Post #1: TJ’s Life Lessons


POST #1: TJ’s Life Lessons

TJ started Dad First as a channel to write about Faith, Health, Relationships and Results. I’m so glad he did as it leaves us all a gift, especially his children, who can still learn from their daddy for many years to come.

In honor of my site I wanted to create- The Life of a Dad my first post will be one of TJ’s post from 2015-

It was TJ’s 39 life lessons at the age of 39. It turned into Forty-Nine Life Lessons – He had a few extras on his mind!

TJ’s Life Lessons:

Lesson 1 – Don’t be ashamed of yourself, how you look, mistakes you’ve made, things you are not good at. If these things really bother you, you can do something about them. Don’t hide from them.

Lesson 2- Say “Hello and How are you” while looking people in the eye.

Lesson 3- Shake hands with a firm handshake

Lesson 4- Pray even if you think you don’t know how to, then pray about that. There is nothing you should fear praying about.

Lesson 5- Stay in touch with family, friends, people who made an impact on you and people that could use a friend or just know someone cares about them. You’ll let some people down because you can’t please everyone – But keep trying.

Lesson 6- Brush your teeth first thing in the morning and last thing before you go to bed. Carry gun or breathe mints with you and offer them up and use them yourself.

Lesson 7- SMILE- and when you do let others see it. They’ll most likely will smile back.

Lesson 8 – Try your best to remember people’s names and say them. Saying someone’s name to them is a sign of respect.

Lesson 9 – Boys and men, open doors for all girls and women. Insist they enter first on elevators and let them take the first spot in line. Be Chivalrous. If you don’t know what that means, Google it.

Lesson 10 – Write thank you letters. They can be handwritten or typed up, hand them to the recipient so that they can touch and read them.

Lesson 11- GIVE. Give what you can, even a dollar to the homeless man on the corner. Sure, he may or may not use it wisely, but choose to believe it will help and pray it will. It might just do that.

Lesson 12- EXERCISE – You can run, you can play a team sport, do yoga or just take a walk. Exercise benefits the body and mind.

Lesson 13- If you make a mistake don’t harp on it, learn from it.

Lesson 14- If you Fall Down– Pop right back up.

Lesson 15- Try to remember at least a joke or two that makes you laugh and read a joke book every now and then.

Lesson 16- Don’t swear. Unless you want someone to think less of you.

Lesson 17- Every now and then you need a good cry, but don’t be a Cry Baby.

Lesson 18- READ- read and read some more.

Lesson 19- Be careful what you read. Garbage in too easily becomes garbage out.

Lesson 20- In relationships, The romantic kind. Remember if you both know that God loves you each more than you could ever love each other. It will be a lot easier to love one another yourselves.

Lessons 21- Apologize. Not only will it show the other person you get it, you’ll be released from the burden yourself.

Lessons 22- FORGIVE

Lessons 23- People will let you down. People will hurt you. That doesn’t mean to stop loving them. But you can be more careful in what you say and do with those people next time.

Lesson 24- WORK HARD

Lesson 25- Play Hard

Lesson 26- Practice – Yes, It does get you closer to perfect.

Lesson 27- Set goals, lots of goals. Prioritize those goals, revisit the goals, and keep track of what you have accomplished. Goals change so don’t worry if you don’t meet them all. However, if you aren’t meeting any of them, there might be a problem.

Lesson 28- Have a board of advisors that you trust and can talk to about anything.

Lesson 29- Don’t advertise what you earn, but make sure you have a few friends and family you can trust with this information.

Lesson 30- LOVE – Unconditionally, especially your family.

Lesson 31- Don’t lend money to family. If you are going to help a relative, just give them the money. If they pay you back, that’s great, just don’t expect it. This will save you a lot of heartache.

Lesson 32- Music is awesome. Listen to it. Create it. Explore it.

Lesson 33- There is nothing like a good movie.

Lesson 34- Make people feel welcome in your home.

Lesson 35- You can relate to people within a year or two of your own age, even complete strangers, in a really unique way. Cherish those relationships.

Lesson 36- Don’t let age, race, religion, or appearance guide you to judge people. (Someone who is 20 years different in age with different hair, that grew up in a foreign culture, could end up being your best friend.)

Lesson 37- Hate is not worth it.

Lesson 38- Love is….. Your Kids

Lesson 39- Take goofy pictures

Lesson 40- WRITE! Keep a journal, start a blog, or just write your Mom, Dad, Grandpa, Grandma or long lost friend a letter.

Lesson 41- Look at the stars – Imagine what is out there.

Lesson 42- Get Dirty. Mud runs are fun. Fishing can be slimy. Plant a tree. A Little dirt will never hurt.

Lesson 43- Don’t Smoke

Lesson 44- Try to be on time. If you can’t and someone is waiting for you, give them a call. At least be courteous.

Lesson 45- Embrace Change – Whether it is forced on you or you feel the need to change. Change always helps you grow.

Lesson 46- A lot of people have strong opinions about things and they might not change, Don’t get caught up in debates on opinion stuff that doesn’t matter.

Lesson- 47 Keep foods you eat out of a bag to a minimum.

Lesson 48- Eat Fruit. You can never have too much of it.

Lesson 49- Toilet Paper should unroll from the top. (Learned this one after many years from my wife.)

Here is the Facebook link to see TJ’s Life lessons and pictures. (Not sure if it works.)


Looking back at his lessons there is a lot his kids will be able to read and learn about their dad even with him being gone. This is my hope for my kids- they can read my life lessons, thoughts, and about me in my own words if something unexpected were to ever happen to me.