Father’s Instruction for Life

Got this one from a college literature book which I’ve been trying to search in our shelves for proper citation, but with no joy. I’ve copied this on a piece of paper and have been keeping this in my wallet for about seven years now.

I believe this is worth sharing so here you go.



* Compliment three people each day.

* Watch a sunrise at least once a day.

* Overtip breakfast waitresses.

* Look people in the eye.

* Live beneath your means.

* Buy whatever kids are selling on card tables in their front yards.

* Treat everyone you meet as you want to be treated.

* Make new friends but cherish the old ones.

* Keep secrets.

* Write ‘thank you’ notes promptly.

* Don’t waste time learning the tricks of the trade, instead, learn the trade.

* Admit your mistakes.

* Be brave. Even if you’re not, pretend to be. No one can tell the difference.

* Choose a charity in your community and support it generously with your time and money.

* Use credit cards only for convenience, never for credit.

* Never cheat.

* Give yourself a year and read the Bible cover to cover.

* Introduce yourself to the manager of your bank. It’s important the he/she knows you personally.

* Learn to listen. Opportunity sometimes knocks very softly.

* Wage war against littering.

* Never deprive others of hope; it might be all they have.

* Pray not for things but for wisdom and courage.

* Be punctual and insist that others be.

* Never take action when you’re angry.

* Have good posture. Enter a room with purpose and confidence.

* Say ‘please’ a lot.

* Say ‘thank you’ a lot.

* Don’t discuss business in elevators. You never know who may overhear you.

* Never pay for work before it is completed.

* Be willing to lose a battle in order to win a fight.

* Don’t gossip.

* Beware of the person who has nothing to lose.

* Never underestimate the power of forgiveness.

* When facing a difficult task, act as though it is impossible to fail. If you’re going after Moby Dick, take the tartar sauce along.

* Patronize local merchants, even if it costs a bit more.

* Don’t spread yourself too thin. Learn to say no politely and quickly.

* Don’t expect life to be fair.

* When someone is relating an important event that’s happened to them, don’t try to top him with a story of your own, let him have the stage.

* Instead of using the word problem, try substituting the word opportunity.

* Never walk out on a quarrel with your spouse.

* Regarding furniture and clothes, if you think you’ll be using them five years or longer, buy the best you can afford.

* Be bold and courageous. When you look back on your life, you’ll regret the things you didn’t do more than the things you did.

* Street musicians are a treasure. Stop for a moment and listen, then leave a small donation.

* Praise in public.

* Criticize in private.

* Forget committees. New, noble, world changing ideas always come from one person working alone.

* When you get inferior service, bring this to the attention of the person in charge. Good managers will appreciate knowing.

* Turn off the television at dinner time.

* Don’t procastinate. Do what needs doing when it needs to be done.

* Get your priorities straight. No one ever said on his deathbed, ‘..if I’d only spent more time in the office.’

* Use club soda as an emergency spot remover.

* Don’t be afraid to say ‘I don’t know’.

* Don’t be afraid to say ‘I’m sorry’.

* Make a list of 25 things you want to experience before you die. Carry it in your wallet and refer to it often.

* Call your mother.


When I first read this back in college, I remember I was nodding my head the entire time. This is one of my favorite articles ever.

If you guys have an idea who the author of this article is, just let me know. Thanks in advance.:)


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