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40 Lessons I’ve Learned

40 Things I have picked up along my voyage:

  1. My first memory is Look Park in Northampton. Not much of a lesson, but it was the day I was “switched on”.
  2. Read – My parents got me into reading. At the local library, the Berkshire Athenaeum, I had a game card that would be stamped once for each book I read. Two important lessons – reading is an efficient way to acquire knowledge, learning from other’s successes and failures, and people will do just about anything in return for worthless crap like stamps if you set up the rewards system properly.
  3. You will have to live with contradictions – Spending money on the tools of war will generate a peace dividend. My Dad’s work for the military paid for my college education. You can like the Yankees and the Red Sox.
  4. 4th of July is the best holiday – you don’t have to buy people crap they don’t need, the weather and barbecues are usually good, and if you are daring you can blow shit up.
  5. Go UMass – If you put a bunch of working class people together they will drink a lot, have fun, and maybe learn some stuff.
  6. Read things that inspire you. I still read Superman to remind me that heroes never give a second thought to helping others or standing up for what’s right.
  7. Debt is risk taking and is ok. I learned that from selling drugs (on a computer game).
  8. It’s all about how you choose to respond and how you communicate. Read The 7 Habits – you have the power to choose.
  9. Photography – Take pictures, get closer than you think, take hundreds and only show your best work, use the rule of thirds
  10. Hobbies are a stupid waste of time and money, except for mine and yours. I don’t care if my car is crappy but god forbid my Hard Drive isn’t an SSD. This is where tribes come from.
  11. I care a lot about computers, they are my craftsman’s tools (back to the 7 habits – keep your saw sharp). Tiny increases in productivity make a huge difference over time.
  12. Karma does earn interest – doing good may not pay off right away, but it pays back big over time.
  13. If heaven doesn’t look like Tanglewood I’ll ask to be sent somewhere else.
  14. Golf with my family has brought me many memories. My Uncle gave me my first clubs two weeks before he died. My Mom used to joke that on the course was the first time she heard me say “Fuck!” and really mean it. Before she passed away we had a great laugh when my brother drove  his cart over his bag.
  15. Going to see James Taylor at Tanglewood is to understand the Berkshires in one night.
  16. Remember that everyone dies and your time here is limited. Don’t waste even a day.
  17. Laugh once every day, humor is everywhere, take advantage of it.
  18. You can predict the future if you work to create it.
  19. Normal people aren’t very interesting.
  20. People hire the people they want to work with, not the ones that are best for the job.
  21. You have to balance saving for tomorrow versus having a good time today.
  22. Audio is my favorite medium, music is a gift in my life.
  23. Worry has no value at all.
  24. Character is only revealed when things get really bad.
  25. Nothing is worth more to the sick than compassion.
  26. “If you are going through Hell, keep going” – Winston Churchill
  27. Jazz is music for musicians
  28. The Boston Marathon is the only World Championship open to the common man, but the Falmouth Road Race is more fun.
  29. No one will ever love you more than your Mom, No one will do a better job of teaching you responsibility or duty than your Dad
  30. No one can make me laugh as easily as my brother.
  31. Spend all the time you can with your Grandparents
  32. Our annual family celebration is important because, contrary to what Aunt Bonnie may say, I am the best Scrabble player in the family, I just don’t brag about it because it’s at her house on Torch Lake.
  33. Faith – If I try to be a good member of my community and leave the world better than I found it, everything else will takes care of itself.
  34. Getting married was the best decision of my life. Having a big wedding? Let’s just say I’m taking “’til death do us part” seriously because I don’t want to go through another wedding.
  35. Sometimes men have to go back to their cave, they don’t talk things over.
  36. Women just want to talk things over, they don’t want you to go fix them.
  37. Read “Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus”, it explains a lot.
  38. I waited my whole life for Carin.
  39. Like most things, having children is hard work, and that’s why it’s so satisfying.
  40. Look out for each other and never give up – W.S.