Some of these I learned on my own, a lot of them I learned from my father.
  1. Always carry a book.
    Learned from observation of my father. You never know when you'll be stuck somewhere with nothing to do.
  2. There's no such thing as overdressed.
    Explicitly told to me by my father, advice that I can't overstate the importance of.
  3. Similarly, there's no such thing as being too early.
    Again, something my dad told me.
  4. Don't write about someone unless you can risk falling in love with them.
  5. Everything happens for a reason.
    That's not necessarily a 'God works in mysterious ways' thing. Sometimes the reason you're successful is you worked really hard. Sometimes you fail because you weren't good enough.
  6. Try a year of no mistakes. It'll change how you view things.
    Basically, the opposite of the above point. No matter what happens, no matter how big or small, it's not a mistake. Spill coffee on your shirt? Year of no mistakes. Get fired? Year of no mistakes.
  7. You don't get to decide if someone's reaction to your actions is appropriate. If they're offended that's their purview.
    Unless you do. People are crazy and maybe their reaction isn't appropriate. None of these are hard and fast rules, except the bathroom one. Live by the bathroom one.
  8. Use your words.
    Told to me partly as a joke, but like all jokes it's got a grain of truth.
  9. There's a difference between being nice and being a doormat.
  10. Don't just tip, overtip.
    Steve Martin's philosophy in My Blue Heaven.
  11. Follow the code of the Woosters: never let a pal down.
    If you already knew the code of the Woosters, or know what it's from, please let me know so we can start our best friendship.
  12. Never pass up a free bathroom. (Free as in no cost and as in open; both are important.)
    If you've spent time in Europe, no explanation necessary.