I seem to be bombarded, recently, with advice on how to live my life. It’s rather the national sport of the collective internet. And, almost without exception, it seems that the advice is absolutely horrid. “You have to love yourself before you can love others.” Really? How does self-absorption assist in that endeavor? “To be complete, you must agree with this philosophy.” No, I dont. Seriously, there are some basic principles I have gleaned over 50 years on this planet, and I have yet to see them in a meme.

I guess it’s time I did.

1. There are a million reasons why you can’t, and some of them may be valid. There will only be only one reason why you did. Get off your ass and do it.

2. Your harshest critics will become your greatest fans when you stop caring what they think, and just achieve.

3. Failure is not a sin. Failure to stand back up and keep fighting is.

4. Winning teaches you nothing. Losing teaches what won’t work. Keep your losses as cherished treasures, because they are the gold in your character.

5. Principles only count when they are tested. If you drop them in every breeze, they will not be there to support you when the hurricane hits.

6. Bravery might not make you immortal, but fear will kill you. Be your dream.

7. Everybody dies. You will die. It will likely be unpleasant. Live anyway, and scream your name to the skies.

8. No matter how bad you are right now, someone has made a living by doing it worse.

9. That person behind you in line has probably had a crappy day. You should pick up their check.

10. If you must brag, brag about times you spectacularly failed. People love that, because then they can feel better about their own face-plants.

11. If your beliefs cannot withstand a skeptic, you don’t believe them. You’re really just wearing them like a mask, so no one will notice your zits.

12. People get mad when they either have their own irrational dogma challenged, or when irrational dogma is thrust upon them. Know the difference, and stop spreading that chain-meme.

13. Some people are just assholes. Make them your friends. They are the ones who get things done, so they might as well help you.

14. Respect for a woman or your elders is more than just removing your hat or standing when they enter the room, but it starts there.

15. No matter how hard you worked, someone else helped. Give them the credit.

16. When it’s you against the rest of the world, attack.

17. Just because you understand why someone wants to knock you down, is no reason to let them.

18. If you always give more than you should, while leaving enough for yourself, you will always have more than you want. It’s like karma, or something.

19. If you believe in nothing, you will eventually find it in your life.

20. Children, friends, and co-workers will strive to meet your expectations. Expect the best, because if you expect the worst you will get it; but carry a box of wet-wipes, just in case.