10 life lessons I've learned from a ridiculously cute puppy

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  • Lesson #1: Surround yourself with people who will steer you in the right direction.

  • The people around you can have a major impact on your destination. Hang out with people who are headed where you want to be someday.

  • Lesson #2: Life is full of big steps.

  • As you get older, the steps seem smaller. Events in life can seem a little daunting at times. Experience in life may not change the size of the steps, but just increase our ability to climb them.

  • Lesson #3: If you find yourself in a bad situation, get out. Quick.

  • How you got there isn't the question at the time. Just get out.

  • Lesson #4: When someone says they love you, say it back.

  • If you're not the type that says it much, become the type that says it much.

  • Lesson #5: Talk to God a lot.

  • The mantis is praying for deliverance. Lola is blessing the food. Either way, communicate with your Father in Heaven. Dads like to hear how their kids are doing.

  • Lesson #6: Work hard, play hard.

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  • Whether it's your job or your chores, do them well. And when you're done, feel good about it.

  • Lesson #7: There are just going to be those days...

  • Whether you forgot to take the size sticker off your new pants, or went the rest of the day after lunch with mustard on your face, laugh it off and chalk it up to experience.

  • Lesson #8: When people ask for volunteers, raise your hand.

  • Learn something new! Service not only helps out the people who need it, but also the people doing it. One of life's win-win situations.

  • Lesson #9: Wherever you go, and whoever you hang out with, you're bound to bring a little bit of it home with you. Choose both carefully.

  • People naturally rub off on each other. Make sure that what you absorb is what will bring you happiness.

  • Lesson #10: Never hesitate to brighten someone's day.

  • If you get the chance to make someone smile, do it. They tend to pass it along, and it usually finds its way back to you when you most need it.

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Tim Johnson is the art director for KSL Television in Salt Lake City.  He and his wife, Alicia, are the proud parents of five daughters who, thankfully, look like their mother.

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