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10. KEEPING UP WITH THE JONESES Sometimes when people buy or do stuff, it isn’t always because they want to show off or keep up with their neighbours. They may actually just enjoy nice things because they feel they work hard and deserve them! In my case, I do what I do because I WANT TO and not because I HAVE TO.

9. IF YOU CAN’T BEAT THEM, JOIN THEM Who says so? It is often best to just walk away from a LOST CAUSE. Why would I want to join people or situations that don’t share my beliefs? I’d rather keep my PRIDE and INTEGRITY than to have to kowtow to a level that compromises me.

8. THERE IS A FIRST TIME FOR EVERYTHING I hate it when people say this cliche! Initiations or Rites of Passage? Please! Unless they are talking about things we cannot control like accidents or natural calamities, we can always AVOID the dreaded “first time” for things we don’t want in our life.

7. MOTHER KNOWS BEST Believe me, sometimes it is the other way around. Our parents DO NOT always know best because when they give us guidance, they almost always recall THEIR EXPERIENCES which were under different circumstances, at a different time, and with different people. They tend to compare their childhood and values of a generation ago with ours which may be too narrow-minded and impractical for today.

6. THE CUSTOMER IS ALWAYS RIGHT No, no, no. I have seen numerous customers who were just downright jerks! As someone who provides a service, I treat my clients the way I want to be treated. But, just because they are PAYING me, it doesn’t give them a right to step on me and treat me like a minion. A couple of times, I have had to THROW OUT people from my office because they were very rude. If I allow myself to be treated poorly, I will lose my self-respect and not be able to help my students gain the confidence they need to succeed in life.

5. BLOOD IS THICKER THAN WATER Sometimes, it is the people who are not related to us that treat us like real family. There are even instances when COMPLETE STRANGERS walk into our lives and we form deeper bonds with them than we ever do with our own blood. I remember when I went with a buddy to his family’s house on Thanksgiving and everybody just stared at each other after eating because the occasion forced them to be together. When we left to go to a friend’s house afterward, I really had fun and felt that we could completely be our selves!

4. LIFE BEGINS AT 40 Truth is, and I don’t mean to sound too spiritual, life begins whenever we wake up and begin to consciously accept our surroundings and circumstances. Whenever we take a breath, we can create something new, therefore life really begins whenever we seize the moment!

3. (THE LOVE OF) MONEY IS THE ROOT OF ALL EVIL There is nothing evil with money itself so loving it isn’t too bad either. It certainly does make the world go round! I love that money can feed the poor and educate our children. I love that it gives me choices and the chance to enjoy the fruits of my labor. There is absolutely nothing evil about money. Know what is evil? PEOPLE. People who are greedy and want money to seize power and control others. They value money over humans and consider it the most important thing in their lives. That is what’s evil.

2. THE MORE YOU HATE, THE MORE YOU LOVE Actually, in a lot of cases, the more you hate is simply the result of…HATE. Not everything has to be a romantic novel or inspired by the early films of Julia Roberts. Not everyone has to go to a psychiatrist and have their feelings analysed. Sometimes hate is just pure, unadulterated resentment and loathing. Hear, hear!

1. MONEY CANNOT BUY HAPPINESS I went to high school with this girl who was deprived of a lot of things when we were kids like her own bedroom and school uniforms. Early on, she spoke like one of those characters in soap operas who would make their dreams come true no matter what. Well, she did marry a rich guy even though he treated her like crap and looked like the cousin of Jabba The Hutt. Today, she lives in a posh neighborhood and saunters around town toting Chanel bags. This saying is often NOT TRUE if the person in question is shallow, deprived, lazy, greedy, and does not possess a lot of talent and skills to make it on their own. Sometimes, money is quite enough for those who don’t know any better.

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