Why I do so much public speaking and why you should too.

Over the past 5 months, since first publishing my book What Does Your Fortune Cookie Say? I regularly get asked if I do any public speaking. The simple answer is an emphatic Yes! (And an emphatic Yes! is also the basic message of most of my public speaking.)

The truth is I never turn down an opportunity to speak if there is a chance I can work it into my schedule. Not just because I enjoy it. But also because it is my way of passing along all of the lessons, insights and encouragement that the world has shared with me. Plus, you usually get a free bottle of water.

UW Credit Union hooked me up with 2 bottles of water!

I enjoy offering motivation and encouragement. I like to teach and share lessons from my own experience. Which is why I think about the following philosophy when I am asked to speak at an event:

“The purpose of life is to discover your gift. The work of life is to develop it. The meaning of life is to give your gift away.”

-David Viscott

I also love to entertain. If I would have been born with more funny bones I would love to have been a standup comedian. (But alas, I only have the two not-so-funny bones in my elbows.) So when I get asked to speak I always try to find opportunities to make the audience laugh. And occasionally they will.

My recent speaking events include a book talk to a marketing association, company meetings, guest lectures, and 3 TV appearances.

Talk show talking with Molly Fay.

Over the next weeks and months my speaking engagements include:

A Career Day event for 8th graders. (A notoriously tough and attention-challenged crowd. I’ll probably resort to some potty humor to keep them engaged.)

Moderating a panel discussion Tomorrow morning I’m hosting a panel at American Family Field with some interesting and well-known panelists. (Which is sure to induce some panel envy.)

A talk in Cleveland for a large conference. (I hope they don’t throw any of those Cleveland rocks!)

Speaking to the leadership team of a very large household brand in Columbus. (Ok, so it’s really more of a Garagehold brand.)

Speaking to a conference in Chicago about branding. (I had to assure attendees that they would not be getting their hide seared.)

Several association meetings. (I’d like to create a talk titled, ‘Is there an ass in your ociaton?’)

• Guest interviews on podcasts

Plus, I have at least 5 other events in the planning stages.

Talking to the Milwaukee Athletic Club about how to carry 2 watermelons at once.

These speaking events are great opportunities for me to share what I know with the world. I get to pass along energy, enthusiasm and positivity. And I get to remind people that they are responsible for writing a great story of their own life and career every day.

I love the challenge of taking what could easily be a boring and forgettable event and turning it into something fun, entertaining and inspiring. Which is why I get so many speaking requests. And why I am often asked to fill the last slot of the day. (I’m the Keep-Them-Awake Specialist.)

Key Takeaway

If you have great experience and a positive perspective you should share it with the world. Look for opportunities to speak, educate and inspire. Not only will others learn from you, but you will learn from the experience too. The process of sharing with others forces you to organize and crystalize your own thinking. Which means everyone comes out ahead.

*If you know someone who could benefit from this message, please share it with them.

> If you are looking for someone to speak at your next event you can reach me at adam@theweaponry.com.

+To learn some of the life lessons I like to talk about, check out my new book What Does Your Fortune Cookie Say? from Ripples Media.

12 important life lessons for new graduates.

It’s graduation time! Students across the country are thrilled to finally be done with classes, done with books and done with teachers’ dirty looks. But what they will soon find out is that the real life lessons start after school ends. Because suddenly your life becomes one big multiple choice test. And if you thought you were done with all that writing, here comes the big surprise:

Now you have to write the story of your own life.

Looking back, I can see that I have learned far more since graduating from Hanover High School in Hanover, New Hampshire and The University of Wisconsin than I did in school. In fact, I read more now than I did in school. I ask more questions. I study people and events, and people at events.

I have been collecting the best lessons I have learned since the day I graduated from high school. Then, during the Covid lockdown, I turned my collection of most valuable life lessons into a book called What Does Your Fortune Cookie Say?

I thought the book would help people like me who were trying to get the most out of life. I wanted to help my contemporaries maximize their happiness and success. I wanted to share some of my accumulated knowledge, inspire others, and make people laugh. Not necessarily in that order.

Since publishing my new book I have heard 2 responses over and over from readers.

  1. I wish I had read this when I was younger.
  2. This book will make an excellent graduation gift.

The positive response to the book confirms that the life lessons I pass along offer real value. For new graduates, the lessons will help build the life and career you imagined. Which is why so many people are picking up copies now, during graduation season to give as gifts.

My friend Kris picked up these copies for some special graduates in her life. Including her daughter Emma!

If you are a new graduate, congratulations! Welcome to the club! Here are a few things that will help you in your exciting next chapter of life. (And you thought you were done with all that reading…) (If you graduated last year or last century the lessons still apply.)

12 important life lessons for new graduates.

  1. Constantly Upgrade Your Thinking: You may have graduated, but you are not done growing. Never stop improving yourself. You are like an iPhone. You should constantly be creating better versions of yourself. Each one is smarter, stronger and more capable than the one before. (And now that you will start paying for your own phone you’ll want to put a screen shield and protective case on that thang. Phones are frick’n expensive.)

2. The best way to live a great life is to start at the end. By viewing your life from the end you can clearly see what you could have done and what you should have done. Do this now, while you can do something about it. And you will be able to turn your life into an epic story as big as your imagination. (And go to funerals. They will teach you more about life than death. Plus, there are always free ham sandwiches.)

3. It’s the first step that matters most. Far too many people dream about the things they want to do but never take a single step towards making it happen. Your dreams start with that first step. Take it. Make it happen. (And watch Hamilton. That dude did not throw away his shot.)

4. Let envy be your guide. Don’t get fooled into thinking envy is a deadly sin and try to squash it. Envy offers insight. Note the things you envy and truly want and add them to your life list. Then create a plan to make them yours. And get to work. (Sloth, however, is a deadly sin. Don’t mess with sloths, Sid.)

5. Your Success Is Directly Related to Your Contribution. Success is easy to understand. If you want more, contribute more. If you want to earn more money, add more value. If you want more social capital, add more value. If you want more political capital, add more value. It is the value you bring to the world that determines what the world offers you in return, Jedi.

6. Nothing will happen unless you make it so. JFK said, ‘Things do not happen. They are made to happen.’ Remember that action is everything. It is the difference between dreaming and doing. If you want something to happen you have to force it and will it to happen through your vision, action, and energy. This wisdom applies to friendship, entrepreneurship, and every other ship in between.

7. Kickstart your day with a smile. The first thing you should do every day, while still lying in bed, is put a big smile on your face. Science has proven that not only do we smile when we feel good, we actually feel good when we smile. Smiling is the easiest positive thing you’ll do all day. Yet it has the power to propel and protect you until you crawl back into bed at night. (So, if you haven’t smiled yet today, do it now, brown cow.)

8. Fill your attitude with helium. Life is unpredictable. One moment you feel like you are on top of the world. the next moment you feel like the world is on top of you. But a helium attitude rises anyway. Don’t let setbacks, curveballs, and negative people drag you down. Do what helium does, and just keep rising. Your attitude is everything in life. Make sure you fill it with the right fuel. (And if you ever need a good laugh, suck in some real helium and say ‘Luke, I am your Father.’)

9. Always bet on yourself. Don’t buy lottery tickets. Don’t bet on sports or horses. Instead, bet on yourself. Bet on your ideas. But on your intuition. Bet on your determination. And on your willingness to affect the outcome. Stack the odds in your favor. It is the easiest way to mitigate risk and set yourself up for an epic payout. (And add Take A Chance On Me by ABBA to your life soundtrack. It’s a real toe-tapper.)

10. Find your Sliver Mentors. Everyone will offer you advice. But only take advice from people who are already doing what you want to do be doing. And rather than have one mentor for everything it is useful to have many mentors for slivers of your life. Learn the tips and tricks of the people who behave the way you want to behave. Don’t listen to every voice in the wind. Instead, carefully curate the advice you accept from those who offer great examples. (And keep a good tweezer around for regular slivers.)

11. Ask For What You Want. Never be afraid to simply ask for what you really want. A closed door will often open when you show just how much you want to go inside. Remember, someone holds the key to unlock every locked door. (Don’t simply take what you want. Unless you look great in an orange jumpsuit.)

12. Don’t Build A Network. Build Friendships. Throughout your career, people will tell you that you should network. This essentially means you should meet people who can help further your career. This is bad advice. Don’t network. Instead, befriend as many people as you can. Prioritize developing genuine relationships. When you make great friends you will have a great network. Because when you make people the most important thing in your life, everything else magically falls into place. (And keep eating Lucky Charms. They’re magically delicious.)

Key Takeaway:

Commit to a lifetime of learning and growing. Get a little better every day. Read. Think. Make friends. Find people who can teach you. And always bet on yourself. The best is yet to come. But it’s up to you to make it happen.

*If you know someone who could benefit from this message, please share it with them.

+If a $16 graduation gift fits into your budget, consider grabbing a copy of What Does Your Fortune Cookie Say? for a graduate in your life.

How to get the most out of any experience.

Every experience in your life has the potential to be valuable. Every day, every meeting, every interaction. From major holidays to kickoff meetings to casual conversation, there is gold to be found everywhere. But too often the experience comes and goes without living up to the potential it promised. This is the deeper message behind the play Our Town and the movies The Sixth Sense and Weekend at Bernie’s.

The best way to get the most out of any experience is to imagine it is already over before it has begun.

Before the meeting starts imagine you are walking out of it. Before you get in the car with another person imagine the drive is over. Before your guests arrive imagine they are leaving. Before you try that pick-up line imagine what the other person looks like when you are sober.

Then ask yourself these 3 questions:

  1. What went right?
  2. What went wrong?
  3. What would I do better next time?

With this quick and easy pre-mortem evaluation you can ensure that you will:

  1. Make the right things happen.
  2. Fix what went wrong before it occurred.
  3. Do things better THIS time.

I use the simple evaluation technique all the time. And I use it on massively different types of experiences.

Before Christmas or a birthday, I imagine the perfect day, map it out and schedule the day to live up to my expectations. More detail is better. So is more eggnog and more smiling. Smiling’s my favorite.

But I also use this technique when I drive my kids to or from school. I think about the conversation I wish I had. I think about the opportunity to connect, encourage, or entertain as if it already slipped away. Then I make sure to connect, encourage or entertain while I still have a few minutes. And when the ride ends with my kids opening the door laughing I feel like we are winning at life. Especially if they remembered their backpacks.

Key Takeaway

Understand your opportunities before they are gone. Imagine the final outcomes before they are baked. Then adjust anything you can to align your actual experience with your ideal. Great events don’t just happen. You make them happen. And a little forethought provides the road map you need to a better ending.

*If you know someone who could benefit from this message, please share it with them.

+For more ways to create better outcomes, check out my new book What Does Your Fortune Cookie Say? from Ripples Media.

Life is like a choir concert. Which part do you play?

Last night I went to a middle school choir concert. And I noticed that there are three types of middle school choir participants.

  1. The Non-Singers.

These kids are in the choir physically. And that’s where their involvement stops. Yes, they are on stage. But there is little to no effort given. They have shown up to prove that showing up may be half the battle, but it’s not the half that makes a difference. Occasionally these kids will move their mouths. This happens most frequently during the chorus of a popular song. But if you were standing next to them on stage you wouldn’t hear much more than lyrical breathing coming from their faces.

2. The Singers

These kids sing. (Hence the name of this category.) They are involved. They knew the words. Their mouths move. And they look as if they are on the stage due to their own free will. There are no this is so dumb looks from The Singers. There are also no I am so dumb that I accidentally ended up on stage amongst a bunch of singers all wearing white shirts types of looks from The Singers. They simply show up, do their jobs, and try not to fall off the risers.

3. The Performers

These kids are in the choir to perform. To entertain. To put on a show. These kids have energy and effort. They have passion and joy. (In fact, I think Passion and Joy were two of the 7th-grade girls in the concert last night. They may have been twins.) The Performers make you think that the concert is one of the best events of the year. The Performers look alive. They put thought and effort into their appearance. You can tell that they are feeling it. They make you feel it too.

Key Takeaway

Fill your life with activities that make you feel like you are The Performer. Lean into the work that gives you energy. Where the effort comes easily and joyfully. Where the smile is natural. Find work that makes you feel strong and capable of entertaining with your skills and knowledge. Spend your time participating in hobbies and recreation that you love. Not only are those activities enjoyable for you, but that feeling you feel spreads to others who see you at work or play. Humans are wired to feel the energy of those around us. This has nothing to do with actual skill. It is about attitude, effort and enjoyment. And it’s contagious.

*If you know someone who could benefit from this message, please share it with them.

+If you are interested in more messages like this, check out my new book What Does Your Fortune Cookie Say? from Ripples Media.

Why you should surround yourself with people who make you better.

The most exciting project you will ever undertake in life is you. You get one opportunity to make one human as amazing as possible. And you have complete control over that human. Except when you get the hiccups or your arm falls asleep.

An amazing life can be defined and measured in a hundred different ways. But you get to choose your own definition. And the unit of measure. Better yet, like The Urban Dictionary, you can change the definition as you go.

But no matter what your self-improvement journey looks like, there is one rule that will never fail.

The best way to become a better person is to surround yourself with better people.

The right people will inspire you. Encourage you. And set a great example for you to follow.

They will share what they have learned. They will push you to push yourself further. They will show you the way. And challenge you to keep up.

The right people will open doors you didn’t know existed. They will demonstrate new techniques. Illuminate new ideas. And show you what you’ve been missing.

Better people pull you up. They suggest others to follow and learn from. They provide better criteria. And set new standards.

Spend time with others who will raise your expectations. Sharpen your thinking. And broaden your view.

Surround yourself with people who maintain good habits. Who will embarrass you for your bad habits. Who will expose your ignorance. And offer you better alternatives.

Spend time with others who reveal your strengths. Who will fuel your confidence. Who will help you strengthen your foundation. And who introduce you to more great people who will exert even more positive peer pressure on you. That is simply the best way to become your best self.

Pro Tip:

Thanks to modern technology and the Gutenberg printing press, you can also surround yourself with great people through books, social media, podcasts, or blogs. The principle is the same. And it’s a great way to augment your social circle if you live in Alaska, have awkward social skills, or live in a concrete dorm with a lot of bars, and barbwire that makes it hard to grab coffee. #ThereIsAlwaysAWay

Key Takeaway

Great people are contagious. When you spend time with them their greatness spreads. It inspires you to do and be more. They provide both a model and a path to follow. And they introduce you to more great people. Which has a compounding effect on your own self-improvement.

*If you know someone who could benefit from this message, please share it with them.

+For more of the best life lessons I have collected, check out my new book, What Does Your Fortune Cookie Say? from Ripples Media.

Make the most of your magic ingredient.

Yeast is like magic. It is the secret, almost invisible ingredient that makes bread rise. It creates action and life. It creates transformation. And alcohol. And stank.

But yeast only works if the conditions are favorable. If the environment is too cold it won’t activate. If the temperature is too hot it kills the yeast that makes the magic. #TooHotInTheHotTub

The human spirit is like yeast. It is your magic ingredient. It is the will to win. The drive to succeed. The hunger for more.

The human spirit fuels your resilience and determination. It is the force that will transform you into something even more remarkable tomorrow. Something far more remarkable than bread. Or beer.

But just as yeast needs the proper conditions to activate, so does the human spirit.

Remember

If you are a business owner, leader, parent, teacher, coach, or the person who runs Fight Club, you are responsible for creating the environment.

Your most important job is to make sure the environment doesn’t kill the magic ingredient.

Great people won’t stay in a toxic work environment.

Great athletes won’t stay to play on a negative team.

A lion tamer won’t stick his head in the mouth of a stressed-out lion. (At least not more than once.)

And most importantly, a poor home environment will prevent children from growing into the amazing adults they were born to be. We can’t let this happen.

Key Takeaway

Create an environment that lets the human spirit work its magic. Or seek out a supportive environment for yourself. And magic will surely follow.

*If you know someone who could benefit from this message, please share it with them.

For more, check out my new book, What Does Your Fortune Cookie Say? from Ripples Media.

I guest-hosted a TV show!

An interesting life is simply a collection of interesting experiences. This week I added to my collection by guest-hosting The Morning Blend on TMJ4 in Milwaukee.

It all started during the Covid Lockdown of 2020 when I decided to fill my newfound free time by writing a book. That book, What Does Your Fortune Cookie Say? was published by Ripples Media in December of 2021. A funny thing happens after you write a book. Not only are people interested in what you wrote, but suddenly people are interested in what have to say too.

My friend Mike ‘Borto’ Bortolotti (I have no idea where Borto’s nickname came from) introduced me to his friend Molly Fay, host of The Morning Blend on NBC in Milwaukee. Borto shared that I had recently written a book and that he thought I would be a great guest on the show.

Soon after that introduction, Molly’s co-host, Tiffany Ogle, posted a question on Instagram asking what new book she should read next. Over 20 people insisted that she read What Does Your Fortune Cookie Say? So she reached out to me too. That afternoon I delivered copies of my book to both Tiffany and Molly, and within a week I was a guest on the show via Zoom. You can watch the segment here.

The first time I was on The Morning Blend. I was the meat in a Lady in Red sandwich.

Then a couple of weeks ago, Molly called me to say that Tiffany was going to be on vacation at the end of April and that they had guest hosts lined up for all but one of the days she was going to be out. Then she popped the question. (When I typed the last sentence I initially typed a double O instead of a double P in popped...)

Molly asked if I was available and interested in guest hosting on April 27. I quickly checked my calendar to see if the current date was April 1. It was not. Which was crazy. So I checked April 27, and thankfully I was available. So I quickly agreed.

Then on Friday, April 15th I received another call from Molly, saying they just had a cancellation for the Tuesday, April 19th show. She wondered if I could pull together a segment in time. I said I would. And like a certified letter, 2 business days later I arrived on set, and talked to Molly and Tiffany about how to create Power Habits. You can see that segment here.

My second appearance on the show, talking about Power Habits and demonstrating the 2-handed hand gesture.

Guest Hosting

This Wednesday was my guest-hosting experience. I received a list of questions that Molly planned to ask me ahead of time. I received a rundown of the show segments that I would be involved in. This included the opening chitty chat, an interview with Tyler Mader, whom I was super impressed with, and the Sound Off Question of The Day responses.

I began Wednesday morning by putting on clothes because they have a dress code that requires it. I showed up at the studio 30 minutes before the show went live. I met with Molly and the producer, Katie Pinkowski. They gave me a few pointers and reminders. Like don’t chew tobacco on-set. Don’t say Let’s Go Brandon, even if Brandon calls in and asks for some encouragement. And resist the temptation to say Scotch, Scotch, Scotch, I love Scotch, or Stay Classy San Diego on air.

I skipped the makeup chair as part of my Men, You Are Beautiful without Blush campaign to empower guys to not feel pressured to wear makeup on camera, on stage or in the bedroom.

I got mic’d up by Dorraine. And I told her the next time I would wear a spandex shirt so she would really have to work to fish the wire up my shirt. Then, about 3 minutes before 9am CT Molly and I made our way to our chairs. Ben gave us our countdown, our camera cues, and pointed at us to get the party started. You can see the opening segment here.

Can you tell I was excited about the opportunity?

At 9am sharp cheddar (Wisconsin Time) we were off to the races. It was fun and fast. I never had time to get nervous. Mostly because Molly is a pro.

You can see my opening to a segment on farming and Culvers here.

You can see my interview with Tyler Mader here.

This was my favorite part of the show. It is the last few minutes of the show when Molly and I talked about fruit...

Tyler ‘The Smiler’ Mader, Molly ‘The Magic Maker’ Fay, and me.

Thanks for the opportunity Molly, Tiffany, Katie and Kim. Thanks for the on-air chat Tyler. Thanks to Ben for keeping things rolling. Thanks for the mickity-mic check Dorraine. And thank you to all of my friends and family for encouraging and supporting me before and after the show aired.

Key Takeaway

Write a book. It opens the door to amazing new opportunities. Then make sure you take advantage of your opportunities. Because as JFK said, ‘Things do not happen. They are made to happen.’ So make sure to make things happen for you.

*If you know someone who could benefit from this message, please share it with them.

+For more of the best life lessons I have learned check out my new book What Does Your Fortune Cookie Say?

What do you do when you find a stuck human?

On my drive to work recently I came across a car that was stopped at a major intersection. This was odd, because the traffic light was green, and the driver should have proceeded through. What made the situation worse was that it was raining heavily. So the intersection felt like a more dangerous and less enjoyable place to be stuck than usual. If I was writing a scene in a TV show about a person having a very bad day I would put the character in this situation.

As I drove around the car I noticed a thirty-something woman in the driver’s seat. She was looking around as if she was trying to figure out her next move. I knew what she was feeling. I used to have a car that enjoyed surprising me too.

I passed through the intersection and nosed down the hill on the other side, towards the Milwaukee River below. I kept looking in the rearview mirror to see if she started moving again. But she didn’t. If it was as if she saw that game of Red Light, Green Light from Squid Games and was afraid to move at all. Finally, just before I crossed the river and arrived at my office, I pulled a U-turn and headed back up the hill.

I eased my car into a parking lot near where the woman was stopped. I got out of my car and hustled to her driver’s side window. This put me in the middle of traffic, in the rain. The woman rolled down her window and I asked if she needed help. She responded, ‘Yes Please!’ She was clearly relieved to have some help.

I asked her if she could put the car in neutral. She tried. She could. So I told her that when the light turned green I would push her through the intersection and she should start rolling down the hill. I pointed to a stretch of open street parking at the bottom of the hill that she should pull into. She nodded in understanding. Then I walked to the back of the car where I assumed the role of her auxiliary human car engine. (Which I will be adding to my LinkedIn profile.)

When the light turned I started pushing on the lifeless car and got it rolling. After it slowly crept through the intersection it nosed downhill and picked up speed. Momentum and gravity made it look as if the car was no longer disabled. I stopped pushing and watched the car roll down the hill and neatly into a parking space below.

I jogged back to my car, hopped in, and drove down to greet the woman at the bottom of the hill. I walked up to the driver’s window again with a big smile and said, ‘You nailed that plan! Nice job! Do you need a ride somewhere?”

She told me that she was on her way to a doctor’s appointment and that she would greatly appreciate a ride. She showed me where the appointment was on the Google Maps app on her phone. Her destination was less than a half-mile down the road from where we were. She hopped in my car, and within a minute I dropped her off at her appointment, on time. She was extremely thankful for the help of a stranger. I was happy to lend a hand. And a couple of arms, legs and a back.

Key Takeaway

Whenever you find someone stuck, try to help them unstick themselves. It’s one of the most basic and helpful things we can do for each other. It doesn’t matter if the person is stuck physically, mentally, emotionally, or developmentally. Help them through if you can. Remember, you never know when it will be you who is stuck in one of life’s intersections, hoping someone comes along to give you that push you need to get going again.

*If you know someone who could benefit from this message, please share it with them.

+For more of the best life lessons I have learned check out my new book, What Does Your Fortune Cookie Say? from Ripples Media.

The reason you make mistakes is because you are human.

Easter is not about eggs.

It’s not about baskets and bunnies.

It’s not about bonnets and brunch. (Despite the Pavlovian response I just had to the word brunch. #drooling)

Easter is about forgiveness.

Easter is a reminder that we all make mistakes. That we all fall short of the ideal. That we often offend or disappoint others through our actions or inactions.

We are imperfect humans. Despite our best efforts and intentions, we don’t always do the right thing. (Sorry Spike Lee.)

The human mind is the most complicated of all machines. Our outputs are not always logical. Just ask Will Smith.

Remember that you are on your own learning journey. And so am I.

Canceling a human for making a mistake is a mistake.

You’re only human. You’re supposed to make mistakes.

-Billy Joel

It is far better to celebrate growth and improvement through the infinite Earthly game of trial and error.

Forgive others. Forgive yourself.

Key Takeaway

You have been forgiven by a higher power. That is the great news of Easter.

Pass it on.


*If you know someone who could benefit from this message, please share it with them.

+For more life lessons I have learned on my journey check out my new book, What Does Your Fortune Cookie Say? from Ripples Media.

The most valuable lesson you can learn from your local news team.

I love the movie Anchorman. It’s a hilarious look at a local TV news team. It has everything you could possibly want in a movie, including Will Ferrell, a gang fight between rival news crews, and a totally random musical number. The movie is dense with classic quotes. And it taught me what San Diego means in German.

The movie also teaches you about the 5 roles that make up a local news team.

  1. The Anchor. The leader of the crew. He or she delivers the general news. They greet the viewer at the top of the show and get to deliver their catchphrase at the end. #StayClassySanDiego

2. The Co-Anchor They are like the Vice President. They help deliver the main news, offer a banter partner, and appeal to a slightly different audience. The anchor and co-anchor are often different genders, ages, races, hair colors, or mustache styles, depending on how evolved management is.

3. The Sports Person. They share updates on local, and national sports news. They typically seem the most athletic-y. They were often former athletes and really into sports. They may have considered becoming a PE teacher but realized they don’t want to wear sweatpants all day.

4. The Investigative Reporter This is the reporter who helps expose the wrongdoings in the community. In school, they were the tattletale and probably got picked on a lot. Their job is their revenge.

5. The Weatherperson. They report the weather. They are usually fun and outgoing. They typically seem like they would be the most fun to hang out with. The community usually loves them and they love them right back. I have some Weatherperson friends including Mark Baden at WISN12 in Milwauke. Pete Bouchard at NBC 10 in Boston and I played football together in high school. And the Meteorological Badass, Jim Cantore of The Weather Channel, grew up one town over from me in Vermont.

One of These Things is Not Like The Others

While these 5 work together as one crew, they offer 2 distinctly different types of information to viewers. The Anchor, Co-Anchor, Investigative Reporter and Sports Person report, recap and summarize significant events that have recently happened. Which is valuable.

However…

The Weatherperson’s great value is not in recapping what happened in the past 24 hours, but in shedding light on what will happen next. Sure, they will tell you what the temperature was that day, how much rain or snow fell, and maybe what time the sun came up and went down. But like Bob Dylan sang, you don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.

The Weatherperson is uniquely valuable in predicting future weather. And they have gotten really good at this. The science of meteorology and weather forecasting is astounding. They are able to predict what the future holds in terms of temperature, cloudage, windage and precipitation. They have the ability to forecast conditions by the hour, even many days in advance. That is freaking amazing!

The Weather Person’s knowledge and insights about future weather enable you to make important decisions and preparations. They provide information that helps you decide what to wear, and what actions to take when. The forecast helps you plan the activities for the day or week ahead. And they let you know when you should apply extra glue to your toupee.

Forecasting Your Life

Taking a cue from the Weatherperson, there is another highly valuable skill that you should develop that will have a major positive impact on your future. It doesn’t involve quitting your job and running off to join the weatherperson circus. I’m suggesting you hone and polish your skills as a Regret Forecaster.

Dedicate time each day, week, season, and year to forecast your future regrets. This will include things you did do that you wish you hadn’t done and things you didn’t do that you wish you had. By doing so you are able to predict future outcomes while there is still time to alter them. While hindsight is said to be 20/20, regret forecasting can help you dial in your foresight with great accuracy too. And it costs a lot less.

There Are 4 Major Things That People regret.

  1. Not doing the foundational work you should have when you should have done it. (Doing the work, saving money, getting the education, exercising etc.)
  2. Not taking the risk you should have taken. (Starting the business, writing the book, traveling to interesting places. Changing jobs.)
  3. Not developing, maintaining or reigniting relationships. (There is an unpredictable time limit on these activities. Because most of your friends and family are mortals.)
  4. Having done the wrong thing. (Think cheating, lying, murdering, unprotected sexing.)

The older I get and the honester I become with myself the better my regret radar becomes. Today I find myself regretting less and less. Not because I don’t care. But because I care more. Because I have taken more time to think about the future and the end of my days and the unfinished business, missed opportunities and untended relationships. I use the regret forecast to feel the sting today. Which inspires me to act now. And prevents me from murdering others.

Key Takeaway

Start calibrating your regret radar now. Write down the 4 areas of your life to examine. See what pings. Start addressing that today. Do the work now that will matter later. Take the chances you know you should. Avoid the wrong, because that is always right. And most importantly, develop and maintain as many relationships as you can. At the end of your days, that will matter most.

*If you know someone who could benefit from this message, please share it with them.

+For more of the best life lessons I’ve learned so far check out my new book, What Does Your Fortune Cookie Say? from Ripples Media.