This page is filled with thoughts and advice a dad, this dad, has for his children, anyone else's children and everyone else for that matter.
- Be kind, honest, dependable, trustworthy.
- Give hugs everyday.
- Plan, plan, plan! Spontaneity is good but only after you've taken care of business.
Pay your bills first. And on time. Fun stuff comes later.
Respect yourself, your siblings, your parents and especially your spouse if you're married. Show respect towards everyone, even those who don't deserve it. Respect authority (police, teachers, judges, clergy).
- Smile more.
- Compromise or at least learn when to compromise. This takes trial and error. So many things take trial and error. This leads me to another thought. Try new things and make your errors when you're young and of course learn from your mistakes. For example. Learn to speak in front of a group when you're young. Make mistakes then. You're excuse is "hey I'm young and learning." Can't use that excuse when you're 32. When you get older and have to do it, it's way tougher.
- You have to earn your right to complain. And generally those who have, don't.
- You can learn from everyone. adopt the traits of successful people doing what you want to do. Don't hang around whiners and complainers. You'll become one yourself. Like the saying goes "if you lay with the dogs you'll catch their fleas." I prefer the positive, upbeat, unpretentious folks with a good sense of humor who enjoy life. What fun is there in being sour and grumpy.
- Sarcasm is painful and insidious. It kills a relationship. Avoid it and those who use it or you'll catch it just like those fleas.
- Always be learning whether it be in school, books, people, nature or introspection. Keep learning. And along with that ask questions. If you don't understand, ask for clarity. Ask why.
- A great sign we have hanging in the kitchen reads "if you don't stand for something, you'll fall for anything." Have an opinion, take a side, know what you want and stand up for it, believe in it and support it. But know the details. Don't just follow blindly. But don't be so stubborn that you don't listen to others. Keep your mind open and listen to other points of view. It may help to strengthen your own view or you may change your mind altogether.
- Make a decision and stick to it unless you find it was a bad decision.
- Practice decision making while you're young. You'll make bad ones but good ones too. Learn from them both.
- Be as independent as possible. Example: learn how to change the oil in your car, wash and iron your clothes, change a flat tire, plan a party, cook a complete meal, buy a car. Try to depend on others as little as possible.
- When you borrow something return it promptly and in as good or better condition as when you borrowed it. Example if you borrow a saw, clean off the sawdust. If it was dirty when you borrowed it return it clean.
- Brush your teeth both morning and nighttime before bed. Have your teeth cleaned and checked at least once a year. And floss everyday. I've lost three teeth because I didn't floss.
- Live the golden rule. Treat people with kindness, politeness and respect. Treat them the way you want to be treated even if they don't deserve it.
- Smile when you greet people, put out your hand to shake hands firmly and say "hi, I'm (your name)." Don't wait for someone to introduce you. And here's the important part.... remember their name.
- Do a random act of kindness anonymously. Pay the toll of the car behind you. Do things for people without them asking you first. And when you do, do so with sincerity and don't expect pay back.
- Get involved in a school activity after classes. You will meet people you would not normally meet. Some will be nicer than you thought. Others you thought were awesome are really jerks. You will learn something from all of them.
- Put on clean underwear each morning.
- Balance your checkbook.
- You've got to have rain to appreciate sunshine. If everything was good all the time you won't know it.
- Clean up after yourself.
- Put things away after you use them. Example: when you use dad's tools be sure you put them back, if you make a sandwich close the bread bag, put it away and wipe up your crumbs.
- Drive slower. Most new 16 year-old drivers think you know it all. Having passed the classroom and the knowing the rules of the road you know what's right and what's wrong. And you do. But not every driver obeys the rules. A person right out of medical school is a doctor but can't perform surgery upon graduation. They need lots of practice. You need lots of practice too. They have a scalpel you have a car. They can both kill when used wrong. Drive the car like everyone on the road doesn't know the rules. Drive defensively.
- Be a responsible person. When you screw up accept the responsibility, apologize, fix it and don't do it again. And don't blame someone else for your mistake.
- Choose your girlfriend/boyfriend wisely. Make sure they treat you with respect and kindness. Avoid the high maintenance personality. They'll wear you out. The person that's easy to love and be with is the right one. Stay away from those with substance abuse and those who abuse you physically or emotionally. Seek out one who shares your values, goals, life style, temperament. Seek out one who compliments who you are. They say opposites attract. But it depends on what that trait might be. (If a talkative person is attracted to a quiet person as they first meet, it may later be an annoyance to them both. The wild and crazy one and the moderate one will eventually be at odds. It won't work in the long run.) Is this a person you can trust with your possessions, your secrets, your life.
- Learn patience. Others have been patient with you over the years. You do the same.
- Learn tolerance. When others are unbearable don't you be more unbearable. Calm yourself and try to understand why they are the way they are.
- I'm a strong believer in moderation. Excess in most anything leads to disaster.
Put balance into your life. Don't be a workaholic and ignore your family. Balance your time appropriately.
- Learn to enjoy simple pleasures like a sunset, fragrant flowers, songbirds, sunshine and blue skies.
- Learn to make yourself happy. Don't look for or expect others to do it for you. Or you'll be miserable.
- Choose your battles. If someone is arguing with you and they are wrong, if it's not all that important just let them win. You don't have to be right all the time, even if you really are.
- Don't be a snob and constantly critical. Those who are, generally feel inferior and need to put others down to make themselves feel good or important.
- Act happier when you're not. After a while you will feel better. Even when you're grumpy show a smile and give a happy appearance and demeanor. Others should'nt have to experience your bad mood. It's like a cold virus. You don't want to pass it on.
- Whatever you think about yourself will become the truth. If you believe yourself to be a winner then you will be. If you think you're a loser you'll be that too. This is self-fulfilling prophacy.
- Perception is reality. How you are percieved by strangers is their reality.
- Embrace diversity. Learn about and meet all kinds of people. They will enrich you.
- Believe in yourself. You're the only one you can depend on.
- Have at least one person in your life who is your confidant that you can talk to about anything. A person you can trust to the end.
- Tell your spouse "I love you" everyday.