I’ve been lucky in life to meet some fantastic individuals and great thinkers. I sat down this past weekend and just wrote down 10 quick life lessons that were passed along my direction through the years and wanted to share. I hope you find a couple of them interesting enough to share with your family or friends. For with it’s worth I had some free time this weekend as my wife was down at my daughters sorority for “Mom’s Weekend” and my son was down in New Orleans at Mardi Gras with some fraternity buddies. I was going to go out and play some golf but the weather got bad…
The Key to Life is Moderation: There’s a great quote by Democritus that reads, “Throw moderation to the winds, and the greatest pleasures bring the greatest pains.” A lot of folks like to think of “moderation” in terms of food or spending habits, but I’ve ran across lots of people who have painted themselves into a corner because they’ve become overly obsessive about anything and everything. Can you have too much love that it will bring pain into your life or can you have too much kindness? Can you have too much faith and can you be too health-conscious? In today’s world that certainly seems to be the case as everyone becomes more obsessive compulsive. Unfortunately it’s becoming much more difficult to stay “moderate” as technology continues to rapidly change and advance our world. We simply have such an abundance of opportunities to become obsessive as everything becomes more con venient and so much more easily accessible. People now need counseling for everything because they’ve become so overly obsessed. It’s important that we work harder than ever to bring more balance to our lives.
You Can’t Be Afraid To Discard: Often times it’s how quickly you can define and discard your losers that makes you a winner. I have read that the psychological impact of losing is thought to be twice as powerful as the pleasure of gaining. Hence the reason most of us are scared to try new things or afraid to throw in the towel on an existing commitment. We’v been told our whole life not to be a quitter, but I don’t agree. In fact the most successful and happiest people I’ve come across in life are the ones who are the quickest to quit what they don’t like and move on to find something that works better. I now constantly look at my investments and ask myself if I would be a buyer or invest in the same knowing what I know now. If the answer is “no” I liquidate. In the past I would sit in the losing position trying to justify my decision and continue trying to make a round hole fit into a square peg. Ironically many of my best decisions in life have come fro m my decision to discard. I met my wife, my best friend, by discarding a relationship with someone else. I created my business by discarding a different career. The list goes on and on. I’ve come to believe getting rid of the bad cards is perhaps the most important part of building a strong hand. I’ve learned to allow myself the uncomfortable luxury of changing my mind.
Disagreements Are NOT Personal Attacks: I’m not sure where life changed or how society has moved to thinking everything is a personal attack. In fact it’s tough to hire anyone these days who can take even the slightest bit of constructive criticism. Look at how personal the recent elections became, while in fact our country was founded on a difference of both religion and ideologies. Just because someone doesn’t agree with your thoughts or perspective doesn’t mean they are launching a personal attack. I’m starting to think social media is somewhat to blame as it allows people to bully without the repercussions of getting punched in the face. In addition the algorithms aggressively help to fuel the fire. If you click on one story about a particular political issue, you are soon bombarded with hundreds of articles and opinions voicing similar views. Next thing you take ownership of these thoughts without fully understanding both side of the argument. When someone comes along and challenges your new found genius and you are unable to fully or successfully rebuttal, you feel backed into a corner and come out swinging. I jsut think we need to remind ourselves it’s ok for people to disagree with our opinions and ideologies. It is clearly dividing our country and putting our kids in a very precarious situation
Love the Process: Everyone wants to win the trophy or be “the man”, but very few have the ability to grind it out and make it happen. The reason is because most don’t enjoy the everyday “process”. It’s the everyday grind and “process” that wins the prize. Everyone wanted to be Michael Jordan, Joe Montana or Tiger Woods but nobody wanted to do the work or put in the everyday grind and commitment that made them so successful. The people who get really good at basketball are those who enjoy doing dribbling and layup drills. Successful online business owners don’t just enjoy making money; they enjoy doing things like writing articles or managing ad campaigns. Everyone wants the outcome, but in order to be motivated to work towards it, day in and day out, you have to learn to get enjoyment out of the process.
Working Smart Is More Important Than Working Hard: I’m certainly not discounting the fact “working hard” is an admiral trait, but working smart and being consistent is a much more important ingredient for success. A great piece of advic e is “we are what we do consistently”. Hard work is important, but you won’t accomplish much by working hard for a while, getting exhausted and giving up. To achieve something great, you have to be able to enjoy it on a regular and consistent basis. This means you need to pace yourself; work as hard as you’re able to sustain, not so hard you get burnt out. It’s very obvious that even if you’re determined that nobody will outwork you, you still have maximum limits regarding working hours; and there’s always someone who’s willing to sleep less than you. Think about it like this, many people work hard, but only a few become really successful.
Allow Others To Help: I had an old football coach give me some worldly wisdom a few years back. He had fallen off a ladder while painting some 30-feet in the air during the summer off-season. The fall almost killed him and landed him in ICU for several weeks. When he got out of the hospital everybody in the community as well as former players and students where coming by his house to offer help and assistance. At first he was extremely frustrated because he wanted to try and start rehabilitating and doing all of the things for himself. But he was a strong Christian and learned through his belief that it wasn’t only about him. People wanted to be a part of his rehab and needed to feel like they could be of assistance and offer help. Accepting help is actually giving others the gift of being able to take action and show love to you when they might otherwise feel helpless. Letting others help you is allowing God to work through others and helping to humble our hearts. “I will bless those who bless you.” Genesis 12:3a
It’s Not A Problem Until It’s A Problem: This one is fairly self explanatory in the fact most “big problems” start as something extremely simple and of little concern. Not addressing the issue or giving it proper attention allows it to become a major problem.
Invest In Yourself: I recently asked a golf professional, who is a close friend of mine, what would be the best way to spend $300 on technology for an average golfer to improve his game. His response was, “lessons”. That answer clearly caught me by surprise as I was looking for a new driver, new golf gadget, etc… Interestingly there’s been a ton of improvements in education and ways to improve our techniques and thoughts. Unfortunately many of us overlook the obvious and fail to invest in ourselves, fail to pay a coach, or to attend a motivational conference. We will send our truck in for a tune-up or the regular oil-change, but won’t invest in the regular maintenance of ourselves. I remember Mark Cuban once saying the most important investment we can make is in ourselves. If we can keep our minds and body healthy we can continue to generate income. If we don’t take care of ourself mentally and psychically there’s a very strong chance our personal money making machine will have to be shut down for an extended period. I know many of us often get caught up in investing in our children or our businesses, but investing in ourself truly makes a difference in our life, our well-being, and our ability to thrive and perform to the best of our ability. The extent to which you invest in yourself, mind and body, not only shapes the way you interact with the outside world, it often reflects the opinion you have of yourself. Therefore your future is in large part determined by your willingness and ability to invest in yourself today.
Don’t Over-Coach: Its been said many times, “Simple almost always beats complex…” I’ve also learned that “over-coaching” denies others one of the greatest life lessons and character development opportunities available, the development of decision-making skills and learning to live with the consequences of their own decisions and actions. Even though you may have the best of intentions, by trying to dictate all that happens you aren’t letting the people you love take control and grow as independent individuals. In the sporting world “over-coaching” is perhaps one of the most common mistakes and most deadly sin. You have to know when to back away, take off the reigns and let the horse run!
Nothing Worthwhile Is Ever Easy: I heard someone once say that when people are asked late in life what are some of their most memorable moments, the general response was always something that was extremely difficult: Raising their children; Completing a marathon; Climbing a mountain; Building a business, etc… The point is it was never anything easy like buying a new car, buying a house, etc… We often get caught up in thinking we can ease our pain or comfort ourselves by buying a classic car, new watch, or new house, when in the end it’s generally the things we really struggled with and at the time found to be extremely difficult that ultimately provides the most meaning. Think about it… it’s always when we sell that house, farm or business that we sit back and think about all of the fantastic team and life building experiences and memories that were made during our struggles. Unfortunately we are in such a big hurry chasing the wrong things that we tend to miss many of them as they are passing by…
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