I have made more than a few mistakes in my life. And I have learned a lot through this process.

This is a living document. It does change. I haven’t stopped learning.

  1. Everything is temporary.
  2. Life is short. Live boldly. Take risks.
  3. Do what’s right. Sometimes that’s difficult to do.
  4. Wear your seat belt. Pay attention. Slow down.
  5. Be kind. Not weak. Being mean is easy. Being kind is often harder. But do it. You don’t know what the other person is going through.
  6. Be good and kind to yourself too.
  7. Do what you love. Do it often.
  8. Much can and will go wrong. There will be hardships. If you are realistic, you will be more prepared, calmer, and less prone to anxiety about the problems that will invariably come your way.
  9. Smile. Even if it’s the hardest thing to do at the moment.
  10. Take time to heal before moving forward. If you don’t, you carry that pain with you. That is not fair to others.
  11. Life is not fair. Which is all the more reason to live as fairly as you can.
  12. Try not to become hardened by the past wrongs.
  13. Distracting ourselves, putting our heads in the sand, working excessively, staying busy, is only masking anxiety, grief, and hard-to-handle emotions. It’s better to deal with them.
  14. Accepting trauma is not about ‘getting over it.’ It’s about leaning into emotional discomfort, exploring it, and moving through it. It’s not about trying to escape it, or avoid it.
  15. Set outrageous goals. You are capable of much more than you know.
  16. Don’t worry about the enormity of the goal or the challenge. Focus instead on the next step you need to take to keep moving forward.
  17. Know how to start a fire.
  18. Comfort is an addiction. It’s okay to be uncomfortable. Mentally and physically.
  19. You will regret not trying. Failue and rejection are possibilities, but don’t not try. And then try again.
  20. Spend time alone without distractions. Get to know yourself. You might be surprised who you find. When we become more self-aware we take responsibility for ourselves, without blaming others.
  21. Make friends with people who want the best for you.
  22. Know how to stay warm.
  23. Take pleasure in moments of calm and beauty. The wise appreciate an uneventful, clear day, lovely flowers growing by a brick wall, the charm of a three-year-old’s laughter, an evening of banter among good friends.
  24. Never harm a child. Respect them. Make them feel valued. Reassure them. Be gentle. Never humiliate them. Be reliable. Attend to their needs. Protect them. When you see a child being harmed or neglected, do something. What happens to them in childhood will influence the rest of their lives.
  25. If you are a parent, this is your most important job. Do it unselfishly. If you parent well, your child will be more confident, more self-reliant, and have a better chance at a good life. The nurturing care you provide your child is a major determinant of his/her future well-being, physical health, and even life expectancy. You do not need to be perfect, strive instead to be good enough.
  26. Accept that nothing is perfect. Do not seek perfection yourself. It doesn’t exist. Instead look for a better answer than the current situation.
  27. Challenge yourself. Your thoughts. Your beliefs. Your body. Set goals. Improve.
  28. Build a strong and flexible mind. Being able to adapt to changing situations in life is one of the keys for health and happiness.
  29. Build knowledge. Be curious. Ask questions. Listen. Talk less. Read more. Experience. If you don’t understand, ask.
  30. Read about a wide range of subjects from a wide range of view points.
  31. Talk even less about yourself.
  32. When you’ve made your point, stop talking.
  33. Try to understand alternative points of view.
  34. When you don’t know, ask. It’s okay not to know everything.
  35. Know how to purify water.
  36. Have conversations with strangers. You don’t know what you might learn. Everyone knows a lot about something.
  37. Seek advice and feedback from a broader range of sources and listen also to people who are not in your field.
  38. When you ask someone’s opinion, you learn something about them. Pay attention.
  39. Challenges can be overcome. One step at a time and you can accomplish most anything. Don’t stop. Keep going. You don’t know the depths of your adaptability and strengths until they are called upon.
  40. Good solutions can take a significant amount of time. Lasting change often needs to.
  41. There are no shortcuts or magic formulas. There is a solution to most every challenge. Often more than one. Think outside the box.
  42. Under promise. Over deliver.
  43. Invest in good luggage.
  44. Yelling often makes things worse.
  45. Spend time with people of various cultures. Respect them, their values, rules, ways. Share meals with them. If you are fortunate they will invite you into their homes to meet their families where you will learn that we have more in common than we are different.
  46. No one is born wise. It takes years of experience and learning from our mistakes. Knowing ourselves is the beginning.
  47. There is always a past. People’s personal experiences and how they dealt with them will inform how they view life. Painful past experiences need not stop anyone from experiencing a rich and full life.
  48. Be brutally honest with yourself. Don’t believe your own excuses.
  49. When you can lie to yourself, you can lie to anybody. Don’t lie to yourself.
  50. Make peace with the difference between how you would ideally be and who you really are. Come to terms with your idiocies, flaws, ugliness, limitations, drawbacks. When you are not ashamed of yourself, you do not have to lie to yourself or others.
  51. It’s okay to admit you don’t have the answer.
  52. Family are those who truly love you. Not necessarily those who share DNA.
  53. Each of us has the freedom and the responsibility for our attitude, our behaviour, our actions. Even when faced with the worst circumstances. Other people and circumstances do not define how responsible people act.
  54. There is no magic. There is no karma. There is no supernatural cosmic force that has predetermined life events. Those are superstitions and excuses. We are responsible for ourselves.
  55. Life provides turning points that are character-revealing moments and go to the heart of who we are. Difficulties in life can make us better.
  56. Give credit. Take blame.
  57. Don’t blame others. We stand or fall by ourselves.
  58. It is never too late for an apology.
  59. It’s not an apology if it comes with an excuse.
  60. Be creative.
  61. Know at least one good joke.
  62. Don’t underestimate the role of random chance in a person’s life.
  63. It’s okay to go by yourself.
  64. Know what you really want. Time is ticking. Life is happening all around you.
  65. Say yes to more of what you really want.
  66. It’s just as important to know what you don’t want to do. Learn to say no to those.
  67. Be kind to animals.
  68. Past mistakes do not have to define you. You deserve second chances. So does the next guy.
  69. Try something new. As often as you can. Make mistakes. If you aren’t making mistakes you are not being bold enough. If you are afraid to make mistakes, you cannot be creative. Learn from your mistakes. They are an opportunity for growth. Make more.
  70. Just because you’ve reached a certain age is no reason not to make a complete idiot of yourself.
  71. When you make mistakes, admit to them. Perfection does not exist. We are human and flawed. Not remotely perfect at any one thing. Instead we should pursue betterment. Strive to be half-way decent. If we work hard enough at something, we might even become an expert at it. But there will always be room for improvement. And more mistakes.
  72. Expect others to be equally human. Forgive them too. It is difficult to get through life without someone giving us some slack.
  73. Forgive yourself for your own mistakes.
  74. Love is not transactional.
  75. Measure twice, cut once.
  76. It’s okay to change your mind. It’s okay to do it often.
  77. Always secure your own oxygen mask before helping others.
  78. Go out of your way to make your partner feel special. Drive her to work. Bring her flowers or a special coffee for no reason other than she just is. Send her an unexpected message letting her know you are thinking about her.
  79. The simple option is often the best option. Less distractions offer more opportunity for what is meaningful. Intelligence is not about being able to speak fancy words. The wise love simplicity. They understand that central truths have an elemental simplicity to them.
  80. Expect delays. Expect others to be distracted. To push their way through. Wait your turn.
  81. Most people are good. But not everyone.
  82. You can’t change other people. It’s disrespectful to try.
  83. Happiness is a choice and requires hard work. If you are not happy being single, you will not be happy in a relationship. No one is going to make you happy. You cannot make another person happy. You are responsible for your own health and emotional well being.
  84. It’s better to be solo than with a partner who is not a good person or compatible.
  85. Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.
  86. Don’t publish anything you’d be embarrassed to read 10 years on.
  87. Don’t follow the crowd. Find out for yourself, and then form your own opinions. If you must go against the status quo, then so be it.
  88. Collaborate. Contribute to common goals. But also depend on yourself to get the job done.
  89. If their words don’t match their actions, trust their actions. More important than talk is how one lives their life and how they treat others.
  90. Know the size of your partner’s clothing.
  91. When a close friend is in need, consider not asking what you can do for them. Instead, do something thoughtful for them. Showing up, sitting with them, simply being there, quietly, being present, is often all it takes. Other times a grilled cheese sandwich, a glass of milk, and a warm hug will do the trick. Keep it simple. Let them know you are thinking of them.
  92. Keep your word. In order to keep your word, you need to think and consider the consequences before you speak.
  93. Don’t gossip.
  94. Don’t lie. Never.
  95. You are what you do, not what you say. Don’t be flaky. If you said you were going to do something, do it. If you set a time to meet, be there.
  96. Think. Don’t simply react. Say only what you mean. Follow it up with action. Every action comes with consequences. Consider the humanity of others.
  97. You are, in large measure, what you do. But what you say is important too. Know the weight of your words. Cruel remarks can wound others for life.
  98. Touch is more powerful still.
  99. Be authentic.
  100. Hold her hand. Hold her gently but firmly. Kiss her on the forehead. Stroke her hair. Show her she is not alone. That you have her back, despite knowing her worst.
  101. Notice what others do for you and for the benefit of others. Show your appreciation.
  102. Always thank the host before leaving.
  103. Look people in the eye when you thank them.
  104. Learn to change a flat tire.
  105. Complements. Not flattery. The difference is the intention. One’s real. Here’s one way to tell the difference » It is not a compliment if it comes with a request.
  106. To love is to give without expectations. Love is generous. It does not take.
  107. Have fun. Every day. Be playful. Laugh often.
  108. Don’t take yourself too seriously. When you become comfortable with your own faults and failings, you can become a rich source of empathy and comfort for others.
  109. Don’t quit. Accept that you might fail. We all fail. Don’t fear failing. Fear not doing your best. Fear giving up.
  110. Don’t be loud, show off, or brag. It’s not attractive. It makes you look cheap and needy.
  111. Be humble. But don’t fake humility. The right people will notice.
  112. Offer up your chair to someone who doesn’t have one.
  113. Don’t take pleasure at the misfortune of others.
  114. Hold open the door.
  115. Everyone you meet is better than you at one of more things.
  116. Learn what is meaningful for you. Do that. Don’t chase pointless goals and possessions. Do what is meaningful; not what is expedient.
  117. Maintain the good relationships.
  118. Confidence is attractive. Arrogance is not.
  119. Surround yourself with people of good quality, people who are more competent, people smarter than you.
  120. Use turn signal.
  121. Know how to cook a good steak.
  122. Take that first step towards your goal. It’s the hardest one. Do it. Move forward.
  123. Don’t wait too long. Do that thing you’ve always wanted to do.
  124. Expect little. You will be happier.
  125. Do not chase happiness. There’s no such thing as a road map to happiness. No instruction book. No quick fixes. Genuine happiness cannot be found. It finds you when you are busy doing good things.
  126. Know the words to your national anthem.
  127. Do good for others. Without expectations. Without seeking attention. Doing good is reward enough. Otherwise, you are not doing it for the right reasons.
  128. When others don’t understand, it’s not your problem. What others think about you is not your responsibility, or under your control.
  129. If you are worried about what others will think of you, perhaps you are really worried about what you think of yourself.
  130. What you do is in your control. That is your business. If you are being ridiculous, recognize it, stop it, and work on preventing it from happening again.
  131. People, sometimes, some of them all that time, are going to be fools, or jerks, or unreliable, or some thing else. Let them be. That’s their business. That’s not inside your control.
  132. Your faith in god and your spiritual life is a private affair. Speak openly about your convictions only when someone wants to hear about them.
  133. When entrusted with a secret, keep it.
  134. Nourish your body. The food you eat is broken down to feed every cell in your body. You need good food for energy, growth, repair, movement, and thinking. Drink lots of water and little alcohol.
  135. Treat all guns as if they are loaded.
  136. Sleep repairs the body and the brain. Try to get 8 hours a night.
  137. When you ask someone a question, pay attention, listen to their answer. Don’t ask just so you can speak or give your opinion.
  138. Look people in the eyes. When you are speaking with them. When they are speaking with you. When you offer them a toast. When you greet them.
  139. Don’t check your phone at the dinner table, when having a conversation, in a meeting.
  140. Stand up and be strong for those who can’t.
  141. Defend worthy ideals and ideas that you value and came at a great cost.
  142. Look both ways before you cross the street. When you are driving assume the pedestrians and other drivers haven’t taken notice of you and prepare to take appropriate action.
  143. Spend time listening to music.
  144. Spend time being still and silent. Listen to your thoughts.
  145. Never judge someone by the colour of their skin, age, sex, sexuality, disability, where they were raised, or their religious beliefs. Appreciate people for who they are.
  146. A person’s beauty is measured by their character, their generosity, kindness, courage, confidence, positivity, sense of humour. I have known many physically attractive people who were anything but beautiful.
  147. Know how to cook at least one good meal.
  148. The secret ingredient is often butter.
  149. No matter your flaws, you deserve dignity and patience.
  150. Don’t compare. Other people’s lives do not define you. And you can’t compare your inside to someone else’s outside. Few people wear their struggles for the world to see.
  151. There is no super-diet. No single super-food, no drink, no fruit or vegetable, no single supplement that will solve your health issues or promote longevity. That is gained by living a holistic healthy lifestyle over the long term.
  152. Fear and anger are born from pain. They prevent us from moving forward. Deal with your pain and try not to respond from that place.
  153. The world is a good place when it isn’t viewed through the lens of fear..
  154. When you do, tell them you love them. Show them. If you don’t, don’t say it. Ever. Even if you think that’s what they want to hear.
  155. Don’t pose with booze.
  156. Don’t swim in marinas. You might get electrocuted.
  157. Don’t mislead. Don’t deceive. Don’t manipulate. That is selfish behaviour.
  158. If you are fortunate, you will find someone to trust completely. If you are really fortunate, you will know what it is to love and be loved.
  159. You can’t choose who loves you and you cannot force or manipulate someone to love you.
  160. Your partner should have similar values and qualities. Choose a partner who will encourage, support, and protect you. Do the same for her.
  161. Being a gentleman has nothing to do with how you cut your hair, the style of your moustache, or what you wear, but it never goes out of style. Be a gentleman.
  162. Be a romantic. Include an equal measure of logic.
  163. Be patient with airport security. They are just doing their jobs.
  164. The seat in front of you reclines. Prepare accordingly.
  165. Never be ashamed to cry. No man is too good to be humble. Tears show you have not become hardened and still have the courage to be human.
  166. It’s okay to be silly. Sometimes. Like when you play with children. Not when crossing borders or dealing with uniformed police officers.
  167. Try not to complain. When you do you may be concentrating too much on the past.
  168. Help others when you can. Even when you know they will never be able to help you. When you need help, ask.
  169. Take a stand against evil. To do otherwise is to be complicit.
  170. Be a person of integrity. Be brave, dignified, unselfish. Face reality with calmness, good humour, kindness, resilience.
  171. It matters a great deal how we treat others.
  172. Take less stuff.