Being a genuinely good person is one of the most important things you can be. Honesty, integrity, and wisdom are qualities that can improve your life immeasurably. These 27 people share the amazing words of wisdom shared with them by parents, grandparents, and other people of influence in their lives – words that helped them grow, and may help you, too. So many of these I have never heard, but I plan to apply most to my own life ASAP.

1. 2 big parts of life

My father once told me, “Never make fun of the way someone laughs or eats because they won’t want to do either around you.”

2. Level playing field

If you can’t outthink them, out-work them. It’s proven remarkably helpful to my career. I can hold my own, but am nowhere near the smartest person in the room. But you know what? People are generally pretty lazy and I do my best not to be. It more than levels the playing field.

Thanks, dad.

3. Harsh realization

I grew up on a farm. Taking care of the chickens was one of my chores. One day, I didn’t do it, and my father said, “How do you think it feels to have no food or water?”

I realized then that if you’re responsible for an animal, you have to take care of it to the best of your ability. They are so dependent on you.

I cannot understand how people get pets and then discard them. Animals are a commitment.

4. Half-hearted

My grandpa used to always say: “Do a job, big or small, do it right or not at all.”

It has kept me from doing a lot of things half-heartedly.

5. Make sure it’s worth it

“Don’t burn a bridge until you’re sure you’re never crossing it again.”

This does not mean I don’t burn bridges, it means I only burn bridges after careful deliberation as to whether that individual and their connections add any positive value to my life.

6. Consequences

When I was little, I really wanted some random toy from blockbuster. My mom wouldn’t get it for me, so I hatched this brilliant idea to steal it.

I stuck it in the front pocket of my overalls, and thinking back it must have been super obvious. My mom acted like she didn’t notice and stood there watching me with the guy working and let me walk right through the security sensors, which set them off.

Then she told me the police were coming and I’d have to go to jail where they’d only feed me stale bread and toilet water. I was so scared, I started bawling. I’m sure they thought it was hilarious (my mom obviously wasn’t seriously going to let me steal it), but I never even thought about stealing from that moment forward.

7. Little Worries

When I was about eleven, we had this exam.

Most of my teammates were terrified because it was a really difficult exam and many knew they failed. Then our teacher, some old grumpy man, just smiled and said:

“Don’t worry. If it makes you guys feel better, I don’t remember what grade I got in any exam I did when I was eleven.”

That’s what made me realize that those small things we always feel bad and anxious about, don’t matter that much in the grand scheme of things.

A few years later, you won’t remember those worries. You will have others, but all you will have left from those old ones will be the time you wasted being sad.

8. Early is on time, on time is late

Being 15 minutes early is OK, being 5 minutes late is not. My parents forced me to be early for everything when I was a kid, and it’s stuck with me to this day.