1. Do what’s right. Even when it’s difficult. Maybe more especially when it’s difficult.
  2. Be kind. When that’s not possible, strive to be kinder. You are not perfect, so you will fail at this, hopefully only some of the time.
  3. Much can and will go wrong. There will be hardships. You will have disappointments. Matters will not always be easy or pleasant. That is part of life. If you are realistic, you will be more prepared, calmer, and less prone to anxiety about the problems that will invariably come your way.
  4. Take the time you need to heal before moving forward. If you don’t, you carry that pain with you. That is not fair to others. But don’t dwell on past wrongs for too long. We all know that the past cannot be changed, but we sometimes need to be reminded. Try also not to become hardened by the past wrongs.
  5. Putting our heads in the sand, working excessively, staying busy, otherwise distracting ourselves, is effectively masking anxiety, grief, and hard-to-handle emotions. It doesn’t make issues go away. Often, it makes it worst.
  6. It’s okay to be uncomfortable. Mentally and physically. It’s not always great, but it’s normal. When we are we have the opportunity to learn that we are far more capable of enduring than we might have initially believed. Discomfort can be an opportunity for achievement.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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 life expectancy. You do not need to be perfect, strive instead to be good enough.
  11. Challenge yourself. Your thoughts. Your beliefs. Your body. Set goals. Improve.
  12. Build a strong and flexible mind. Being able to adapt to changing situations in life is one of the keys for health and happiness.
  13. Build knowledge. Be curious. Ask questions. Listen. Talk less. Read. Experience. If you don’t understand, ask.
  14. Have conversations with strangers. You don’t know what you might learn.
  15. Seek advice and feedback from a broader range of sources and listen also to people who are not in your field.
  16. When you ask someone’s opinion, you learn something about them.
  17. Most challenges can be overcome. Most goals can be achieved. One step at a time and you can accomplish most anything. Don’t stop. Keep going. Good solutions can take a significant amount of time. Lasting change often needs to. There are no shortcuts or magic formulas. There is a solution to most every challenge. Often more than one. Think outside the box.
  18. Invest in good luggage. Use it as often possible. It’s a big world. It’s a small world. Travelling offers one of the fundamental forms of learning. Spend time with people of various cultures. Respect them, their values, rules, culture. 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.
  19. No one is born wise. It takes years of experience and learning from our mistakes. Knowing ourselves is the beginning of wisdom.
  20. 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.
  21. Make peace with the difference between how you would ideally be and who you really are. Continue to challenge yourself to learn and grow, but also 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.
  22. It’s okay to admit you don’t have the answer.
  23. 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.
  24. There is no magic. There is no karma. There is no supernatural cosmic force that has predetermined life events. Those are superstitions and excuses not to be responsible for ourselves. 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.
  25. Give credit. Take blame.
  26. It is never too late for an apology.
  27. Say yes to more of what you want to do.
  28. It’s just as important to know what you don’t want to do. Learn to say no to those.
  29. Be kind to animals.
  30. Past mistakes do not have to define you. You deserve second chances. So does the next guy.
  31. Try something new. Make mistakes. Just because you’ve reached a certain age is no reason not to make a complete idiot of yourself.
  32. 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.
  33. Expect others to be equally human. Forgive them too. It is difficult to get through life without someone giving us some slack.
  34. Always secure your own oxygen mask before helping others.
  35. 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.
  36. 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 or being incomprehensible to others. The wise love simplicity. They understand that central truths have an elemental simplicity to them.
  37. Expect delays. Expect others to be distracted. To push their way through. Wait your turn.
  38. Most people are good. But not everyone.
  39. It’s better to be solo than with a partner who is not a good person or compatible.
  40. Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.
  41. Don’t publish anything you’d be embarrassed to read 10 years on.
  42. Don’t follow the crowd. Find out for yourself, and then form your own opinions.
  43. Collaborate. Contribute to common goals. But also depend on yourself to get the job done.
  44. 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.
  45. 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.
  46. Keep your word. In order to keep your word, you need to think and consider the consequences before you speak.
  47. Don’t gossip.
  48. Don’t lie. Never.
  49. Don’t be flaky. If you said you were going to do something, do it. If you set a time to meet, be there.
  50. 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.
  51. You are, in large measure, what you do. But what you say is important too. Know the weight of your words.
  52. Touch is more powerful still.
  53. Be authentic.
  54. 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.
  55. Notice what others do for you and for the benefit of others. Show your appreciation. Always thank the host before leaving.
  56. Complements. Not flattery. Recognize the difference. Recognize the intention.
  57. To love is to give without expectations. Love is generous. It does not take.
  58. Have fun. Be playful. Laugh often.
  59. Don’t take yourself too seriously. When you become comfortable with the humour of your own faults and failings, you can become a rich source of empathy and comfort for others.
  60. Don’t be loud, show off, or brag. It’s not attractive. It makes you look cheap and needy. Be humble. But don’t fake humility. The right people will notice.
  61. Offer up your chair to someone who doesn’t have one.
  62. Don’t take pleasure at the misfortune of others.
  63. Hold open the door.
  64. Learn what is meaningful for you. Do that. Don’t chase pointless goals and possessions. Do what is meaningful; not what is expedient.
  65. Life is not fair. Which is all the more reason to live as fairly as you can, and for the benefit of others.
  66. Maintain the good relationships.
  67. Confidence is attractive. Arrogance is not.
  68. Surround yourself with people of good quality, people who are more competent, people smarter than you.
  69. Use turn signals.
  70. Don’t wait too long. Do that thing you’ve always wanted to do. Do it today if you can.
  71. Expect little. You will be happier.
  72. 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.
  73. 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, just as they are.
  74. Know the words to your national anthem.
  75. Do good for others. Without expectations. Without seeking attention. Doing good is reward enough. Otherwise, you are not doing it for the right reasons.
  76. When others don’t understand, it’s not your problem. What others think about you is not your responsibility or under your control.
  77. 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.
  78. When entrusted with a secret, keep it.
  79. 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.
  80. Treat all guns as if they are loaded.
  81. Sleep repairs the body and the brain. Try to get 8 hours a night.
  82. Have good conversations. Speak less about yourself. When you ask someone a question, pay attention, listen to their answer. Don’t ask a question just so you can speak or give your opinion.
  83. 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.
  84. Don’t check your phone at the dinner table, when having a conversation, in a meeting. Don’t even bring it to the table.
  85. Stand up and be strong for those who can’t.
  86. Defend worthy ideals and ideas that you value and came at a great cost.
  87. 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.
  88. Spend time listening to music.
  89. 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. Learn from them. Everyone has something valuable to teach.
  90. 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.
  91. Be able to cook at least one good meal.
  92. No matter your flaws, you deserve dignity and patience.
  93. Don’t compare. Other people’s lives do not define you.
  94. There is no super-diet. No single super-food, no drink, no fruit or vegetable, no medicine or supplement that will solve your health issues or promote longevity. That is gained by living a holistic healthy lifestyle over the long term.
  95. Fear and anger are often born from pain. They prevent us from moving forward. Deal with your pain and try not to respond from that place.
  96. When you do, tell them you love them. Show them. Often. If you don’t, don’t say it. Ever. Even if you think that’s what they want to hear.
  97. Don’t swim in marinas.
  98. Don’t mislead. Don’t deceive. Don’t manipulate. That is selfish behaviour.
  99. If you are fortunate, you will find someone to trust completely. If you are fortunate, you will know what it is to love and be loved.
  100. You can’t choose who loves you and you cannot force or manipulate someone to love you.
  101. Your partner should have similar values and qualities. Choose a partner who will encourage, support, and protect you. Do the same for her.
  102. Being a gentleman has nothing to do with how you cut your hair or what you wear, but it never goes out of style. Be a gentleman.
  103. Be a romantic. Include an equal measure of logic.
  104. 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.
  105. It’s okay to be silly. Sometimes. Like when you play with children. Not when crossing borders or dealing with uniformed police officers. It’s ok, once in a while, to misbehave. To be silly.
  106. Try not to complain. When you do you may be concentrating too much on the past.
  107. Help others when you can. Even when you know they will never be able to help you. When you need help, ask.
  108. Take a stand against evil. To do otherwise is to be complicit.
  109. Every life must end one day. There is no easy and quick solution to prolong our life. But if we live better, the end of our life need not be slow, painful, or premature.
  110. Be a person of integrity. Be brave, dignified, unselfish. Face reality with calmness, good humour, kindness, resilience.
  111. It matters a great deal how we treat others.