Top 56 Pieces of Advice for My Son

 Advice for My Son That I Want to Make Sure He Knows/Remembers (In Case I Forget)

Photo of Baby Henry as a Newborn in Blue Hat

1.  Hold the door.  

  • For women.  For elderly.  For children.

2.  Give back the compliment.  

  • Don’t get too used to receiving compliments without reminding yourself to appreciate the positive qualities of those around you.  If someone compliments you on your fashion style, say thank you.  And ask yourself what qualities you appreciate about that person.  

3.   Your daughter and your son are watching and listening. 

  • When you have kids, the way you speak to them becomes their inner voice.

4.   If it’s after 10 pm, have the conversation tomorrow.   

  • Nothing good happens after 10:00 pm.  Wait until the morning to have difficult conversations. 

5.   Hard liquor isn’t your friend. 

  • Some of the best advice my father gave to me was to stay away from hard liquor.   I’ve watched so many people make stupid mistakes drinking hard liquor.

6.   Uber.  

  • Don’t drive drunk or high or tired.  

7.   The nice nerd gets the girl. 

  • Apply yourself at school and be a gentleman - you’ll be a catch one day.

8.   You don’t have to be the best in the world.  

9.   Listen to your gut instinct.  It’s telling you something important.

10. Expect nothing and appreciate everything.

  • Sometimes we don't know we're in the good ole days until they're over.   
  • One of my favorite quotes was spoken by Queen Elizabeth II:
    • "That's the thing about unhappiness - it takes something worse to come along sometimes before you realize that it was happiness after all." (The Crown, Queen Elizabeth II)

11.   Rejection is a learning opportunity. 

  • And it's a part of life.  I'm sorry it hurts, and I wish it didn't.

12.   No means NO.  

  • It’s not cute and it’s not funny when a woman says no to keep trying. Respect it. 

13.   Involve your children in your hobbies.  

14.   When you’re wrong, apologize.  

  • Learn how to take responsibility for your own actions.  Being wrong is OK.  

15.   Not knowing the answer is also OK. 

  • It’s OK to say “I don’t know” when you don’t know.  

16.   Not all questions are worthy of an answer from you.  

17.   Save the Ladybug from the Pool

  • Kindness is one of the most underrated qualities.  When I was in college, I was at the pool with my boyfriend and I’ll never forget looking over at him as he saved a drowning ladybug from the pool - he picked it up and placed it on the pavement and made sure it could walk away and fly before before he caught his breath with relief.   This was one of the most attractive and heart-warming things I’ve ever seen in a man (he had no idea I was watching him.) 

18.   Family vacations before personal vacations. 

19.   Showing up to sports is IMPORTANT as a parent.  

20.   The less you try to be cool, the cooler you’ll be.  

  • Be you. 

21.   Be the person your dog thinks you are.  

22.   Have your girlfriend home by her curfew and spend time with her parents.  

23.   Being a “mamas boy” is OK, but be weary of anyone, including me, who constantly tells you that you’re right.   

24.   Men who don’t like animals are a red flag to a lot of women. 

  • Learn to animals.  That empathy is necessary in so many parts of your life.  

25.   Do what makes you happy for your career.  

26.   The best revenge against someone is being happy yourself.  

27.   Be comfortable writing letters that you NEVER send. 

28.   Firms handshakes are overrated.  

  • I think society needs to calm down on the whole "firm handshake means good leader" business.   People take it too far - make sure you don't hurt the hand of the person you're greeting when shaking their hand.

29.   Wear good shoes.   Respect your feet.  

  • If your feet hurt, listen to your body.  Take care of them.  I almost learned this the hard way!

30.   Don’t be the stinky fart guy. 

  • Everybody farts, but please don't be the boyfriend or husband that frequently has stinky farts and doesn't have the courtesy to walk away first.   Your wife will tolerate it at first, but it will hurt your intimate life. 

31.   Please, learn the difference between "your" and "you’re" and "we’re" and "were" and "too" and "to"….

  • when in doubt of the proper usage, change the sentence if you're unable to figure it own in the moment, but make sure you learn what the proper usage would have been.

32.   Driving fast isn’t cool.  

  • It’s stupid.  

33.    Remember birthdays.  

  • Put them in your calendar. 

34.   Save money.  

  • This is cliché, but it must be said.  Spend half and save half.  Start a retirement account as young as you possibly can.

35.   Don’t kiss and tell. 

  • Using crude language about the kiss you had last night makes you look creepy.  Be respectful.  

36.   No matter which gender you love, I will ALWAYS love you.  

  • I will always be here for you for as long as I am alive.  Don’t be afraid to talk to me.  

37.   Find a good doctor.  

  • And be compliant with her orders.  One thing I learned from working at a hospital is that “C’s Get Degrees” (meaning that not all doctor are good doctors; you deserve the best doctor.  Find the best doctor.  Do your homework after I’m gone to find the best doctor.)
  • Remember:
    • YOU are the only one in charge of your health. There’s a reason men statistically die sooner than women, and this is not a proven fact, but I believe it’s because men avoid the doctor in order to look tough or because they think someone else will set it up for them.  When I’m gone, you need to know how to take care of yourself.  Don’t roll your eyes.  When it comes to your HEALTH, do NOT ignore it.  You can ignore a lot of things in life but ignoring your health will creep up on you.  

38.   Respect women.  Do NOT yell.

  • Recognize that we are built differently and that we are vulnerable to being physically attacked - when men yell, it can be terrifying.   Don't be a yeller. 

39.   Make nice with her parents.
  • An article on said this perfectly:
    • "Don't embarrass me, kid. Introduce yourself to your date's parents, shake hands, smile, yes-sir and no-ma'am them, compliment their daughter (or son!) and their home. Maybe even make them laugh."

40.   Empathy.  Before you judge a man, walk two moons in his shoes.

  • Having empathy (or sympathy) can cure anger and resentment that you have towards another person.  
  • "Walk Two Moons" was one of my favorite books when I was in elementary school.  It explains that before you judge another person, walk two moons in their shoes.  

41.   Don’t brag about your career when you’re successful - no one likes it (except for me and your father).  

  • If you’re a successful attorney, don’t go out of your way to tell anyone and everyone that you’re an attorney (they’ll figure it out).  If you’re a doctor, there’s no need to slip it into a conversation to brag - people will figure that out.   If you belong to a country club, be mindful if those around you don’t when mentioning it.  Be proud of your success but be protective of yourself - people remember what you said but they remember more how you made them FEEL - you don’t need to build yourself up above others to feel better about yourself.  If you ever find yourself in this position, please volunteer at a homeless shelter or an animal rescue organization.  

42.   The best parents are the parents without kids.   

  • It’s harder than you think (for me, my love for you was so consuming that I’d lay in bed at night worried about what might happen to you).  

43.   Leave a glass of water by your bed every night.  

  • Drink water.  

45.   Ask for help if you need it.  

  • If you feel lost, go to a church that you trust and ask for help. 

46.   Learn to forgive.  

  • And the let it go. 

47.   The older you get, the more you need the people you knew when you were younger.

48.  Know your place.  

49.   Learn how to enjoy your own company

  • Being bored is OK.  At the end of the day, we need to be comfortable with ourselves.  

51.   Don’t give people a hammer to hit you over the head with.  

  • This is the same advice I gave to your sister in the post Top Life Lessons for My Daughter.  
  • "Don't give someone a hammer to hit you over the head with" is a figure of speech that my grandfather taught to my mother, and then my mother taught to me.  What it means is to be careful with what you do, say and share with people.  You don't want something that you have done, or said, to one day come back and bite you (or, rather, to come back as the "hammer" (so to speak) that hits you over the head later on down the road).  

52.   Don’t look at the trees; look at the chairlift.  

  • This is another bit of advice I want your sister to remember, and I talk about it in the post Top Life Lessons for My Daughter.  
  • Here is how I explain what this means in that post.
    • What we see depends mainly on what we look for. So focus on where you want to be - not on where you don’t want to go.
    • My first time snowboarding was a nightmare - I skipped the "Bunny Hill" and arrogantly decided to start my first snow-boarding experience at the top of Vail mountain (a terrible idea for a first-time snow-boarder), and despite my extreme fear of running into a tree as I went down the Blue Diamond ski slope, I still found myself, time and time again, tangled up in the trees on the side of the mountain, struggling to get out of the white powder and back on the smoother snow trail. Then, a wise man in a blue snow-suit gave me wonderful words of advice, “Keep your eyes focused on where you want to go (which was the chair lift) – and not on where you don’t want to go (which was the trees at the side of the mountain)." Before he pointed this out to me, I had been so focused on not running into the trees on the side of the mountain that my eyes were literally focused on that stupid forest. So then, I took his advice, and I changed my focus and kept my eyes on the chair-lift at the bottom of the mountain. And guess what? It worked. This new mentality magically re-programmed my body and brought me to the chairlift (with no stops at the stupid trees). Don't get me wrong: I still fell on my butt a lot on my way to the chairlift, but that was way better than ending up wrapped around the trunk of a pine tree under a pile of snow! I think this advice is a great analogy that can cross-over to our real, everyday life. Keep your focus on where you want to be - not your fears

53.   No one wants a picture of your penis.  Don't send that photo.  Don't take that photo.

54.   Be confident dancing (don’t care what anyone else thinks).  

55.   Don’t be a bully.  

  • Don't be the guy who ridiculed, humiliates or pokes fun at someone else.

56.   Call your mother.  

  • Please.  I always miss you and I love you so much.  

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