Thursday, February 19, 2015

#11 - My advice is...don't give advice

I was sharing with a friend recently about some things on my mind...about something I've been struggling with (I know, who would have thought I'd have things to struggle with? It happens occasionally). 

This friend listened well, and then he did what a lot of us as friends do. 

He gave advice. 

He said what he thought about my situation. 

And I was surprised by my reaction: I didn't like it. It felt kind of crummy. 

It made me think of how I do that a lot. I give advice. 

I mean, why not? I care. I have a lot of life experience and wisdom. I even have a blog where I share this wisdom with the masses. (No, really, you should read it sometime.)

And, plus, no one has to take my counsel, I'm just going to put it out there. No harm in offering it. 

But, in that moment, as I was on the receiving end of it, I was acutely aware that it doesn't always feel so pleasant.

I'm not saying there's never a place for it, but it's best used in moderation. Because no matter how good the intention, it doesn't usually have the impact the giver intends it to have. 

As for my friend, I don't fault him for saying what he said. He meant well. 

But I left more conscientious about how I can be a better friend, teacher, brother, neighbor. 

I don't have to dole out advice. I can hear what they are really saying - I can truly listen.

And then listen some more. That's really what everyone is looking for anyway. 

OK, I got it. I came up with this, and I'm going to leave it with you.  

It even rhymes: "Think twice before giving advice."

Pretty good, right? first read it here. 

Look out for my book, Rhyming Adages, Summer 2018.      

Thursday, February 12, 2015

#10 - Last place still ran the race

I ran a race last week. My goal was not to finish last.

I didn't finish last. But the most important thing was that I finished.

Like this blog post. I'm keeping my streak alive.

Already 10 blog posts so far this year.

1 time per day. Then once a week.

This isn't pretty.

It's not fancy.

It's not 1st place.

But it gets the job done.

Last place still beats everyone else on the sidelines.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

#9 - A Few of my Fa-vor-ite Things

What do you value?

How do you know it has value?

This conversation often leads to a discussion about intangible things...things that have driven human existence for ages - love, peace, freedom, Otter Pops.

Sought after desperately since the beginning of time, or at least the '90s. 

But I want to focus on material objects, items we buy with money and credit cards, because that's a little more quantifiable than friendship and patience and Cheez-its.

So the question of the day is: What have you paid a lot of money for that you have zero regret about?

Or even: What is something that you love so much that you would have paid even more money for it if you would have known how much pleasure it would have brought you?

I don't know about you, but I don't find these treasures very often. But when I do, I know, deep down in my soul, that it was a good purchase. It was worth every penny and then some. It goes on my List.

What's on yours?

While you think about it, I will share with you my List of...

 A Few (3) of My Favorite Things

1. My Lowa Boots
These waterproof, high-top, milk-chocolate-brown leather boots were exquisitely comfortable the moment I first slipped my feet in them. I've hiked in them all over the world (at least the parts I've traveled to.) Any time I think of them, I actually smile inside (and sometimes outside). I'm so happy I bought these boots. I have actually negative regret associated with them. 
I'm even crazy enough about them that, after climbing a sacred mountain, I took one of these beloved boots off, and then carefully set up and snapped the above photograph. No, I'm not joking. Look at it. Think of what I had to do to have taken that. In case you're wondering, that is Macchu Picchu blurred out in the background. I was standing there with a magnificent view of Macchu Picchu and I was taking a picture of my shoe.  
Why did I take it? Well, I knew I would be blogging about it years later and would need the perfect photograph to prove my point. And that is, that Lowa makes awesome boots. 
2. My car.

This is not my actual car, as evidenced by the fact that there is no grass in Arizona. 

My car is fantastic. If you asked me whether I would recommend it to anyone else, I would say no. 
I couldn't, because it's my car and it's for me.
I remember how much research I conducted before buying it. Even when I was at the bank finalizing the loan, I thought maybe I would regret it, or later there would be a better deal somewhere. 
But you know what? Who cares if there was a better deal? I found the perfect fit for me. 
It fit like a glove. A white glove. But it's only one car so it would be just one white glove. 

Yes, exactly! Just like that. 

My Wisdom: Cars are terrible investments, but the right one won't feel like it. 

3. My iPhone 6 (no, not Plus, because I'm not that weird).

Listen, I had an iPhone 4s and it was pretty good. But after awhile it became difficult to go on another day. This is terribly offensive to all of the real problems that exist in the world, but I am a child/victim of the technological age and it's true.
I looked at possibly switching away from Apple and considered other smart phones, but eventually I ordered the regular iPhone 6. Would I like it? Was it worth it? Well I wouldn't find out for 5 more weeks because of shipping delays. Ahh! Breathe. 
Fast forward. Now I have had it for months, and I just love the thing. It is, a bea-u-tiful device. I like holding it and looking at it. I love smelling it. (not really). 
I know, I know, it's just a phone. Plus, phone companies and carriers are horrendous money drains and they cause serious problems as a distraction and promote unhealthy social habits and interfere with relationships. But my point is that this is a large purchase and a long-term, day-to-day commitment that I'm 100% happy with.
There's a reason Apple just posted an $18-billion quarterly profit. It's called true love. (just kidding, true love is sacred and applies only to our society's relationship with Starbucks.) 
OK, at least I'm not this bad. 

* * *

Now you know some of the top items on my List. There were a few on the bubble. The Honorable Mentions would be: my bed frame, mattress, camera, Ninja blender. But not quite.

I'm actually really curious - and if you're reading this I expect you to post or let me know - what items have you purchased that you absolutely love? No regret?!

I can't wait to know! Maybe I'll go and buy it, too.