My first advice is to go inside where there is air-conditioning to write. Like most well-intended advice, that advice was ignored even though it was my own. However, I am cutting the introduction drastically for two reasons: even under my porch with two ceiling fans blowing at top speed, it is 97 degrees with a heat index of 105 degrees, and most readers care only about the list and little about an introduction or any other fluff. Therefore, here is the list. If you have any questions, you will find me inside with a glass of sweet ice tea enjoying the air-conditioning.
- ACCEPT CHANGE: Change is normal – like sh#@, it happens;
- BE SELECTIVE AS TO WHAT YOU BELIEVE ON SOCIAL MEDIA: Do not drink the social media Kool-Aid! Whether it is media, advertisements, or friends on social media, the goal is to influence how you think. Do not buy into the hype, gossip, and hearsay! Take social media with a grain of salt and a healthy dose of skepticism;
- BE YOURSELF: It is okay to be different – just do it better than anyone else;
- DO NOT GIVE LABELS CREDIBILITY: Labels may complicate your life, but they do not make you! People who label others are usually insecure and use labels to prop up their lack of capacity to understand their fellow man. If someone labels you less than you are, say “Bless your heart,” and move on to more important people;
- DO NOT EMBRACE SOMEONE ELSE’S MONKEY: Do not allow another person to put their monkey on your shoulders. It is not your job to carry the weight of the world;
- DO NOT EMBRACE OPINIONS: Most times it is best to show the opinions of others the door or tell them to go suck a booger;
- DO NOT MAKE GOALS AN END: There is nothing wrong with setting the bar too low. The problem is not resetting it once you arrive;
- LIFE IS A RISK, DEAL WITH IT: There are going to be risks in life, but it can be dangerous to overestimate or over-dramatiz them. Humankind has a remarkable ability to cope with a discombobulated world, so don’t sell yourself or humankind short! The world will end in God’s own time – not yours;
- LIFE IS NOT ABOUT YOUR BEST INTERESTS: Other than your mother, few people have your best interest at heart unless it aligns with theirs. Put on your big girl panties and deal with it;
- PROMOTIONS ARE ON YOU: People get promoted for going beyond their pay scale, or they know the right somebody. Accept it as a fact of life. You should not expect a raise for doing the job you were hired to do. Expect a raise when you go beyond the job description and make it more than your employer thought it to be;
- RUDENESS IS RUDE: There are many things in this world we cannot control. Rudeness is not one of them!
- RUN FROM NEGATIVE THOUGHTS: Negative thoughts are like weeds in a garden – they suck the beauty from your life;
- TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR WORRY: In life there are things you cannot control, things you can influence, and things you can control. The key to success and peace of mind is to focus on what you can control and not worry about what you can’t control. As for influence, it depends solely on your focus;
- THEY ARE NOT OUT TO GET YOU: It is not always a personal vendetta or conspiracy against you when you don’t get picked for the team, you don’t receive the recognition you believe you deserve, or you get snubbed for a promotion. Face it, sometimes you are not good enough! Although it may be a bitter pill to swallow, sometimes you simply do not have the needed skill set, so do something to improve yourself, or find what you are good at and focus on it rather than wallowing in self-pity and/or negativity;
- THINK HARD ABOUT THIS: Sometimes responsibility trumps rights;
- YOU ARE NOT HERE TO FIX THE WORLD: Some problems are not yours to fix, so move on;
- YOU SHOULD STAY OUT OF THE SUN: God does have your best interests in mind. That is why he made shade and iced sweet tea for a hot humid Southern afternoon.
©Jack Linton, July 8, 2019