5 Reasons you shouldn’t take advice from most people

Lets face it.  If you have lived on this earth for very long at all, by the time you are reading this post.  The chances are, you at least somewhat agree with the title.   If not, maybe you will be thoroughly convinced by the end of reading this post.

Most people don’t have a clue:   Yes, I do believe this is true in most cases.  I am not saying nobody knows, or everyone is clueless.  No, I am saying “most” people don’t have a clue.

Ex:  You could probably ask the five closest people you are around right now this question:  “Do you consider yourself a Facebook expert”?  The chances are they will respond with a yes.  Most people think they are experts because they use something frequently.  That doesn’t make them an expert.  If they are telling you to be sure you advertise on Facebook. Are you going to take their advice, or someone who really knows? Meaning, the small percentage of people and experts who actually understand marketing and Facebook advertising.  Not your buddy, who thinks they know what they are talking about just because they use it.

People give you the advice that they are comfortable with themselves:   Maybe you are thinking of a new career.  Or a new job opportunity.  The position or the new career sounds really awesome.  You are qualified for it, you like the people you will be working with.  You really think this is the right move. Keep in mind, you really like your current job as well, but you are slowly getting bored with it. You just don’t feel challenged anymore.

So you ask your buddy. Who has done the same job for the last ten years, and really hasn’t done anything to grow their skills in any other areas, so they most likely plan on staying where they are.  You tell them about this new opportunity and tell them you are thinking about leaving your current position. What advice do you think this buddy of yours is going to give you?

It’s not a bad thing that your buddy has a long-term employment record with a company.  However, it does show that they prefer stability and consistency.  Which is perfectly okay to like.

However, they might not be as risky as you are.  Or as anxious for a new opportunity as you are.  So they might not give you the advice that someone else who may have switched careers every five years to pursue new opportunities would give you. Their suggestions or feedback on the possible change might be “stay where you are”.  “You are just getting started”. Or something along those lines.  This is the advice that they have given themselves.  This is the advice that they are comfortable with and that is the advice they will give you.

They haven’t been where you are going:  We all have done this.  Shit, I sometimes still do it.  You would think I would know better by now.

Have you ever thought about doing something that sounded a little different from what everyone in your circle is doing? Maybe you are thinking of starting your own business.  Or maybe it is some product you have thought about creating.  Maybe it is taking a trip to a place that people like you don’t take trips to normally.  Or, it could be just changing the way you interact with people at work, or how you do your work.

Regardless of what it is.  The chances are you have at some point decided to go against the norm.  Well, the norm that is in your circles.

So, you do like most of us do and run it past a few of your closest friends.  And they can’t wrap their brains around what you are saying.  They have never thought like that, which means they can’t fathom doing what you are thinking about doing. They tell you the risks. All of the bad things that could happen.  And in many cases you would think they are an expert on what ever it is you are thinking about doing.

Lets be honest.  They are not experts.  Matter of fact, they are the furthest thing from it.  They can’t even fathom what you are doing, much less add any value to what it is you are attempting to do.

Most people are showing you a facade. What is a facade? an outward appearance that is maintained to conceal a less pleasant or creditable reality.

You know some of these people.  You have seen glimpses of them from time to time.  They are all around you.  That person that has the really nice new cars, nice new house, nice new clothes, etc.  Whatever it is.  They are showing you the appearance that they have it all going for them.  Mean while.  They are about to lose their house, their marriage, and their nice new cars, because they can’t afford the lifestyle.

In today’s world, this facade could be on Facebook or some other kind of digital platform. Again, you are looking at the high light reels of someones life and you think they are the right person to seek advice from.  They are not.

The most obvious one: Have you ever made a decision to live a healthier lifestyle?  You know what this includes.  Bringing your lunch to work.  Your lunch bag or box filled with vegetables, carrots, humus, or the leftovers from some healthy meal you cooked the night before. In addition to the change in eating habits, you have also started exercising a lot more.  You talk about the workout you did at your local gym, or some running program, or some other kind of home workout program.

Whenever you do this.  You inevitability will always get a person that is in your circles that is the expert on everything you are doing.  They know the best workouts.  The best foods to eat. And everything else “health”, you can think of.  However, you have never once heard them talk about this stuff before.  They also use words like “used to” a lot.  Which means they are trying to tell you something about something that they are currently not doing themselves.

Or it could be the real obvious ones.  The person who doesn’t have the shape, size, or physique you would ever want.  Trying to tell you what you should do.  Or the person who never seems to have any money, telling you what you should do with yours.

In all of the cases I mentioned above we have all been around similar scenarios. I am not saying you shouldn’t seek advice from people.  I am actually telling you the opposite of that.

I am suggesting that you be careful in who you seek your advice from. For most of our lives we have been listening to the people around us. In many cases, this is a good thing.

However, when you get dissatisfied with the results you are getting in your life. Or you are inspired to make a change.  You can’t seek guidance or advice from the people in your life that don’t know or understand what you are going through, much less give you any good advice on how to make it happen.

To your success and your future.

 

Three resources you have to manage daily, if not hourly.

If you are in business you are well aware of all of things you have to manage. Things such as costs, cash flow, and revenue to name a few.  These go without saying.  These are just as important in your personal life as well, aren’t they?  Maybe you don’t call them that. Here is what you might call them. Your expenses, your account balances, and your income.  No matter what you call them we all know that these are important to a businesses success as well as an individual’s success.

It goes without saying that you are well aware of the importance of the above three resources.  But what about the three resources you might not be thinking about that are just as important. You might say they are even more important, because these three resources are what allow you to manage the three above even better.

Your time: Time is our most precious resource and should be our most valued.  We only have so much time in a day.  If we don’t manage our time, we will see it pop up in other areas of our business.  If we don’t make time to focus on revenue generation, then we will see that our revenue will go down, which makes our expenses become a bigger issue.

How and where you spend your time will determine your success or failure.  Whether you are a business owner, a sales rep, or work for a company.  Your time and how you spend your time towards profitable activities, is what determines your business success or your company’s success.

Your energy: You could make the argument that time and energy are similar.  Because where you spend your time, is where you are spending your energy.

Well, this isn’t always the case. You could zap your energy on a making a simple decision that you don’t necessarily need to be making.  There is something called decision fatigue. And we as human beings have to make thousands of decisions every single day.  The research shows that every single decision we have to make takes some of our energy.  Causing us to fatigue.  Why do you think most diets blow up in the evening.  Most affairs happen after a long work day.  I am not saying either of these always happen at these times.  However, research shows that the longer we are awake and depending on the nature of our jobs, that our energy gets drained from all of the decisions we have to make.

Your opportunity cost: The definition of opportunity cost: the loss of potential gain from other alternatives when one alternative is chosen.

Each day we all have to make decisions, hence why we have to manage the decision we make as stated above, because it can zap our energy.  Secondly, we have to manage our opportunity costs.  When you make a decision to invest your time and energy in one area of your business, you are deciding not to focus on another part of the business.

And there in lies the opportunity cost.  When we decide to invest our capital in to a new software system, in means we won’t have the capital to invest somewhere else in our business. We might not be able to hire another employee, or outsource a function to a vendor.  None of the decisions we make on a daily basis are made in a vacuum.  Every single decision we make, we are in essence making two decisions.

We are making the decision “to do” this and “not do” this.  So there is a cost associated with the “to do” and a cost associated with the “not do”.  Whatever the decision is that we are making, we believe that whatever it is we are going “to do” is more valuable and profitable than the “not do”.  However, we must realize that there is a cost associated with both of them.  We just have to believe that we are making the more profitable and smart decision.

Obviously, much of this blog was written from a business perspective.  However, these same rules apply to our personal lives as well. We have to mage our personal time. We have to manage our energy in our personal lives and we definitely have to manage our opportunity costs in our life.  All of these decisions impact each other. None of them are made a lone.

Are you managing your resources to your full advantage?

To your success and your future.

 

Your two options: Nothing or Something, which one will you choose?

Everyday I give myself two options.  I can either go to the gym or go out for a run.  These are my two options that I give myself.  These are the only two options I give myself.  I am not saying that from time to time that I don’t take a day off.  However, 99.9% of the time, I am deciding on which of my two workouts I will do on a given day.

This morning started out like most Monday mornings.  Regardless, of how much sleep I get or don’t get on Sunday night.  I always seem to wake up on Mondays pretty easily and with a lot of energy.  Today was no different.  Like many days of the week, I threw on my running shoes and took off.  My goal was to run for an hour.  This is my last week of prep before next weekends half-marathon.  This will be my sixth time running in a half marathon.

The reason I only have these two options is because I refuse to give myself any other options. I refuse to allow myself the option of doing nothing.  This doesn’t even cross my mind.  I have erased that option from my head.  It doesn’t even come in to play. I eliminated the “nothing” decision years ago.  My health is too important to allow a do nothing decision to even be considered.

There is a famous quote that states this:  “If it is important you will find a way. If it’s not important, you will find an excuse.”  Most people spend their day wasting their energy on this decision by itself.  They haven’t made the decision that whatever it is they want to do is important.  They instead have to make this same decision every single day:

  • “Is this important enough to me to do something” or
  • “Maybe it is not important to me, so I should do nothing.”

We as humans know that we can’t leave ourselves to have to make these decisions every day, because when we are left to do this, we will eventually start making the decision to do nothing.

Today, you have to decide in your head whether or not you will make the decision to pursue something or do nothing. You can’t leave yourself to battle with yourself everyday on whether you should or should not do something. You have to make the decision in your head that you will not allow any excuse to cross your mind any more.

What is it for you that you need to decide on. Is it going back to school to get a degree, or an advanced degree?  Is it eating healthier?  Is it making exercise part of your daily routine?  Is it pursuing a new career? Is it creating a budget, so you can get out of debt?  All of these decisions are decisions you need to make today. You don’t want to leave yourself the option to do nothing. Instead you want to make the decision that no matter what happens you will do something today to pursue a better future for yourself.

To your success and your future.

Three essentials to your success arsenal

There are many things that we can add to our tool box that can help us be even more successful than we are today.  However, many times, those things can come across cumbersome and may not even be realistic.

I want to keep your success arsenal simple by giving you three things to think about for your success toolkit.  When you focus on these three things, success will no doubt be yours to grab and to keep.  However, for you to grab and keep success, you must constantly work on these three areas.  Learning, refining, and experimenting is always the key to success in anything.

Mindset: Yes.  Everything begins and ends with your mindset.  If your mindset is not right, success can never be yours.  I am not saying that there won’t be hard days, challenging days, or days that you want to quit.  That would be unrealistic. However, your mindset can determine how you deal with those things when they do come up.  Because they will.  And they always do.

Tool Kit:  Have you ever worked on a home project and didn’t have the right tools.  If you are like me, you have that old toolbox with a wrench, a few screwdrivers, a hammer, and maybe some miscellaneous tools that got handed down to you from your father or grandfather.  And they probably had it handed down to them by theirs.

What inevitably always happens is you start a project around the house and you think you have all the right tools.  As you get in to the project you find that the tools you do have just aren’t working as well.  So you get in the car and drive to your local Home Depot or Lowes and buy a few tools and come back to the house.  You might make some progress on the project and then run in to another snag.  You look it up a possible solution on YouTube and you find out that if you had this one tool it would make it all easy for you.  So again, you get in your car and head to Lowes or Home Depot and buy that tool.  You then head back home, and now hopefully you are able to finish the project.

I don’t know about you, but this has happened to me many times.  So much so, that I now just refuse to do home projects.  But that is another story for another day.

It is important for all of us to constantly feed our brains with new tools that can help us be successful in life, in business, in our professions, in our budgeting, our planning, our marriage, etc.  You name it.  In today’s world, there are always new things coming out that can help us be more efficient, more effective, and better equipped to handle whatever it is that comes our way.

If you are in sales.  Developing new prospecting techniques is always a must.  If you just think about how social media has impacted this process.  Are you equipped with the tool kit to be successful in your business now because of all of the changes and utilizing social media to prospect more effectively? Or for that matter, successfully make sales in today’s business landscape?

If you are in leadership. Are you constantly learning and refining your leadership style. As the generations in the workforce are changing.  And people as whole are changing. People want different things from their jobs and their supervisors.  Do you as a leader have enough tools in your tool kit to successfully lead in today’s world?

Sales and leadership are just two easy examples of professions that need constant attention on developing new tools to execute in these professions successfully.  However, there are many.  Marketing, Accounting, Social Media, etc. to name a few more.  Let me ask you: Is your took kit equipped with the right tools?

Skillset:  If your mind is right and we have the right tools in our tool kit, we can now develop new skills. And this should be the goal for everyone. Well, two goals: Develop new skills and refine and enhance our current skills.  Both of these are important to success.

Look around and ask yourself who in your profession (maybe it is you) is the Michael Jordan (if you don’t know who that is, look him up, #GOAT) of your profession?  Who is the best?  And why do you consider them the best?

The chances are they have developed, refined, and continued to work on developing their skillset in your profession.  They didn’t get to a point and stop learning.  They didn’t get as successful as they wanted to be and stop trying to become better.  If they truly are the best in the profession, the chances are they have continued to evolve and develop their skillset to where it is today. Which has allowed them to be the best.

If you want to be the best. You will have to constantly work on the three areas we defined here. Our mindset determines a lot of what we get or don’t get out of life.  Your ability to seek, find, and develop new tools that can help you be successful is going to always be required. Things are constantly changing, and we must change with them. Lastly, to become the best in anything we are doing, or just becoming better than average if that is your goal.  It will require you to develop a skill set in whatever it is you do that is exceptional and constantly being refined and tweaked.

To your success and your future.

I am glad I didn’t listen

What is the worse that is going to happen?  Answer.  You are going to die.  And guess what? We are all going to die.  There is a one hundred percent chance that it is going to happen.  Not if, but when.

I have watched this day come for too many people in my life already and I am sure I will watch a few more, unfortunately.

What it has taught me, is that we must seize every moment of existence we have on this earth.  Instead of going for good, going for stable, going for security, going for what’s easy, what is comfortable, what makes total sense.  I am vowing to go for what is the riskiest, what doesn’t make total sense, what has a big, HUGE upside, than just a little upside, etc.

I am guessing you are probably a lot like me.  We both probably grew up in a situation where our families may have had a lot or a little.  They may have been super supportive or not supportive at all.  They may have taken a lot of risks or none at all.

Whatever your story is, it has brought you to this place.  This current place, called the “present”.  I am thankful for what my upbringing has done thus far.  However, I know how the story could end based on my experiences. I also know how I want it to end, when it ends. I am vowing to make my story end the way I want it to.  For better or for worse.

When I left a secure and stable job that was comfortable and paying me well, and a position that I totally understood.  I had some friends tell me that I shouldn’t.  I had some family members tell me to stay put.

I am glad I didn’t listen.  

When I decided to buy my first rental property, I can remember everyone.  Yes, I mean everyone. Telling me that it is risky.  They said, “What are you going to do if your tenants don’t pay?” They said “Tenants will mess your stuff up and you will have to get it fixed.”  They said “You will get phone calls in the middle of the night.” Everything was negative, nothing was positive.  I bought the property anyway.

I am glad I didn’t listen. 

When I decided to take a risk and start a business on the side.  I can remember everyone saying “How are you going to do that?”  “That is a lot of work.” Then, when I decided to leave my stable secure job and pursue this business I started.  Everyone said “You are crazy, what are you going to do if it fails.”  “Are you sure this is the right thing to do right now?”

Guess what happened.  It didn’t fail.  It is still going today.  However, at the time I learned a lesson and many lessons by doing it. I learned that I still needed to find a better way to build a business.  At the time we weren’t ready.  Guess what happened?  I got a great education and I went back to work.

I am glad I didn’t listen. 

When I decided to sell one of my houses (the one I was living in) and rent an apartment instead. Everyone again said all the same stuff. “Why would you do that”, “You are wasting money on rent.” I did it, and it set me up to make several other great moves with my money and my real estate portfolio.

I am glad I didn’t listen. 

I decided to leave a well-paying job, move to another state, and purchase a business all at the same time.  You know the routine.  Everyone said the same “Whoa, you are crazy.” “Good luck” they said, with a smirk on their face. “It is going to be hard work”.  Yep, duh.  Anything worthwhile is hard work, or everyone would be doing it.

I am glad I didn’t listen. 

I am not saying that everyone during each of these decisions were negative and trying to talk me out of it.  However, ninety-five percent of them were. And you know why?

Because it is not something that they would do.  Period. They wouldn’t do it, so they either didn’t want me to do it, because they couldn’t.  You know ego, jealousy. Or they sincerely believe that I shouldn’t have done it, and that is just their belief based on how they were raised and who they are.  Both of these reasons are pure crap by the way, and I am so thankful I didn’t listen to any of them when I made those decisions.

Now here is the thing.  I am completely disgusted with myself.  It has taken me this long to figure out that all along the way. Even though I was making good moves and good decisions. I was completely wrong in how I was doing it. You know why I was wrong?

Because I wasn’t thinking big enough.  When I bought that first rental property, I should have bought a bigger one.  Instead of a duplex, I should have bought an eight-plex  or bigger. When I started that little business. Instead of trying to conserve my money that I had saved, I should have spent every dime on that business to make it grow and grow quicker.

I have learned that even though I made all the right decisions, because if I hadn’t I wouldn’t be telling you about them today. That, my biggest problem with the decisions I made was that they were too small.

I am right in the middle of making some of the biggest decisions of my life.  Thankfully, because of my experiences. I am looking at things with a different perspective than I have ever looked at them before.

I have the mindset of “What is the worst that is going to happen?”  Since I know the answer. I am only allowing my imagination and my ambitions make my decisions. Not fear, and especially not anyone and everyone who has never been where I want to go.

To your success and your future.

 

 

Some of the bad advice I have received along the way

I am sure it will come as to no surprise to you.  Especially, since you are reading this blog.  Is it just me or do you see this to?  The older I get, and yes, the wiser I am getting.  I am learning that most of the things I was taught.  Outside, the basic, basic shit.  Like manners, respect, appreciation, love your mother, love your father, etc. Outside that stuff. The rest of shit we have learned was probably not very good advice.

I am finding that some of the smartest people I know, really gave a lot of bad advice to me along the way.  They didn’t do it intentionally.  It wasn’t their fault.  That is all they knew as well. They thought they were doing me a favor when they passed their horse shit advice  on to me.  Many times the advice someone gives us, is the advice that they have been comfortable in receiving as well. Meaning, they aren’t going to tell you something they aren’t comfortable themselves doing.

My third grade teacher.  I remember her name, but I am not going to blast them in this blog. I was a talker when I was a kid.  I guess I still am, but I think I cared less when I was a kid than I do now.  Which is sad, because that is where it started.  When that teacher told me that being loud and talking to everyone is not a  good quality to have.  They actually punished me for it.  Being friendly, and probably saying some crazy stuff at that time, I was punished for it.

And when you punish a kid for something too many times, then other people get involved and punish them as well.  The principal, other teachers, counselors, and then lastly your parents, because they don’t want to listen to these teachers bitch about you.

The bad advice that my third teacher gave me, stunted me.  It started me down a path,  that I may have not gone down otherwise.  It prevented me from being who I wanted to be.  And ultimately changed who I was or who I was going to be. It made me insecure. Which is a horrible disease for a kid to have and it doesn’t get better as an adult.

Some other bad advice.

Play fair and be a good team member.  Growing up, I played basketball. And a lot of it.  I was a decent player and worked really hard with the athleticism and skills I was given and ultimately developed.  When I was younger playing basketball, I was the best on the team, or one of the best.  As I got older and moved into middle school and high school, the athletes got better and the game became more competitive.

Many of the coaches at that time was focused on me passing the ball, or finding the open man.  Well, we all know that the person who does that is never celebrated as much as the person who can dunk the ball or shoot the hell out of the ball.  But I conformed, and became more of a “setting other players up” to score kind of guy, and ultimately became a non-factor.  In high school, they want athletes that can score, dunk, or make a difference, by this time, my skill set had evolved in to something that wasn’t flashy or amazing.

Again, the advice I was getting was from people who I thought knew better.

The next bad advice I got, is everyone needs a college education.  Hey I get it, I agree with this premise for the most part.  Where I disagree with this notion is that everyone needs a college degree. Is if you don’t know what the heck you want to be, don’t go to college and figure it out. Go to work and figure it out.  College then, and especially now, is way too expensive to just go and figure it out.

What you really learn in college, is how to learn.  Now you can learn how to learn on a job, or in college.  One pays you to learn, the other one charges you.  You tell me which one is better.

Get married and buy a house.  My advice.  Don’t do either one of these until you are at least thirty years of age.  Lets start with the first one.

All I know is my experiences, so that is all I can talk about.  Everyone I know, well, take that back.  A large percentage of everyone I know that got married before age 25, were divorced before they were thirty.  I don’t have a clue why this is, but from my observations and According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the average age of divorce in America is thirty years of age.  Which means you had to get married before age thirty.  The statistics prove my theory on some level.

Buying a house.  Again, don’t do it before you are at least thirty years of age, if ever.  If ever, is another conversation for another day.  Buying a house before age thirty is too risky.  What I have watched is people that buy the houses are already in debt before they purchase the house.  That is problem number one.

Then they buy the house, which consumes well over forty to fifty percent of their cash flow each month, so they became strapped and stressed out over money and in life. And no relief for many years.  My guess is, that there is a correlation between the high divorce rate and purchasing a home before age thirty.  I am by no means a finance expert.  I am just speaking from my own personal experience and my experience watching others.

We have accumulated a lot of bad advice already, and I am just now getting to age thirty.  Lets keep in mind, I am not quite forty yet either.

Quickly here are a few other doozies of bad advice given along the way.

  • If you want to have a nice car, you will always have a car payment.  Nope.  That is bullshit. You can have a nice car and have it paid for, you just have to control your impulses.
  • You have to find work that you love and you will never work a day in your life.  This is a huge crock of shit.  I love what I do, but I hate most of the stuff I have to do, to be able to do the part of my job I love to do.  My guess is, you are in the same boat.

    This is life. You don’t love to take out the trash, but you sure are happy that your house doesn’t smell like a landfill.  You don’t love doing dishes, or putting dishes in the dishwasher, but you love reaching up into the cabinet and getting a nice clean glass or plate down. I don’t love working out, but I hope that it will continue to allow me to live and be active and healthy.  Should I keep going?Again the chances of you loving most of what you have to do, is slim at best.  You have to love the result. That is what should be taught.

  • Dont set your goals too high.  Ask any five to ten year old what they want to be when they grow up and most of them will say doctor, engineer, lawyer, astronaut, teacher, and now they may say an app creator, a founder of a startup, etc.  And what happens, is most parents and most teachers, tell you to make sure you make good grades and do well in school, and this will prepare you for life and success. And we all know that this just isn’t case.  Success in life comes from fulfilling ones purpose and bringing value to the marketplace.

    Bill Gates brought a lot go value to the marketplace and was rewarded heavily for it.  Anybody can do this. Sure school can help, but it isn’t the end all be all.  And so instead parents and teachers and everyone else,  tell you to have more realistic dreams.  In school they should teach you how to become a great goal setter. Instead of doing the opposite and telling you that the only way to achieve your goals is through an education.  Tell kids to set their goals high, and then equip them with a formula to achieve them.  The goal itself is important, but what is more important is a formula for setting and then achieving goals.  This can be taught as well.

  • “Get a degree”.  Instead of saying this everyone should be saying “Develop your skills” in something.
  • Save for retirement.  I mean this is not all bad advice.  However, most people tend to say “save for retirement”, instead of saying “invest your money”.  Remember, retirement isn’t an age. It is a financial number. Once you hit this dollar figure.  You can retire.  You have to figure out what that dollar figure is.
  • Don’t work too hard and make work your life.  This is information that is usually coming from someone who has different priorities, or hates their job.   Bottom line, is it is bad advice.  Don’t listen to them.  You have to do what makes you happy and allows you to build the life you want to build.

I guess somewhere between age thirty and today, I have learned that most of the advice I have received was from a person who was giving me advice that they were most comfortable with.  It isn’t that it was bad advice or wrong advice.  Is was just all they knew.   We just have to remember that when we seek advice and get advice, we are getting that person biases, baggage, experience, and lastly what they are most comfortable with.

Here is what we have to do.  As we grow up, there is certain advice that we have to take and most of it is not going to kill us.  However, we have to look at the results of the people who are giving us the advice and ask ourselves, “Would we be satisfied” with the results that person has gotten?  If your answer is yes.  Then go with it.

However, most of what happens in this world, everyone is, or most likely will do.  Like many of the examples I mentioned above.  If you are looking to be different and set yourself apart, without a doubt you will have to do something different than what everyone else is doing. When the crowd goes one way, what is in your best interest may be the other way.

So when it comes to taking advice, proceed with caution.

What is some of the bad advice you have received along the way?  Please share in comments.

To your success and your future.

Source: Centers of Disease Control and Prevention: https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nvss/marriage_divorce_tables.htm

 

 

What my Dad taught me, and the two-years since his death

It was two years ago today that my Dad passed away.  It was unexpected and all unfolded within a few hours.  It was devastating.

This morning on my run.  I was thinking about my Dad and what I said about my Dad at his funeral.  I used this system to write what I said at my Dads funeral that day, and have never looked at it since.  It has been sitting here, unpublished for two years.  I am not sure why I haven’t looked at it. I guess, just busy like everyone else.  I remembered most of what I said that day, but reading it again this morning it brings back such great memories of my Dad that I don’t ever want to forget.

What better way to honor my Father today than to share with the world, some of what he taught me.  The words in italic below are the exact words I shared with the friends, family, and others who joined us to celebrate my Dads life two years ago. All of the bad grammar, wrong spelling , punctuation errors, and bad sentence structure included.  The title was simple.

Five Things My Dad Taught Me

I told myself that I would really push myself to get out of my comfort zone this year.  I didn’t expect this to be part of it.  Thanks Dad.

I want to thank my friends Chase and Brian who both have been so helpful this week.  They both lost their fathers unexpectedly, in the last two years, and they both have reached out to me each day this week and have provided me with so much insight, support, and perspective.  Thank you.

I talk about personal development and goal setting most of the time.  Not death, or something this emotional.  So I must warn you.  When you speak with emotion and from the heart. Words can be clunky, and my words will most likely be clunky at times,  full of emotion.

I have become somewhat of a runner in the past few years.  Running or walking for that matter, gives you a lot of time to think.  As I was running the last few days the only thing I could think about was my Dad.  Last year, I wrote a book and I dedicated it to both my parents, because if it wasn’t for them I wouldn’t be here.  So they deserve all of the credit. The lessons in the book, they laid the foundation.

As I was running this week. I thought about some of the lessons my dad taught me that wasn’t necessary deliberate teachings, but it was through his example that I learned them.

Just a few simple things that my dad taught me, but had a profound impact on my life and my success in life.

These are just a few things of the many.  As I thought about what to say these are the ones that really come to my mind.  Something that I now know and we should all remember, is that more is Caught than Taught.

  1. Word hard.
    I can remember being a kid.  I can’t even remember how old I was. But I can remember going to this place where my dad worked and him doing some with pallets.  Some kind of pallet place.  I am not sure if they made them or broke them down or delivered them. I can remember being at his work and my Dad actually working, and my brother and I playing around on them.  It had to be a Saturday, because we were off of school.  But my most vivid memory is of my dad driving the flatbed truck over to my mamaws and papaws while he was out on a delivery or pickup. He was proud to let my brother and I play on the back of the truck.  Kind of dangerous now that I look back at it.  Kids playing on the back of huge truck that we could easily fall off of, or fall and get stabbed by a piece of metal.  But we had fun and it was a big deal for us to play on that truck.

    I can see us doing it now.  He drove that truck up until the last day he worked.  He had fallen off that truck and broke his heel and got a hernia, in the last few years, but he still did his job and knew what had to be done and did it for thirty plus years.

  2. Be on time.
    I am really like my father on this one.  The people in here that work with me know this.  I can can remember at times it really getting on my nerves if I am being honest.   I can remember one time that we were meeting for a birthday dinner.  We were supposed to be there at 5:00 or so.  Which for those of you who know me.  I don’t eat dinner at 5:00, if I do eat dinner.  Typical dad he gets there a half hour early and calls me and asks me where I was.  I am like dad, we are not supposed to be there until 5:00.  But that is who he is.  He didn’t miss work and didn’t show up late. I am so thankful that I learned this from him.

  3. Care enough to want to connect with people.
    How many of you have had a conversation with my father about a restaurant location, a road, an expressway, or any other kind of random conversation?  I think we all have.  If I am being honest, at times it would really get on my nerves.  But as I have reflected this week about my dad, it really hit me why he did this. He was just trying to find a way to connect with someone.  I actually do the same thing, and have done the same thing to connect with people.

This is the lesson that I have applied to my life, not as good as my dad did it.  But it is a concept that he perfected.  He was always looking for a way to connect with people.  This one little skill that I learned from him is what has allowed me to have the career that I have had thus far.

What is funny is this week we were looking for pictures of Dad and it was really hard to find a whole lot of them because he was always the ones taking the pictures.  He loved to capture the pictures and then share them with everybody.  On Monday, a group of us was sitting around laughing because we were looking at our text messages from my Dad and they were all pictures.  There wasn’t very many text messages from him with words in it. It was always pic.

What I will miss most about my dad:

  • His random calls to tell me he just rode by my offices and didn’t see my car in the parking lot.
  • This weekend, with the Masters going on.  If I wasn’t watching it with him, he would call me and tell me how Tiger Woods was doing.
  • The pictures of my nephews via text message.
  • His willingness to drop whatever he was doing to come help me when I needed it.  If I was sick or car troubles.
  • Him telling me about the time we went to the PGA Championship and how cool the Bloody Mary’s that I had were.  He could remember in fine detail everything about the drink. 
  • His love for the show Survivor, which till this day I don’t understand.  I think he loved it because it was usually on a beach and by watching that show he it felt as if he was on a beach.  He loved the beach.  He loved to tell me about whatever the new season was and the beach they were on.

4.  Take care of your mother and your wife.
    Dad took care of his family first.  He did that throughout his life.  When      Papaw was alive he took care of his father.  He spent time with his father and honored his father.   My dad learned to take care of his mother from my papaw.  And I learned it from my dad.

  My nephews are here. Cash has had the last nine-months to spend time with his grandfather, my dad.  As you look at the pictures over there you can see that he loved his grandchildren.  Or you can look at my phone and the text messages from my dad, how much he loved them.  I have a lot of pictures of them.   Carter has had close to six years to spend with my dad.  I am not sure what he will remember, but my hope is that whatever he has learned, he wont forget.

5. So the last thing I learned from my father is that “Do what you have to do, so you can do what you want to do.”

Dad spent his entire life doing what he had to do.  He took care of my mother and his mother.  He worked hard.  He was always on time, most of time way too early.  He cared enough about people to connect with them. These are the things that I caught from my father.  He taught these to me by doing them and living them.  So, the last thing I am going to learn from my father is remember to always do.  That is what he always did, and that is what he taught me through his examples.

Thank you for joining us this evening.

Funerals are usually long and emotional.  I can remember saying I wanted to keep it light.  I am not sure if the sarcasm and jokes play as well in writing.  But, I can remember that day it did lighten things up, which is what everyone needs during a time like that.

Since my Dads passing, a lot has changed. All great stuff.  I still think about him daily and miss him terribly. He would be 62 today.  He would hopefully be strongly considering retiring.  That is what he was talking about two years ago today.

Being from the old school my Dad was doing what he had to do.  Which was work until he could retire.  He was looking forward to do that day.  He never got there, unfortunately.

So the lesson that he taught me that I am now attempting to live everyday is: Don’t wait for some made up age 65, 62, or 70, to retire. You don’t know if you will ever make it to that age. Instead make a plan to retire on your time. Retire on your plan. You decide what that age is.

I love you Dad. Curtis Ray Willett, Sr.;  January 19th, 1955 – April 5th, 2015.

To your success and your future.