Father’s Day Guest Columnist Schuyler Moore: Learn the Lessons I Learned

Schuyler Moore, the father of two daughters and a lawyer in Los Angeles, is head of the entertainment department at a large national law firm

and an adjunct professor at the UCLA School of Law.He is the author of ADVICE FROM DAD (http://www.advicefromdad.co/), a memoir and inspirational advice book about how he overcame a youth marked by drug addiction, multiple arrests and near-death accidents. Here’s an excerpt from the prologue.

Dear Merritt and Schuyler,

I wrote this book for you, my two daughters, so that you know a bit more about your father and my life, and may be able to learn from my mistakes, misfortunes, and successes. I hope the mistakes are edifying, since it is a tad less painful to learn from the missteps of others than from your own . . . I describe the pitfalls of one path versus another with stories from the misadventures of my youth, as well as recounting a number of things I did right.

. . . I have laid out my life story of what made me, me, which impacts what made you, you. Alternate chapters offer my suggestions on how to maximize what you get out of life, so you can squeeze the absolute most out of your short time on this earth . . .

That is a rather ambitious goal, and who am I to lay out the keys to the kingdom (other than being your father)? . . . As you know . . . I have made more than my share of mistakes. I do, however, have a few background facts that hopefully demonstrate that I am doing something right . . .

I have been happily married to your mother, Alice, since 1984 . . . Most importantly, I have you two strong, compassionate, over-achieving daughters, both of whom were accepted to Harvard on early admission: Merritt, majoring in physics after taking a year off in mid-college to be a professional ballet dancer with the Zurich Ballet; and Schuyler, competing at the national level in springboard diving for Harvard. You can both speak and read Latin, have read all the classics, and know the Greek myths by heart. You both are self-driven, happy, and thriving . . .

Merritt, you once asked, “Dad, how do you do it?” With this book I have finally taken the time to answer that question in detail . . . I know that you both . . . want to obtain the highest level of success you can, and I assume you want your own children to similarly thrive and prosper—in short, you have ambition and dreams . . .

Some of the techniques in this book may seem extreme, and you may think that following these suggestions could result in a Spartan, unhappy life . . . First, just skip any suggestion that seems too extreme for you and accept the tradeoff . . . Second, and most importantly, I am only advocating arranging your life in a manner to maximize your productivity . . . choosing the path of productivity brings with it a sense of calm, achievement, and power.

I am the first to admit that I am a bit of an odd bear, and that my choices have not been “conventional” by any stretch. So, to a large extent, this book documents instances where my choices ran left or right of the train track (or took a short-cut right across the field) . . . So give it a shot, try out some of the ideas . . . Trust me, they work.

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