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Best Life Quotes and Advice By Dartmouth Professors

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From the Russian department to mathematics, Dartmouth professors offer up their wisdom. The Dartmouth asked professors to provide the Class of 2021 their best life advice in just six short words. We have termed them, the best life quotes and advice by Dartmouth professors.

Providing a quote is simple enough, but condensing one’s sentiments into a succinct blurb proved to be a challenge, and some professors broke the rules. […]

NOTES: Six Words Best Life Advice By Professors For The Class of 2021

Since some of the professors broke the rules, the collated best life quotes and advice by Dartmouth professors are approximately — six words of advice.

Best Life Quotes and Advice

Question everything, laugh and be kind.

– Rebecca Biron (Spanish professor)


Move and Do

Everything changes and nothing stands still.”

– Jeffrey Ruoff (Film professor) a quote by Heraclitus

“Perfect is the enemy of good.”

– Jeffrey Ruoff (Film professor) a quote by Voltaire

History has its eyes on you.

– Leslie Butler (Women’s, gender, and sexuality studies and history professor) a borrowed quote 

What is Enlightenment? Using your own understanding.”

– Scott Sanders (French professor) a quote by Kant

Art and Life

Theater professor Daniel Kotlowitz: Compassion and kindness, the rest will follow.

Math professor Peter Doyle: Watch the doughnut, not the hole.

Government professor Charles Crabtree: Don’t select on the dependent variable.

Studio art professor Brenda Garand: There are no rules in art.

Art history professor Ada Cohen: Always keep art in your life.


Fun in Life For a Balance

” Write your eulogy, then live it.”

– James Murphy (Government and medieval and Renaissance Studies professor)

Absorb photons. Radiate generosity. Conserve heartbeats.

– Jane Lipson (Chemistry professor)

You: The Most Important in Best Life Quotes and Advice

Spanish and Portuguese professor Jose del Pino: Experiment your life as a permanent discovery.

Math professor Anne Gelb: Be robust and avoid ill-conditioning.

“You are the light you seek!”

– Trica Keaton (African and African American studies and sociology professor)

Earth Sciences professor Bob Hawley: Luck is where YOU find it.

Film and media and African and African American studies professor Iyabo Kwayana: Let your passion contribute to humanity!

Be No Stranger to the World and the Powerful

Speak truth to power.

– Robert Baum (African and African American Studies and religion and women’s, gender, and sexuality studies professor)

Make the world a wilder place.

– Alireza Soltani (Psychological and brain sciences professor)

Be civic-minded — acknowledge your agency.

– Justin Mankin (Geography and earth sciences professor)

It’s good to innovatively split infinitives.

– Lindsay Whaley (Classics and linguistics professor)

Judaism is BIG, like everything else.

– Marc Caplan (Jewish studies professor)

Don’t optimize for just one thing.

– Michael E. Cox (Environmental studies professor)

Be strangers to yourselves, not others.

– Sujin Eom (Geography professor)

Think systemically, act collectively. Rest!

– Mingwei Huang (Women’s, gender, and sexuality studies professor)

Let batter rest for delicious pancakes.

– Erich Osterberg (Earth sciences professor)

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How to Create the Life and Career You Want With Self-Love

Self-love is the process of knowing yourself, connecting with your inner self, overcoming self-limiting beliefs, letting go of everything that doesn’t serve you, and falling in love with yourself.

Self-love helps silence the fear of rejection, our inner critic, and instead befriend it to serve us rather than taunt us. And we develop confidence in what we stand for, when we know who we are from within. With self-love, we are able to let go of self-judgment, negative thoughts, opinions, and people who are not aligned with us.

When we accept ourselves wholly for who we are, people around us also start seeing us in the same light. Likewise, when we love what we do and do what we love, we are alive and soaring in all that we do. This further draws others with positive energy to us. Ultimately, that power of love for yourself, will not only elevate your relationship with yourself, but enhance and deepen your relationship with work, family, life, and everything around you.

This is How to Be Happy at Work Because Your Dream Job Is a Farce

This is how to be happy at work without ‘enmeshment,’ a phenomenon that psychologists,” says involves increasingly blurry lines between the self, work, and personal identity.

This concept is emboldened by the idea of a “dream job,” which you can see plastered onto questionably predatory job listings, listicles, and the musings of motivational speakers. The idea is undeniably a trap—how can work, regardless of what you do, assume qualities that don’t feel like work? But the concept remains a fixation for workers who strive to claim a certain sense of fulfillment from their careers.

Does a dream job exist?

If you’re a consultant who pledges to help unhappy workers find their ideal calling, then sure, dream jobs are real. These career coaches and workplace guides perpetuate the idea because it’s profitable. Or at least lucrative enough to keep the dream, so to speak, alive.

“A job is the work you do and the people you work with and the culture of the place you work. Some of that you can seek out, some of it you can control, but a lot of it just happens organically.”

In an aspirational society that celebrates rockstar CEOs, it’s no surprise that many Americans are gunning for their dream jobs. But this is in what’s ultimately a futile quest to attain something that doesn’t necessarily exist. Of course, having such lofty expectations can set workers up for a dramatic crash when reality sets in.

How to be happier at work

For Ross McCammon, author of the corporate etiquette guide Works Well With Others, the key to ultimately finding your emotional footing in the workplace involves focusing less on the job and more on your personal and professional development. “We should all aspire to a certain field or even a certain job title, but to a certain job? That seems misguided,” he says.

Focus on the professional and personal improvement you’ll invariably experience over the course of a career—and savor those victories.

He urges people to have a more realistic understanding of what a workplace is. He says, “A job is the work you do and the people you work with and the culture of the place you work. Some of that you can seek out, some of it you can control, but a lot of it just happens organically.”

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