Life’s Little Instruction Book I, II, III by H. Jackson Brown, Jr

Harriett Jackson Brown Jr. is an American author best known for his inspirational book, Life’s Little Instruction Book, which was a New York Times bestseller (1991–1994).  Its sequel Life’s Little Instruction Book: Volume 2 also made it to the same best seller list in 1993. wiki

“Most of us already know how to live a successful and purposeful life,” says the author. “We know we should be understanding and thoughtful, responsible, courageous, and appreciative. It’s just that we sometimes need reminding.” Life’s Little Instruction Book is that reminder.

Here are a few of the entries from the three book and they are thoughtful, about good things in life such as family and friends and interpersonal relationships and great advice to bring joy to not only those around you but for yourself. The rest of the volume 1, 2, and 3 can be view by clicking the link at the end of this posting. Treat yourself or somebody else and have a good day.

  1. Compliment three people every day.
  2. Have a dog.
  3. Watch a sunrise at least once a year.
  4. Remember other people’s birthdays.
  5. Never mention being on a diet.
  6. Have a firm handshake.
  7. Look people in the eye.
  8. Say “thank you” a lot.
  9. Say “please” a lot.
  10. Learn to play a musical instrument.
  11. Sing in the shower.
  12. Use the good silver.
  13. Learn a card trick.
  14. Plant flowers every spring.
  15. Own a great stereo system.
  16. Be the first to say, “Hello.”
  17. Live beneath your means.
  18. Drive inexpensive cars, but own the best house you can afford.
  19. Buy great books even if you never read them.
  20. Be forgiving of yourself and others.
  21. Learn three clean jokes.
  22. Wear polished shoes.
  23. Floss your teeth.
  24. Drink champagne for no reason at all.
  25. Ask for a raise when you feel you’ve earned it.
  26. If in a fight, hit first and hit hard.
  27. Return all things you borrow.
  28. Teach some kind of class.
  29. Be a student in some kind of class.
  30. Never buy a house without a fireplace.
  31. Buy whatever kids are selling on card tables in their front yards.
  32. Once in your life own a convertible.
  33. Treat everyone you meet like you want to be treated.
  34. Learn to identify the music of Chopin, Mozart, and Beethoven.
  35. Plant a tree on your birthday.
  36. Donate two pints of blood every year.
  37. Make new friends but cherish the old ones.
  38. Keep secrets.
  39. Take lots of snapshots.
  40. Take a kid to the zoo.
  1. Don’t postpone joy.
  2. Write “thank you” notes promptly.
  3. Never give up on anybody. Miracles happen every day.
  4. Show respect for teachers.
  5. Show respect for police officers and firefighters.
  6. Give thanks before every meal.
  7. Don’t waste time learning the “tricks of the trade.” Instead, learn the trade.
  8. Keep a tight rein on your temper.
  9. Buy vegetables from truck farmers who advertise with hand-lettered signs.
  10. Put the cap back on the toothpaste.
  11. Take out the garbage without being told.
  12. Avoid overexposure to the sun.
  13. Vote.
  14. Surprise loved ones with little unexpected gifts.
  15. Stop blaming others. Take responsibility for every area of your life.
  16. Save ten percent of what you earn.
  17. Make the best of bad situations.
  18. Always accept an outstretched hand.
  19. Live so that when your children think of fairness, caring, and integrity, they think of you.
  20. Admit your mistakes.
  21. Ask someone to pick up your mail and daily paper when you’re out of town. Those are the first two things potential burglars look for.
  22. Use your wit to amuse, not abuse.
  23. Remember that all news is biased.
  24. Take a photography course.
  25. Let people pull in front of you when you’re stopped in traffic.
  26. Don’t make the same mistake twice.
  27. Demand excellence and be willing to pay for it.
  28. Be brave. Even if you’re not, pretend to be. No one can tell the difference.
  29. Whistle.
  30. Hug children after you discipline them.
  31. Learn to make something beautiful with your hands.
  32. Give to charity all the clothes you haven’t worn during the past three years.
  33. Never forget your anniversary.
  34. Eat prunes.
  35. Ride a bike.

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