makes it all the more worth it.

17, 21

Which line of poetry would you get tattooed?