What I've Learned


It's a new year and although resolutions rarely hold up, some inspirational words of advice can be a good way to begin 2013. Taken from Esquire Magazine's What I've Learned Column, here are some of our favorites. Interested in more? Click on the names to read in its entirety.


John Oates

"Aspire to hard work, talent, and passion. Fame is not something to aspire to."

Joe Biden

"I know it sounds corny, but my definition of power is the ability to help people. Nobody owes you a living. But everyone's entitled to dignity."

Chris Bosh "You learn to respect team chemistry... It's not, We've played some games, we have chemistry now. You have to talk on and off the court, see mistakes, correct mistakes, learn tendencies. It's constant work, and it comes with time. I'd get on Twitter and see all the nasty things being written. It's funny what words will do. Even when you know they're bogus, you still see them. The negative impact is still the same."

Gary Oldman

"What other people think of me is none of my business."Fuck 'em." Shortest prayer in the world. A lazy man works twice as hard. My mother told that to me, and now I say it to my kids. If you're writing an essay, keep it in the lines and in the margins so you don't have to do it over."

Art Garfunkel

"Whatever your kids are comes from you. So whatever irritates, look at yourself. It seems to me that at nineteen or twenty, a young man is burning to be great at something. I was. You have a vision that's beyond the neighborhood. You want to make a mark while you're alive. You don't know exactly your future, but you want to be great at it."

Bernie Taupin

"Don't call my lyrics poetry. It's an insult to real poets. There are songs that, to this day, Elton thinks I've written about him when they're actually about me."

Jon Cryer

"Critics can say horrible things. It only hurts when I agree with them. A wonderful actor once told me, "Jon, I don't respect anybody who hasn't been fired at least once."

Jeffrey Tambor

"The moment you think you're somebody, you're nobody. The secret of life is to be surrounded by people who get you — just the people who get you."

Scottie Pippen

"What I've learned from being successful is to be thankful. Chemistry is something that a team has to develop over time. It comes from being out on the court together. It comes from playing cards together. It comes from watching other teams play together. It comes from being in the film room together. It comes from winning."

Charlie Murphy "I was sitting in this mogul's house. My brother was there, and they were having lunch… Diana Ross is sitting with Eddie in the mogul's section. I'm with some common folk on the other side. We're talking, having fun. One guy happens to use the f word. And Diana Ross comes all the way across the room and says, "Excuse me, I don't know who you gentlemen are, but I don't tolerate any profanity in my vicinity." Now, we're not at Diana Ross's house. We're in another house. We don't work for her. That's what we're all thinking. And one guy goes, "Fuck you, Diana." She was stunned. Her face, it looked like pieces of it were falling off. No one was sorry. Because what sticks out in this story for me is: Why are people kissing Diana Ross's ass? Is she God? No. She sang on some records and did a good job! I give her her props. But that doesn't make you more of an adult than me. That doesn't give you any more rights than me. Being your fan is optional. If you forget that, because everybody's been blowing sunshine up your ass, you're putting yourself in the position to take a fall. That's the moral of the story. Always stay humble. It's the only way you can't get humiliated. I believe everyone has a gift, an ability. Something that you actually realize and start to hone. There are people who are acknowledged as the top electrician. The top dentist. The number-one brain surgeon. There are people who've become millionaires from plumbing. The thing is, most people grow up having their brains trained to be a worker. That's how the school system trains you. Be a worker. The school system doesn't train you to be the one who's running things."