Good day to all my friends in the Blog-a-sphere! I trust you are enjoying your day. Jimmy Buffett has a song “A Pirate Looks at 40”. This birthday boy has been a Buffett fan since I can’t remember. My mother grew up with Jimmy down on Mobile Bay and so there’s been a prevalence of Margaritaville in my life for some time. I’ve spent the last few weeks reflecting on quite a few things in my life. My inspiration for this post came on a recent trip to TX hog hunting with my dear friends Robb Wolf, John Welbourn and Dave Werner. You can plan on seeing a bit more about that trip in next week’s post. As for today, I’m taking a page out of the Talk To Me Johnnie blog that Mr. Welbourn runs. For two years now, he’s posted about things he learned in the previous years…they are amusing and very informative. John’s got a great perspective on training, eating and generating copious amounts of power.
Me…I’ve been a jack of all trades for a number of years. I’ve spent the last 40 years doing everything from sports & nutrition to financial planning and volunteer work. These are in no particular order and I hope you enjoy some of the things I’ve learned over the past four decades.
1. Family is everything! I’ve been blessed with an extended family of folks related to me (and not) that I can rely on and support when things times are good, bad and just plain ugly.
2. Set and chase HUGE goals. Mediocrity is for suckers and the minute you settle, you lose.
3. Your career should do three things: provide you immense joy, serve others and create value in this world.
4. There are only three ways to get things done: GOOD, FAST, CHEAP. The catch is, you only get to choose two of them.
5. People can be judged fairly well by how they treat the elderly and animals.
6. Giving a man a fish once is cool (dude is hungry). Giving a man a fish everyday is stupid, fostering dependency and ruining any hope of self reliance. Teach that man to fish and show him (or her) the path to strength, resilience and true joy.
7. Support local business. Whenever and however possible, you need to keep your money, time and energy focused on your community. They are the ones most likely to return the favor.
8. Small (and local) charities are doing the most good in the world. Find one whose mission makes your heart flutter and donate your time/money. A little goes a LONG way and you can actually touch/feel the results your contributions are making.
9. Marry the person you can’t live without…not the person you think you can live with.
10. Get outside and play. Whether with your kids, pets or friends…there is no better place to experience life than outdoors.
11. Grow something in the ground. Preferably something you can eat…but if flowers are your thing…go for it. We are so disconnected from our earth and the bounty is can bring us. Reconnect with the sun, water and dirt.
12. Expose yourself to challenges and difficulty on a daily basis. How can you truly be a strong, self reliant person without dealing with adversity. Don’t fear failure! It is our mistakes and stumbles that teach us the most.
13. Learn to cook. Something from a box doesn’t count. The act of cooking food for you, your friends and family is the single greatest act of love and kindness you can ever show another.
14. Hunt, kill and consume an animal. Don’t know how to hunt? Find a buddy and tag along. This is the circle of life. You need to douse yourself with the reality that animals of all kinds are here to make some other animal’s dinner. If you’re not going to choose to be near the top of the food chain, you are doomed to be on the bottom.
15. There is no substitute for raw strength. All the “cardio” in the world won’t help you when you have to rush to help others, fend off an attacker or fight the elements. Bears don’t run a 5k to eat.
16. The government (of most any variety) can’t truly help you. If they were the solution to our problems…then how is it that there are so many problems in our world today? Take responsibility for yourself.
17. A butter knife is an assault weapon, if you choose to assault someone with it. You only harm a person or society when you remove their ability to defend themselves from the acts of deranged people (or governments). The strictest gun laws in the country breed the most crime…look it up.
18. Learn to drive a stick shift (manual transmission for those who’ve never seen the likes of four on the floor). You shouldn’t be able to get your driver’s license without this knowledge IMHO.
19. Climb to the top of a mountain. Any mountain will do…just go climb.
20. Drink lots of water. Half your body weight in ounces each day. This is critical to health and fending off injury.
21. Hollywood isn’t news. It’s entertainment (at best). Get your damn priorities in check.
22. Seven to eight hours of sleep each night is the minimum required dose to be awesome.
23. Witness at least one sunrise and one sunset every month. I’d like you to see more…but let’s start there.
24. Write at least one hand written note per week to someone you are grateful for.
25. Teach your children how to safely use a knife, handle a gun and start a fire.
26. Every person should know how to swim. Period!
27. Write a poem every now and then. A haiku is only 17 syllables folks.
Poems are great
Cleansing the soul all day long
You should try one now
28. Say please, thank you often and mean it! Gratitude > Attitude.
29. Farmers should make more money than bankers. This is certainly not reality…just something I’ve learned and feel strongly about. Does money matter at all if we have no food?
30. There is no greater education than the one received at the School of Hard Knocks.
31. Valentine’s Day is complete Horse shit. If you have to buy candy/flowers/cards for someone on this day, you aren’t doing a very good job of loving them the other 364 days out of the year. Do us all a favor, take the money you waste on all that crap and donate it to a local charity (see #8).
32. Money can’t buy happiness. However, finding something that makes you happy and being damn good at it can make you quite a bit of money. Find happy first!
33. Hire a pro (AKA a coach)! If you aren’t getting the results you are looking for, it’s time to bring in the pro. Life, sports, nutrition, finances and the like all have folks that are better equipped to hold you accountable and push your limits.
34. Dessert is amazing and should be relished and enjoyed. This means not every meal or even every dinner. It should be stated that bacon counts as dessert in our household (and a main course, appetizer and salad). If someone offers you ice cream, eat that stuff. If you’re lactose intolerant, I’m sorry.
35. If you can’t say something nice (or constructive), shut the hell up. It’s bad enough when you have to stand face to face with a “negatron”. It seems that our beloved internets have bred a culture that likes to beat up people from a computer and not own up to the fact that their ramblings are a greater reflection on their own shortcomings. Encourage, promote and lift up your fellow citizens…or keep your garbage to yourself.
36. Commit to be excellent…and take pride in that fact. I’ve been exposed to an amazing company in Atlanta: The Unsukay Community. I’ve been fortunate enough to speak at one of their staff meetings and I’ve never seen a more committed group of folks at demonstrating pride in their work. If you want to dig ditches, be the best damn ditch digger you can be.
37. Under Promise & Over Deliver! Nobody has ever been disappointed at getting something an hour early. People lose their marbles when something is a minute late.
38. Build something with your hands on occasion. I don’t care if it’s legos with your kids or a log cabin out of popsicle sticks. The point is to engage creatively in the construction of a physical object.
39. Squatting below parallel should be a requirement to vote, get a drivers license and purchase an I-phone. Oh…and to be a doctor (see #40).
40. Don’t trust your doctor if: 1) They are fat, 2) They can’t answer the question “Is there a nutritional approach that could help?”, 3) They tell you to cut out fat & 4) If they can’t squat below parallel (see #39).
…and 1 to grow on!
41. All big banks, cell phone companies, internet providers and airlines suck. Find the one that sucks the least for you and your needs and just prepare yourself for disappointment.
*The views and opinions expressed in this post are not necessarily the views and opinions of my beautiful and loving wife, Julie.