Greg Hewgill (ghewgill) wrote,
Greg Hewgill

instructions for life

One day many years ago I received a cheesy email chain letter from the wife of a good friend and coworker. I'll spare you the chain letter part, but I felt the list of "Instructions for Life" part was worth keeping. I reread this every so often to remind myself of the wisdom it contains. A few of the things on the list have, I believe, changed my life for the better since I first received this. So, I thought I'd share.

Paul and Michelle, I hope you and your family are doing well, wherever you are.

Instructions for Life

  1. Give people more than they expect and do it cheerfully.
  2. Memorize your favorite poem.
  3. Don't believe all you hear.
  4. Don't spend all you have.
  5. Don't sleep all you want.
  6. When you say, "I love you", mean it.
  7. When you say, "I'm sorry", look the person in the eye.
  8. Be engaged at least six months before you get married.
  9. Believe in love at first sight.
  10. Never laugh at anyone's dreams.
  11. Love deeply and passionately. You might get hurt but it's the only way to live life completely.
  12. In disagreements, fight fairly. No name calling.
  13. Don't judge people by their relatives.
  14. Talk slowly, but think quick.
  15. When someone asks you a question you don't want to answer, smile and ask, "Why do you want to know?"
  16. Remember that great love and great achievements involve great risk.
  17. Call your parents.
  18. Say, "God bless you," when you hear someone sneeze.
  19. When you lose, don't lose the lesson.
  20. Remember the three R's: Respect for self; Respect for others; Responsibility for all your actions.
  21. Don't let a little dispute injure a great friendship.
  22. When you realize you've made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it.
  23. Smile when picking up the phone. The caller will hear it in your voice.
  24. Marry a person you love to talk to. As you get older, his or her conversational skills will be as important as any other.
  25. Spend some time alone.
  26. Open your arms to change, but don't let go of your values.
  27. Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.
  28. Read more books and watch less TV.
  29. Live a good, honorable life. Then when you get older and think back, you'll get to enjoy it a second time.
  30. Trust in God but lock your car.
  31. A loving atmosphere in your home is so important. Do all you can to create a tranquil, harmonious home.
  32. In disagreements with loved ones, deal with a current situation. Don't bring up the past.
  33. Read between the lines.
  34. Share your knowledge. It's a way to achieve immortality.
  35. Be gentle with the earth.
  36. Pray. There's immeasurable power in it.
  37. Never interrupt when you are being flattered. Say, "Thank you."
  38. Mind your own business.
  39. Don't trust a person who doesn't close his or her eyes when you kiss them.
  40. Once a year, go someplace you've never been before.
  41. If you make a lot of money, put it to use helping others while you are living. That is wealth's greatest satisfaction.
  42. Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a stroke of luck.
  43. Learn the rules, then break some.
  44. Remember that the best relationship is one where your love for each other is greater than your need for each other.
  45. Judge your success by what you had to give up in order to get it.
  46. Remember that your character is your destiny.
  47. Approach love and cooking with reckless abandon.
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