Words of Wisdom

Ciao, amici!

This will not be my usual post. I find myself being very introspective these days. Over the years, there are certain dates that take on different meanings to us. Days that used to mean nothing suddenly mark a happy occasion, like a baptism or anniversary. And days that used to mean something special we stop giving meaning to or try to forget.

As we get older, I’m not sure where our birthdays are supposed to fall. I know as a child, I wanted to grow older. I couldn’t wait to reach double digits. Then to be an official teen. Then sixteen, then eighteen. Twenty-one. By the time I reached a desirable age, time had speeded up and obligations had piled up and I wasn’t able to enjoy the age I wanted to be because it had already passed me by.

I turned 50 on April 4. My life is far different than I expected it to be. Hence a lot of the introspection.

So, today, instead of my donning my professor’s hat and imparting what little wisdom I’ve gleaned over the years, I thought I’d turn to two experts I share my birthday with who made more of their careers than I’ve managed to make of mine (so far).

Words of Wisdom by Maya Angelou

  1. When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.
  2. People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.
  3. Surviving is important. Thriving is elegant.
  4. We delight in the beauty of the butterfly but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.
  5. Talent is like electricity. We don’t understand electricity. We use it. You can plug into it and light up a lamp, keep a heart pump going, light a cathedral, or you can electrocute a person with it.
  6. The idea is to write it so that people hear it and it slides through the brain and goes straight to the heart.
  7. When you learn, teach. When you get, give.
  8. You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.
  9. Life is not measured by the number of breaths you take but by the moments that take your breath away.
  10. I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw something back.

Words of Wisdom by Robert Downey Jr.

  1. You need to know what to do when the sun is not shining.
  2. I think that we all do heroic things, but hero is not a noun, it’s a verb.
  3. I always think part of success is being able to replicate results, taking what is interesting or viable about yourself as a professional person and seeing if you bring it into different situations with similar results.
  4. People never change because they are under threat or under duress. Never. They change because they see something that makes their life seem valuable enough to start moving toward a life worth living.
  5. Remember that just because you hit bottom doesn’t mean you have to stay there.

I think it’s worth noting that once again, my birthday wish was not answered and Mr. Downey did not call to wish me a happy day or to share a celebration in any manner. (Or to tell me he’s read all my work and wants to make it all into HBO or Netflix series.) I really thought this would be the year, as it was a milestone, but… no. I suppose it’s time to change my birthday wish. I seem to have been squandering it.

I hope you found these words of wisdom from my birthday buddies useful. I think they knew/know what they were/are talking about.

And if you have any words of wisdom you’d like to pass along (or RDJ’s contact information), hit me up in the comments. I’d love to know your favorite quote from your favorite author or celebrity. Saluti!


Maya Angelou | Photo via John Mathew Smith & http://www.celebrity-photos.com from Laurel Maryland, USA – Maya Angelou, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=78474693

Robert Downey Jr. | Photo via Gage Skidmore, CC BY-SA 2.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Staci Troilo Bio

89 thoughts on “Words of Wisdom

  1. Maya Angelou said a lot of brilliant things. My favorite is the one regarding the sentiment that people will never forget how you made them feel. That was my teaching philosophy too. I wanted my students to know how important they were to me. I still stay in touch with many of them and occasionally one will reach out seeking advice about parenting or some other matter.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Pingback: Smorgasbord Blogger Daily – Monday 12th April 2021 – #Anniversary Jessica Norrie, #Wisdom Staci Troilo, #Bookoffer Doug Parker, K.Lewis Adair | Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

  3. I hope you had a happy birthday, Staci. Birthday’s have never been a big celebration in my life although I made a big deal of my sons birthdays. I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw something back. I really like this quote, you do need to learn to throw back in more ways than one. Thanks for the interesting post.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I always made a big deal of my kids’ birthdays, too. Mine, not so much. I don’t really care to be in the spotlight, though. Probably why I became a writer and not a performer.

      I like that quote, too. Especially because of the different meaning you can give to the latter part of it.

      Thanks, Robbie.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Happy belated birthday Staci and from my lofty 68 years.. I can tell you that my 50th coincided with massive and very positive changes in my work life. I ended up with two new strings to my bow and I have not looked back since. As to the sayings from those two legends.. my favourite in both private and work life is from Maya Angelou that you shaed “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” A lovely post.. x

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Happy birthday, Staci! If it makes you feel better, I’ll be 54 this year. cringe After, say, 40 or 45, the years fly by too fast.

    Love, love, love the words of wisdom from Maya Angelou (she’s amazing anyway) and Robert Downey, Jr. (another of my faves). Thank you! After the day I had yesterday, this post worked as the perfect medicine. Chin up, girl. You’re beautiful, you’re talented, and you’re brilliant.<3

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Sue. Not sure I’m feeling any of those things lately, but it’s so kind of you to say. But I do agree; the years are flying by WAY TOO FAST.

      Sorry you had a lousy day, but I’m glad the quotes perked you up. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Okay, I finally had time to review the personal list I keep. How about: Better a diamond with a flaw than a pebble without – Confucius. The harder I work, the luckier I get – Samuel Goldwyn. Just ’cause you got the monkey off your back doesn’t mean the circus has left town – George Carlin. This next one is a personal favorite from an odd source: Getting ahead in a difficult profession requires avid faith in yourself. That is why some people with mediocre talent, but with great inner drive, go much further than people with vastly superior talent – Sophia Loren.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Happy Belated 50th Birthday, Staci! xo
    What a great way to celebrate your day with some fantastic quotes from a couple of favorite people.
    I’ve been saying “When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time” too often lately, but I found all of these very inspirational. I hope your day was special for you.

    Liked by 1 person

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  9. I love the quotes. I am a big Steeler fan and I share a birthday with Terry Bradshaw (who by the way doesn’t call me on my birthday either.). He has several good quotes, but this is one I relate to: The life of a winner is the result of an unswerving commitment to a never-ending process of self-completion .

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  10. Reblogged this on Cecilyswritings and commented:

    I enjoyed reading this blog post by Staci Troilo, and had to smile that a birthday wish wasn’t fulfilled! But most of all I liked reading the ‘Words of Wisdom” by the inspirational Maya Angelou and Robert Downey Jnr. On this occasion, this is my favourite : “The idea is to write it so that people hear it and it slides through the brain and goes straight to the heart.”

    Liked by 1 person

  11. First of all, happy late birthday! I think each decade of life helps us grow in new ways, so enjoy. And what an elegant way to describe how life never quite works out the way we thought it would. I loved the quotes but I’m not sure I have any wisdom to share this morning. I have enough trouble learning from mistakes and disappointments and still trying to be the best person I can be. Hope you have a wonderful year!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think we’re always learning life lessons. That’s probably the whole point of being here. Maybe? I don’t know. I do know I still have a lot to learn, and I’m happy to spend many more days doing so.

      Thanks for the birthday wishes. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Fifty is a milestone, Staci. When I turned fifty, I told my husband, “We can sit here and you can watch me mope, or we can go somewhere.” We went to New Orleans and what a fantastic trip that was. So, Happy Birthday, and here’s to many more. I will be turning 70 in August. I cannot believe it. Where did the last 20 years go? I love all of these words of wisdom from Maya Angelou and Robert Downey Jr, but this one really stood out to me: “The idea is to write it so that people hear it and it slides through the brain and goes straight to the heart.” That is always my goal as a writer. Thank you for sharing these pearls of wisdom!

    Liked by 1 person

    • A trip with a loved one sounds wonderful. Especially to NOLA. I’m glad you have that memory.

      That’s one of my favorite quotes in this post, Jan. It really speaks to what we do, I think. I hope we all manage to do that in our careers. That would be a wonderful legacy.

      Liked by 1 person

      • It’s interesting to me that around 50, we start to think of the legacy we may leave behind. Funny that you should mention it. I often wonder if anyone will continue to share my books, my words, my thoughts after I’m gone. 🙂 At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Just keep doing what you love, Jan. God willing, you say what you need to say when you need to say it. And your words touch the people that matter when they most need to hear them. That’s what counts.

        Liked by 1 person

  13. Between Robert and Maya there are so many good quotes in this post, and a lot of room for thought. I remember those days from childhood when I wanted to older too, always looking forward to a special year. Now all those years are in the past. Although, I am still looking forward to the age when I can retire. My perspective has certainly changed about many things along the way, but I guess that’s part of the journey.

    Sending you big hugs and birthday wishes. Even if RDJ didn’t pop in to say hello on the special day he shares with you, at least he provided some wisdom in his posts 🙂

    I’m a fan of Jane Seymour. One of her quotes I love best is: “I have many friends who do not believe in luck; they believe in blessings. Likewise, I do not believe in coincidences; I believe in miracles.”

    Liked by 3 people

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  15. Happy Belated Birthday, Staci. I’m sorry I somehow missed it! Life has been a bit upside down here lately, though that’s not a good excuse.

    Lovely words of wisdom today, indeed. Here’s one of my favorite quotes: “If you think you can, or you think you can’t … you’re right.” I’m sorry I can’t remember who said it, and if anyone knows, I’d love the info. To me, this quote sums up one of Life’s greatest truths. Attitude really IS everything. And it has only taken me the better part of 77 years to realize it. (See. One of these days, 50 will seem SO young!) 😀

    Thanks for making me think this morning. Very inspirational post! 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    • The Internet says it was Henry Ford. And we all know the Internet never lies, so…

      Thanks for the birthday wishes. And the quote. It’s a good one, no matter who said it. It does seem like a universal truth.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes! It WAS Henry Ford, indeed! Thanks for jogging my memory. (I need that a LOT these days!) And I agree that it IS a universal truth. Plus, though I don’t have a specific quote for it, the companion truth is “It’s never too late to follow your dream.” That’s how I decided to start writing at age 69. I thought I could, so I did. And it’s been one of the biggest joys of my life. So far. I may decide to try something else when I turn 80. After all, “If you think you can ……….” Just sayin’! 😀

        Liked by 2 people

  16. Happy belated Birthday.
    I can appreciate what you’re saying here, but I do need to say one thing. Maya Angelou is given much credit for her quote “…people will remember how you made them feel”, that originally said by Carl Beuhner.
    Have a nice weekend and stay safe.

    Liked by 2 people

  17. Happy belated birthday, Staci! I don’t know if RDJ will read this post, but I tagged him on Twitter just to try. You never know. 😉 Quotes have always been inspirational to me. They reach into the soul and stir the deepest parts of me into awakening. Thanks for sharing these! 🙂

    Liked by 4 people

    • Oh, you tagged him? I would never have had the nerve. I’m sure he won’t read it, but that’s still really cool of you to do. Best gift I got. Thank you.

      Quotes inspire me, too. I hope at least one of them sparked something in you.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. You know I love quotes and these are inspiring. I’m so sorry RDJ didn’t call you this year. If I could use my “contact” to help, I would. 😀

    Here’s a favorite from C. S. Lewis, “You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.”

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah, it’s time I stop wasting my birthday wish on him. You’d think after the year I had last year, I’d have put it to better use, but I thought 50 was special and deserved a big wish. I’ll drop down to something more my size next year.

      Love the C.S. Lewis quote. Thanks for sharing it.

      Liked by 1 person

  19. Beautiful post, Staci. So much wisdom from Maya Angelo and Robert Downey, Jr. I’m still waiting for a call from Robert, too. 🙂 I’ve always liked him. I’ll be turning 56 this summer, and Gwen is right, the best is still to come. Happy birthday!

    Liked by 3 people

  20. What a lovely post, Staci. Like you, I have a great affection for Maya Angelo. Her wisdom and mama-nature have guided me through the years. As the decades have passed, I’ve come to see life as a temporary stop in our journey towards Love. I wish none of us needed to surmount life’s hurdles, but at times I glimpse answers to my many “whys” and find blessed understanding. Though you may imagine 50 as old, I can assure you, you’re a youngster with the “best yet to come.” Belated Happy Birthday! 💗

    Liked by 6 people

    • I know you’re only as old as you feel, age is just a state of mind, and all that. The last year and a half just seemed to put a lot of miles on my road. When my kids joked and said it was all downhill from here, that sounded pretty good because “traveling down” meant I wouldn’t have to work so hard at “climbing up” anymore. But they were kidding, and that’s not how life really is. There are always ups and downs. Fifty caught me in a valley, but there will be peaks again, I’m sure. Not sure I’ll ever feel like a youngster again, though. lol

      Thanks, Gwen.

      Liked by 1 person

  21. Pingback: Words of Wisdom | Welcome to Harmony Kent Online

  22. Some wonderful advice here, Staci. Sorry you didn’t get your birthday wish yet. If I could make it happen for you, I would.
    My take away from life is that it’s never too late to be who you were meant to be, and it’s not the destination that’s the goal but the journey. Each step, each moment, and each effort counts tremendously, and from that perspective, you’re already a super achevier.

    Thanks for this lovely post. Have a wonderful weekend 🙂

    Reblogged this on: https://harmonykent.co.uk/words-of-wisdom/

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