Monday, January 13, 2014

#11 Beautiful things don't ask for attention.

This was a great take away line from "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty". I loved the film and love this line. It will be my counsel to my children and anyone else who will listen to me. The easy connection could be teaching modesty, but the true message is much, much deeper. I learned this lesson a long time ago, but still wish I knew it my whole life. Oh, and just because beautiful things don't ask for attention, doesn't mean they can avoid it.

Lesson 10: Best vs Greatest

I often talk about Fall of 1996-Summer of 1997 being the best year of my life. For those slow on math and history, that was my freshman year of college at West GA. My freshman year is probably quite different than a lot of others. With the new found freedom of being on my own, I chose to use that time to workout, play basketball, learn guitar, study, and sleep as much as possible vice experimenting with drugs, getting drunk at every frat party and convincing myself that I didn’t have an STD (stereotype?). The open freedom was remarkable. That year, I only worked on the weekends. My sked was this: MWF: 6am basketball workout (this is before and after being cut), 7am breakfast at Z6, 8-1130 class, 12 lunch, 1, nap, 3 workout with Brian Walsingham, 6 dinner, 7 basketball, 9 swim laps, 10 go to sleep. T/T: Open all day. Study, track workout, more ball, more naps, learning guitar, and watching NBA. WHAT A LIFE!! With my new found freedom, I managed to make the Dean’s list a few times, dunk a few times, cement an eternal friendship with Brian, and have fun all along the way.

I dedicated 2011 as being the greatest year of my life. What a time! First I was enthralled in the greatest NBA season ever (ask anyone. Or just ask Bill Simmons, I saw it before he did!) with NBA league pass. The first few months I was still working 4 day weeks with my CVW job. Stacy was pregnant—more to come on that. I had my favorite vacation of all time. Idaho to hang with the Brians, see Yellowstone, raft Snake River, and see U2 (and Jordan Clark) in Utah before heading back to GA for an action packed 3 weeks. Let’s see if I can see all my top 10 friends in less than a week… Yep. Easy (thanks to the ID/UT trip) Seeing family and friends and BBQs for a few weeks with no work was fantastic. Throw in some surfing and it goes through the roof. Fast forward to late Oct and the birth of Eleanor.  What a blessing she was and has been. If you can think of a greater year in my life, please let me know.  Oh yeah, I live in Hawaii.

What’s the lesson in all this? Probably that life is great. And a fond appreciation of certain eras can do the heart good.

*Music from the best year: Recovering the Satellites- Counting Crows, Friction, Baby- BTE, Disciplined Breakdown- Collective Soul, Secret Samadhi- LIVE
* Music from the greatest year: Live August and Everything After- Counting Crows, Augustana- Augustana, Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds- Noel, The King Is Dead- The Decemberists (let me have it)

Monday, March 26, 2012

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

#9 You Don't Know Until You Know

I always grew up knowing I wanted a family. I understood the bond. I understood the love. Well, no, I didn't. I didn't realize I didn't know until the moment Eleanor was born. Then I knew. I knew how strong the bond is. I knew what love is. These last 4 months have sped by. We've seen her grow and learn and laugh. I look forward to the future. Having a child and raising a child benefits the soul. When you know, you know.

"What would you intend to find? Solitude? Your piece of mind? Holding out for something less than touching the hand of God?" --'Closer' by Better Than Ezra

Monday, June 27, 2011

#8 Limit Your Regrets

Sorry it's been a while. Life.

Heber J Grant Story from his childhood (somewhere around 1866):
The winters were very cold in Salt Lake City, and Heber had only a thin, worn coat to keep him warm. He longed to have a warm coat but knew that they barely had enough money for food. Heber was delighted on his birthday when his mother presented him with a warm winter coat that she had made for him. His new coat was his most prized possession. A few weeks later, as Heber was hurrying on an errand, he saw a boy about his size shivering with cold. The boy was wearing a thin sweater, and Heber remembered how it felt not to have a warm coat. Heber took off his new coat and insisted that the boy put it on. He told the boy to keep it because he had another coat at home.

That afternoon Heber's mother saw him wearing his old coat. She asked "What have you done with your new coat?" Heber didn't know how to tell her. Then he said "I saw a boy that needed it worse than I did, so I gave it to him." Couldn't you give him your old one?" she asked.

Heber looked up at her, hoping she would understand, and saw her eyes fill with tears. He threw his arms around her as she answered her own question "Of course you couldn't Heber" she said. "Of course you couldn't"

One of my few regrets in life happened at CFA around Dec 1994. My girlfriend and I were on the way to the mall and we stopped to eat in at CFA. While eating, I saw a homeless man sitting and drinking coffee. He had a shirt, coat, and jeans. The missing item was his shoes and socks. He was barefoot. Unless you live through a GA winter, you may not realize just how cold it can get. I just kept looking at him-- hardly paying attention to my girlfriend. I couldn't help but feel sorry for him. I knew what I had to do. And then, I didn't do it. I didn't give him the shoes and socks he desperately needed.

This event may not be the biggest regret of my life, but it's the one I remember most. So in a sense, it is the biggest. I wish I would have been more like Heber. Maybe next time.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Lesson 7: There Are Only Trade-offs

Study economics. It will help in both financial life and life in general. There is a an economic term, opportunity cost. It is choice B. It is what you leave behind in choosing Choice A. The trade-off. Wiki defines as: a situation that involves losing one quality or aspect of something in return for gaining another quality or aspect. It implies a decision to be made with full comprehension of both the upside and downside of a particular choice.

When choosing something, we are always (automatically) giving up on another choice. Some times those choice B's are lost forever, other times we may be able to get back to them.

When I chose to walk-on at GCSU, I gave up walking on for Duke (and Coach K was calling). When I chose to get married, I gave up on the other hotties in GA. Wait, AZ, maybe? And when I became a Naval Officer, I gave up the chance to be an enlisted dude. Are those necessarily bad things to pass on? Not really. But you have to live with your decisions.

The key before making a decision--and thus deciding on the opportunity cost, aka what you're leaving behind-- is to get as much information about the choices at hand. And with that info, weigh the pros/cons and possible outcomes of each choice. Only then, can you rationally make a decision. The results still may not be exactly what you anticipated, but those are the steps in making good decisions. And then, you can live without the trade-off.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Back from Deployment Lessons (Lesson 6)

Well, I am finally back from my 1st Naval deployment. It lasted 8 months. It was full of a lot of laughs, work, studying, XBOX, working out, missing family and friends, and seeing more of the world. I'd like to share a few lessons that I learned from this time and the people that surrounded me:

1)Not everyone is as smart as you. And you're not as smart as you think. I'm sure we all know this, but this lesson is important to remember. Be patient when dealing with people that don't quite get it. Especially when it's important. You'll want people to be patient with you when a concept is not fully understood.

2)Morality is not measured the same by everyone. No reason to expound or judge, just remember that in life. And remember not to judge.

3)Embrace different cultures. Respect them. Learn from them. Have an open mind. But keep in mind, America is absolutely the best country to live in. Hopefully it will be in 20 years.

4)Never miss the opportunity to tell your loved ones that you love them. Although relatively safe on the carrier, death is still readily available. Accidents have taken a lot of sailors lives. I've already seen it. There is still a chance of that in everyday life. I think it would be awful to suddenly die from an accident and not have my family and close friends know what they mean to me. I will try to share that more. I shared it a lot with Stacy, on whom I should focus the most. But I also want my friends and past bosses or church leaders to know that they meant something to me. So I am trying to tell them one at a time. Via email or voice to voice. You should do the same.

I'm sure there are lessons that I have yet to draw out from this experience. I'm certain they will self manifest in due time.