52 Lessons For My Kids

Happy 2019!  Last year I posted the 52 Ways to Make 2018 Your Best Year Ever.  This year, I’m sharing with you 52 Lessons For My Kids. I hope you find these lessons worthwhile for yourself as well as sharing with your kids.

  1. Family first. Always.
  2. With compliments to T.S. Eliot: Don’t be afraid to fail. You don’t know how far you can go until you’ve gone too far.
  3. Laugh as much as you can.
  4. Smile when you are on the phone. People will notice it in your voice
  5. Always say “please” and “thank you.” It’s nice manners and so often forgotten today.
  6. Hold the door open for the person behind you and let them go first.
  7. Let people on the elevator get off before you get on.
  8. Travel. You’ll be exposed to people, ideas, history, and food that will make you appreciate the diversity of our world.
  9. Jump in a pile of leaves in late fall.
  10. Go sledding in the winter.
  11. Try a new a restaurant at least once a month.
  12. Be grateful for everything that you have and all the people that love you.
  13. Say “hi” to the person in front of you in line. You might meet someone new and learn something about them. Plus, it makes the time go by faster when the line is long.
  14. 95% of what you think can go wrong, won’t. And the other 5% is never as bad as you think.
  15. Nobody likes a know-it-all. Have the humility to believe that you might be wrong.
  16. Exercise.  Besides being good for your body, it’s also good for your brain and your mental health.
  17. Don’t ever let someone tell you what you can or cannot achieve. It is only up to you.
  18. On your “To Do List”, it’s not how much you get done that matters, it’s what you get done that matters.
  19. Be a minimalist. The more stuff you have, the more you have to worry about.
  20. Be kind to others. It is so easy to do, and will have a great impact on them.
  21. You cannot control how others treat you, but you can control how you respond to how you are treated.
  22. Assume the best and be positive. There is no reason to be negative until you know exactly all the facts.  
  23. Make as many friends as you can. Some will be better than others, but it’s always nice to know people wherever you go.
  24. Give your time and energy to a worthwhile charity. Investing yourself in a cause is often more important that simply giving money.
  25. Hand write Thank You Notes. It is so rarely done these days that it will make you stand out from the crowd.
  26. Use LinkedIn. It’s a great tool to stay in touch with people and build your network. Yes, you can still use Snapchat or IG, but use LI for your business.
  27. And the corollary to that, always build your network.
  28. There will always be someone with more than you and someone with less than you. Simply appreciate what you have.
  29. You do not have to face your troubles or concerns alone. Your family will always be there to help you.
  30. Make others feel good about themselves. It will actually make you feel good about yourself.
  31. Learn to write well and use proper grammar. They are underrated skills.
  32. Treat everyone equally. Even those who are not nice to you, or are not as fortunate you, are still entitled to your respect.
  33. When you read about a person’s accomplishments, send them a congratulatory note. Everyone likes to be recognized.
  34. Be a constant learner. Whether about art, people, history, or something else, if you are constantly learning you will be growing as a person. Plus, you’ll always have something interesting to talk about with friends and at parties.
  35. Only you are responsible for your future. No one else. 
  36. 5 minutes early is on time, and on time is late.
  37. With complements to Vince Gotko, There are more ways to be charitable than just donating money to a charity. Leave a bigger tip for your restaurant server, your Uber driver, the hotel housekeeper that cleans your room each night.
  38. Make a budget and save for a rainy day.
  39. The best investment you can make, is in yourself. Always keep improving your skills and improving your knowledge in your profession.
  40. Understand what you can control and what you can’t. And don’t worry about the latter.
  41. Be curious. You’ll always learn something new and be amazed.
  42. Get in trouble. Cause mayhem. But please don’t get arrested.
  43. Don’t hit “Reply All” on an e-mail.
  44. Always step outside your comfort zone. It’s how you’ll grow.
  45. Take risks and chances. Besides, it’s better to ask for forgiveness than to ask for permission.
  46. Whenever you buy something, get rid of two other things. You never need as much as you have or as you think you need.
  47. Dream big and move fast. Time waits for no one.  And even if you fail, by moving fast you’ll always have time to do it better the next time.
  48. You don’t really have knowledge until you are able to put into practice what you have learned.
  49. Hone your public speaking skills. This means knowing your audience, being well prepared, practicing, avoiding “filler words.”  And if you still need help, get a speaking coach.
  50. Give a firm handshake.
  51. Change yourself instead of thinking the world (or others) will change for you.
  52. Finally, you really only need a few things to be happy: health, loving friends and family, food and shelter, and money for a rainy day.