Ok, I hate it when people do posts on their birthdays, citing life’s lessons learned (the number of lessons equaling their number of years).
In fact, here are 43 COMPLETELY RANDOM truths I’ve learned from reading all those various posts and lists, coupled with some of my own observations, and some truths I’ve learned and come to understand over my 43 years on this planet:
[this has NOTHING to do with the fact that my birthday was the 24th]1. You can put out all kinds of great, meaningful, and mind-blowing content on Facebook. But what people really care about are the cute pictures you post of your dogs. [I went to five meetings this week. All five people asked about the dogs.]
2. Sales isn’t about making a great pitch, or nailing the presentation. You know the feeling men get when the latest technology is out, or when women want new shoes or purses, and nothing will stop you from making that purchase? That’s the feeling that if you can recreate for your prospects, you will rock sales.
3. The sense of accomplishment from starting and finishing something is the second best feeling in the world.
4. If you struggle to come up with content, you just need to open your eyes. Writing is all about chronicling your life’s experiences. If you still struggle, then you ain’t living.
5. Despite the hundreds of books, and thousands upon thousands of articles, most people still don’t get social media. It is only about talking with another human being. It isn’t only about posting your lastest article immediately after publishing.
6. If you dread what you do, you are wasting your life.
7. If you are liberal, and I am conservative…It is ok that you disagree with me. But just because I am on the other side, doesn’t mean that I am “stupid.” Conservatives are just as passionate about what they care about, just as you are. You probably won’t change my opinion, just like I won’t change yours…
8. I really hate it when people push the “you can choose your attitude” crap on me. The reason I hate it? Because they are right.
9. Politics in our nation are going in the toilet. I am all about sticking to your principles, but this notion of berating the other side 24/7 on the news channels, the unwillingness to compromise, and following the damn talking points is driving us to ruin. Someday, someone will stand up and do what’s necessary, and not worry about reelection or upsetting the base and their fundraising spigot.
11. The reason you haven’t written that book that is inside of you? You are lazy.
12. Too many people are oblivious to the world around them. Open your eyes, and pay attention dammit.
13. People who drive slow hate their life (because they don’t want to arrive at their destination), or they are on the clock.
14. You have to read more books people. The fact that the average person reads one book or less a year, explains a whole hell of a lot.
16. People don’t have enough fun. Lighten up people. [this goes for me too]
17. Why are we so damn afraid to try new things?
18. If you frack things up, remember this: The sun will come up tomorrow.
19. Nine times out of ten, when people seemingly disrespect you…. It has NOTHING to do with anything other than they are busy dealing with their own lives or worries. No disrespect, but most people don’t spend a lot of time worrying about you and how you feel.
20. There are a lot of wonderful people out there who are willing to be helpful and of service. But most people are just out for themselves. And that’s why they struggle.
21. There are still too many people trying to fake authenticity.
22. In politics, we don’t mind mistakes. We are even ok with you changing your mind. But just don’t be a hypocrite.
23. I am tired of all the people complaining about all the flaws in social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, et al. THEY ARE FREE people. When you start paying for your time there, THEN you can fuss about it.
24. Lots of experts out there. But they are just telling you what they know, and what happened to work for them. It doesn’t mean it will work for you. Blaze your own trail…
26. The older I get, the more I believe in Malcolm’s 10,000 hours…
27. The older I get, the more I understand that art isn’t just hanging in a gallery…
28. It isn’t really about the tools, or the app, or the platform. It is what you do with it. A good salesman would succeed using 3×5 cards, not because she has a bitchin’ CRM…
29. Focus on big, hairy audacious goals…
31. I spent too much of my life pretending to be who I was not. More worried about what people thought. Let me assure you, this is a miserable existence… Be who you are, and don’t waste time worrying about what people think.
32. Live a simple life. It isn’t about a scorecard, and about what stuff you’ve accumulated. It is about the memories you can reflect on whilst resting on your deathbed.
33. Way cool to appreciate and admire the art of others. I love music, film, poetry, and paintings too. But life is about creating your own art.
34. Push your limits. There was a time I couldn’t run a half-marathon. As I said…there was a time.
36. “If what you did yesterday seems big, you haven’t done anything today.” Lou Holtz, on not resting on your laurels…
37. Finding your soul mate does matter…
38. Life is so much more fun, more interesting, and a better learning experience, when you go the other direction from the crowd.
39. Good health does matter. I wouldn’t have said that ten years ago. Hell, even five years ago. Get off your fat ass and exercise. And stop eating processed crap.
41. Stop complaining. Don’t like politics? Go volunteer for the candidate of your choice. Don’t like dogs suffering? Then go rescue an animal. Don’t like struggling to make ends meet? Then get your hands dirty and prospect your heart out. Action solves all ills. Just don’t sit on the sidelines…
42. Success in business? It just comes from treating your customers and prospects like frickin’ human beings.
43. “Every passing minute is another chance to turn it all around.” [h/t Vanilla Sky...yes, even a Tom Cruise film has important life lessons]
Ok, so there. It is my birthday, I can talk about whatever I want to. Shoot me.
Drawings by Hugh MacLeod.