What I’ve Learned

One morning when I was 15 my dad, sister and I were leaving the house on our way to school. My dad noticed our neighbor’s five year old boy sitting in front of his house crying. We walked over to him and my dad asked, “Tommy, why are you crying?” Tommy told us that his dog was hit by a car and was dead.

Then he looked at my dad and asked, “Mr. Smith, will my dog go to heaven?”

My dad paused and then replied, “Well, Tommy, would heaven be heaven without dogs?”
I learned two important lessons from this:

1) The toughest questions are often asked by children

2) Sometimes the next answer is in the next question

Now fast forward about 40 years…………….I was with a CEO of a 500 employee company helping him design a career management program. When our discussion turned to the service fees for the project he paused for a few seconds and asked, “What happens if I spend all this money to improve my employees’ skills and they leave?”

I thought of my dad and Tommy and then replied, “What if you don’t and they stay?”

I re-learned two important lessons from this:

1) The toughest questions are still asked by children

2) My dad was a pretty smart guy

Other stuff I’ve learned (in no particular order)………..

I’ve learned there is a big difference between a crisis and an inconvenience

I’ve learned that whatever hits the fan will not be evenly distributed.

I’ve learned the definition of an “optimist” is an accordion player with a beeper.

I’ve learned that humor is the shortest distance between two people.

I’ve learned that women like silent men….they think they’re listening.

I’ve learned I should never ask advice from someone who’s more screwed up than I am

I’ve learned that don’t like to write, but I like to have written.

I’ve learned that depression is merely anger without enthusiasm.

I’ve learned that constant possession of the remote control is an art not a sickness.

I’ve learned that 67% of all statistics are made up on the spot.

I’ve learned there are only two things that matter in life: reasons and result and reasons don’t count.

I’ve learned that I should never “high five” under a ceiling fan.

I’ve learned that experience is what you get when you don’t get what you want.

I’ve learned the only substitute for experience is being 17 years old!

I’ve learned it’s never too late to become what I might have been.

I’ve learned that I can’t build a reputation on what I’m going to do.

I’ve learned that good questions are better than easy answers.

I’ve learned that for every action, there is an equal and opposite criticism

I’ve learned that I can l live for two months on a good compliment.

I’ve learned that a clear conscience is often a sign of a bad memory.

I’ve learned that I like long walks…… especially when they are taken by people who annoy me

I’ve learned the closest to perfection a person ever comes to is when filing out a job application.

I’ve learned that discontent and ambition are easily confused.

I’ve learned that most people didn’t learn to cuss until they learned how to drive

I’ve learned vacation days move at twice the speed of work days

I’ve learned that age is a very high price to pay for maturity.

I’ve learned I need to be at peace with what I can and can’t control

I’ve learned that kindness is a virtue. Compassion is an art.

I’ve learned that one good turn gets all the blankets

I’ve learned that there is no such word as “whelmed”.

I’ve learned that confidence gives me the courage to extend my reach.

I’ve learned my parents were a lot smarter when I was 24 than when I was 16.

I’ve learned we are responsible for our actions, unless we are celebrities.

I’ve learned the best thing about a professional resume is that it can go where you can’t go and it can sell when you’re not there.

I’ve learned that pain and suffering are inevitable, but misery is an option

I’ve learned to never try to teach a pig to sing. It wastes your time and it annoys the pig.

I’ve learned artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity.

I’ve learned that a friend in need is a pest.

I’ve learned that a luxury once experienced becomes a necessity.

I’ve learned that women and cats will do as they please, and men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea

I’ve learned it’s not the fall that hurts; it’s the landing.

I’ve learned that the definition of courage is not the absence of fear; it’s the ability to act in its presence

I’ve learned that 80% of the people I tell my troubles to don’t care and the other 20% are glad I have them.

I’ve learned the game of golf doesn’t build character, it reveals it.

I’ve learned that price is an issue only in absence of value.

I’ve learned to never pass up an opportunity to hold a kitten, a puppy or a small child.

I’ve learned there are only three kinds of people in this world…those that can do math and those who can’t.

I’ve learned the more I use my remote, the longer I get to watch TV by myself.

I’ve learned that a short pencil is better then a long memory.

I’ve learned that decisions are made by those who show up.

I’ve learned that the grass may be greener, but it still needs mowing.

I’ve learned there are just two rules for success: 1. Never tell all you know

I’ve learned that light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak

I’ve learned that when everything else fails I should read the instructions.

I’ve learned the probability of a piece of toast hitting the floor with the jam side down is directly proportionate to the price of the carpet.

I’ve learned the quickest way to find something I’ve lost is to buy a replacement.

I’ve learned to never sneeze while I’m hiding

I’ve learned that few events are worth experiencing unless I can turn to a friend and say, “did you see that?

I’ve learned the secret of effective public speaking is to be sincere, be brief and be seated.

I’ve learned to always take my job seriously, but never myself.

I’ve learned to never do card tricks for the guys I play poker with

I’ve learned that 99% of the time when something isn’t working in my house one of the kids did it.

I’ve learned that it’s not what you got it’s how you use what you got that counts.

I’ve learned that fair is where they tie ribbons on pigs.

I’ve learned to never argue with an idiot. They will drag you down to their level and beat you on experience.

I’ve learned to never approach a bull from the front; a horse from behind or an idiot from any direction.

I’ve learned that everyone we meet brings a little joy into our lives. Some when they arrive and some when they leave.

I’ve learned that words that soak into your ears are whispered…not yelled.

I’ve learned to never corner something that I know is meaner than I am.

I’ve learned it doesn’t take a very big person to carry a grudge.

I’ve learned that you cannot unsay a cruel word.

I’ve learned to not judge people by their relatives.

I’ve learned that sometimes silence is the best answer.

I’ve learned that timing has a lot to do with the outcome of a rain dance.

I’ve learned that the biggest troublemaker I’ll probably ever have to deal with watches me from the mirror every morning

I’ve learned that good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment.

I’ve learned that letting the cat out of the bag is a whole lot easier than putting it back in.

I’ve learned that character is what we are when no one is watching.

I’ve learned that when I get to thinking I’m a person of some influence, I can always prove I’m not by trying to order somebody else’s dog around

I’ve learned a wise person speaks when he/she has something to say; a fool speaks to say something.

I’ve learned that nothing sucks more than that moment during an argument when I realize I am wrong.

I’ve learned that bad decisions make good stories.

I’ve learned that I will never know when it will strike, but there comes a moment at work when I know that I’m just not going to do anything productive for the rest of the day.

I’ve learned that confidence comes from knowledge, preparation and practice.

I’ve learned that a bargain is something so reasonable they won’t take it back when you find out what’s wrong.

I’ve learned that good listeners are not only popular, but after a while they know something.

I’ve learned that friends are the family we can choose for ourselves.

I’ve learned that old age is when most of the names in your little black book are doctors.

I’ve learned that laughter is a tranquilizer with no side effects.

I’ve learned that a good friend doubles the joy and divides the pain.

I’ve learned that doing nothing is tiresome because I can’t stop and rest.

I’ve learned that one of the most pleasant things about friendship is the “do you remember” moments.

I’ve learned if you don’t stand for something you will fall for anything.

I’ve learned that principles only mean something if you stand by them when it’s inconvenient.

I’ve learned that maturity is the ability to live in peace with what I cannot change.

I’ve learned the more I prepare the luckier I get.

I’ve learned that modesty is the art of drawing attention to whatever it is I am being humble about.

I’ve learned that a mistake is only proof that someone was at least trying to accomplish something.

I’ve learned that children are a comfort to us in my old age and they helped me to reach it sooner.

I’ve learned that a person of genius is admired. A person of wealth is envied. A person of power is feared. But only a person of character is trusted.

I’ve learned that leaders are ordinary people with extraordinary determination.

I’ve learned that doing something right and doing the right thing can be two different things.

I’ve learned that discipline is doing what doesn’t come naturally.

I’ve learned that the large print giveth and the small print taketh away.

I’ve learned that the most important things in life aren’t things.

I’ve learned that keeping peace in the family requires patience, love, understanding and at least two TVs.

I’ve learned that there is difference between a setback from a defeat.

I’ve learned that contentment is not the fulfillment of what I want. It is the realization of how much I already have.

I’ve learned that common sense is the knack of seeing things as they really are.

I’ve learned that a diplomat is a person who thinks twice before saying nothing.

I’ve learned that whoever gossips to me will gossip about me.

I’ve learned that the person who is pulling the oars doesn’t have time to rock the boat.

I’ve learned that people may doubt what you say, but they will believe what you do.

I’ve learned that some people will believe anything if I whisper it.

I’ve learned it is better to stumble than not start.

I’ve learned that if I don’t have time to do it right, when will I have time to do it over?

I’ve learned that the road to success is always under repair.

I’ve learned that it’s easier to look through a window than into a mirror.

I’ve learned that a good test of my character is how I behave when I’m wrong.

I’ve learned the best way to keep children home is to make the home atmosphere pleasant and let the air out of their tires.

I’ve learned that no farmer ever plowed a field by turning it over in his mind.

I’ve learned that a father is a man who expects his children to be as good as he meant to be.

I’ve learned that there is no limit to what can be accomplished if we don’t care who gets the credit.

I’ve learned that every prize has its price.

I’ve learned that time maybe a great healer, but it’s a terrible makeup artist.

I’ve learned that criticism is the one thing that most of us think is more blessed to give than receive.

I’ve learned that one reason for doing the right thing is tomorrow.

I’ve learned that the three basic food groups are canned, frozen and take-out.

I’ve learned that it is unreasonable to expect others to listen to my advice and ignore my example.

I’ve learned that the people who say, “that’s the way the ball bounces,” are usually the ones who dropped it.

I’ve learned that cooperation is doing something with a smile that you have to do anyway.

I’ve learned that I always have time for the things we put first.

I’ve learned that immaturity can be outgrown. Ignorance can be educated. Drunkenness sobered, but stupid lasts forever.

I’ve learned that having a brother and sister as my best friends is a precious gift.

I’ve learned that there are two theories to arguing with a woman. Neither works.

I’ve learned to never miss a good chance to shut up.

I’ve learned that there are three kinds of men: The ones that learn by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest who have to pee on the electric fence and find out for themselves.

I’ve learned that the nicest thing about the future is that it always starts tomorrow.

I’ve learned that money will buy a fine dog, but only kindness will make him wag his tail.

I’ve learned if you don’t have a sense of humor, you probably don’t have any sense at all.

I’ve learned that a good time to keep my mouth shut is when I’m in deep water.

I’ve learned that company retreats are important because they demonstrate how many people a company can operate without.

I’ve learned that when I go to class reunions I feel younger than everyone else looks.

I’ve learned that the definition of driving ambition is a teenager who wants to buy a car.

I’ve learned that there are no new sins; the old ones just get more publicity.

I’ve learned there are worse things than getting a call for a wrong number at 4 AM. It could be a right number.

I’ve learned that no one ever says ‘It’s only a game.’ when their team is winning.

I’ve learned that at my age happy hour is a nap.

I’ve learned to always be myself because the people that matter don’t mind, and the ones who mind, don’t matter!

I’ve learned that change is an event and transition is a process.

I’ve learned that people may forget what you say; they may forget what you do, but they will never forget how you make them feel.

I’ve learned that if I don’t dust I can use my coffee table as a message board.

I’ve learned that a man without a woman is a bachelor and a woman without a man is a genius.

I’ve learned that I can get my summer glow from a bottle of Beefeater.

I’ve learned that everything happens for a reason. Usually the reason is somebody screwed up.

I’ve learned that most stress is caused by three things: money, family and family with no money.

I’ve learned that only on a cruise ship will you pay hundreds of dollars a day to sleep in a closet.

I’ve learned the only way I’ll drop 30 pounds is if I go shopping in England

I’ve learn that my photographic memory has never fully developed.

I’ve learned to never, under any circumstances, take a sleeping pill and a laxative on the same night.

I’ve learned not to worry about what people think; they don’t do it very often.

I’ve learned that going to church doesn’t make you a Christian anymore than standing in a garage makes you a car.

I’ve learned that artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity.

I’ve learned that a person, who is nice to you, but rude to the waiter, is not a nice person. (This is very important. Pay attention! It never fails.)

I’ve learned that if you look like your passport picture, you probably need the trip.

I’ve learned that bills travel through the mail at twice the speed of checks.

I’ve learned that conscience is what hurts when all of your other parts feel good.

I’ve learned that no man has ever been shot while doing the dishes..

I’ve learned that middle age is when broadness of the mind and narrowness of the waist change places.

I’ve learned that opportunities always look bigger after they have passed.

I’ve learned that junk is something you’ve kept for years and throw away three days before you need it.

I’ve learned that there is always one more idiot than you counted on

I’ve learned that by the time you can make ends meet, they move the ends.

I’ve learned that the number one rule of weight control is to not weigh more than my refrigerator.

I’ve learned that someone who thinks logically provides a nice contrast to the real world.

I’ve learned that it ain’t the jeans that make my butt look fat.

I’ve learned there is a very fine line between ‘hobby’ and ‘mental illness.’

I’ve learned that people who want to share their political views with you almost never want you to share yours with them.

I’ve learned that you should not confuse your career with your life.

I’ve learned to never lick a steak knife.

I’ve learned that the most destructive force in the universe is gossip.

I’ve learned that it’s not the mistake; it’s the recovery that counts.

I’ve learned you will never find anybody who can give you a clear and compelling reason why we observe daylight savings time.

I’ve learned the one thing that unites all human beings, regardless of age, gender, religion, economic status or ethnic background, is that, deep down inside, we ALL believe that we are above average drivers..

I’ve learned that cemeteries are full of irreplaceable people.

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