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Life Lessons From Uber Drivers

30 Life Lessons Given by Cab Drivers

Shared rides are like a box of chocolates. When you take the backseat, you never know who you'll meet or the kind of conversations that'll take you to point B. There's nothing wrong with preferring a silent ride, but I personally look forward to engaging with my drivers. And most of the time, they say some pretty interesting stuff. I'll ask where they're from or how they're doing, which leads to conversations that end in more than "Thanks for the ride." Because they sit up front, we tend to forget about their presence, but it's great to pick their brains — especially about things they've learned in their lifetime. I took 30 rides varying from cabs to Lyfts and asked each driver for one life lesson they'd like to pass on:

  1. Forgive and be nice.
  2. Your 20s are too young to settle down. Be careful, you have a long time — I always tell my daughter that.
  3. Do whatever makes you happy.
  4. Always cast a mirror before yourself before judging others.
  5. Stand your ground. In [San Francisco] especially, you have to be aggressive.
  6. Live life to the fullest.
  7. Accept things the way they happen — don't resist, just accept life.
  8. Enjoy the moment.
  9. Work hard and be honest.
  10. No money, no honey. And only eat oatmeal for breakfast no matter what. [He credits this advice as the reason he's 77, never married, and still has a nice figure.]
  11. Don't be afraid.
  12. Learn to deal with people who have bad attitudes. I've been driving in the city for 50 or so years so you learn to be patient.
  13. Be honest with everyone; it's a really critical quality.
  14. Respect other people. You may disagree with what they think, but nonetheless, you have to respect that. It's missing in our world today.
  15. Be humble — best thing you can do for yourself. Humility is something that's tough to remember.
  16. Don't waste your life; always do something to be productive.
  17. It's nice to be a father early.
  18. Don't pay attention to what people say about you — people will always talk.
  19. What we think of as hard times — in a few hours, in a few days, in a few months, it's going to be the past, so don't worry about it. Sometimes, time itself is the solution to the problem.
  20. Be who you are, because what else can you do? If you're not, people aren't liking you, they're liking someone else.
  21. Take care of your teeth; it's such a b*tch when you get older if you don't.
  22. Don't lie, don't cheat, don't steal.
  23. Think with your heart, not with your head.
  24. All you can give is love, because with love, everything is already there. When you love someone, anything of value to you will be shared with that person and you'll receive love in return.
  25. In order to gain something, you have to give up something.
  26. Always remember that you only have one journey, so do what you want to do.
  27. When you leave this Earth, there ain't no suitcase waiting for you.
  28. Listen — especially to your parents. As a young teenager, we all try to do our own thing, but toward the end, you know your parents were right, anyway.
  29. Always look forward and don't let anyone put you down.
  30. Don't beat yourself up about mistakes, because they all become lessons. Now, if you make the same mistake twice, that's a different story.
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