Life’s Little Instruction Book

Every few months or so, I would go to my optometrist to get my eyes checked and to get either new contact lenses or glasses. Each time I’ve went for the past few years, I would always sit in the waiting room and look up at this one significant poster…a poster entitled, “Life’s Little Instruction Book” by H. Jackson Brown, Jr.; and while waiting for my examination, I’d read it over and over again until some points would become fixed in my mind. Eventually, I’d forget them…after a week, or maybe even after a couple of days. But this time around, I didn’t let that happen again.

Yesterday I went to get my eyes checked once again and came across that same particular poster. But for some reason after reading it once again, it felt like it had more meaning…if that makes sense at all. While sitting there, it also seemed as if my conscious was repeatedly telling me, “copy this down somewhere so you will be able to remember everything this time!” Although I wasn’t able to because my doc called me into the examination room, I was able to find it online. I, too, wanted to share it with you all just like my optometrist did by hanging it on the wall of the waiting room. Just like many other things in life (like I said in my previous entry), I learned new things and was reminded of things I’ve already learned. I hope the same will happen to you as well. Enjoy.

Have a firm handshake.
Look people in the eye.
Sing in the shower.
Own a great stereo system.
If in a fight, hit first and hit hard.
Keep secrets.
Never give up on anybody. Miracles happen everyday.
Always accept an outstretched hand.
Be brave. Even if you’re not, pretend to be.
No one can tell the difference.
Avoid sarcastic remarks.
Choose your life’s mate carefully. From this one decision will come 90% of all your happiness or misery.
Make it a habit to do nice things for people who will never find out.
Lend only those books you never care to see again.
Never deprive someone of hope; it might be all that they have.
When playing games with children, let them win.
Give people a second chance, but not a third.
Be romantic.
Become the most positive and enthusiastic person you know.
Loosen up. Relax. Except for rare life-and-death matters, nothing is as important as it first seems.
Don’t allow the phone to interrupt important moments. It’s there for your convenience, not the caller’s.
Be a good loser.
Be a good winner.
Think twice before burdening a friend with a secret.
When someone hugs you, let them be the first to let go.
Keep it simple. Be modest. A lot was accomplished before you were born.
Beware of the person who has nothing to lose.
Don’t burn bridges. You’ll be surprised how many times you have to cross the same river.
Live your life so that your epitaph could read, no regrets.
Be bold and courageous. When you look back on life, you’ll regret the things you didn’t do more than the one’s you did.
Never waste an opportunity to tell someone you love them.
Remember no one makes it alone. Have a grateful heart and be quick to acknowledge those who helped you.
Take charge of your attitude. Don’t let someone else choose it for you.
Visit friends & relatives when they are in hospital; you need only stay a few minutes.
Begin each day with some of your favorite music.
Once in a while, take the scenic route.
Send a lot of Valentine cards. Sign them, ‘Someone who thinks you’re terrific.’
Answer the phone with enthusiasm and energy in your voice.
Keep a note pad and pencil on your bed-side table; million-dollar ideas sometimes strike at 3 a.m.
Show respect for everyone who works for a living, regardless of how trivial their job.
Send your loved ones flowers. Think of a reason later.
Make someone’s day by paying the toll for the person in the car behind you.
Become someone’s hero.
Marry only for love.
Count your blessings.
Compliment the meal when you’re a guest in someone’s home.
Wave at the children on a school bus.
Remember that 80% of the success in any job is based on our ability to deal with people.
Don’t expect life to be fair.

By Fatima

wife + mom. sustainability strategist, interior designer, writer. sharing faith and our growing domestic church. creating a slow, sustainable, low waste home.


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