After reviewing this fun
list of life lessons
I decided to create my own list of life
I'm not wise yet, but I have learned a few
surprising things in my half century on this planet:
- There is always room at the top:
This is the
Burleson family motto, passed down from my father, and his father
before him. It's true! If you work hard they will make
room for you. My very first job after graduating from college
was at the University of New Mexico. They did not have any
open positions so they created a new position, just for me.
Time and time again, hard work and persistence will pay off and
there will be room for you at the pinnacle of your profession.
- Hard work beats brain power:
outsmart me, but by golly, nobody will outwork me! Like Edison
said, genius is 99% perspiration.- Have the courage
of your convictions:
Don't be afraid to be the only
dissenting voice in the room, and don't buy into a falsehood just
because it is politically correct not to challenge it.
- Strive for personal integrity:
the old honor code "I will not lie, cheat or steal, not
tolerate those who do"
. Getting a reputation
for being trustworthy and honest is worth more than any treasure.
Don't be afraid of being called a "rat" for turning-in cheaters,
liars and thieves; it's your duty as a good American citizen.
- Lies of omission are OK when they
protect other people's feelings: It's OK not to
mention that you know that somebody's spouse is cheating on them, or
tell an elderly woman with Alzheimer's that her husband has died.
- Defend your honor: At the end of the
day, all you have is your personal integrity. Take every legal
measure to destroy those who seek to impugn your reputation.
Keep a list, chase them to the ends of the earth, and nuke 'em till
Chuck Yeager said that the best way to stop jealous people from
attacking you is to make them sorry they ever tried.
- Don't harbor hatred: It's not productive to
hold a grudge. If you cannot destroy your enemies, forgive
them. Say a prayer for your worst enemy, you can feel the
- Toys: If there is
something that you want, but you cannot afford it, stop wanting it.
- Be tolerant of the weak: Most people
are way more screwed-up than you think, with emotional problems that
you cannot imagine. Always remember that a quarter of the
American population is functionally retarded.
Respect your elders and honor your ancestors: You can
learn a lot of good stuff from the older generation!
- Care for animals: Caring for animals brings great
joy to my life. St. Francis was on to something . . .
- Always donate anonymously: Give
cash and job opportunities only to the "worthy poor" and do it
anonymously whenever possible so that you don't get wrapped-up in
- Take calculated risks: Challenge
yourself and don't
be afraid to take a chance. If I has heeded the warnings that 3
out of 4 business fail in the first three years I would never have
had become a successful business owner. My father taught
me calculated risk-taking by his own example, volunteering for dangerous combat missions to
become successful in the U.S. Air Force, where courage is rewarded
with hunks of tin and colored ribbons:
Louis F. Burleson combat medals