The Paradoxical Commandments

1. People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered. Love them anyway.

2. If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives. Do good anyway.

3. If you are successful, you will win false friends and true enemies. Succeed anyway.

4. The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway.

5. Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable. Be honest and frank anyway.

6. The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men and women with the smallest minds. Think big anyway.

7. People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs. Fight for a few underdogs anyway.

8. What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight. Build anyway.

9. People really need help but may attack you if you do help them. Help people anyway.

10. Give the world the best you have and you’ll get kicked in the teeth. Give the world the best you have anyway.

– Kent M. Keith

Note: The Paradoxical Commandments were written by Kent M. Keith in 1968 as part of a booklet for student leaders.

Recommended Resources

Looking for more ideas and inspiration? The following are some of our favorite resources:

Audiobooks - learn by listening to books while commuting, working out, cooking, or any other activity. Audible has the world’s largest audiobook library and you can listen to any title free with a 30-day trial. Click here to read our Audible free trial review.

Best Books to Change Life – one book can change your life. This is our recommended reading list for personal change and growth. The selection is a mix of time-tested classics and more recent bestsellers. Click here to see our Recommended Reading list.

Online Therapy - get professional help anytime, anywhere you need it. Online therapy offers effective, confidential, and convenient access to a licensed therapist at a low cost when compared to face-to-face services. Click here to learn more about Online Therapy.


13 thoughts on “The Paradoxical Commandments”

  1. I’ve seen these before but enjoy reading them again. For some reason it reminds me of the saying, “Don’t let the turkeys get you down.” Live by your own values and don’t be upset by what other people do. The ancient words I try to live by are “Play your part well and let go of the results.”

  2. this is an adaptation of a writing of Mother Theresa. the wording is close but not exact, and the last line (her “clincher”) is excluded. do a search to find.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Scroll to Top
Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap