This post could have been called 50 Things I Want to Teach My… Child, Son, Daughter, any human. I have a son, but the list applies equally to any person, parent or child. Even if you don’t have kids, this list applies to you.
My mind frequently reminds me that I could die at any moment and I think about death more than is probably healthy. I made this list as an insurance policy so that my most essential advice gets passed to my son, even if something happens to me before I get a chance to teach him all fifty. I printed and laminated it for him to keep safe too. I didn’t plan on ever posting it to the Internet either, but here we are.
I hope this list of core values helps you. If you think I forgot something or to share any feedback, be sure to comment on the post on social media so I can read it. I always love to hear from you. Here we go…
The List: 50 Things I Want to Teach My Child
- Create more than you consume. And when you’re sad, create.
- Always use the highest quality ingredients possible.
- There is nothing more powerful than an ever-growing and colorful vocabulary.
- Don’t ever stretch a situation along because it’s comfortable.
- Move or exercise a bit each morning at the same time and make it a habit.
- Your time is the most valuable resource that you have.
- Learn how to play a musical instrument well.
- Take compliments with the same grain of salt as you do criticism.
- Don’t ever act cocky or arrogant. It is a sign of weakness.
- Read my book “Budgeting Doesn’t Have to Suck” every year.
- Learn to expect stupidity and it will cease to frustrate you.
- You do not need to trade your time for money. Create a business, invest and earn while you sleep too.
- Always reverse slowly.
- Never look down on anyone who earns an honest living. They’re choosing an honest life.
- Avoid showing sadness or frustration in public.
- The secret to happiness is finding freedom.
- Only boring people get bored.
- Learn to be a great storyteller and self-study marketing.
- Although more nature than nurture, maintain an organized living and work environment.
- Learn another language and culture well.
- Don’t half-ass ANYTHING.
- Eat more vegetables than animals. Be nice to the Earth.
- Whether a Mohawk and ripped jeans or a fine suit, always look clean and polished.
- Don’t laugh at your own jokes.
- Don’t do anything you cannot also “not” do for seven days.
- Never say what you’re going to do; only what you’ve done.
- Respond, never react. (Immer mit der Ruhe fährt man in die Schuhe).
- Stick with your decisions. But don’t hesitate to change your mind if you were wrong.
- If you hang out with carp, you will smell like fish. Surround yourself with people you admire.
- Everyone needs a hand up at some point and it is okay to accept one.
- Religion, like most history, has been tainted by humans and politics. Whatever you believe, it doesn’t need a label.
- There is no better tool than your reputation. Protect it.
- The way to earn respect is to show a true interest in others and to help them achieve their goals.
- Have a list of goals that you review and update daily.
- Loyalty is given, not spoken. Those who talk about loyalty are the most disloyal people you know.
- Compete against yourself and compare yourself to the best.
- Shaving cream is totally unnecessary.
- Learn to predict the future; even if sometimes only by a few seconds. Base decisions on that.
- Remember that you exist because of generations of history, tradition, success and struggle.
- Never blame someone for things they cannot control. But don’t go easy on them for the things they can.
- Honesty is not always the best policy. However, when you lie you simultaneously submit. It’s weak.
- When you say “thank you” always say what you’re thanking someone for.
- Be your true self. If you don’t know who that is, find it. It is okay to change.
- “Be fearful when others are greedy and be greedy when others are fearful.”- Warren Buffett
- Nothing is free. Nothing.
- Nothing good usually happens after midnight. Go to bed.
- Do well in school, even if you dislike the confines of it. Self-educate on real skills outside of school.
- Follow Abe Lincoln’s advice when writing angry letters and mail them tomorrow. (i.e. – Never send them)
- Always be polite, but you don’t need to respect anyone until they have earned it.
- And as my dad said, be ahead of every goodbye. The glass is already broken.
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Photo Credit: My Instagram