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Welcome to The Paradoxical Commandments website

By Dr. Kent M. Keith


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


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


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


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


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


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.


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


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


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


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


© Copyright Kent M. Keith 1968, renewed 2001

The Paradoxical Commandments


In this book, Dr. Keith expands on Anyway: The Paradoxical Commandments to address not only how to find personal meaning in the face of adversity, but also how to find personal meaning in the face of success. Symbols of success like power, wealth, and fame are supposed to give us meaning and make us happy. Unfortunately, research and our own experience show us that these symbols of success provide little personal meaning and deep happiness. For that, we have to look elsewhere. That is what this book is about. The book reviews the Paradoxical Commandments and the importance of finding meaning and then describes the Meaning Maximizers that can help each of us find personal meaning in the face of success.

Click here to purchase.

The Paradoxical Commandments were written by Kent M. Keith in 1968 as part of a booklet for student leaders. This website provides information about the origin of the Paradoxical Commandments and the many places they have been sighted over the years. Join the “Live the Paradoxical Commandments Anyway” Facebook page, and share your story about how the Paradoxical Commandments have made a difference in your life. You can also learn about the author and contact him directly.

For more than 50 years, the Paradoxical Commandments have circled the globe. They have been put on walls and refrigerator doors, featured in speeches and articles, preached from pulpits, and shared extensively on the web. They have been used by business leaders, military commanders, government officials, religious leaders, university presidents, social workers, teachers, rock stars, parents, coaches, and students. Mother Teresa thought the Paradoxical Commandments were important enough to put up on the wall of her children’s home in Calcutta.

The Paradoxical Commandments have touched the hearts of millions of people all over the world. We hope that the Paradoxical Commandments will touch your heart, too!

Anyway Around the World
Anyway: The Paradoxical Commandments have been published around the world. View the book covers and publishers here.

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