I don’t have a son but one day I hope to (and a daughter as well). These are the things I plan to teach him and in doing so I hope that he’ll have a happy life and end up a strong and beautiful man ready to take on the world.
1. Listen To Your Mother
She wants you to be something you’re proud of.
2. Understand That Not Everything Pays Off Immediately
Acting the right way, being kind and understanding, being patient, these things don’t have a payoff that you’ll see right away. They’re life practices and life practices frame and define your life. Whether or not you have solid life practices you stand by will determine the kind of man you are.
Don’t be too concerned with payoffs.
3. Take Your Time
Living fast will take its toll both emotionally and physically. Everyone wants to party all the time when they’re young but if you don’t moderate this you run the risk of hurting yourself or someone else. Take a step back, don’t be in a hurry to suck life down from one cup. There are many cups, take sips from each and pace yourself.
In love, especially, take your time. Failed love always brings trauma. Minimize that trauma.
4. There Will Be Ups And Downs
You will fall in love and she will fall in love. You will fall out of love or she will fall out of love. This is just the way things are. Never define your life by your relationships. Define your life by the kind of love you give and the kind of love you want in return. Make sure these are equal.
Ups and downs are inevitable, not the exception. Don’t be surprised by them. Expect them.
5. Believe In Something Bigger Than Yourself
It doesn’t have to be God but it should have the authority of a god in your life. Voltaire said that if God did not exist then man would have to invent him. Practice moral invention in your life and make the best out of the worst as an act of creation. Do this religiously and keep your eye on the higher ideal you have in mind.
Use this to keep perspective.
6. Don’t Be Greedy
Greed hollows you out, makes you less interesting, and alienates you from people of high quality. Draw your self worth from who you are and, most importantly, remember that you are what you do. Do things that satisfy you.
7. Understand Yourself
In trying to reach those high ideals you have, make sure you never complicate your mind and heart so much that you no longer understand yourself. If you don’t understand yourself then you can’t make changes and you’ll never be clear on the real reasons you feel the way you feel.
Do your best to cultivate a mind that burns clean. In order to have that you’ll need to let go of baggage that’s holding you down.