I have been reading year end prediction performance blog posts and new 2020 predictions.
There are some people who made 2019 predictions who should never be allowed to make another prediction. Ever.
I will post my own report card and my own 2020 predictions in a blog post next week. I did very well on the accuracy of my predictions.
But, what I learned is that everybody uses a lens that is colored by their own bias, by their own desire to see something turn out the way they want it to turn out.
What this motivates me to do is to share some difficult, universal truths. Here they are:
1. You (meaning me also) are not the smartest person in the world. To be really smart, requires study, research, and thought. Even then, you will never be the smartest person in the world.
2. Even when you have “good” information, you often misinterpret it, miss something critical, and get it wrong. All by yourself.
3. You put too much salt on your food and too much bias into your view of things. At some point, it stops adding flavor and just tastes — adds — stupid. Nobody likes things that taste stupid.
4. There are no indispensable men or women in the world. Charles de Gaulle got this right with his: “The cemeteries of the world are full of indispensable men.”
5. Wisdom is often the end product of really bad decisions. Having done everything wrong, we are often left with only the right thing left to do. We become wise by being stupid.
6. No amount of money makes you smarter, wiser, more insightful. The wit and wisdom of a gimpy legged, one-eyed, part time janitor is equal to or better than yours. Leaders who wander around and ask the “little people” what they think are the most effective leaders.
7. You would be way happier if you didn’t spend so much time thinking about happiness and just settled into it.
Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness should give you a hint that the pursuit is often the happiest part of the process.
You can only eat so many BEC tacos. My personal limit is four.
8. On the continuum between book learning and actual experience, always go with the actual experience. If you fly 1,000,000 miles in first class, you still have no idea how to land a plane in a stiff cross wind like they always have in Lubbock.
[Pro tip: line up on the upwind edge of the runway, lower your upwind wing, stand on the rudder, get down quick, don’t drift, put your upwind tire down first, the downwind tire will do its part, cut the power, stay on the rudder, tap and then stomp on the brakes, and stay on the upwind side of those 200′ wide runways. Taxi to the FBO and don’t look cocky when you get out.]
9. If you pursue perfection, you will never get there and you will never be happy. You will, however, suffer for your attempts.
10. Trying to “make” anybody else happy is always a fool’s errand.
11. Your thoughts will inform your writing. Your writing will inform you speech. Your speech will drive your actions. Your actions will define you.
Just do good stuff and don’t waste time thinking about it.
Only 2% of the world is doers. 98% of the world thinks they are a philosopher working to pay their bills. Be a doer.
12. Whatever you accomplished in your whole life won’t matter when you are in the last day of your life, but the people you helped may come around to see you off.
We are all going to die and none of us knows when. Keep your mental alert bag ready.
13. If you are the most gifted, talented person in the history of the world, you still have to practice to expose your gift. The friction of life exposes the talents and character that lie within us. You might have been the best composer in the history of mankind, but you weren’t willing to do the work to expose your talent.
I was a lifeguard and never saw anybody drown in their own sweat.
14. Nobody in the world actually gives a hoot about your difficulties. You are the writer of your own story and those are just the early chapters.
Uphill both ways to a one room school house with no heat? Nobody cares. Deal with it.
15. Nobody can experience your thinking of them, but everybody can talk to you on the phone during an unexpected phone call.
16. Stuff that happens to you is not what defines you. It is how you react to the stuff that happens to you that defines you. Bad things are tuition.
17. You get out of an endeavor, a relationship, exactly what you invest in the endeavor or relationship.
18. OK, you’re ambitious? Tell me what time you came to work this morning.
19. You and Mike Bloomberg are both rich — both of y’all get 24 hours in this day. How will you use yours?
20. Pleasure is fleeting. Having the confidence of a black Lab is forever. Honor that dog while it is alive; don’t mourn it when it dies. All we ever need to be is the man our dogs think we are.
OK, now with this admonition, go make those 2020 predictions. Be well. Call somebody today. But, hey, what the Hell do I really know anyway? I’m just a Big Red Car.