first If you're not sure about something, but you're in a tight spot: Make it up. I know, I know... this flies in the face of convention, but for real: IF, per chance, you were in a place where you needed to disarm a bomb to prevent a whole bunch of people from dying ... and they all were counting on you (and there were orphan babies, elderly nuns and rainbow colored unicorns) .... don't you think you would just do the very dang best you could and hope to God it worked out fine? Seriously. Just always defer to that instinct that tells you that you are not going to die. You can do this. Whatever "This" is - you can do it. See yourself doing this. Even if you've never done this before - You are smart. Do this. Have conviction and be passionate. Do it all the way or don't do it at all. I'm a big fan of "do it all the way...."
Just for the record.
second Always be kinder than is necessary. I have told you all of this before, but please remember to stand up tall, make eye contact and do whatever the social circumstance dictates. If someone wants to shake hands then shake hands. If it's time for a Man-Hug or some funky shoulder-fist bump combination - then do that. Just be there all the way or don't be there at all. Seriously. I ask so little. Engage people and don't be all afraid, and be smart enough to not look for trouble.
(Disclaimer: All of this advice does not apply outside the Midwest where people can be like feral cats and prey upon your kindness and naivete. It especially does not apply in Paris, London and New York.)
You have common sense - use it.
third You can always start over. For the most part, anyway. Tenacity and the ability to see it through (Whatever "It" is) are noble and imperative to a well-lived life, and, baby: Choose which mountain you want to die on. Some battles are just not going to be worth the energy spent to fight them. Always give it your best shot, always play through the pain and please learn early how to cut your losses. You need not hitch your wagon to sinking stars and you will always deserve more and better. Only move forward and up.
Up, always up.
Don't make me tell you twice.
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