As a father, I want to leave an enduring legacy for my sons. I also want to give them words of wisdom for navigating life.
I began putting this list together in various places, but I began to realize that many services come and go, and I don’t want these to be lost.
So, I decided to take the list and put it on my website, here forever until they are ready to read and comprehend what I am saying to them.
To My Sons, Miles and Jude
Your father loves you far more than you know. I want what is best for you both, and I want you to do great things in life.
Many people say they want to do great things, but they are not equipped to do them. Far be it from me to leave you in that position.
I can’t make your decisions for you, but I will share with you wisdom that will serve you well as you live your life.
- Love God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength. He is there, and he can be trusted.
- I’ll never be upset if you aim high and miss, but I’ll always be upset if you aim low and hit.
- Avoid groupthink. It is a poison, and those that have the capability to think outside of it will always be ahead.
- Your habits are powerful. They greatly influence the trajectory of your life. Create good habits and they will reward you. Create bad habits and they will destroy you.
- Always stay humble. You are not invincible, and who knows what tomorrow will bring.
- Debt is costly and brings stress. Avoid it.
- People like to think they are rational. They are not, and neither are you. The more deeply you understand this, the better you will understand how the world works.
- The Bible is your best friend. Read it carefully and often. God, His plan and His power are within its pages.
- Read Influence and Presuasion by Robert Cialdini. They will arm you with knowledge about how people work, and that knowledge is powerful.
- Every action you take is a vote for the person you are becoming, so pay close attention to what you do.
- Guard your heart. It holds the keys to your life.
- Not taking things personally is a superpower.
- Listen to understand, not to respond.
- If a person has done well in an endeavor, tell them. It costs you nothing, but the rewards will compound to your benefit over time.
- Ask for and welcome critical feedback. You never want to live Year 1 for 10 Years.
- Change in life is constant. Accept this reality, and don’t waste the opportunities change brings.
- Pray to God often. You are not so great to think that you don’t need help from the one who created you.
- You are also not so great to think that you don’t need help. When you need it, ask in humility. People will help you.
- Before you’ve won on the outside, you’ve won on the inside.
- You will never become wealthy by renting your time to someone else.
- Learn to write well. It is the accelerant to thinking and communicating clearly.
- Don’t fool yourself. People waste away their precious lives because they cannot bear to accept reality as it is.
- Honor your parents. It will go well with you and your children.
- Serve others without expectation of reciprocation. It is truly far better to give than to receive.
- Don’t associate yourself with cynics and pessimists. Their beliefs are self-fulfilling and will corrupt you.
- Great decisions have compounding effects. Learn how to make great decisions.
- Enjoy what God has given you here, but remember that you cannot take it with you when you go the way of the earth.
- It’s simple until you make it complicated. Don’t make things complicated.
- Be grateful, and never be entitled to anything. Every day is gift that you were not promised.
- Not all storms come to disrupt your life. Some come to clear your path.
- Success is not final, and failure is not fatal. Respect both, and don’t become too heavily attracted to either.
- Wise people are not always silent, but they know when they need to be.
- Your mouth will get you into more trouble than anything else in this world. Always be fighting with the power of God to tame it.
- In case you forget, I believe in you. There is always at least one person in your corner.
- Done is better than perfect, but never stop perfecting what is done.
- You can’t solve a problem you don’t understand. Seek to understand, then to solve.
- Don’t fight tomorrow’s battles with today’s strength.
- Compound effects are powerful. Not all opportunities have the same impact, so choose the ones with the greatest compounding effects.
- You can do anything you put your mind to, but you can’t do everything you put your mind to.
- Never think about missing a shot you haven’t taken yet.
- Learn from the past, but don’t live in it.
- Run without becoming weary and rest without becoming stagnant.
- Not everything that glitters is gold. Learn to spot the difference.
- Clarity is built by simplicity. The more simple something is, the more clear it becomes.
- Public honor results in private influence.
- Never wrestle a pig. You’ll both get dirty, but the pig will enjoy it.
- Do what you say you are going to do, when you say you are going to do it, with a smile. These three things alone put you ahead of 95% of other people.
- Opinions get adversaries. Advice gets allies.
- Never confuse the nobility of a cause with the goodness or wisdom of its decisions.
- Care personally and challenge directly.
- Temper your desire of consumption by spending more time in periods of reflection.
- Everything is created twice: first in the mind, then in the physical. Take great care that your mind is prioritized first.
- People always have two reasons for doing things: a good reason and the real reason. Learn how to discern the real reason.
- Be proactive in planning. Be effective in communication. Be diligent in preparation. Be excellent in execution.
- People rarely act on what they cannot understand, so if you want someone to take action, be clear rather than clever.
Take my words to heart! They are meant for your good.