It’s Sunday morning. Instead of first being greeted by the traditional media outlets to inform me of all the negativity going on in the world now, I logged on to Facebook to visit my very own community of pseudo-journalists (aka “friends”). I discovered some insightful thoughts about life in the guise of my brother’s post of a blog entry. They were delivered as a convocation speech by a litigator (!):
Here are three thoughts which resonated with me:
(1) Pick your Battles (especially with loved ones): This is conventional wisdom but delivered in the context of love and relationships, “When You’ve Already Won Her Heart, You Don’t Need to Win Every Argument.” Change out the “Her” with “his” if appropriate. The litigator/speaker is offering this advice as a married man so I assume this applies to maintaining the peace in the household. Similarly, I recall having a discussion with someone I did business with during the Holidays and he asked me what my plans were. I told him I was keeping things simple by just staying in town and relaxing with friends. I reciprocated by re-asking the question to him and his rapid response was: “I’m just doing what the Wife tells me to do. That’s how I keep things simple.” I have never been married but based on what I hear from married friends and past clients, this is sage advice. Verbal sparring just seems like a huge energy and time waster especially when you are obliged to live under the same roof as the other individual. It’s interesting how Mr.Litigator speaker can point this out when he is essentially a Professional Fighter. Ah, yes. The power of the heart.
(2) Don’t Be Average: Think about all of those “life expectancy” statistics you hear about. Singapore (the residence of the speaker) is in the top tier but he points out that these expectancy statistics are based on averages. Averages set by people who tell you to get a good education, a good job, a good wife/husband, so you can have a good family. Why live based on boundaries set by average people? Don’t expect anything out of life because life is not roses. Life is hard. Bad things happen. Understand that you should not be entitled to anything. Just imagine that your life is over today. Get out there and play. Understand this and just do this and you will be free.
(3) Popular People Have Weak Character: People who are well-liked are accomodating. They don’t have the courage to speak their minds. They don’t have the courage of their convictions. Think about it. All great figures who have contributed to the progress of humankind have been hated not by one, but by many. Well-liked pleasant people are pleasant to be around with, because well, they are pleasant. But to make great change on the scale of advancing humankind, being popular is not a favorable character trait. Do you think you are popular? If yes, maybe you are doing something wrong, or maybe you are content with being popular, being well-liked and sticking with the status quo. Maybe you are okay with being average.
I encourage you to read the original speech in its entirety. It’s a fun read. And then get out there. Fall in love, work less and do something courageous.