On August 8th of 1933, author F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote a letter of advice to his 11-year-old daughter, “Scottie,” who was away at camp. Some of his timeless advice included:

"Things to worry about:

Worry about courage
Worry about Cleanliness
Worry about efficiency
Worry about horsemanship
Worry about…

Things not to worry about:

Don’t worry about popular opinion
Don’t worry about dolls
Don’t worry about the past
Don’t worry about the future
Don’t worry about growing up
Don’t worry about anybody getting ahead of you
Don’t worry about triumph
Don’t worry about failure unless it comes through your own fault
Don’t worry about mosquitoes
Don’t worry about flies
Don’t worry about insects in general
Don’t worry about parents
Don’t worry about boys
Don’t worry about disappointments
Don’t worry about pleasures
Don’t worry about satisfactions

Things to think about:

What am I really aiming at?
How good am I really in comparison to my contemporaries in regard to:

(a) Scholarship
(b) Do I really understand about people and am I able to get along with them?
(c) Am I trying to make my body a useful instrument or am I neglecting it?”

(Source: F. Scott Fitzgerald: A Life in Letters ; via Letters of Note)

Better is Better.

I’ve been the fortunate recipient of a lot of great advice. From the classics such as “the early bird gets the worm” (it is true), to the golden rule: “treat others as you would have them treat you”, I cannot pick just one of the bits of life changing advice I’ve benefited from.

But I can tell you the most recent piece of valuable advice I have come across, and it came to me in 2009 via Bob O’Billovich, General Manager with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. Bob credits a young Canadian Football League, www.cfl.ca, player with having taught it to him many years ago, but you’ll have to ask Bob that part of the story.

As you know, or should know, Bob is one of the most successful General Managers ever in the Canadian Football League, which is saying something in a league that features greats such as Ralph Sazio and Hugh Campbell.

Bob’s advice goes simply: “better is better”.

While it seems trite, it is very profound as it reminds us of an essential element of success, namely that success depends on continual improvement. No matter how good you are today, you and your team need to be better tomorrow.