50 Things I Want To Teach My Child

Things I Want to Teach My Child jim miller big bear

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

  1. Create more than you consume. And when you’re sad, create.
  2. Always use the highest quality ingredients possible. 
  3. There is nothing more powerful than an ever-growing and colorful vocabulary. 
  4. Don’t ever stretch a situation along because it’s comfortable.
  5. Move or exercise a bit each morning at the same time and make it a habit.
  6. Your time is the most valuable resource that you have.
  7. Learn how to play a musical instrument well. 
  8. Take compliments with the same grain of salt as you do criticism.
  9. Don’t ever act cocky or arrogant. It is a sign of weakness.
  10. Read my book “Budgeting Doesn’t Have to Suck” every year.
  11. Learn to expect stupidity and it will cease to frustrate you.
  12. You do not need to trade your time for money. Create a business, invest and earn while you sleep too.
  13. Always reverse slowly.
  14. Never look down on anyone who earns an honest living. They’re choosing an honest life.
  15. Avoid showing sadness or frustration in public.
  16. The secret to happiness is creating freedom.
  17. Only boring people get bored.
  18. Learn to be a great storyteller and self-study marketing.
  19. Although more nature than nurture, maintain an organized living and work environment.
  20. Always be prepared.
  21. Increase friction on things that are bad for you. Decrease friction on things that are good.
  22. Eat more plants than animals.
  23. Whether a Mohawk and ripped jeans or a fine suit, always look clean and polished.
  24. Don’t laugh at your own jokes.
  25. Don’t do anything you cannot also “not” do for seven days.
  26. Never say what you’re going to do; only what you’ve done.
  27. Respond, never react. (Immer mit der Ruhe fährt man in die Schuhe).
  28. Stick with your decisions. But don’t hesitate to change your mind if you were wrong.
  29. If you hang out with carp, you will smell like fish. Surround yourself with people you admire.
  30. Everyone needs a hand up at some point and it is okay to accept one.
  31. Religion, like most history, has been tainted by humans and politics. Whatever you believe, it doesn’t need a label.
  32. There is no better tool than your reputation. Protect it.
  33. The way to earn respect is to show a true interest in others and to help them achieve their goals.
  34. Have a list of goals that you review and update daily.
  35. Loyalty is given, not spoken. Those who talk about loyalty are the most disloyal people you know.
  36. Compete against yourself and compare yourself to the best.
  37. Shaving cream is totally unnecessary. 
  38. Learn to predict the future; even if sometimes only by a few seconds. Base decisions on that.
  39. Remember that you exist because of generations of history, tradition, success and struggle.
  40. Never blame someone for things they cannot control. But don’t go easy on them for the things they can.
  41. Honesty is not always the best policy. However, when you lie you simultaneously submit. It’s weak.
  42. When you say “thank you” always say what you’re thanking someone for.
  43. Be your true self. If you don’t know who that is, find it. It is okay to change.
  44. “Be fearful when others are greedy and be greedy when others are fearful.”- Warren Buffett
  45. Nothing is free. Nothing.
  46. Nothing good usually happens after midnight. Go to bed.
  47. Do well in school, even if you dislike the confines of it. Self-educate on real skills outside of school.
  48. Follow Abe Lincoln’s advice when writing angry letters and mail them tomorrow. (i.e. – Never send them)
  49. Always be polite, but you don’t need to respect anyone until they have earned it.
  50. And as my dad said, be ahead of every goodbye. The glass is already broken.

Photo Credit: My Instagram

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