I've been thinking a lot about what I'm going to tell my son, as he grows up. I hope I can teach him these lessons one by one as he grows older. But just in case I can't, in case later I'm not there of I can't find the words, here goes. Best of luck, Deck. I hope I'm there, to teach you these things as you grow. Someone famous or important once said, "My father didn't teach me how to live. He lived, and he let me watch." That's the plan, but here's some things to remember:
Whatever you're going to do, do it with intensity.
Be aggressive. If something's not coming to you, track it down and tackle it.
Enjoy being broke, as soon as your bills are paid.
Don't look at girls. Make girls look at you.
Be loud, but don't be a spectacle.
Being tactful doesn't mean not making a joke when it's handed to you.
If you decide you've got to punch someone, you're already in trouble. So you may as well keep punching them until they fall over. Then a couple more times after that to make sure you've got your point across.
Always be the underdog.
Take a compliment with a smile, and say thanks.
A firm handshake is worth solid gold.
Keep your eyes open, know what's going on around you.
Know how to play cards, but not enough where you think you're good at them.
Keep the dirt out of your fingernails, but keep the callouses on your hands. Take care of yourself without preening.
The muscles will come; it's in the genes. So focus on being strong.
Do nothing you'll be ashamed of. If you do, own up to it, and keep owning up to it. We are forged by our mistakes.
If something needs doing, then do it. Be a leader not through manipulation, but through the power of being the first one in the door, out of the gate, and the first one to offer encouragement.
Don't get down on yourself. You are fearfully and wonderfully made, but not perfect.
Know how to clean a gun at least as well as you shoot a gun.
Show no fear when you say no.
Follow the laws that you don't agree with.
Don't trust the government, but don't be a conspiracy theorist.
All women are beautiful until they prove themselves otherwise. Treat them as such.
Be witty, not smarmy; funny, but not a clown; foolish, but not so no one will take you seriously.
Keep up with your friends, but know when to say good bye.
Love is not a process of elimination.
When you win, shake hands with your opponent, and mean it, even if he doesn't. Then celebrate.
Take pride in your name, your family, your accolades, your country, your friends, your work, your fun, your love. And be humble, knowing that they all come from God.
I think that's all for now. I'll always be proud of you, Declan.