December 31, 2017
487 Life Tips
(from a guy who’s tried about half of them)
To be honest, there are more like 14,870 life tips that I have to share, tips that I’ve compiled over the past several decades. But I didn’t want to overwhelm you.
This decades-long project has taken many forms over the years, and with many starts and stops. And now, as I get this thing moving once and for all, I’ve decided to share my “life tips” as a simple, useful, and fun list of the bits of wisdom I’ve compiled from my many travels, jobs, career paths, family travails, and international adventures.
While I have many reasons to write this book, one particular “ear flick” that annoyed me into action was when my teenage son said to me, “Dad, most kids in my high school plan to make it big through a reality TV show or something they do on YouTube.” That was a fresh reminder that many people are just winging it, or at best, lollygagging their way through life without consideration for their real purpose here on Earth.
And I can relate. While I’ve lived a fulfilling life of my own, I too have squandered a few of my own years. So I have either lived, or ignored, the life tips I now share.
My earliest memory of collecting these tips was on a train somewhere in Europe in the 1980s, during my time in the military. In those first years away from home, I met a lot of new and strange people. I gained a keen interest in observing human behavior in those early years, and it’s become a sort of hobby of mine to study and figure out why we do what we do, both the stupid and the brilliant things.
A handful of years after my time in the military, I found myself serving in the Peace Corps in South America. It was then that I realized I was onto something when it came to living a fulfilling life. But just as soon as I was living life on my own terms, I fell into the rut that so many of us fall into. You know the tune: Get married, start a career, have kids, buy a house and lots of stuff, get comfortable with sports, politics, and entertainment.
I let it happen to me despite my better intentions.
And so the title of my book is very intentional. I have probably only followed about half of the tips I propose. Life is weird like that. We typically know what we should do when traveling down the road of life, yet we do the opposite. Or at best we play out our own genius versions of “doing life,” thinking that what hasn’t worked for millions of others will somehow produce rainbows and unicorns for ourselves.
I’ve seen much in my many years, travels, and experiences. And my hope is that you can learn from both my victories and my failures. My soapbox is built from the eternal struggle between a life lived on one’s own terms, and a life lived on society’s terms.
The saddest thing I can imagine is a person reaching the end of their life and realizing it was a complete waste. Perhaps my first and greatest tip is: Find your purpose in life and fight to fulfill it at all costs.
I am determined to do so myself. I hope you will too.
So, I’ll be sharing some of my 14,870 Life Tips here as I start putting the book together. If you’d like to provide feedback or share some your own Life Tips, contact me at: