This month the remarkable woman who raised me would turn 73.
She was a CFO, a professional athlete, a rock climber, and a single mom.
She left this world early with a single regret - that she could not help more people.
So, I am sharing the 30 lessons she left me with the hope they can be helpful to someone.
1. "Life is a game in which only the incredibly stupid give up. The moment you give up is exactly 5 seconds after the last referee's whistle."
2. "A good leader and a good coach know better than exhausting their key players before a decisive match."
3. "Shake the hand of the opponent who beat you. Say "Congratulations". It's about learning to admit defeat. It's about learning from someone who's better."
4. "And they made you captain?! Stupid little girl, it's not about the game you lost; it's about what will you do to win the rematch."
5. "I never trust a leader or a coach who is loved by everyone. That probably means they care about being popular more than making their team successful. Leadership is not a popularity contest."
6. "No one remembers second place. Always aim to be first. It doesn't matter if you're cleaning streets - aim to be the best street cleaner on Earth... no, every possible Earth."
7. "A true champion is not someone who won gold once. Anyone can do this given enough time and effort. True champions defend their titles at least 3 times. True champions are the result of resilience, not luck."
8. "The world is full of empty people with impressive business titles and past successes. If someone wants to claim they're 'better' than you, they'd better have the courtesy of proving it."
9. "Don't kick a fallen opponent if you don't mean to kill. In business and in sports, they rise again. Create your enemies wisely. It's a rational, not an emotional choice, let alone one that should be governed by pettiness."
10. "Sore muscles?! I'm curious: how do you think you will help yourself by sitting still and complaining? Like most problems in life, this one can be solved if you move a little."
11. "Do what's right, and to hell with the consequences!! There are plenty of politics at work to go around and too few people who do what's right despite them."
12. "Whatever business decisions you make, make sure you can sleep well after. You need money in the bank to live a full life, but good sleep is essential to live long enough to enjoy it."
13. "Don't aim to be rich; aim to be independent. Tomorrow, if you decide to walk away from a toxic employer or a toxic spouse, you must be able to do so the second you make that decision. This is not because you shouldn't be loyal; it's because you need to be 1000% happy with your choice to stay."
14. "Bills first; other expenditures later."
15. "If you can buy it twice without a second thought - buy it. If you can't - sleep on it. Remember - marketers are in full control of your impulses - that's their job if they're good - but they have zero power over your thought process."
16. "Can you please start seeing beyond labels? You wanting to buy a €200 shirt made from cloth that my mom used for bedsheets makes me feel like I raised an idiot. It's not the products I'm worried about. I'm worried if you'll ever learn to see people beyond the labels they carry."
17. "Spare no expense for sports, cosmetics, and underwear. It's not about spoiling yourself. It's about treating your body with only high-quality products. It's about staying healthy. It's an investment."
18. "With feminism getting trendy, I have to tell you this: Men are incredibly simple creatures. If you go to work half-naked and then complain that nobody took you seriously, that's your fault, not theirs."
19. "Women do not do their hair and nails, let alone dress for men. They do it to compete with other women. And it's your choice if you will compete."
20. "Hating your enemies is optional; shaking their hand is not."
21. "Don't ever let me hear you talk about a person without telling them the things you tell me in their face. Weak-minded talk behind others' backs; strong people confront them."
22. "Being polite is not about making people feel nice. It's because the minute you lose your temper, your opponent wins. You give them control over your emotions. Everyone in sports knows this. Being polite is about not giving control to stupid people."
23. "Being polite doesn't mean 'be a doormat'. State your boundaries loud and clear. No one will respect them otherwise. The world doesn't owe you anything."
24. "Leave immediately any restaurant or store if you weren't welcomed with a smile. They don't want your money, don't insist on giving it to them."
25. "Buy from small businesses whenever you have the chance. Big franchises have costs to optimize; small businesses have a family to feed."
26. "Help with actions, not with words. You're not great at comforting others anyway, but I've seen you walk over bodies when you care. Leverage this."
27. "The Ancient Greeks labeled anyone who couldn't read and swim ignorant. Looking at where the world is going, stay close to technology. 'Ignorant' is a sad label to carry. You being able to swim is not the status it used to be."
28. "Parents should not teach their children to ski. They are too protective around falling."
29. "I didn't teach you rock climbing because you're terribly reckless. I've seen how you chase the horizon swimming at sea. But the sea is more forgiving than the mountains. I had to either get in the way of your unstoppable drive or count the days until the mountain irreversibly punished your disrespect. Both equally terrible choices."
30. "Don't you dare mourn me. That would just be disrespectful. I lived a life so full, I have so little regrets I should be celebrated. So get out of this goddamn hospital, dance, see the world, find love, and don't let anyone tell you how to live your life. Remember that you can achieve anything - you're my daughter, after all."