Jenna Bush-Hager recently opened up on Hoda & Jenna to talk about the best advice her grandfather gave her. Former President George H.W. Bush often gave her amazing advice and she remembers all of it still.
“My grandpa, who lived until he was 94, I’ll never forget. Well, first of all, he had this little list of rules that he lived by and they’re all really good ones, like, ‘Don’t talk all the time. Listen to your mentors and friends and learn from them,’” Jenna says. Hoda responds with a laugh.
Jenna Bush-Hager shares the helpful advice her late grandfather gave her
Jenna shared her list of advice from Bush with TODAY and a lot of this advice still resonates with many!
- Don’t get down when your life takes a bad turn.
- Don’t blame others for your setbacks.
- When things go well, always give credit to others.
- Don’t talk all the time. Listen to your friends and mentors and learn from them.
- Don’t brag about yourself. Let others point out your virtues, your strong points.
- Give someone a hand. When a friend is hurting, show that friend you care.
- Nobody likes an overbearing big shot.
- As you succeed, be kind to people. Thank those who help you along the way.
- Don’t be afraid to shed a tear when your heart is broken or because a friend is hurting.
One piece of advice stuck with her right before he died
“I actually have them memorized, which is kind of weird,” Jenna notes. “And, ‘Nobody likes an overbearing big shot,’ which sounds so much like his words. And, ‘Help a friend when they’re hurting.’ One of them, which I obviously listen to a lot, is, ‘It’s OK to cry when life takes a bad turn or when a friend hurts,’” she says, getting choked up and emotional.
However, there is one piece of advice, in particular, that has stuck with Jenna for years. It was right before he died in 2018. “And so he had these list of rules, but I’ll remember we were sitting in Maine one night around the dinner table and it was the last summer of his life… And he looked at me and he couldn’t hear very well and so he wasn’t as much part of the conversation and he loved conversations. He loved conversations where there were agreements, where there were disagreements, with friends, with political ‘enemies’ who became friends and he leaned over to me and he could barely speak and he said, ‘Don’t forget to enjoy the game.’”
Jenna continues to explain why that specific advice broke her heart. “And it broke my heart into a thousand pieces because what he meant is life is meant to be enjoyed, celebrate it. I think he also probably felt by that point he wasn’t in it as much.”
We certainly miss George H.W. Bush and his wisdom so much!