There are a number of life lessons I’ve learned during the past five decades that I plan to share with the people I mentor but thought I would pass along to you as well. Take the good and throw out the ones that don’t fit your circumstances. These are listed in no particular order.

·         Always do the right thing no matter the cost

·         There’s no right way to do the wrong thing

·         Take responsibility for your actions; apologize when you are wrong

·         Respect everyone even if they haven’t earned it. Giving respect says more about you than them

·         Duty, Honor, and Loyalty matter

·         They say your word is your bond, but it is also your reputation. Don’t be known as someone people can’t trust

·         Keep your commitments no matter what and don’t make commitments you can’t keep

·         Respond to people immediately – don’t make people wait on you

·         Be an encourager – there are enough haters out there already

·         The only thing you can control is your attitude – don’t let others control it for you

·         If you’re on time you’re late. Get places early so you’re ready to go right on time!

·         If you keep doing what you’re doing, you’ll keep getting what you’re getting. Different outcomes require different actions

·         Boundaries with people are important

·         Don’t be a “Yes” man; speak your mind respectfully

·         Everyone has a story – don’t judge people or question their motives; you don’t know their story

·         Serve others and you’ll become a leader

·         Never lend money you cannot afford to give; don’t expect that people will pay you back

·         They say pride goes before the fall – humble yourself

·         Never say “Can’t” or you will start believing things are out of your reach and you will give up before you even try

·         There is always one more option – never quit!

·         Always give 100% of what you have that day

·         There is no whining or crying – embrace the suck and drive on

·         Don’t be a victim; Life is hard, but your circumstances don’t define you

·         Mind over matter; If you don’t mind, it don’t matter!

·         The world doesn’t care if you succeed or fail; it’s all on you

·         Haters are going to hate; consider the source, determine if any of it is true and ignore the rest

·         Take advantage of every opportunity and every bit of help other people offer

·         Give back as you can

·         Be selfless instead of selfish

·         Learn as much as you can about as much as you can; Chance favors the prepared mind

·         Work and work hard – no matter whether you’re digging ditches or curing cancer go at it like it’s the most important thing you do

·         Take care of your responsibilities (Family, Spouse, Children, Work, School, Friends); own your stuff

·         Don’t base your decisions on emotions – emotions change, and they lie

·         You don’t have to act on every impulse you have; be disciplined and deny yourself appropriately

·         Better to be thought a fool than to open your mouth and prove it

·         Don’t take offense at what people say and do – they’re just baiting you to make a bad decision

·         Put your money where your mouth is! Don’t talk the talk if you can’t walk the walk!

·         Be considerate of others; you’re not the center of the universe so don’t be a jerk

·         Don’t talk about stuff you know nothing about; you just look ignorant

·         Be self-reflective; ask the hard questions in life about who you want to be

·         Be vulnerable and transparent with people; it makes for better relationships

·         Don’t speak or act in anger. Better to keep your mouth shut until you cool off

·         Do things immediately; putting things off just makes the list longer

·         Push yourself beyond your limits physically and mentally – it builds strength and character

·         Always try – better to try and fail then not to try at all and always wonder if you could have

·         Listen to hear not to respond

·         Think BIG! You may not get what you’re aiming for, but you’ll get something all the same

·         Don’t make fear-based decision; make faith-based decisions

·         Care deeply about others and their needs

·         Care about yourself but in a healthy way not a narcistic way

·         Show mercy and grace to people; you don’t know their circumstances

·         Forgive people every time they do something; unforgiveness is a cancer in your bones

·         Keep your expectations low

·         Be prepared for the worse but strive for the best

·         Be exceptional at all you do; don’t settle for mediocrity

·         Take care of your body – stretch, workout, and push yourself. You’ll thank yourself when you are older

·         Give and give generously of your time, talent, and treasure

·         Be slow to speak and think through the consequences of your actions before making a decision

·         Understand all your options and their consequences before deciding

·         Don’t be too proud to seek help when you need it

·         Don’t wait until things are a crisis to seek help; it makes it more difficult to problem-solve

·         You won’t be able to manage life alone – everyone needs other people in some capacity

·         Sacrifice yourself for others and for the betterment of yourself

·         Sex is the best way to wreck a friendship – save it for marriage

·         Treat others like you want to be treated even if they don’t treat you that way; your reputation is based on your actions not how other act toward you

·         Don’t assume people think like you do; everyone has different circumstances that lead them to different conclusions

·         Don’t ever compromise your foundational beliefs – those that are define who you are

·         Don’t mistake issues that are negotiable in your life with ones that are foundational and are not negotiable.

·         Make room for self-care; be sure to decompress and recharge

·         Bad company corrupts good character; hang out with the right people or suffer the consequences

·         Don’t make excuses; be accountable and take responsibility for your actions

·         Guard your mouth; think before you speak

·         Stand up for those who cannot

·         Take instruction gladly; learn from your mistakes

·         Resiliency is a learned skill; practice it

·         Plans fail for lack of counsel; seek advice

·         Don’t believe everything you hear or see; trust but verify

·         So long as it relies on you be peaceful

·         Everything in moderation

·         Don’t give up the great for the good; focus on the best not on things that distract you from meeting goals

·         True love is telling the truth no matter how hard it may be or whom the truth may offend

·         You can’t help people who are not going to be part of the solution

·         Have someone in your life to whom you can be accountable in all things

·         No matter where you go, there you are! You can’t run from your problems; better to work on them than try to hide from them

·         Money is a tool not an end unto itself

·         Some are in-the-box thinkers while others are out-of-the box thinkers. Don’t limit yourself; there is no box!

·         Do everything; don’t limit yourself by conventional standards

·         Faith matters

·         We are all broken in some way which is why we all need Jesus

·         All good things come from God and He can use even your worst circumstances for good

·         God loves you right where you are and regardless of your performance, but He loves you too much to let you stay there. Keep pushing forward no matter what!