39 lessons for boys

This is the original post that led to what is now the 39 Lessons book series, now available for pre-order at amazon.com and wherever fine books are sold.

The legacy of a father is what he leaves in his stead for his children. I love my sons (and nephews) and the following are 39 lessons or observations I hope to teach (or have taught) them. This is, by no means, a comprehensive list.

  1. manhood is earned, not inherited
  2. there is a God
  3. you are not Him
  4. but God did make you special
  5. give more than you take
  6. don’t run with the crowd, unless you’re the leader
  7. make your life, your work
  8. never make work, your life
  9. losing is a sign that you’re trying
  10. never never never give up
  11. no one owes you anything
  12. true education starts after school ends
  13. money is not equal to success
  14. never lose self-control (unless you want to)
  15. healthy relationships are built on communication which leads to trust
  16. physical confrontation with a girl/woman = lose/lose odds
  17. credit card debt is a brutal master
  18. if you can’t afford it with cash, save for it or pass it by
  19. learning starts with leaving your comfort zone
  20. invest in teaching others what you learn
  21. love yourself before you expect a girl/woman to love you
  22. never point a gun that you’re not prepared to shoot
  23. some fights are best won by walking away
  24. don’t judge others just because they are different from you
  25. learn from the mistakes of others
  26. save more than you spend
  27. girls/women think completely different from you
  28. celebrate the differences
  29. give respect to others
  30. let your presence command respect from all
  31. give thanks daily for what you have
  32. it’s okay to cry
  33. smile more than you frown
  34. stand up straight
  35. (almost always) tell the truth
  36. look people in the eyes when you talk to them
  37. always get there early
  38. always consider the consequence
  39. seek God always