This work is a collection of advice that I hope to pass on to my progeny.
I assume that they are reading this as adults, possibly with children of their
own. This is an expression of my hopes for their success.
I dedicate this work to my wife Shannon, the companion ancestor to all of my
A definition of addiction is persisting in the addictive behavior despite
negative consequences. A sign of addiction is prioritizing the addictive
behavior over taking care of yourself and your responsibilities.
Alcohol is addictive.
If you choose to drink, do so in moderation so that you have less to regret
later in life.
Allergies can be severe in one family member and non-existent in another;
even if you do not have allergies yourself, be considerate of those who do.
Be aware that as you get older, you might develop allergies that you did
not have as a child; pay particular attention to potential food allergies that
emerge in middle age.
Unsweetened almond milk is a good substitute for cow milk.
The taste of almond milk varies by vendor so sample them all before settling on
Autism tends to run in families; siblings might have it to greater or lesser
degrees. Being on the spectrum is not necessarily a bad thing.
Avoid using baby-sitters.
Take turns watching the children with your spouse;
you will appreciate the time you spend with them.
Caffeine is addictive.
Whether you choose to consume it yourself or not, do not let children have
access to it.
If you are uncertain about what to choose for an initial career, start in one of
the medical professions.
You will never be unemployed and you will help many people.
If later in life you decide to expand or switch to another field such as
business or research, you will be able to do so. Choosing to go the other way
around, however, might not be feasible because the years of medical training
required have an increasing opportunity cost the further along you are in your
previous career and a diminishing payoff as you approach retirement.
Carry enough cash so that you can make change for any common bill.
A charley horse is a painful muscle spasm in your leg.
They are sometimes triggered by pointing your toes.
They can be alleviated by flexing your foot.
Use checklists for everything.
Put a checkbox next to each item and check it off as you go so you do not
accidentally skip an item.
Use pushpin magnets with a laminated checklist for daily maintenance.
Children are blessings we give to ourselves. When you have children, you might
be less happy but your life will have more meaning.
To thrive in life, cultivate your conscientiousness.
When children are present, use the back burners of your stovetop.
Be able to recognize a cult when you see one.
Not all cults are based on beliefs in the supernatural.
Make yourself two laminated checklists for daily maintenance.
On the first, list all of the routine things that you will almost certainly do
without fail every day such as taking your vitamins.
For this first list, move a pushpin magnet from the "To-do" column to the "Done"
column when completed.
On the second, list all of the other things that you aspire to do daily but
might postpone for a few days from time to time such as reading your mail.
On this second list, move a pushpin magnet to a column indicating the number of
days since it was last done.
Exercise can be a good kind of addiction.
You can lose weight by walking an excessive number of steps each day.
A treadmill desk can help with this.
Use financial software or a spreadsheet to budget out all of your anticipated
checking account transactions for up to a year in advance. This will let you
see where your balance goes negative early enough to do something about it.
It will also let you know when you can shift excess cash into investments.
Flossing with brushing makes a significant difference to your dental health
compared to brushing alone.
Using disposable F-shaped floss picks makes flossing more convenient.
Gambling is addictive because intermittent reward is addictive.
Never buy a lottery ticket; you are better off investing in the stock market.
Games can be addictive.
Games are a form of pseudo-work in that they can give you a sense of achievement
even though there might not be any actual benefit or improvement to your life
other than the feeling itself.
Choose games with a tangible benefit such as education, exercise, or
In social settings, choose cooperative games so that you win or lose together
as a team.
Gamify your non-game activities by finding a way to keep score such as by using
a pedometer when you walk.
Focus your gratitude on those things that continue beyond you;
everything else is ephemeral.
Happiness is not the ultimate goal; search for something deeper.
Hobbies are things that you play at for the sheer love of learning that do not
have an immediate pay-off. Bouncing from one hobby to the next makes you the
jack-of-all-trades and the master of none but a little knowledge is a start
to what might become your foot in the door for a new career someday.
Every home, especially a home with children, needs a safe.
Parents should keep the following items in their home safe:
Flammables: flint and steel, grill lighters, matches
Intoxicants: alcohol, medicines, pressurized air cannisters
Papers: birth certificates, shot records, social security cards, wills
Some families have a history of late-talking children.
Most of their children grow up without any long-term developmental disabilities.
You can learn anything if you first learn the prerequisites in the right order.
To learn a subject on your own, start with a good undergraduate textbook.
Training works best when repeated over spaced intervals.
Throw away at least one thing every day.
Quit activities until you have time for inactivity.
Take care to trim the corners of your nails properly.
An ingrown nail can cause a painful infection.
Nicotine is addictive.
If you have an addiction to nicotine, you might be able to shake free of it
forever if you can sleep through the first few days of withdrawal.
A decade after people quit smoking, their chances of
getting smoking-related diseases become similar to that of people who have
There are many reasons to be optimistic if you look for them.
Pets are barriers to visits from family and friends with pet allergies.
Pets are tragic substitutes for children as they will always die in your care;
invest your love in your descendants instead as they will live beyond you.
Do not let yourself become so emotionally invested in politics that you make
yourself and those around you miserable.
Accept that politics in a democracy is a shared responsibility that is largely
outside of your personal control.
In a voluntary exchange, each party is better off as a result.
If this is not the case, it might be a form of predatory exchange.
To overcome procrastination, determine some minimal number of minutes that your
reluctant self is willing to work on the task for the day and then work them.
If you cannot convince yourself to do even this, keep reducing the number of
minutes to an even smaller number until you find it to be tolerable.
Chances are you will want to keep going for awhile if you can just get started.
Do this daily and even overwhelming tasks will eventually be surmounted.
Consider sloughing any relationships which do not benefit your progeny, directly
or indirectly. Cull without hesitation any that threaten.
Rather than simply letting the choice of your religion be dictated by where you
were born, consider creating your own personal religion.
Freedom of speech is the most important right because it defends all of the
others. The first step in conquering a democracy is to destroy the free press.
A clean home is a safe home.
Clean clutter and sanitize surfaces.
Regardless of your childhood environment, you are responsible for your own life
once you become an adult. Decide to become the person that you want to be.
Using shampoo on a daily basis can damage your scalp. Reduce your usage if your
scalp is not healthy.
Help your parents raise your siblings into adulthood. Remember that they are
as close to you as your own children.
Sleep is very important to health. It is also important for memory retention.
If you cannot fall asleep at night due to racing thoughts, try taking melatonin
and listening to audiobooks.
The percentage of those in the population that might be considered sociopaths is
surprisingly high. Learn to recognize the signs of sociopathy and how to
respond to their interactions in a manner that protects yourself from harm.
If you tend to walk around the house either barefoot or wearing flip-flops
without socks, the skin on your feet might dry out and crack. Wearing socks
more often, with or without slide sandals, might help with this.
Do not spank your children. It teaches the wrong lesson.
The primary criterion for a potential spouse should be that you can imagine them
as a parent to your children.
Measure your success by the success of your descendants.
Create an environment in which your children will want to raise their children.
Minimize your consumption of products that have high fructose corn syrup as a
If you find that participation in a voluntary association is not synergistic,
remind yourself that voluntary means optional.
A person is rich when they never have to work again in their life unless they
want to. By this definition, the retired are rich.
It is easier to achieve work-life balance if you charge by the hour.
Zip zippers; lock doors; shut cabinets; close drawers.