A Father’s Instructions For Life

Bob Utley, a World War II vet, Detroit entrepreneur and most notably – Grandfather to my wife, came across an article in the Readers Digest titled “A Father’s Instructions for Life”.  The article, which was originally published in 1992, impressed him and he decided to make a copy.  In 2004, he made more copies and planned on handing them out to all the Dads in our family.  Unfortunately, he passed unexpectedly in 2005 and never got around to sharing them.  This year, our Grandmother discovered the set of papers that had been tied together with a ribbon, and sent them out to all the dads.   I received mine today.  

Grandfather in the 1940’s

A Father’s Instructions For Life

Complement three people each day.

Watch a sunrise at least once a year.

Over tip breakfast waitresses.

Look people in the eye.

Say “thank you” a lot. Say please a lot. 

Live beneath your means.

Buy whatever kids are selling on card tables in their front yards.

Treat everyone you meet as you want to be treated.

Donate 2 pints of blood every year.

Make new friends, but cherish the old ones.

Keep secrets.

Don’t waste time learning the “tricks of the trade”. Instead learn the trade.

Admit your mistakes.

Be brave. Even if you’re not, pretend to be, no one can tell the difference.

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

Don’t be afraid to say, “I don’t know”

Read the Bill of Rights.

Use credit cards only for convenience, never for credit.

Never cheat.

Learn to listen, opportunity sometimes knocks very softly.

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

Pray not for things, but for wisdom and courage.

Never take action when you are angry.

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

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

Never pay for work before it’s completed.

Be willing to lose a battle in order to win the war.

Don’t gossip.

Beware of the person who has nothing to lose.

When facing a difficult task, act as though it is impossible to fail. If you are going after Moby Dick, take along the tartar sauce.

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

Don’t be afraid to say “I’m sorry”

Don’t expect life to be fair.

Never underestimate the power of forgiveness.

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

Never walk out on a quarrel with your wife.

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

Be bold and courageous, when you look back on your life, you’ll regret the things you didn’t do more than the ones you did.

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

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

When faced with a serious health problem, get at least three medical opinions.

Wage a war against littering.

After encountering inferior service, food or products, bring it to the attention of the person in charge. Good managers will appreciate knowing.

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

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

Make a list of 25 things you want to experience before you die. Carry it with you when your wallet and refer to it often.

How do you fare?

While there are some things on here that I could do better, I’m proud to say that I do the majority of these to the best of my ability.  What about you?  How do you fare?

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