If you know me, I hope you’ve come to realize that I’m not the kind of person who tells other people how to live their lives. I guess this goes back to my drinking days; I didn’t care for it when people tried to tell me how to live my life, and I don’t expect anyone would like it too much if I did the same to them.
What’s more, who’s going to listen? I know I didn’t listen to all those people who gave me advice when I needed it, and I don’t think the people who might need my advice would take it, were I to offer it.
Yes, I know, I’m a bartender; I’m supposed to be the guy who has the advice when people need it. My experiences, however, have taught me that the people who seek advice from a bartender are the very people who aren’t going to take the advice that’s offered.
Benjamin Franklin cautioned against giving advice, saying, “Wise men don’t need it, and fools won’t take it.” It’s a classic Catch 22; the guy who needs advice won’t take it, while the man who is wise enough to take advice doesn’t need it.
So, I don’t give advice, and I don’t tell people how they should be living their lives…except for when it comes to my kids. Those lads get plenty of ears full of what I have to say about living their lives. Still, I don’t give them advice; rather, I give them reminders. I mention things that they should try to keep in mind, so they’ll be there when they need them.
That’s where this comes from. It’s one of the central things that I want my boys to grasp. It also happens to be the kind of reminder that I wish I would have listened to back when I needed such reminders. Alas, the past is the past.
It’s a simple little thing to apply to life. It’s so simple, in fact, that if you would have just read the title of this post and didn’t bother with all the rationale I’ve written to accompany it, you could have gotten the same reminder.
The original title was “Success comes from doing those things we don’t necessarily want to do,” but that’s too simple. Doing the things we don’t want to do is part of what makes us successful, but there are other aspects to being successful as well.
You, as an adult, understand that; for a 12 year-old, it can be boiled down more simply. The world isn’t so far advanced for Finnegan that he can’t live right and well by following three or four basic rules. Still, while you and I don’t live in such a simple world, it doesn’t mean that we can’t apply its rules to our world.
We want to be successful people. If that weren’t the case, I wouldn’t be writing this, and you wouldn’t be reading it. And at times we do need those small reminders to do the things that help to make us such.
That’s all it is, a small reminder. It’s not advice; I’m not telling anyone how they should be living; rather, this is just a quick mention of something we already know. I’m writing it because, when I was saying it to Finn, I realized it was something I should focus on more often myself. My desire is that writing it down in this fashion will help me do that. Who knows, it might help you some as well. I wouldn’t hate that a bit.
Love you, my friends. Thanks for the compliment of your reading. I’ll meet you back here again sometime soon. Until then, you’ll remain in my prayers.