101 Things I Will Teach My Son


Dear Elijah and Damien, my future sons. This is a list of 101 things I wish to impart to you from the wisdom of your father at age 23. At this age, I was serving my time in the Army and was still trying to find my way in life. Hopefully when you are old enough to read this I have already found my way and raised both of you wonderfully to be the men I dream that you can become.

1. You are my son, not my clone.

2. Your libido does not dictate your actions, you dictate your actions.

3. Your actions, not your friends, define who you are.

4. Flattery gets you nowhere; compliments take you everywhere.

5. Sincerity is the best tool a man can have, next to the willingness to fulfill what you’ve promised.

6. A man drinks whiskey; it’s not how many whiskeys you have that matters, it’s the fact that you have a whiskey in hand.

7. Beer is okay, but never on the first date.

8. Do not be afraid that a girl leaves her mark on you — those are stars on your tests, it means you did something right.

9. It’s okay to say no to a girl who asks you to come up, even if you regret it later.

10. A good suit will bring a good day.

11. A party is not an excuse to get hammered and hate yourself in the morning.

12. Leaving the party drunk is not an achievement.

13. Do not regret the girl you wake up next to, appreciate that she spent time with you when no one else stayed the night.

14. If you do bring a girl home, I expect you to be up earlier than her and finished with breakfast before she wakes up.

15. Function before form when it comes to dressing. Dress comfortably when you should, smarten up when you have to.

16. Jeans are your best friend, pants just don’t do it sometimes.

17. You can be good at sports, get good grades, and like comic books.

18. If that girl has braces and looks nerdy now, wait two years and look at her again, she’s probably the best thing you’ve seen all day.

19. A pretty girl is nice to look at, an intelligent girl will make your day worth living.

20. A cultured man is more appealing than a brute.

21. Fitness is a necessity, not a luxury.

22. Discipline is the mark of a man with a plan, and ladies love a man who knows what he’s doing.

23. Chase your dreams. Don’t let me or anyone else tell you that something is not worth your time.

24. Entitlement must be earned.

25. The only things worth having are things you gain with your own two hands.

26. Friday nights alone with a cold drink and a good game or movie are worth it. But if you have company, the drink and the movie are even better.

27. Pants above the waist. Only.

28. When traveling, pack as little as you can. Everything else can be replaced.

29. Conversation is king, even if you hate it. Having a good conversation is better than sex.

30. Sex isn’t about you, it’s about her.

31. You lover is a goddess and her body is a temple in which you worship her. Every inch of her should be kissed, touched, and treated with the utmost care.

32. How you worship your goddess is dependent on her.

32. Cooking is necessary. I’m not making your lunch after you turn 16, and neither is your mother.

33. Drive. Sometimes it’s okay to ask for the car keys when you need time alone.

34. Pick up music, not because your father is a musician but because music speaks from the soul.

35. It’s alright to cry, just not in front of the girl you have a crush on.

36. When the world weighs heavy on you, talk to your father. I might not know everything but I’ll buy you a drink and make sure that at least for tonight, the weight is off your shoulders.

37. Your friends are always more important than your girlfriend. She might be the one you love but they are the ones who were there before her and will be there after her.

38. Your girlfriend can be your world, but she is not your universe.

39. Not girl is ever a number, every girl is someone else’s sister or daughter. Respect her and she will love you; cherish her and she will keep you; treat her like scum and I’ll bash your head in.

40. It’s okay to ask your old man for money when you’re short on a date; it is not ok to support your girlfriend on your old man’s money.

41. Get a job when you can. Every item you buy with money you earn will stay with you, you earned them.

42. Find God, but not when you’re young. Find yourself first.

43. Pick a sport and stick with it. If you like hitting people, do boxing; if you like impressing girls, go running.

44. Cheerleading isn’t just for girls, just ask those guys who have their hands around the hot girls who ride on their shoulders

45. Date a girl from every walk of life. You don’t know what you actually want in a girl until you’ve met all of them.

46. If you fall in love with someone else in your life while you’re married, it’s okay. Just write yourself a letter and ask yourself if you can imagine life without your significant other. Chances are you fancy this girl for awhile but your SO is all you can think about when you write your letter.

47. Beer is okay but the belly goes if you drink it too much.

48. Save, but do not be stingy. Money comes to those who are willing to spend.

49. It’s okay to give your friend your last dollar, you’ll just need to find more tomorrow.

50. Don’t do drugs, because you don’t understand them and you don’t need to.

51. Find a good haircut and stick with that.

52. Don’t dye your hair.

53. It’s okay if you don’t speak Chinese (or whatever your mother tongue is), just remember what your name means and give your son a name in that means something.

54. Learn more than one language. English can be your first, but you’ll find that knowing more than one language makes you learn to love better as well.

55. Your degree does not determine if you’re smart or not, your actions in life do.

56. It’s okay to pick the path less trodden, it gives you more freedom but be warned that mentors are often hard to come by.

57. Call home when you’re coming home late.

58. There is no money left for you when I die, therefore please don’t expect too much. The money is for your sister. You’re men; you should be able to survive without an inheritance.

59. It’s okay to lose, losing is part of life.

60. Do not give up, no matter what; giving up is the only thing you should never do.

61. Taking a step back is not giving up, it’s called a tactical retreat.

62. Bring the fight to them, don’t let them bring it to you unless you absolutely know you can win.

63. Overwhelming odds can be taken down, one at a time.

64. It’s okay to smoke, just don’t spend half your paycheck on it.

65. It’s okay to drink, just don’t spend all of your money on it.

66. Porn is normal, just make sure you keep it from your sister and your mother.

67. Flowers are part of the date. It doesn’t matter if she’s just a friend, bring flowers or something that means equally as much. (I once went out with a girl who preferred smokes over flowers so go figure).

68. Do unto girls what you’d like to be done to your sister, you boys are not the only douchebags out there hoping to get laid.

69. If your sister brings home a boy you do not like, talk to him first before you decide to hate him. Even if he is not in your social clique, he might just be worth your time.

70. Do not be afraid of 9 to 5. It may seem like a drag but it’s not the monotony that will kill you — the fact that you do not use the time well is what will do you in.

71. Work will never be finished but dinner will get cold so come home and eat.

72. Your grades are merely keys to open doors in life. Your efforts and the skills and traits you pick up along the way are what paves your road to success.

73. It’s okay to date that weird girl that you like but no one else does. She just might be the one you end up marrying.

74. Do not be afraid to question anybody; that’s how we know right from wrong.

75. You are only as right as the facts behind your point are.

76. Screaming at someone will get you nowhere, it merely proves that you’re desperate and you cannot win this fight.

77. Never give in to anyone, it’s okay to lose and be proven wrong. Accept that and move on.

78. Never go to bed angry, talk things out.

79. Do not enter an argument drunk, you are not speaking truth, you are merely saying what comes to mind first and that often is foolish.

80. Don’t pick fights, that’s a mark of a weak man.

81. Learn to walk away from a battle that has no meaning. It isn’t giving up, it’s making better use of your time.

82. Pick your battles, it’s okay to lose, but still try to win most of them.

83. Be a gentleman at all times.

84. A gentleman drinks whiskey, not vodka.

85. Tequila is never an option.

86. Read.

87. Think, because thinking means you’re alive.

88. Don’t be a vegan, you’ll regret it.

89. Your diet does not define whether you’re better than other people.

90. Fantasy is often more realistic than fact.

91. Learn to be lonely. I never learned this and I suffered for it.

92. Books can be your companion but never your best friend.

93. Learn to talk to people who seem weird, they often have the best stories.

94. Be unafraid to take chances; fortune favors the bold.

95. Do not be afraid to apologize; humility is the mark of a man.

96. Be proud of your victories but do not rub them in people’s faces.

97. Eat fruits, you’ll taste better.

98. Drink more water, you’ll smell better.

99. Shower every day, no excuses.

100. Take in alternative views, you are not a god.

101. Lastly, love. Love will never run out, love has no limits, it is not how long you’ve loved a person but how much you’ve loved. It’s okay to fall in love in a day and to fall out of love after 20 years. Love is love and just keep loving.