Give a man a fish, you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and feed him for a lifetime.

Teach a Man to Fish - Monterey Bay - 17 Mile Drive - Lone Cypress - California

While it may be easier to do something for someone else rather than take the time to show them how to do it, it doesn’t truly help them in the long run. If you take the time to teach someone how to do it for themselves, they gain mastery of it and they aren’t dependent on you or anyone else for help.

We find this concept harder to incorporate in our personal lives rather than professional lives. I used to work for a massive retailer and my boss and team members were constantly asking me to run reports for them. And of course it was always needed immediately. It became such a nuisance that I sat down with them and showed them how they could access the data and run the reports for themselves. This accomplished two things. One, it decreased how often they came to me for the reports and two, they weren’t dependent on only one person to provide the data and reports they needed. Continue reading

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A good name is better than riches

King Solomon possessed unrivaled wisdom. Today’s adage comes straight from the Biblical book of Proverbs. No one challenges the idea that one’s reputation holds great value.

A good reputation leads to trust. Trust leads to more options. Options allow us more choice in determining our future. But who judges our reputation? We don’t. Others do. Continue reading

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You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink it.

Jade Lake - Chateau Montelena - California - Lead a Horse to Water

You can give someone an opportunity or you can show them a path, but they must choose to take it for themselves. This saying also fits well with trying to helping someone. You can give them all the tools and resources, but if they don’t want to help themselves, they won’t.

For some people who feel an innate need to want to help people succeed in life, this can be hard advice to fully internalize. It’s understandable that we want the people we care about to have every opportunity and to be healthy and well. But sometimes we lose sight of the fact that just because we want these things for them; it doesn’t make us the authority of their life or know what’s best for them. They have every right to refuse the opportunities, resources and tools we present to them. It’s their life, and they set their terms on how they live it. Continue reading

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All advantages come with a price

Advantages come with a price

I see so much. Everyday I encounter friends and strangers. If you’re like me, you see that some of them have some kind of advantage. It might be a nice house. Or someone may have a new sports car that catches our eye. What about the ultimate advantage of being able to do what one wants whenever?
No matter the advantage, someone paid a price to earn it. The car and house have price tags that we can find. Peace of mind doesn’t. But someone ponied up to earn that advantage.

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Cowards die many times before their death.

Erosion - Grand Canyon - South Rim - Arizona

Coined from Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, this metaphor means that people who run away from their challenges and problems die a little bit inside each time they do so. Their character slowly erodes away when they don’t confront what is ahead of them.

Adversity and challenges help us develop character. How we overcome struggle defines who we are. It helps us develop resilience. These lessons are life skills and when we don’t develop them, we end up in an arrested state of development as we get older. Everything becomes much harder because we simply lack the understanding of how to deal with and overcome our problems. Continue reading

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Laugh before sunrise; cry before sunset


Today’s adage comes from the middle ages. That age produced Hobbes and his reflection on a person’s short, brutish life. Many believed those who laughed or sang or enjoyed living, would soon stand corrected. Such unhelpful attitudes persist today.

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Better late than never


You may have noticed nothing ran yesterday. It was my day to post. I ran out of time before a busy evening. Today we take up an old chestnut that seems quite appropriate. Continue reading

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