What I have learned…(revisited)

I created the first version of this list in 2008 at the request of George Smart whose surname understates his genius. George inspires me every time I chat with him. His website, Triangle Modernist Houses is a splendid work of art (see number 11 below).

  1. Learning has more to do with listening and doing than talking and thinking.
  2. You can start over and should, especially when it’s not working.
  3. “… it is only with the heart that one can see rightly, what is essential is invisible to the eye.” –Antoine de Saint-Exupery from The Little Prince
  4. There is a force in the universe. I don’t know what it is or how it works, but we oppose it to our peril, and align with it to our unending joy.
  5. There are a lot of parallels between the current business climate and white water rafting. I’ve written some of them down. Others I am still discovering.
  6. Many of the rules are bullshit propagated by people who don’t want to “ever make THAT mistake again.” There is no joy in that attitude and it is killing us.
  7. I have too many books, and unlike Thomas Jefferson, I believe I CAN live without them. The ones that I keep I read more than once.
  8. We will survive this economic cycle. I’m not exactly sure how, but I have a few ideas. None of them involve playing by the rules and doing things the way they have always been done.
  9. Most of us are addicted to something. Some of our addictions are socially sanctioned, like compulsive working, compulsive house cleaning and compulsive care-giving. The fact that almost everyone in the western world shares your addiction doesn’t mean it won’t eventually kill you after it ruins your life and all of your relationships.
  10. Refined sugar and high fructose corn syrup should be controlled substances. Salty snack foods are no better. If you don’t think so, try giving them up cold turkey, and then staying “on the wagon” for 90 days. Have you EVER seen a study that suggests refined sugar is good for you? Red wine, yes. Refined sugar, no.
  11. Seth Godin is onto something. If you are smart you will read his blog.
  12. The older I get the more I realize the importance of taking responsibility for everything, being honest first with yourself and then everyone else, and cleaning up your messes every day.
  13. Preaching is only effective for 15 minutes on Sunday morning, if at all. Sharing your experience with someone who wants to hear it and is ready to hear it is always valuable. Godin refers to this as ‘permission marketing.’
  14. It is really important to have a friend you can call every day at 5 o’clock.