The 10 Most Important Things I Learned from My Parents and Hope to Teach My Kids

(Original: September 24, 2011; Updated on April 20, 2020)

1. Health is the greatest wealth you will ever have.

In light of recent events this seems more profound than ever before. We take our health for granted but sooner or later when something goes wrong we seem to appreciate it as our number one gift.  Without a healthy body, mind and spirit we are faced to live a life of pain and suffering.  Living a life of health means a life of balancing.  It is fine to enjoy life but remember that we only have one body and one life.  I like to think that the body we are given on earth will be the body that we have in heaven and that makes me want to respect my body and treat it like a temple.  All the money in the world is not going to help save you if you do not have your health.

You can’t enjoy wealth if you’re not in good health.” “Happiness is the new rich. Inner peace is the new success. Health is a new wealth.

—Syed Balkhi

2. Education is the best gift we can give you; the rest is up to you.

The ability to acquire knowledge and use knowledge is a powerful weapon in today’s world filled with over-stimulation and contradictory information.  More than ever there is so much propaganda and false information that we need to really educate ourselves.  I like to learn about weird facts, history, art, science, architecture and inspirational/motivational topics.  Using formal education as a springboard life can be filled with wonder by thinking about different topics in new ways using creativity and imagination.  Now that many of us are in self isolation it is a great time to get reacquainted with an old book or some new ones.

“Our culture has become hooked on the quick-fix, the life hack, efficiency. Everyone is on the hunt for that simple action algorithm that nets maximum profit with the least amount of effort. There’s no denying this attitude may get you some of the trappings of success, if you’re lucky, but it will not lead to a calloused mind or self-mastery. If you want to master the mind and remove your governor, you’ll have to become addicted to hard work. Because passion and obsession, even talent, are only useful tools if you have the work ethic to back them up.” 

—David Goggins

Now that many of us are in self isolation it is a great time to get reacquainted with an old book or some new ones.

3. Respect Everyone – Treat Everyone the way you would want to be treated.

The world is so divided – maybe it has always been so – we need to remember that although we look at things from different perspectives we share more in common than you might think.  We all want a healthy, happy family.  We all want to help the poor and feed the hungry.  We all want to protect our loved ones.  We want there to be peace in the world. 

“We are all great. No matter if you think you’re dumb, fat, been bullied, we all have greatness. You gotta find the courage. It’s going to be hard work, discipline, and the non-cognitive skills – hard work, dedication, sacrifice – that will set you apart.” 

—David Goggins

Let’s respect the disparities that makes us unique and think about the other instead of hating our brothers and sisters for our differences.

4. Patience is a virtue (I am still working on this one).

I am (still) still working on this one.  I like to live a fast-paced life but the current situation has forced me to slow down a bit…..OK a lot.

“Throughout your day find a moment, however fleeting, to just sit and be still. Doesn’t matter where you are. Take a few deep breathes, put your phone on vibrate so there’s no chance of interruption, and just reflect on the series of events that took place throughout your day. When you’re working, be ruthlessly present.”

The Stoic: 9 Principles to Help You Keep Calm in Chaos by Paul Jun

Connecting with nature and taking regular walks between blocks of work seems to help.   

5. Slow Down – The more you rush at something, the longer it will take to complete.

It’s true.  Let’s concentrate on the matter at hand.

Let your mind focus on the task at hand, what you’re trying to accomplish, and do it with diligence, patience, attentiveness, and care. Sooner or later, you’ll realize how much of an asset this is to your creativity and overall quality of life.” 

The Stoic: 9 Principles to Help You Keep Calm in Chaos by Paul Jun

Measure twice and cut once…Isn’t that what they say?

6. Seize the Day – Take each day at a time.

I have been working on trying to focus on each day as it comes while also taking time to look at the long view of what is coming so I can work towards those items as well so as not be overwhelmed.   I try to deal with each day’s problems as they come instead of worrying about the future.  99% of the things that you worry about will never occur.

7. Be Kind – It doesn’t take any longer to be kind.

When I told this someone they said “it actually does take longer, but it’s still worth it.”  I guess they are right, it does take some thought and some action.  It’s those small moments of acknowledging others or empathizing with their situation that makes connect with people.  Passing people by without a friendly gesture of hello seems cold and heartless to me although sometimes I am scared to wave in fear of not being reciprocated.  I must also learn to be strong and fearless and do the right thing despite the reaction from others.

“We but mirror the world. All the tendencies present in the outer world are to be found in the world of our body. If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. This is the divine mystery supreme. A wonderful thing it is and the source of our happiness. We need not wait to see what others do.”

—Mahatma Gandhi

8. Be the Best you can – (truly) do the best you can.

“When you think that you are done, you’re only 40% in to what your body’s capable of doing. That’s just the limits that we put on ourselves….[When we think we have] “reached our absolute limit, we still have 60 percent more to give! That’s the governor in action! Once you know that to be true, it’s simply a matter of stretching your pain tolerance, letting go of your identity and all your self-limiting stories, so you can get to 60 percent, then 80 percent and beyond without giving up. I call this The 40% Rule, and the reason it’s so powerful is that if you follow it, you will unlock your mind to new levels of performance and excellence in sports and in life, and your rewards will run far deeper than mere material success. The 40% Rule can be applied to everything.”

—David Goggins

9. Family & Friends – The bonds of a family and true friendships are precious.

With regards to family and loved ones, now more than ever we are able to learn about each other’s strengths, weaknesses, personalities and flaws, since we are all living together 24-7 during self-isolation.  We try to accept each other unconditionally because we love each other.  No one is perfect, and our faults make us who we are.  It’s funny that the things that annoy us most about our loved ones are things that remind us of ourselves.

“I’ve listened to someone as young as 14 and someone as old as 100 talk about their close friends, and [there are] three expectations of a close friend that I hear people describing and valuing across the entire life course.” They are: “Somebody to talk to, someone to depend on, and someone to enjoy.”

—William Rawlins, the Stocker Professor of Interpersonal Communication at Ohio University

10. The 99% Rule – Most people are good, only a few are not.

If you give people a chance you will see that most want to do you no harm.  You always have to be careful about the 1% but generally speaking most people have good intentions.  With the bombardment of social media and twisted ideological politics it’s hard to image that 99% are good – shouldn’t that number be much, much lower, right!?  Wrong! 

The definition of “divide and conquer” is to make a group of people disagree and fight with one another so that they will not join together against one.

Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Apr. 2020.

We must remind ourselves that the news media shows the 1% over and over again.  Let’s look for sources where we can see people doing good.  People want to help each other and not hurt each other.  Do not let those in powers divide and conquer us.  For example:

“The vast majority of people, when faced with simple, clear ethical choices, choose good over bad and even good over neutral.  Imagine a stranger’s baby is about to fall off a chair next to you. You would try to catch it, right? Intuition tells you that you can count on nearly everyone else to try to catch that baby, too. Empathy is an evolutionary gift, an instinct that extends in concentric circles from the self, to loved ones, to community to countries and, for the enlightened, all of humanity — a concept dating to the ancient Greek Stoic Hierocles. Everyone is capable of widening one’s circle.”

—David G. Allan, CNN

Conclusion:

Original Post:

  1. Health is the greatest wealth you will ever have.
  2. Education is the best gift we can give you; the rest is up to you.
  3. Respect Everyone – Treat Everyone the way you would want to be treated
  4. Patience is a virtue (I am still working on this one).
  5. Slow Down – The more you rush at something, the longer it will take to complete.
  6. Seize the Day – Take each day at a time.
  7. Be Kind – It doesn’t take any longer to be kind.
  8. Be the Best you can – (truly) do the best you can.
  9. Family & Friends – The bonds of a family and true friendships are precious.
  10. The 99% Rule – Most people are good, only a few are not.

Original Post: The 10 Most Important Things I Learned from My Parents and Hope to Teach My Kids

Further Reading:

207 Inspirational David Goggins Quotes On Success and life

7 Pieces of Wisdom That Will Change the Way You Work

10 Productivity Lessons From Benjamin Franklin

Who Knows What’s Good or Bad? – David Allan – Medium

 We would love to hear from you on what you think about this post. We sincerely appreciate all your comments – and – if you like this post please share it with friends. And feel free to contact us if you would like to discuss ideas for your next project!

Sincerely,
FRANK CUNHA III
I Love My Architect – Facebook



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