The Washington Post has an interesting article on what Obama can learn from Bush's terms as president. However it seems that we can all learn about what not to do in life by observing Bush. Some of the lessons are:
Presidents set the tone. Don't be passive or tolerate virulent divisions.
For most people this is highly useful advice. Often we will get caught up in our jobs and everything that everybody else wants us to do and forget about focusing on the "tone" of our lives, that is, what we really want to do and where we really want to be. When we are presented with conflict in our lives we must resolve it instead of tolerate it. Only then can we live distraction free to achieve our goals.
A president must do the homework to master the fundamental ideas and concepts behind his policies.
Research, research, research. All throughout university the thought is drilled into students through a ton of research projects that give little room for personal input. The reason for this is often not clear to the student until they graduate. The key lesson is not to give you a channel to rant but to help you understand how to learn first then create an argument or course of action second. If you fail to do the first the results of what you do second will very much be negatively impacted by unexpected outcomes.
Presidents must tell the public the hard truth, even if that means delivering very bad news.
For pretty much everyone dealing with hard truths is very difficult. We basically have entire industries (drugs, alcohol) that allow people to defer or escape the troubles in their life. I call them escapes because they do nothing productive in resolving your problems. The first step of finding a solution is identifying your problem. It is often quite easy to forget.
The article presents many other points with overlapping themes. Nonetheless, I found the article to be a very good introspective read and has helped remind me of the various life lessons that I need to employ on a day to day basis that have been forgotten.