All I really Need To Know I Learned In Kindergarten, Or Didn’t I?



All I Really Need To Know I Learned In Kindergarten, has sold millions of copies of his book. Think about it conceptually, wouldn’t it be absolutely amazing if his title claim were in fact true and we all graduated from kindergarten with the fundamental life skill sets we needed to be happy and productive citizens?


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Just to consider that possibility of such powerful instruction brings all these visions and images of a world full of love and peace and serenity and happiness and joy and community and hope and abundance into my head.

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The lessons Fulghum claims to have learned in kindergarten that prepared him for life are:



  • Share everything.

  • Play fair.

  • Don’t hit people.

  • Put things back where you found them.

  • Clean up your own mess.

  • Don’t take things that aren’t yours.

  • Say you are sorry when you hurt somebody.

  • Wash your hands before you eat.

  • Flush.

  • Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you.

  • Live a balanced life-learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some.

  • Take a nap every afternoon.

  • When you go out into the world, watch out for traffic, hold hands and stick together.

  • Be aware of wonder.


If you haven’t read his book, please get a copy and do so.

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It’s practical, funny and a quick read. I just find it to be only a piece of the puzzle and I want to explore the “missing pieces” further.


As you read how Fulghum extrapolates these lessons learned into real-life settings, I agree, they are important and the world would be a better place if we were all on the same page here. However, they are externally centered and have more to do with how we behave and interact with others appropriately, mixed with a little self-care, don’t get me wrong-I love the cookies and nap part.

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I believe though what’s missing is the internal pieces that really build out who we are, what our lives are about and how do we design/redesign/or create lasting change?


All I Really Need To Know I Learned In Kindergarten would indeed be closer to the truth. The reality is we aren’t ready to receive and understand that kind of teaching at that age, however, you would think that maybe over the course of the 12 plus years we are formally educated, some learning about these topics may have occurred? Not in my school system!


These are the life skill areas and tools I want to explore with you. Because Life Doesn’t Come With An Owner’s Manual, there is Life By Design to help you figure it out.

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