I wrote the following to my son in September 2007. This is actually part of the original letter.
Make efforts to keep in mind the following in life.
(1) Independence — learn to think independently; eye on your goal not to be sidetracked by outside influence, nor cave in to popularity.
(2) A healthy lifestyle which includes love of outdoor activities and a good eating
(3) Time management. The only thing that we are given equally in life is time. Watch out for time-thieves. Practice beating deadline by setting one manageable task per day for yourself and must get it done on that day.
(4) Music is vitally indispensable in life. You have learned both violin and piano. Make an effort to practice one of them.
(5) Keep your promise. Keep your commitment. This is the only sure way to build trust and respect.
(6) Take blame and say sorry when you know you should. A great man is not one who is error-free but one who has the courage to admit his wrong and move on.
(7) Life is beautiful if you can live this way. Take time to enjoy the beauty of nature, of people you go out with. Value all the relationships that you ever build up. They make your life richer and happier.
(8) Stick to your principles and to what you believe even under great pressure from
above and forces around you.
(9) Keep a reading list. Make a point of reading at least a few books in a year.
(10) Take care of your soul — the soul devoid of petty selfishness, the soul of
dedication, of devotion and sincerity. After all, it is the mind that gives rise to a beautiful dream and deed. Life has some transcendental value. Have a goal larger than yourself, reach out and make a difference so that other people might lead a better life because of you.
Ask not how much you get for your time, ask how much value you add in this time. Always try to make your presence felt in a positive way.
Fling yourself to a good cause and you will find no obstacles that you cannot surmount and no suffering that you cannot endure. Identify and hold fast to a good cause that you believe worthy of your dedication, a good cause like saving the earth, feeding the hungry, education for all, protecting the endangered, sustain life on earth, finding a cure, etc. Make sincere and consistent efforts to explore the way to donate, to give and to maximize your contribution to this cause.