Jodi Picoult
Photo: Jodi Picoult
1. There's always someone better than you.
My mom always used to say this, and I've always lived it, because I think it keeps me really humble. No matter how much success you've had, it makes you remember that you didn't always start there at the point of glory—and you might not always end up there.

2. Even teenagers love to snuggle.
Having that moment of connection with your children—there's nothing like that. Last night, my daughter, who is 16, patted her bed and said, "Come sit down, Mom." And I said, "What do you want me to do? Tuck you in? Give you a kiss goodnight?" And she said, "No, come here." Then she lifted the covers so I could get in and snuggle with her. And for a 16-year-old, that was great. We just kind of sat there and talked for a little while. I'll never forget. Next time, it'll be my idea!

3. The secret to fearlessness is...
Two things: Either having nothing to come home to or having everything to come home to. Either you've got absolutely nothing to lose or you've got everything to lose and you don't think about the scary events in your life because they've all got to get done to protect the people you love.

4. Never eat caviar.
Does anyone really like it? It's really expensive. It's fish eggs. They pop in your mouth, and it's kind of gross.

5. Give somebody else a chance to do the dishes.
What I mean by this is: If I make dinner, my husband will say, "Oh, I'll do the dishes!" And then, he leaves the kitchen and goes online or watches Jon Stewart. Sure enough, I go into the kitchen a half hour later and dishes are piled in the sink. And I just think, "Forget it. I'm just going to do them." And I do the dishes. And then he says, "Well, I was going to do them." And maybe he was, but he wasn't doing them fast enough for me. I have a tendency to assume if someone doesn't work as fast as I do, or as thoroughly as I do, I'll just take it over and do it myself. And I can't. I don't have the time and I can't do everything, even though sometimes I want to. It's very hard for me to understand that people work on different time schedules or that they process things differently, and the end result may be just as wonderful, but the end result may just take a little longer, or arrive in a different fashion.

Next: The difference between acceptance and forgiveness