10 Life Lessons From Ten Famous People

It all started when a young , eleven year old girl named Rachel, from a small town in Virginia decided to write to famous people whom she respected or admired, to seek their responses to the following question:

“What is the most important lesson

you have learned in your life?”

Rachel had already asked this question of her parents and their responses were very helpful. DAD: “To persevere, to keep trying, and not give up.” and MOM: “That family was the most important part of her life.”

Not knowing if she would get even one response from the folks Rachel penned her letters to, it amazed Rachel that there were soon an abundance of notes filling her mailbox. Following, you will read some of these messages that were later included in a book entitled, The Most Important Lessons in Life: Letters to a Young Girl By, Rachel Chandler

John Mellencamp: “You can do or be anything if you work hard.”

Lily Tomlin: “One thing of importance that I can tell you: ‘The human mind cannot hold two opposing thoughts at the same time.’ So if you hold a positive thought, you cannot hold a negative thought.”

protect the futureMother Teresa: “Be the Sunshine of God’s Love”

Barbara Bush: “You have special talents and abilities, and you can make a difference for the better…”

Danielle Steele, best selling author, told Rachel in her letter that it was late at night and she had just finished her 60th book and was going to send it to the publisher. She wanted to answer Rachel’s letter herself, instead of having someone else do it for her. An excerpt from this long letter follows: “I agree with both your mother and your father. An important quote which I had framed for my children goes like this, ‘If you can imagine it, you can achieve it. If you can dream it, you can become it.'”


Mikhail Gorbachev: “It is good for people your age to think about your future. The main thing is to respect your own human dignity and to value and respect it in others.”

Willard Scott: Observe the Lord’s Commandments and everything else will fall into place.”

John Goodman: “I wish I had better answers. But two very important things in life are reading and listening.”

Whoopi Goldberg: “Rachel, be true to yourself. The rest will fall into place.”

Elizabeth Dole: “I think one of the most important things to learn in life is how to make a positive difference in the lives of others. Sometimes it is hard work, however, in school and later at work, it is important to think of ways to help others by our efforts.”

The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.”¬†

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

What lessons have you learned

in this life you have lived?

My life, written on white paper

6 thoughts on “10 Life Lessons From Ten Famous People”

  1. These are amazing! It’s especially nice to see the humanity in the Gorbachev quote as we were taught that the Russians were evil. Of course, the reality is that they (and all other peoples) are human beings with the same needs and desires that we all share.

    1. I agree with you! I was pleasantly surprised with Gobachev’s response to Rachel’s question. AND you are so right that humans from all around have the same basic needs to love and to be loved and accepted. Thanks for stopping by! Joan

  2. I think the most important lesson I’ve learned is where we begin isn’t the critical part of the journey. The critical part is that we start and keep moving, sometimes inches at a time…and that the people you surround yourself with matter. Make the best part of your inner circle and you are inspired to be better. Find people who are heading your direction or who are already where you want to be and make them your partners on this ride.

  3. HI Jen and thanks so much for your comment here, as it meant a lot to me. I have learned over time that today, the present is where we must put our efforts, and not expend energy on regrets of our past. And yes, the people we spend the most time with influence us greatly. Great Lessons for Life here. Thanks for sharing them! Joan

  4. Interesting post, Joan. Very enjoyable. Sorry it took me so long to get around to reading it! In the process I couldn’t help but smile remembering a piece of advice my Dad gave me long ago, though he would never had said it was he “most” important lesson he’d learned. Still, he urged me never to borrow money from a loan company. And that came on my wedding day. I’m guessing there’s a story in there somewhere that I’ll never get to hear.

Comments are closed.