My younger son asked me to include some of my life’s lessons, so for those I have not yet covered, here goes.
(1) No matter what, the truth will generally, eventually come out. Hiding, obfuscating and/or hoping the issue will just go away is a poor strategy. Rotten fish do not improve with age.
(2) Don’t be afraid of the hard stuff – in fact, don’t be afraid of much at all. The only thing that becomes a crisis is something from which you cannot recover. And there is rarely an instance of not being able to recover.
(3) Face everything head-on, but be flexible enough to figure out another way if you hit a brick wall. Head-bashing is generally counter-productive.
(4) Balance is everything, especially balance in priorities. My example here would be money: yes, everybody needs money. Money is required for personal maintenance. But then, so is toothpaste, if you want to do a good job of it. Money should be considered just that: not more, not less. It’s not crass or lowly to understand money is a requirement, but it also is not a good measure of who and what you are. Keep the emotion out of it: money is glorified toothpaste.
(5) Be strong enough to stand entirely on your own if need be. That’s the only sure-fire way you can be strong enough for someone else, if that’s required. Trust me on this one – I know there’s a lot of literature out there that says the opposite. Poppycock. Be strong. Vulnerability is vastly over-rated.
(6) Understand that practically everything is a double-edged sword. If you understand the flip-side – if you can think through the unintended consequences - you will always make the best available choice. Most issues can be traced to unintended consequences. Single-mindedness might be good for the instant moment, but it’s rarely good for the long-term.
(7) You should consider yourself successful at life if you can weather all that life throws at you and come out emotionally whole. The most tragic thing to witness is people breaking in the face of adversity – people that lose, or shut out, a part of themselves forever.
(8) Finally, some of my best advice: if you are going to be stubborn, you better be right.
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