What I Learned From Interviewing My Mom

Seven life lessons from my 69-year old immigrant mother.

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Expect Problems

Rather than seeing problems as a bug, we should consider them a feature of life, and expect them. “Every house has problems. Some have one, others have more than one. You can’t always undo the problems, so you have to be strong and keep going.

Keep an Attitude of Gratitude

Mirroring much of the gratitude journal wisdom present on basically every self-development podcast today, she had the following words of wisdom to share. “Every morning when you wake up, say ‘thank you God’ for today. Be happy for what you do have — you can’t be happy for what you don’t have.”

Don’t Compare Yourself to Others

Speaking about early village life in the 50s, devoid of electricity, running water, television or radio, mom said that “we didn’t know any better so we were happy”.

Use Worst-Case Scenarios to Drive You

Upon the loss of my then 13-year-old brother to leukemia, mom experience suicidal thoughts, but the thought of my dad remarrying, and my sister and I being raised by a stepmom who might not have our best interests at heart was too much for her. She decided instead to push through the pain.

We Have Come a Long Way

While books like Steven Pinker’s Enlightenment Now, and Hans Rosling’s Factfulness, remind us that we are living by most conventional standards in the best times ever, hearing how far we’ve come in half a Century really drove this message home.

Do the Work

Echoing Marcus Aurelius ’when you wake up in the morning’ quote, mom put it simply. “”Do the work. Be honest”.

How Dad Picked Up Mom

Finally, I learned that dad picked up mom by saying “I’ve seen you many times before”. While this might have been true, I didn’t have the heart to tell her that I myself have used that one on more than a few occasions, and most of the time I hadn’t seen the girl before. Knowing that my dad used this same line in 1960s Yugoslavia made me smile.

Founder: Collective Campus, Host: Future Squared, Author: Time Rich & Employee to Entrepreneur. Clubhouse: @steveglaveski Visit: steveglaveski.com #MELB

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