The Official
"De Re Seal Of Approval"
Running List Of Life Lessons

The Life Lessons Annotated

The Life Lessons are crucial for avoiding jams. However, if one does not understand the meaning of each Life Lesson, they will be ineffective at their stated purpose. The following will help to demonstrate each Lesson's stated purpose and application.

Life Lesson #1: Always Carry Cash

Cash is king. There are many cash only situations a person may find oneself in. Sometimes cash is the only way to accomplish a particular goal. This does not mean "only carry cash." In order to be in compliance with the Life Lesson, $20 is necessary. However, more may be appropriate. In addition, plan ahead. If an expenditure is expected, make sure to bring more cash. Further, smaller bills are more useful than larger ones (aka The "Gaggin Corollary"). Ex: Making a "clean break" at a restaurant and not waiting to sign a credit card receipt.

Life Lesson #2: Never Let Anyone Drive Your Car

This does not mean "do not drive anyone else's car." It only applies to a third party and your car.

Life Lesson #3: Always Know Your Options

Make sure to know all options available before acting.

Life Lesson #4: Always Be Aware Of Your Surroundings

Be spatially aware of what is going on around you. Ex: Observing a person as they walk into a room.

Life Lesson #5: Keep The Honest People Honest

Everyone is an opportunist. Don't fall victim to human nature. Ex: Locking your doors at night, getting something in writing (when necessary and appropriate).

Life Lesson #6: Always Present A Firm Handshake

First impressions are everything.

Life Lesson #7: Know Your Role

Be aware of what is required of you in any situation.

Life Lesson #8: Do What You Do, But Don't Make It Obvious

This Lesson is two-fold. 1) If you are doing something privately, take steps to keep it private. 2) If you have something to tell others, do it tastefully.

Life Lesson #9: Don't Bite The Hand That Feeds

Make sure to keep the fountain of opportunity flowing. Don't jeopardize any beneficial situation.

Life Lesson #10: Pay Attention

Focus on what you need to know in a given situation.

Life Lesson #11: Avoid Dead Weight

Only surround yourself with people and items that will make things easier. Anything that makes life more cumbersome is dead weight. Ex: Carrying around unnecessary pocket change.

Life Lesson #12: Always Carry Your Sharpest Tools

Sharp tools vary from situation to situation. Know what items are necessary for each.

Life Lesson #13: Keep Your Eyes Down The Road

Know what is coming up ahead. Have some foresight. This includes knowing when to put something in writing, and when a verbal message is preferable. As one member of the Advisory Board put it: "Don't write it if you can say it, don't say it if you can nod, don't nod if you can wink."

Life Lesson #14: Measure Twice, Cut Once

Carefully weigh any action before doing it. Once you act, be decisive.

Life Lesson #15: Never Pay For Your Own Business Cards

If you need a business card, someone will buy it for you. Otherwise, you look like a fool. This Life Lesson can also apply more generally. For example, if your employer is willing to pay for something (e.g., you can expense it), you should make sure to take full advantage. Get what's yours, don't be a sucker.

Life Lesson #16: Dress For The Weather, Not For The Season

If it is unseasonably hot/cold, be prepared. Ex: To avoid hot legs, know that "if it's 60s, it's shorts."

Life Lesson #17: Ingratiate Appropriately

Make the right friends in the right places. It's not what you know, it's who you know.

Life Lesson #18: Only Date Excellence

Never spend time on someone who doesn't deserve it.

Life Lesson #19: Don't Fly Too Close To The Sun

Don't overindulge yourself. Never let perfection be the enemy of good.

Life Lesson #20: Master The Fundamentals

Master the skills you need to survive in the modern world. Ex: Building a fire, knowing how to parallel park.