UNITED STATES—This paper has taken me a few weeks to write. It is written from my heart with sincerity and love. I tried to finish it for Father’s Day, but I kept making changes. Writing this paper reminds how lucky I am to be a father. I hope my long-winded messages will be received with the passion for which they have been written. Life is a journey and even at my age there is so much more to learn. In addition, life is dynamic, meaning that all things and thoughts are subject to change with time and experience as you evolve.
When people are incredibly young they do not want to here advice. Somewhere around 28 years old many people begin to ask and listen for sage advice. I wrote this for my oldest son who is along with being the nicest person I know, also caring and loving. He is an amazing person and I love him very much. I am lucky and blessed to have such a great son. He is thirsty for success and knowledge. He is loyal, honest, passionate, kind, generous and a great person. He is balanced and he constantly strives to be even a better person. He accepts people for who they are not who he wants them to be.
I wrote this with the purpose of giving him a guide to being the best he can be. He probably does not need my help or advice. Most everything here he already knows but to have it in one place is a great tool in his journey to a successful and meaningful life. This paper is not meant to be read all at once but instead in “bite size” portions. To read one item every day for thirty nine (39) days will produce the biggest impact. It does not hurt to first read it on a once through basis. However, to get real results after reading the entire paper then take one item at a time each day.
I am sharing this personal paper to maybe help even one other son or daughter who may have questions. I am not a preacher or rabbi just a normal father who loves his children and cares about others. In my life I have often been wrong and many times I have exhibited poor choices, but I have learned from these mistakes. Overtime I have evolved to become more sensitive and aware of who I am. I am not saying I am right on everything and maybe not even anything. It is not about agreeing with what I say, but only to listen.
General Principals of Living the Good Life
A) Most of life is about making mistakes then learning and growing.
B) Always be a student. Learn to grow from your good and/or bad experiences in life.
C) Life is about having a spiritual base. Develop an understanding between the balance of the creation of life and science. It is always best to live and walk in a harmonious way. True Harmony comes from joy, happiness, and inner peace.
D) Learn and strive to be a great communicator. Mastering communication with people will open doors, avenues, and an unlimited world to you.
E) Successful communicators often use a “make it their idea” philosophy. Making it the other person(s) idea can become an immensely powerful tool. Its easy to get someone to follow if it is their idea. Sometimes this is not possible and in such cases bite size steps forward can get you where you want to be.
F) Life is all about making good choices. Even one good choice can change the course and success of your live and that of others. One mistake can destroy or kill a person. Use your instinct it will be one of your greatest protectors.
G) Life is about Moments. Moments will make lasting Memories. Know that life is short. Maybe keep a daily journal. Choose a good moment such as taking a picture and you will have a great memory for life. That is why I take pictures and videos. To hold on to memories. The age of cell phones with cameras and storing them up on the cloud makes it easy. Later, sharing makes for closer communication and great memories. A picture is really worth a thousand words. It can rekindle a lost or damaged relationship.
H) Be open minded. Having lived in many other countries and often being the only white person, I have learned much about caring. I have learned much about not prejudging people. I have learned to give everyone a chance. I have learned that there are good and bad people but that most people are of high character. I have been blessed in my journeys and realize that we are all important. I have learned to be opened minded. To share is to care. It has been my experience to accept people and this attitude has found me great happiness and freedom. It has allowed me to love and respect all people, even when they are much different than me.
I) Practice on consistently being kind, courteous, polite, considerate, appreciative, do not be afraid of commitments, empathetic, and sincere with everyone who touches your life.
J) It has been my experience that people cannot be changed. It is better to accept and appreciate someone for who they are. Instead of change we can all modify our behavior and become a better person. The ultimate goal should be to “evolve” throughout life and grow as time passes.
K) When you commit to something always stand by your word (unless it is out of your control). This means to have a strong value system that is backed up with integrity. Do not leave people hanging, so give a yes or no on things as soon as possible. Then communicate “immediately” if your answer and circumstances change. Respect other people when they say yes or no.
Essentials For Powerful Living
1) A good first step to being happy is to always know that you are loved and appreciated. This begins with “Loving yourself”. Loving yourself is a commandment. Once you master loving yourself it will be easier to love other people. This attitude will make it easier to move on from problematic people who might harm your future. With the concept of loving yourself it also means to learn to listen. If everyone you know tells you something, then you owe it to yourself to at least listen. Problems can only be solved if you accept and realize that there is a problem. With this in mind always own the outcome of any situation both good and bad.
2) Know yourself. Know your strengths and weaknesses. This will help you in always taking steps forward. When doing anything if you take that little extra step you will know greater success. For example: When you are doing pushups do one more than your original goal. Practice daily praising and rewarding yourself when you reach goals. Sometimes achieving even, the smallest goal can have great impact on your life. Learn how to gracefully accept and receive praise from others. Remember when someone gives you a gift, take the time and show appreciation. Words are powerful and you can give them meaning by acknowledging the complement. Most importantly: You are a highly intellectual person, so know how to forgive yourself and forgive others. Humility is real. Maybe you are smarter than those around you but NEVER underestimate another person. Be careful of “living in Expectation.” People who do this often get let down and can allow bitterness to enter into their life. Expect the best but if you fall short accept the outcome and move forward with new expectations.
3) Motivation is one of the main keys to success. I believe doing things in moderation is a good approach to life. When is it no longer moderation and instead excess? A big first step is recognizing and accepting “when” changes need to be made. The problem is that even when you realize change is needed, that alone is not enough. I have found that it is often easy to start on the road to change, but hard to stay on course. How does a person stay motivated once they get on the path to reaching a goal? How many people start the gym to only quit? How many people try to stop smoking, drinking or drugs only to start again? For me, a journal helps as it keeps me responsible. Maybe a change in environment and friends can be the catalyst for change. I have found that to pray daily is very powerful in helping me in staying focused and motivated. To find a support group is another proven method, groups like Alcoholics Anonymous “AA” have done wonders in helping people over the years. I find that building routines and habits which are repeated at the same time every day is a help. Finding and “replacing” bad habits with good ones is a wonderful approach. For example, take a dance class instead of watching television and it will help you in losing weight. Another good idea is to keep temptation away. For example, never stock your kitchen or refrigerator with junk food. I also find that rewarding myself when I reach milestones with treats and gifts is a great motivator. To be a mentor and find a mentor is an absolute winning approach to self-improvement. I believe in having several mentors because no single person is an expert in all areas. To have someone you admire, a person from which to learn and obtain advice is a wonderful way to grow. To be a mentor to others will force you to self-access yourself and the advice you are giving. To create lasting change requires strong ongoing motivation. I advise that you experiment with all of these various strategies and you may just find the magic recipe in being the best you can be. As a caution you are unique and what works for someone else may not be your solution. Finding the lane that works for you may take time and experimentation.
4) With everything you do in life there is risk. For this reason, I always develop an exit strategy at the start, just in case things go wrong. My purpose is to remove fear from my thinking so that I am never held back from being all in. We all saw the devasting impact that fear created around the entire world during the COVID-19 crisis. To initially be cautious and examine the risk is good. It is prudent to evaluate and understand potential risk at the start and then to accept or reject it. To accept risk is the only way anyone can generate success on both personal and business levels. The question is, how do you identify the risk and what steps need to be taken to mitigate it? How likely is the worst-case scenario to happen? Are you willing to accept the risk? If the worst happens what is your exit strategy? Once you have accepted the risk, you can move forward with passion and often big success. This is not a reason to undertake dangerous hobbies . Human nature is interesting, and it will always be your best teacher. Much can be learned by observing nature. One of the many examples involving risk would be people who are exhibiting paranoid behavior. The fact is when you fear something it will be drawn to you and the odds of it occurring are increased. What you desire most will be pushed away by your paranoid actions. This paranoia will cause you to act in ways that repel what you actually desire. The good news is with action you can modify such paranoid types of behavior. Realize that changes take time and will not happen on an overnight basis. One idea is to keep a journal. A journal will force you to notice “become aware” when you begin experiencing such fear-based behavior. The first step is to stop overthinking and instead go with the flow. Your subconscious mind and instinct will be there to protect you. I advise that you learn to trust and follow your instinct. Another tool is to write the pros and cons associated with each situation in which you find yourself overthinking. With a potential significant other for example, just write the pros and cons about the person. When doing this think both short and long term. This strategy works every time in removing fear from both your personal and business life. How many people run from the alter on their wedding day? Living in fear can ruin a person’s life and has been many people’s downfall. You must free yourself from such thinking. Becoming aware is a giant step toward solving this issue of fear. In general, what you think (what you visualize) will impact your future in both good and bad ways. While this strategy does not always work, it will give you a huge head start. For example, if you think that in the future you will be the fastest runner ever, unless you have the physical tools it will never happen. If you have such a goal as being number one at anything regardless of the final outcome, you on the right path. When you focus your energy on that “one thought” it will push you closer to success. That one thought will cause you to put in the extra effort to reach the success you have visualized. Often the difference in being the best and only average, is ridiculously small. If you think you are a bad driver probably you will have an accident. If you think you are a terrible public speaker you will be. If you fear of being cheated, you may just get taken advantage of in the future. If you say you cannot dance, you will never be able to dance. The opposite in each of these examples is true and that is why you need to have confidence and believe in both yourself and in the dreams you visualized. It is natural to be afraid, but you must not let it rule your life. Once you have removed fear from your life you can achieve all things. Once fear is under control and managed a person’s commitment levels also rise. Such commitment builds passion and increases the probability of success. These tips will assist in your journey to a successful future.
5) Bitterness can throw a person out of balance. Do not demand or judge others because you want them to perform at your level. The secret is to select friends who are already at your level, and watch the synergy naturally happen.
6) The easiest way to walk in society is The Golden Rule. Treat others the way you wish to be treated. People are different, so even better is to treat someone like they would like to be treated. So simple yet few do this. Instead of trying to make everyone like you, appreciate their differences.
7) Sacrifice. Parents seem to instinctively do this. Think of the many ways your parents have shown you love. You do not need to wait to be a parent to practice this endearing skill.
8) Non-working time (off time and free time) are not what you should aim to live for. Living for the weekend is many people’s approach to life. It is narrow thinking and a narrow walk of life that can lead to imbalance and unhappiness. Why only enjoy two days each week? Why not enjoy all seven days? Find a job that is your passion. It is written by an old philosopher, “if you love what you are doing, you will never work a day in your life.” Make it your dream and a top priority. Having fun should be a secondary path to success and joy. The fact is fun will just come naturally if you love what you are doing. It may hard to do but it is actually easy, and it is a wonderful way to live life. If you surround yourself with people who live for more than just two days each week, you will then be surrounded by friends who are winners.
9) When you start a new relationship, begin with healthy hobbies you can do together. The key to any successful relationship or marriage is going from self to “the us.” Possibilities include a daily jog or hike, tennis, ballroom or other types of dancing, bike riding, a weekly picnic even in your own yard, gym together, find a church and be involved in their activities, keeping a joint journal can be fun. Choose only good and right things. Each week never miss adding something good about your partner in the journal, even if only one sentence or a simple paragraph as long as something is added by both people each week. It is often said, love and sex begin in the kitchen. So, maybe take cooking classes together. Yes, the list goes on. Some have seen great success leaving little notes or positive gestures for the other. Building up another person also builds you up! It creates relational harmony and lots of positive outcomes. Do not react immediately and say things you later regret. Slow down if an argument.
10) Remember as you gain more and more success to always be gracious and respect others. You are not better than others, it is just that you made different choices. You may become the most important person in the world but during your journey there were others who stood by your side. Maybe it was family, teachers, employers, mentors, a book you read, friends or even a random stranger who made a positive difference in your life. Absolutely in the end it will be your tenacity and passion that allow you to overcome the many obstacles as the primary reason that you will become so successful. At the same time, your fine character was built overtime and is the result of your life’s journey. To show that you care, to give and not always take will bring you many great rewards. Some of the rewards you receive in life may not be tangible, but they are meaningful. Your attitude and caring will build a better you. You never know when you can make a huge difference in the life of another person or vice versa. However, when it does happen it is a great feeling to be a difference maker. Instead of taking things for granted, always be thankful and appreciate your good fortune. Also remember success is not only measured by money. Health and fitness along with other things are much more important than money.
11) Treat yourself once your hard work has earned you success. By rewarding yourself with meaningful gifts it will bring the sacrifices you have made into perspective. It is true that “things” in themselves cannot make you happy, but they are important in slowing you down. By rewarding yourself you will realize the past hard work was worth the effort. This does not mean being wasteful but instead having a reason for all the sacrifice to get where you are now. An example of treating yourself is to buy that house you always dreamed of, go on a special vacation, buy your partner some amazing gift of love, etc.
12) Always be responsible. First never allow anyone to force you to drink or to do drugs. If you do decide to drink then being in control is most important. Heavy drinking is not good for the organs of your body. It is not good for your brain cells. It can lead to depression and bad judgement. Be a person of discipline and good judgement. I advise no drinks past 11 or at the worst-case midnight and to limit drinking to a maximum of two drinks. Try and be in bed by midnight. Most trouble starts after midnight. Drinking too often comes with steep price which may include declining health, loss of respect from others, poor judgement, a broken family, or just outright trouble. In today’s world there is no reason to drink and drive. Always use ride sharing and never drive yourself when drinking as even one drink is one too many to be driving. In summary, when going out it is best to not overly drink. Drinking will create an artificial crutch and build the wrong confidence. Drinking has been the culprit of causing to many unnecessary fights. You know who you are. Meet friends sober as often as possible. You will get better-quality friends with this approach. By not overly drinking you will be forced to naturally build your commination skills. By mastering your communication skills, you have increased the chances of a success at all levels including marriage, business, family, and friends.
13) Always avoid trouble. One of the first things they teach in self-defense is to “Walk Away”. It takes far greater bravery and self-discipline to walk away than to stand and fight. Never engage in road rage. Many people have guns. Many more than you realize. This goes for physical fights also.
14) Take care of your body. Eat healthy and exercise regularly. There are so many ways to exercise including the gym. You can use the stairs instead of the elevator, go hiking, go dancing, pushups, take up a sport such as basketball or tennis, jogging, yoga, and many other ways to get exercise. The important thing is to get out and do it. For me exercise not only helps my body but it frees up my mind. It allows me to escape and forget about everything else during the time I exercise. Exercise helps me maintain perspective in this crazy world.
15) Be on time at all times. In fact, it is best to be 5 minutes early. First impressions can mean a lot in business and life. Being on time shows that you respect the other persons time. It shows that you are a responsible person. Make being neat and organized a habit. When I see a messy office, I think the person is unorganized. When I visit a person’s office and all things are in perfect order, I conclude that this person does nothing all day. Like in all things there is always a healthy balance which must be achieved.
16) Dream high. With dedication and time, you can be a success at anything. It is actually easier than you think to reach any goal you set. On the personal side to find a sophisticated, beautiful inside and out, kindhearted, elegant, life partner will add value to your life . Reach for success both in your personal and business life. People you are in sync with and enjoy being with. Remember it is often the little things you do for someone that someone which will mean the most. Something as simple as washing the dishes or opening the door for the other person shows you care. On the flip side, the wrong partner can cause you trouble and for a long period of time. Run as fast as you can from bad people.
17) Be strong and permanently rid your life of people for which there is no future. Never go back if it is not a click. This does not mean being disrespectful, it simply means moving on. There is meaning in the old saying “Birds of feather flock together”. Everyone knows the wrong crowd can spell trouble. On the other hand, a good friend set can generate opportunity, synergy and let us call it more magic than you can ever imagine. NEVER get in a physical fight with a anyone. It is almost a guarantee of jail time. No person, not even a spouse is worth risking your freedom! Walk away! Cool down and save it. Let common calmer heads prevail later.
18) When you have a good idea, write it down immediately. This also goes for fun ideas with your significant other. A good idea can keep your romance alive or capture a great business idea. Keep a pad by your desk, even by your bed to write down ideas. If you wake with a winning idea, take a moment and note that idea down on your pad or mobile device. If you do not take the time to write it down, later it can be forgotten.
19) What you think is a what you become is a fact. I advise to write down your goals along with timetables for achievements. Look at what you wrote down regularly. Learn everything you can about your dream goals to give you a competitive edge over others. Pray about it daily and before long it will happen. This is true on big and small things. Example: In the next one year I will find the perfect partner whom I will admire respect and love. We will have wonderful children. I will make so much money that I can afford to send them all to good schools. I will be content and happy with my life. I will own a big house and in safe neighborhood. I have a high IQ, SQ and EQ (perfect judgement) at all times. I am always safe and secure. My family is always safe and secure. I am blessed and count my blessings. What I think is what I become. I consciously think only about good things that improve my life. I never get angry as I always have a winning solution to every problem.
20) Do not judge a book by the cover is a well know phrase. I believe that it is important to follow this advice. However, realize that “other people” will judge you “the book by the cover” based on your appearance. Therefore, it is always best to dress for success. Smell nice at all times is also important. Smile when you see people. Shave every day and stay well groomed. A good example that I have observed which illustrates the importance of looking your best is guys trying to be cool with that playboy whisker look. I am unaware of even one successful businessperson in the entire world who has that unshaved whisker look. Sure, many successful people I know have a beard or mustache. However, none and I do mean none who I have observed have that playboy whisker look. The girls that this look attracts are most likely are the wrong type. Instead of making you look cool, it will do the opposite and you will be judged as being “lazy.” Another point on not judging others is that when someone is acting like a jerk, simply smile and feel sorry for them/wish them the best. Never let another person’s horrible attitude hurt you or affect your behavior. Why let someone who is in a bad mood destroy your day. Just let it go. If you are ever out of character and accidently hurt another person’s feelings, go back later, and apologize.
21) Respect other people at all times. Not to the point of ridiculous, but to respect others even when they are very wrong builds for you, strong character. It does not mean you need to change your mind on something, but tolerance can make you the strongest person in the world. Maybe give your first child the middle name of tolerance.
22) Be at peace that you are important to your family, to yourself and the world. You are loved by God, family, friends, and the world needs you. Always be thankful and this means going the extra step. For example, to orally say thanks is normally enough. However, sometimes to follow it up with a short note can be powerful . Not only does it let the person know you are sincere, it also gives you the time to slow down and appreciate what you are giving thanks for.
23) Forget being pompous or arrogant. In life friends and allies are important. Be careful on being flamboyant as it will be insulting to others. Confidence is important, thinking you are better than others to the point of arrogance does the opposite. In today’s world you must not flaunt in front of others. For example, if you fly first class, it is best not to tell others. The reason is simple, it will draw the wrong people into your life.
24) Avoid vindictive people at all times. Vindictive is defined as a person who has a strong or unreasonable desire for revenge. The problem with trying to harm someone who you “think” hurt you is that often it is misplaced blame and untrue. Successful people are those who accept ownership for failures. To forgive and to forget, move on to new pastures is the trait of successful people. No matter how attractive the proposition seems, a vindictive person will be the cause of your eventual failure.
25) Never constantly look at your phone its insulting. Doing this tells the person whom you are meeting with that they are not important. It is okay to take an occasional glance at messages that have come in but keep it to a minimum. My rule is to never look at the phone more than once every fifteen minutes and then for no more than thirty seconds at any one time. There are exceptions, such as you are in the middle of something especially important that will require immediate attention. If this is the case, simply tell the person before the meeting starts and ask their permission to be looking at the phone more often than normal. Everyone appreciates being respected.
26) Never think things cannot get worse. Things can always get worse. So even in the toughest of times slow down and keep your cool. At times to pray can help you regain perceptive. Maybe just turn off your phone and go for a long walk. The point is to take a pause and regain perceptive. Once you accept things can get worse, you will actively take steps to change the tide.
27) Always keep improving yourself. Life is meant to be constantly moving forward. By learning new things, you will be a more fulfilled person. I suggest taking classes and to read books in new areas. You may just find a new passion and hobby. To attend conferences is a great way to meet people and learn from the speakers. At the gym and in the car on what might otherwise be wasted time I often listen to music, podcasts, audio books (biographies, tech, science, and other subjects) and speeches from conferences. Sometimes I play the audio at 1.5 to 2.0 times the normal speed.
28) Do not correct people on meaningless things. People hate know it all’s. People also dislike complainers, so stop complaining. Instead appreciate what is good and forget being a malcontented person.
29) Do not let other people make you feel guilty. If you know that you did your best and failed, then let it go and move on. Time once gone is gone forever. Do not let this make you paranoid about making mistakes, as mistakes along the way can make you a better person. Meaning balance is more important than being accountable for every minute of every day. Live in today as it is the most important day of your life. Have a solid plan for the future but it is what you accomplish today which will make tomorrows dreams come true.
30) Be happy for others and stop being jealous. Be thankful that you are who you are. Realize that you are a wonderful and unique person. Look at others to learn from their success, not to wish you were them.
31) If you offend another person you must sincerely apologize. Even when you think they are ridiculous it is best to let it go and make a friend. After a bee stings someone it will die. This means when you lose your cool you may kill an important relationship. The good news is that you are not a bee and can always go back and apologize. It may be painful to apologize but this is exactly what sincere people do when they are wrong.
32) Stop criticizing others and take a look at yourself first. You may be remarkably successful, but we all have areas that need improvement. Be empathetic to others and you will find great happiness.
33) Never argue over small things, it is never worth the energy that you will expend. Often people want to be right so badly that they get confused and expend energy on things that are not important. Let small things go and move forward to success. To always be right is not a winning formula.
34) The sun will rise, and the sun will set every day. What this means is no matter what happens in a day let it go. Start the next day with fresh energy and a positive attitude. Do not bring problems home as both you and your family are more important than any problem. They deserve your love and attention.
35) When making assumptions, realize that often they are wrong. Conclusions are always based on the inputs that are used. This means be incredibly careful with assumptions when you learn information. Assumptions are just as important as the final result, so think carefully when assuming anything. Realize that different points in time will add variables to an outcome. What you thought five years ago may have been correct at that time, but today you may come up with a different conclusion which is also right. This does not mean you were wrong before, but that life is always moving, and you must be flexible in the ways you think.
36) Do not believe everything you read on the Internet or hear on the news. Bad information can cause you to make poor decisions. Maybe the information you are reading is old and no longer accurate, so always check the date of the posting. Maybe it was planted to influence people and it is not true. Even reports from respected writers and newscasters can come to different conclusions about the same situation. There can be many reasons for reaching the wrong conclusion, but realize just because it is in writing, does not make it accurate.
37) I learned three important lessons by going to the gym. One is the importance of consistency. Meaning for real results you must go regularly. The second one is no pain and no gain. This means you must push yourself past your limits to see real results. Maybe 30 minutes on the treadmill instead of 15. The third one is the importance of building routines and habits. Routines and habits make it easier to stay the course. I go to the gym everyday at 6AM and this helps me with not missing workouts. These three principals are just as important in the world of life as they are with your exercise program. To be a successful person you must be consistent and build healthy habits and routines. You must push yourself by reading and listening, along with other hard work (the pain) to realize the gain.
38) Let things go. Never dwell upon a blunder, just learn from it and move on. This means you must learn to forgive yourself. You must learn to forgive others. To forgive is one of the most powerful tools in life. It is one of the great healing tools in the universe. To forgive is to know freedom. It will keep you from holding grudges and give you better balance. To forgive will help you in building respect for yourself and others.
39) Realize that there are always people smarter than you. Also, there are people, not as educated or intelligent as you. Never sell either type of person short as both can add value and be forever friends. Many times, it is the person who is not well educated and without a high IQ (intelligence quotient) that can be the difference maker . This type of person will often be more straightforward. They will probably not overthink something that should be kept simple. At times we all get to complicated in our thinking and miss the obvious answer and solution. The moral of the story is to never underestimate anyone. Always show respect to everyone if you want lasting relationships and happiness. Some people think EQ (Emotional Intelligence) is more important than IQ. IQ is defined as a person’s ability to gain knowledge along with one’s ability to use this knowledge to problem solve and meet objectives. EQ is where you use your emotion and instinct to guide you in adapting to an environment when seeking a solution. Some people refer to EQ as common sense. The final one is SQ (Spiritual Quotient) which will bring you beyond your cognitive and emotional skillsets. To me SQ is important as it adds perspective to the equation. What can you offer humanity? A person will high SQ may have the goal of great wealth but in the end this person will be happy if required to live a humble life. The SQ person realizes they are important but small in comparison to the entire universe. People with high SQ care about others not just themselves. Learn to use and trust your instinct. Using your IQ, EQ and SQ will heighten your natural instinct.
All in all , these are my thoughts for you living a healthy life. Of course, there are so many more but if you can master these thirty-nine (39) points you are well on your way to a great life.
Written By John M. Probandt