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.

Tuesday is the most important workday of the week.

Like cogs in a machine, or tools in a toolbox, every day of the week has a different purpose.

Tuesday is the Do-Day.

After setting the goals and objectives for the week on Monday, Tuesday is the day to make things happen. Bite off big chunks. Pull the long levers. Create evidence of progress.

Tuesday is for tackling. Not tinkering.

Tuesday is for chopping. Not chipping.

Tuesdays should be spent in the shop.

Or in the lab.

Or at your desk and cranking.

Or on the pole and spinning. (If that’s the kind of work you do.)

As Redman said, Tuesday is time for some action.

There should be clear quantifiable evidence of progress by the time you turn off the lights Tuesday night. You should have sunk your treads deep in the soil of your workground, gained traction, and propelled your projects forward.

Tuesdays are great days to work alone. Put away your phone. Hold your calls. Forget about email for a day. And make some frick’n magic.

Spend as much time as you can afford in Total Focus mode.

Remember that scene in Elf when the rest of the workshop is disappointed in Buddy for only making 85 Etch-A-Sketches?

That’s a Tuesday mindset.

Key Takeaway

Tuesday is the difference-maker. Tune out the distractions. Get to your most important work of the week. And make things happen. The progress you make on Tuesday creates momentum that propels you the rest of the week.

*For maximum impact, share this message with your team on a Tuesday morning.

+For other important life lessons the universe is trying to share with you check out my new book What Does Your Fortune Cookie Say? from Ripples Media.

6 Tips To Establish New Power Habits.

A great life is built on great habits. Do the right things repeatedly and you will build momentum. Do the wrong thing repeatedly and you build a rap sheet.

Your great habits have a compounding effect. Each great step helps amplify the step before. All of which will earn career, social, health, and even financial capital that will open doors for you.

I was on The Morning Blend this week talking about habits. You can see the segment here.

But How?

Habit development is a process. Here are a few of the most important things to know to get the process right, like Bob Barker.

6 Tips To Establishing New Power Habits.

  1. Start with your identity.  Identify as an exerciser, reader, money saver or a neat and orderly person. Once you identify as the person who does these kinds of activities you will do the kinds of activities your identity identifies with. It’s always a case of the chicken and the egg. So just decide that you are a chicken and start laying eggs.

Remember: Identities are all made up anyway. (Just ask Madonna.) None of us came out of the womb as runners, readers or pop singers. We were all just naked and unemployed. One day you simply decide you want to take on an identity and you go with it. The great news is that you can add to or change your identity any day.

2. Make it easy at the start. If you have chosen to identify as a runner, don’t go out the first time and run until you barf. You won’t want to come back. Instead, run until you feel good. Don’t go past that point. Stop before it hurts or feels negative. Run for a couple of minutes. Not a couple of miles. Make it enjoyable, make it easy. Make yourself want to do more next time. In the beginning (#NameThatBook) the most important thing to do is simply create the system or process. The length doesn’t matter.

3. Optimize and intensify over time. Once the routine is established you can adjust it to be more productive. Lengthen the duration of activity. Increase the intensity and focus. But raise the bar slowly and you will build even more momentum.

4. Market the habit to yourself by putting cues in your path.  If you want to journal, leave your journal and pen out where you will be reminded to write. Put your exercise clothes on your dresser or bathroom counter so they are easy to pick up and put on. Place your laundry to be put away on your bed. This provides additional obvious cues and reduces friction to action.

5. You can change your life in one day. Quitting smoking may be hard, but it’s not hard to not smoke for a day. The same holds true for exercising, eating well or playing an instrument. Commit to one day, each day. It will make you feel like a winner every day. You will be inspired to do more when you feel like you are winning.

6. When you have a problem starting or maintaining a habit there is a problem with your system. If your habit is failing it isn’t you. It’s the system. Tweak it to make the habit stick. Make it easier. Change the timing. Change the setting. Use technology for prompts, reminders or encouragement. Pair it with a different reward. Find what you need to nail it.

Key Takeaway

Use good habits to create good habits. Set your identity and your actions will follow. Underdo it at the start. Allow yourself to be an amateur. Create obvious prompts. Optimize and intensify over time. Keep stringing together good days. And just don’t stop.

*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.

How to create your powerful habit train.

It was either Aristotle or The 7 Dwarfs who said ‘We are what we repeatedly do.’ Which means that just as your DNA creates your body, your habits create your identity. So while you may feel as if your identity was written in the stars, in reality, it is written on your calendar.

When you do something every day it transforms you.

  • Exercise every day and you become fit.
  • Read every day and you become intelligent.
  • Write every day and you become an author.
  • Save money every day and you become rich.
  • Meet new people every day and you become popular.
  • Refuse to wear clothes every day and you become a nudist. And tan.

Personal Revelation

Most of the great things that have happened to me are because I first established strong habits.

  • I have exercised regularly since I was a freshman in high school. Several decades later I am still as strong as I was when I was 18. And although I am slower, my complexion is better.
  • I have a strong reading habit. I read physical books at home. And I listen to audiobooks while I drive. As a result I arrive at work smarter than I was when I left home. And I arrive home smarter than I was when I left work. If you do that every day for decades you will end up a lot smarter than you look.
  • I make a point of developing and maintaining relationships. I make a habit of reaching out to people regularly by phone, text, email or through social media. I invite people to get together and add another chapter to our friendship or familyship. One of the common regrets in life is not creating or maintaining your relationships. I will not have that regret.

The Habit Train

If you want to establish a strong new habit it is easier than you think. Because your day is already packed with habits. And the best way to establish a strong new habit is to attach it to an existing one, like cars on a freight train.

Example:

1. When your alarm clock sounds you turn it off (Habit)

2. You get up. (Habit)

3. Unless you have a bionic bladder you go to the bathroom. (Habit)

Now you have a 3-Habit Train headed down the track every morning. The key is to add more cars to your habit train.

Here’s how:

After you get up, and before you go to the bathroom, make your bed. This new habit is pretty easy to establish because you simply declare that before you go to the bathroom you will make you bed. You already know you are going to perform the habits directly before and after making the bed. Linking your new habits to your established and automatic habits quickly makes the new habit automatic too.

But Don’t Stop There.

After you go to the bathroom (and wash your hands, please), attach another habit.

My next habit is to drink a large glass of water to jumpstart a healthy day. This is where you might have coffee or tea. (Habit)

Then add another positive habit it your train.

Make this one a power habit. Think of it like adding another engine to your train. Power habits could be exercise, reading, or meditation. Something that adds real power to you as a human.

After my initial power habit (getting up at 6 am), my next power habit it is writing.  By 6:10 am I am either writing a blog post or a chapter for a new book.

I write for at least an hour at least 5 days every week. By the time I close my laptop to move on to the next habit in my morning routine my habit train is flying down the track, and I am making progress towards larger life goals.

You can create several habit trains that run at different times of day. Or you can make your entire day a nonstop habit train for maximum impact. They say that if you want something done give it to a busy person. It’s because their habit train is already rolling. And any task that gets added to the train will naturally head down the track with them. It’s a powerful way to progress through life. Choo Choo.

Key Takeaway

Habits have a transformational power. Like interest on a financial investment, repeated postive actions create compounding rewards that create massive personal and professional advantages. Link your habits into habit trains. Feel them build momentum every day. They will take you farther than you can even imagine.

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

+If you like this lesson you’ll enjoy my new book What Does Your Fortune Cookie Say? from Ripples Media.

To see me on TV talking about habits check out this fun clip from the Morning Blend morning show.

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.