It’s no exaggeration to say that I’ve benefited (or should have benefited) from advice given to me by not only my own father, but the fathers of my boyhood friends. For some reason, all my buddies had excellent relationships with their dads, and just hanging around with them at their houses — at dinnertime, in their workshops and so on — often led to me getting some seriously worthwhile tips on how to work your way through life’s many difficulties. Here are some:
Never hang out with losers; their behavior is contagious. It’s always easier to go down than up, and this applies to just about every activity. But the corollary is equally important: pick your friends carefully.
At work, do exactly what your boss tells you to do. Sometimes this is really hard, because what you’re being asked to do may seem stupid or pointless. But often, you don’t have all the information that your boss does, and what seems stupid to you may be what the organization needs as part of a bigger plan. And the time to suggest a better way of doing something is after you’ve finished.
There’s no decision so critical that it can’t be postponed till tomorrow. Of course, there are exceptions to this, but it’s true at least 90% of the time, which is close enough. Certainly, though, a large percentage of decisions made in the heat of the moment will be regrettable.
There’s never enough time to do a job properly, but there always seems to be enough time to do it OVER. If any of these maxims has stayed with me all my life, it’s this one. However, there is a corollary:
A job that is 90% quality delivered on time, is often worth more than one that’s 100% but delivered too late to be of use. Self-evident, yes? The critical part, I’ve discovered, is learning when this approach is appropriate.
Nobody likes a needy person. Strive at all times to be as self-sufficient as possible. And a corollary:
Borrow money only when you don’t need it. This applies especially in dealing with banks.
Avoid crazy people. This applies to both men and women. No matter its allure, “crazy” will lead to problems, more often than not.
All the above came to me after only a few hours’ thought, and undoubtedly I’ve omitted a few. I’ll add to this list when another one comes to me.
Feel free to add your own.