My friend Michael, who sends out weekly motivational messages, sent one recently with a list of “What I’ve Learned” by Andy Rooney, the late 60 Minutes personality. Rooney passed away in 2011 at the age of 92. For many years, I enjoyed watching his 60 Minutes segments. I found him to be one of the all-time smart and interesting people.

Michael started his e-mail with this Brian Tracy quote: “Commit yourself to lifelong learning. The most valuable asset you’ll ever have is your mind and what you put into it.” The great leader’s life, Michael went on, is one of continuous learning filled with experiences that have been internalized to make them who and what they are. It is their beautiful life learnings that brings depth, richness, love, and joy to their magnificent journey.

The fifth of my Six Simple Rules is “Be a Lifelong Learner,” so it’s no surprise the Rooney list appealed to me.

As it turns out, when I checked it out on, I found the list was falsely attributed to Rooney. Nonetheless, I’m sharing some of my favorites from the list, because these are valuable thoughts, Rooney or otherwise.

I’ve learned….the best classroom in the world is at the feet of an elderly person.
I’ve learned….just one person saying to me, ‘You’ve made my day!’ makes my day.
I’ve learned….being kind is more important than being right.
I’ve learned….you should never say no to a gift from a child.
I’ve learned….no matter how serious your life requires you to be, everyone needs a friend to act goofy with.
I’ve learned….simple walks with my father around the block on summer nights when I was a child did wonders for me as an adult.
I’ve learned….money doesn’t buy class.
I’ve learned….it’s those small daily happenings that make life so spectacular.
I’ve learned….under everyone’s hard shell is someone who wants to be appreciated and loved.
I’ve learned….to ignore the facts does not change the facts.
I’ve learned….when you plan to get even with someone, you are only letting that person continue to hurt you.
I’ve learned….the easiest way for me to grow as a person is to surround myself with people smarter than I am.
I’ve learned….everyone you meet deserves to be greeted with a smile.
I’ve learned….life is tough, but I’m tougher.
I’ve learned….when you harbor bitterness, happiness will dock elsewhere.
I’ve learned….one should keep his words both soft and tender, because tomorrow he may have to eat them.
I’ve learned….a smile is an inexpensive way to improve your looks.
I’ve learned….everyone wants to live on top of the mountain, but all the happiness and growth occurs while you’re climbing it.
I’ve learned….the less time I have to work with, the more things I get done.

Which is your favorite? Please join the conversation with your comments…

Best regards,