10 Pieces of Wisdom for 2016

2016blogThis year I will surpass the average age that men in my family have attained over the last 11 or 12 generations. There were some curve busters in there to be sure and now I hope to bust the curve in a more positive direction. That being said, in my own context, I am an old man.

Thus, as an old man, I offer up these ten bits of acquired wisdom for your 2016. I do not call them “pearls” for to you they may be old hat, or pieces of something quite different than semi precious stones. Nonetheless I hope that your New Year is a blessed one!

  1. Two things you must do everyday: Laugh out loud and exercise. There will be many days when you don’t want to do either but every day you do both will be a day that feels brighter, better and more hopeful. (Typing “LOL” multiple times doesn’t count as laughter OR exercise.)

  2. Invest in three new relationships: 1 person who can teach you something, 1 person whom you can teach, and 1 person who is just fun to hang with. This will stretch you more than any self-improvement class.

  3. Commit to dialogue: Yes, I see the irony of typing this in a monologue.

  4. Learn to ask questions and fact check: it will make you better equipped for dialogue.

  5. For my young friends who are trying to decide is they are currently with the person they should marry: Do NOT ask yourself “Can I see myself with this person for the rest of my life?” This is the wrong question. You’ll always find some foible that distracts you from saying yes. Ask instead, “Can I see the rest of my life without this person in it?” Because if you choose someone else that will be your reality. If your answer to this second question is no, then odds are you’re with the right person.

  6. If you’re a Christian: Spend time everyday reading your Bible. This will be difficult, really difficult. For myself, if I don’t do it before I get out of bed in the morning I will almost assuredly miss a day and have to catch up. There are many plans out there that can help you do this and even 1 year Bibles that break it up for you. When you read don’t worry about getting something profound out of it every day. It isn’t about “the words” it is about The Word.

  7. If you’re not a Christian: Invest some time each day in developing a deeper understanding and commitment to whatever it is you do believe: meditation, the Koran, the Talmud, the Vedas, etc. The result will be either a consistency between what you say you believe and how you live it or a change in what you believe that results in a consistency with how you live it.

  8. Set one goal: I’m bad at goal setting, really bad. I find though that if I set just one that is a little bit of a stretch AND set three milestones that land between here and there I not only get a little better at goal setting but I also have something to look forward to and strive for on the journey.

  9. Remember that text has no tonality: Real conversation, whether in person or via phone / Skype / Facetime is ALWAYS clearer, more easily understood, and more enriching, than anything you type anywhere. Don’t believe me? Give me a call and we’ll discuss it.

  10. Ask yourself often what it means to love people: The word has become so diluted that it is often hard to distinguish between what it means to love your spouse or to love pizza. Supposedly Sanskrit has 96 words that mean love. I’m sure one covers love of a spouse and a different one covers love of pizza. There is very little, dare I say nothing, in life that is riskier but that will give more back to you than loving people.

May your loved ones be close and drawn closer, may the scope of your world grow larger in wonder and in purpose, and may your God, whomever or whatever you conceive him to be, bless you richly in the coming year.


Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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