Prominent Pittsburghers share words to live by
Every day, we’re bombarded with various mantras, mottos and aphorisms. The phrases pop up in Facebook news feeds and Twitter banter. Though often quite simple, these mottos really can be words to live by. Some notable Pittsburghers shared their favorite mantras and why they have meaning in their lives.
Pittsburgh Pirates manager
Every day, Clint Hurdle sends quotes to a large group of people via email or text to inspire and motivate those around him. The recipients of his words to live by were recently treated to one he found from legendary John Lennon titled, “The Best Advice I Ever Got”:
“When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘Happy.’ They said I did not understand the assignment. I told them they did not understand life.”
“Don’t waste people’s time … ultimately, it’s all we have.”
The founder of the Opek big band and Thoth trio says he always is dealing with time in music. That lasting relationship has made him realize “We only have so much time on this planet,” so it is important to use it wisely.
“Be Inspired. Be Strong. Be You.”
WPXI anchor and entrepreneur
“It’s often some thing, idea, thought, happening … that inspires us to become more, do more, have more,” Chisolm says. “Whatever you are inspired by becomes the catalyst that moves us in the direction of our dreams and desires. We then need to take action, get focused, stay motivated and be strong to achieve what has inspired us. And ‘Be you,’ is all about being authentic and living your truth and trusting in yourself to achieve what has inspired you.
“I live my life as an It Works global distributor and Fullbody Fitness Club owner inspiring people to be strong and be themselves, through wellness, fitness, personal development and financial freedom.”
“Work Hard. Be Nice.”
Kevin Sousa’s motto may seem simple, but embodying those words an be easier said than done. He’d heard the phrase a few times before adopting it as his motto. One day, as he toured an old building for a potential restaurant, he saw the words written on one of the walls. From then on, they’ve guided him as he’s continued to pursue projects around the Pittsburgh region, including Salt of the Earth in Garfield and Union Pig & Chicken and Station Street Hot Dogs in East Liberty. “I do the best I can to be nice and word hard,” Sousa says. “Attempts to be nice can be hard work, too.”
Sousa says growing up in a blue-collar family fueled his work ethic. He even has the words “Hard Work” tattooed on his knuckles.
“I hope that comes across in the restaurants,” he says.
“Fail? Fail again. Fail better.”
Pittsburgh Irish & Classical Theatre acting artistic director
“We all strive for success and seldom achieve it,” Stanford says. “Samuel Beckett gave the best advice to an actor. ‘Try. Fail. Fail again. Fail better.’ ”
“Do it right the first time — because ‘Practice makes permanent!’”
Pittsburgh Symphony cellist
Irvin Kaufmann joined the orchestra in 1964 and has taught more than 1,000 young musicians since he arrived. He tells them when they practice to “Do it right the first time — because ‘Practice makes permanent!’”
“I’m learning as I go, always just enough”
Bill Deasy took his motto and built it into a song, “Learning as I Go,” which appeared on the 2009 CD “Being Normal.” The whole verse goes “I’m learning as I go, always just enough. I fall down and hope to hell some lesson lifts me up. I’m crawling through the dark, searching high and low, Learning as I go.”
“The harder you work the luckier you get.”
Pitt women’s basketball coach
These words have been a part of Suzie McConnell-Serio’s life pretty much forever. She credits her older brother Tom — the women’s basketball coach at Indiana University of Pennsylvania — with sharing this saying.
“I always talk to my players about the importance of working hard, which will create opportunities,” she says. “And from those opportunities sometimes comes a little luck. You have to put yourself in the situations to be successful.”
“To attain the impossible, one must attempt the absurd.”
Founding director Pittsburgh Musical Theater
“Cervantes said it first,” Gargaro says. “ I’ve always believed that in order to be an entrepreneur in the arts, you have to attempt the absurd.