A Father’s Instructions for Life

Admit your mistakes. Be bold and courageous. Be brave. Even if you’re not, pretend to be. No one can tell the difference.

Be willing to lose a battle to win the war.

Beware of the person who has nothing to lose.  

Call your mother. 

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

Compliment three people each day. 

Don’t be afraid to say, “I don’t know.” Don’t be scared to say, “I’m sorry.” 

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

Don’t expect life to be fair. 

Don’t gossip. Keep secrets. 

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

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

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

Get your priorities straight. No one ever said on their deathbed, “Gee, if I’d only spent more time at the office.”

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

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

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

 Learn to listen. Opportunity sometimes knocks very softly.

 Look people in the eye.

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

 Make new friends and cherish the old ones.

 Never deprive someone of hope; it might be all he or she has.

 Never pay for work before it’s completed.

 Never take action when you’re angry.

 Never underestimate the power of forgiveness.

 Never walk out on a quarrel with your wife.

 Overtip breakfast waitresses.

 Pray not for things but for wisdom and courage.

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

 Say “please” and “thank you” a lot.

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

Watch a sunrise at least once a year.

 Get at least three medical opinions when faced with a severe health problem.

 When you look back on your life, you’ll regret the things you didn’t do more than the ones you did.

 Condensed from Life’s Little Instruction Book by H. Jackson Brown, Jr. (Readers Digest, September 1992, pp. 129-137)


2 thoughts on “A Father’s Instructions for Life

  1. Nice post. I learn something more challenging on different blogs everyday. It will always be stimulating to read content from other writers and practice a little something from their store. I’d prefer to use some with the content on my blog whether you don’t mind. Natually I’ll give you a link on your web blog. Thanks for sharing.


  2. I was fortunate enough to grow up before my parents departed this earth.
    I was a typical nasty youth and thought I knew more than my parents. I see this all too often, even with my own children.
    They act out, disrespect their mother and father and think they know everything all while we try to protect them from our lessons of errors past.
    I pray my children learn and grow up before one of their parents leave this earth. It would be a tough pill to swallow should we depart this earth before they mature.


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