There is no promise in this world that no matter what you do, you won't from time to time do something stupid. It is the repetition of stupid acts that puts you in the category of moronic. Simply put, do what you did and you will get what you got. This is just a list of things that I did to try to not be considered a moron:
- Find a system that works for you. For me it was the Franklin Planner. I sat down and worked the entire process from Vision down to plans and then attempted to schedule each day and attempted to work that plan. Did every day go as I wished? Hell no, but a lot of things got done that might have just died in my in-basket. I spent the last 15 minutes at work setting up the next day. Even if you are working later in the day, spend the time to plan tomorrow. I'll bet people wondered why the muttering came out of my office as I re-wrote things down that I didn't get done. wish I had started that about 10 years earlier.
- Money just doesn't happen. With the rule, "Income must be equal to or greater than Outgo!" in mind, find a way to budget your money and stick to that budget. When Barbara and I first decided to get married, we went to Arkansas to visit my Grandparents. My grandfather said if you can save 7.5% of everything you make you can retire at 50. We exceeded that and put money in plans from almost the first. IRAs, 401(k)s, 403(b)s were all ways to put those dollars to work for us. It doesn't hurt that we also had jobs that put money into forced retirement plans. I had both the Civil Service and the Military retirement working and Barb had the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System and Social Security. Did I mention that we worked? That plays a big part in this list.
- One thing that worked for us was Real Estate. I am not sure that with the inflated prices today it would work as well, but it sure as heck did for us. Every house we owned inflated in price and we never lost money. With a Tornado, we lost a house but even then the insurance money was inflated each year to keep up with the cost and we were covered. Right now I have several rental houses and while they are a royal pain to keep painted, they do help keep me active and involved. If you can keep a good sense of humor, build a house in time you can have it paid for by the time you retire. We had a rule that if it was structural, mechanical or not a pretty part of the house, it was my job. If it was style, color or very visible, it was Barb's job. Don't let the "Petty" decisions eat you up in building a house. If you don't really care what outlet covers you will have, don't sweat the small stuff. There will be hundreds of decisions for all.
- Work is one four letter word that just says it all. From the first job to the last job, try to do your best. Working hard will help you appreciate really tough jobs and make them less of a problem. In the military we say we should "Train in peacetime to bleed less in war time." You don't have to be selected as the employee of the month, but if you work hard it is not hard for a supervisor to select you as the best. It always amazes me when I hear someone say they dodged a bullet in not getting a hard job or assignment. Don't they realize the boss didn't select them for the job because they weren't possibly up to the assignment? Somewhere I read that if you are given two choices at work, always take the hard job.
- Learning by making mistakes is a cost of doing business in this world. But, always admit your mistakes to your boss. Going into your bosses office and saying you made a mistake up front is a lot easier than having to explain to him if he uncovers that you lied because you made a mistake. In fact, making simple mistakes early and seeking help will often let him give you good ideas and make him feel better about you. If you have to brief a group, always give the briefing to a small group first. They will help you not say or show something that is wrong. I always had my subordinates present a briefing to me first before we took it to the General. Only made that mistake once.
- Sing, laugh and enjoy. Find something you like and do it as much as you can. Ride a bike, go for a hike and take a camera. Nothing is worth being a old negative person. I wish I had bought Budweiser stock rather than Budweiser when I was young, but that was a lesson I had to learn the hard way. Booze was a colossal waste of time and money. I have never tried illegal drugs because I am pretty sure that I would have liked them.
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