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What We Can Learn From Tony Soprano’s Words of Wisdom

Credit-Laurence Adamson

It’s the greatest show of all time, and there’s really no debate about it.  HBO’s The Sopranos gave us some of the most well-crafted characters in television history.  No one was better than the leading man, Tony Soprano.

While Tony is a vicious crime boss, he has some redeeming qualities that many of us can learn from.  After all, he is an influential leader and the successful head of an organization.  Kind of like the CEO of a big company, but with a lot more violence.

Organized crime is his life, but Tony is a family man at the same time.  Through his struggle to balance his true family with his other family, Tony dispenses pearls of wisdom that can be applied to all of our lives.

“A wrong decision is better than indecision”


Tony is a powerful man.  In being the boss, he’s faced with tough decisions every day.  While he always tries to make the right call, things don’t always work out the way you want them to.

Not unlike Tony, we have decisions to make every day.  It can be about how you spend your free time or how to further your career.  Or maybe it’s something simple, like picking between the medium or large fries.

Instead of sitting at the drive-thru in complete silence, you need to make a call.  Maybe later you’ll wish you had more fries, but at least you made a decision.

Granted, this is a small example.  But the ability to translate this way of thinking to bigger decisions is a valuable trait to have.

“Those who want respect, give respect”


It’s the Golden Rule.  Treat others the way you want to be treated.  In Tony’s world, it’s in a much different context.

In a heated dispute with an impulsive, selfish capo, Tony becomes frustrated.  The capo is not respecting Tony’s authority as head of the family.  Instead of laying his hands on him, Tony shuts him down with this simple phrase.

Showing respect is obviously very important in any interaction.  But, sometimes we get so caught up in our own motivations that respect goes out the window.  Occasionally, you have to reel it in and check yourself, just as Tony checks his capo.

“Each day is a gift”

Credit-AP Photo/HBO, Craig Blankenhorn

After dealing with a life-threatening ailment, Tony realizes the fragility of life.  Until that moment, Tony took things for granted.  He was reckless and sometimes acted irresponsibly.

When he sits back to look at his life, he realizes he has a family to worry about.  His children do not want to lose their father.  They all need him in their lives.

We often take our lives for granted, when in reality it could all come to a screeching halt at any minute.  We should always take time to sit back and appreciate what we have.

Spend time with your loved ones.  Don’t take any day for granted.

Tony Soprano is not a role model by any means.  But we can certainly learn a lot from him.

Written By

Division III baseball alum (McDaniel College) and founder of Joker Mag. Sharing underdog stories to inspire the next generation.



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"Passion is kind of an important word for me."


“I couldn’t believe this was going to be the rest of my life."