I’ve got tons of opinions on the world these days but that was never the intent of my blog. I don’t want to provide my opinions on politics, sports religion or anything else that seems to grab the front page of the news these days. What I will do is provide 5 very simple things to make the world a better place. In anything from business, to work, to sports, to musical virtuosos nothing is better than a clear focus on the fundamentals. So here are 1o simple fundamentals.
Say please and thank you: We teach our children this from the very beginning of their lives. “Please and thank you, those are the magic words”, says Barney. Yet so easily can we forget to say them. They often become meaningless, cliché or just plain predictable. In the end they are necessary, not meaningless and if used appropriately can be a powerful message of appreciation if combined with the necessary language surrounding those words. Use them wisely, teach them and be an example to everyone with them
Spend more time with your family and less time on your phone: I’m as guilty as anyone. Throw the gavel at me people and throw it hard. As a matter of fact, give me life in prison. I’m a hard working professional that has spent an enormous amount of time focused on my career. I often make jokes when I’m camping and look at the kids and say, “Kids you’re being way too loud, settle down now”, all while they are just blankly staring at their phones like crackhead zombies trying to get their next fix. We live in an extremely connected world and that connected world has only just begun. With that said it is important to use technology responsibly and interact with your family face to face, without a phone, or without a text. A real touch, a real hug or a real “I love you” will never be replaced with a digital happy face, a texted heart emoji, a SnapChat picture, Facebook or Skype. Since I’ve spent so much time on my phone working constantly I’ve begun (JUST) trying to focus a little less on the phone, a little less on work and a little more on my family. It’s tough, it’s a work in process but I’m getting there.
Don’t focus on THINGS, focus on EXPERINCES: To many times in life I have focused on buying something. It could be clothes, a car, a technical gadget, a hat, gifts for a holiday, so on and so on. The list could literally be completely endless. Someone taught me this a few years back and I think I’ve done a pretty dang good job at living this one out. Here are some pictures. Yes pictures!!! So what do you give a man for Christmas that is in his 70s and has everything he needs. I think he has enough sweaters, books, movies and so forth to last him a lifetime. How about a trip to Kentucky to hit the bourbon trail!! Just say yes. Now this was the best Mancation that a son could ever give his father. We hit just about every bourbon distillery you can possibly imagine. Here are two of the more famous ones. Wild Turkey and Makers Mark.
Be good to and Love your neighbor: This can often be a tough one but also a very easy thing to do. When I grew up everyone in the neighborhood knew each other. It todays neighborhoods many times (Not all) this has changed. Fortunately I life on a really good street. Each person has a different skill, they’re all pretty good people and we all take care of each other generally. We don’t all have a lot in common but we do good things for each other. A guy up the street has a tractor with a bucket and he generally bails everyone out of the snow when it snows. He helps me winterize my RV each year because since my stroke I don’t have a good coordination with my left hand. I know that Russell is very fond of Wild Turkey so every year I leave a bottle on his doorstep during Christmas with a different note each year. The bottom line is regardless of whether you like your neighbor or not, love and be good to your neighbor. It’s the right thing to do and it will make the world a better place. Community is so important and if you have the opportunity to do something good to help someone out you will help make the world a better place.
Don’t judge: This of all things is probably one of the toughest. There are so many “things”, so many sayings, so much Wisdom that ties into these two words its unbelievable. We’re all so very guilty. My ask is simple. Sit back and think about how you could not be so judgmental. It’s a very very tough ask yet it is so fundamentally true and so fundamentally a part of the flaws in our DNA. Give it a shot you may find it incredibly liberating.
I’ll post 5 more additional things to try in a couple of days. Time to spend some time with my beautiful bride……