Even Paying Only Partial Attention, I've Learned Some Things...
Self pity is a filthy insidious enemy. It masks itself as compassion, but it is different because it lets you believe your unwillingness to change your situation is the same as being kind to yourself. It isn’t.
Surround yourself with people who disagree with you and think you are an a-hole as often as you can. Do this because it will help you know when you are really right because you will be forced to prove it to yourself and motivate you to fight for what you believe or it can allow you the opportunity to stand corrected and choose a better path. Do this because maybe you are an a-hole and maybe you’d like to change that.
Being your “authentic self” sounds like Oprah-stuff but it is the only chance you have of truly finding the places you authentically fit in this world and will allow you do the work that will most satisfy you and most benefit others.
Don’t allow yourself to become a commodity in the eyes of your partners, employers, family or friends. Stand for something. Own what you can. Curate your personal brand to mean something that really matters to you.
“Always be closing” is short-term, fear and greed based BS way to conduct business. “Always be adding value” is the way this game is played for the long win.
Aspire to think through your “enlightened heart mind” not your over active “lizard brain” “Listen to your Limbic not your Lizard”. Our ancestors spent millennia helping us to make that choice.
Grab “hero moments” as often as they are presented to you because they are rare. That opportunity to truly help someone in need not because they ask but because you can. Nothing will make you feel as good about yourself as laying flat on your back fixing an old guys broken down car in a suit in the pouring rain 30 minutes before an important meeting.
Find a mate that helps you be a better person, then work your ass off helping that person know they are deeply loved and appreciated and respected they are by you.
Try to be in love with your wife, not to just love your wife.
Stop blaming your parents - they were as stupid as you were as parents or as stupid as you are going to be. We all do the best we can do.
Above all else, be mindful. Decide what you are doing is because you chose to do it. Don’t let life just happen to you.
I don’t know if its Mother Nature’s greatest chemical trick or something from a higher power but having children really is the greatest gift. Don’t piss away those early years - you only get a handful of them that will decide if you have earned the right to be a part of their lives for the rest of your life. Consider it a bank account and make lots of genuine deposit that come from eye contact, hugs, really listening and a genuine understanding of who your children really are not who you want them to be. You don’t have to always be teaching. Shut-up and let them teach you as often as you can remember to do it.
Hug and touch and speak kind words as often as you can and then do a little more, but only if you can feel it. (If you can’t feel it for your kids, find it. Its worth the work.)
Try not to fake anything.
Seek out mentors and absorb the wisdom they have acquired. Hint: Not all mentors are “old”.
Being funny isn’t about finding things to make fun about the people you are with. Don’t get me wrong, that can be hilarious, (unfortunately I know), but it comes at a great cost. No one likes to be the butt of your jokes more than rarely, if even that often.
Before you take action out of a sense of self-righteousness ask yourself if that action with serve you well or not in the long game. Even if you feel entitled to say/do something, because you are “right” it doesn’t always mean that you should or that it will help your cause.
There is a higher power at work, but damned if I can prove it or know what it is. If you can find it, listen to it, believe it. If it tells you to be anything that feels like it would be unkind, it’s probably not the voice you hoped it would be.
Usually the people we pick on in school are some of the most wonderful, special, brilliant and talented adults you will never have the joy of knowing.
Invest in your extended family relationships. I’m playing catch-up now and I am so glad I am. I didn’t listen to that advice early enough. There are some I will never know now and that makes me very sad.
Melancholy and true emotion are different things. One is weepy and self-serving, the other is genuine and a gift. Never be ashamed to show emotion, but don’t try and show your emotion, kinds’ takes the wind out of the honesty sails.
Einstein was so right about imagination Vs. knowledge. But, one without the other is not as great as earning the right to employ both.
Friends are amazing and its OK to allow them to move in and out of your life and back in again. Its funny how that works, but it does.
Working on self acceptance of aging is a better investment than even the best wrinkle cream.
When you are thinking your last thoughts on this earth, I hope you will be able to know that you added value to the lives you touched and left those people feeling better for having known you. For me, that would be the greatest gift I could give myself in that moment. Its the only true legacy that matters to me.