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Saturday, December 31, 2016

Sixteen Things I Learned in 2016

By most measures, it’s been a shitbox of a year.  I know, I know – that’s popular sentiment and there were plenty of good things that happened this year, and you’re right – a preponderance of dead celebrities does not a disaster make.  But let’s be honest, for every good thing you can think of, you can think of a dozen terrible things.  We are a country divided – and there is a pending dread that’s simply hard to shake.  That’s why New Year’s Eve is my favorite holiday.  Despite the mind-numblingly intense schmaltz that is New Years in Las Vegas, there is simply no other holiday which generates greater optimism than the start of the new year.  Every culture and every place celebrates the new year – even if not at the same time or even on the same day.  We mark our own lives by celestial trips around the sun and regardless of how arbitrary it may be in the cosmic sense of things, we take this opportunity to do two very important things: reflect and hope.  It is in the spirit of those things that I’d like to avoid simply listing past catastrophes and, rather, take stock of the sixteen most important things I learned this year:

1.    A high EQ is dramatically more valuable than a high IQ.  However, having too little of either will usually spell disaster.
2.     No one reads enough.
3.   If we’re going to universally get rid of shaming, we should first figure out some way to incentivize people to stop being stupid.
4.     It’s always about the relationships.
5.    Fighting, whether in business, your personal life or in general, is a terrible idea and almost always solves nothing.
6.   That said, there are some people whose only hope for redemption is a good ass-whuppin’ (and tragically, they are usually highly unlikely to receive it).
7.   Karma is bullshit.  Evil people keep getting away with evil and good people keep getting stomped.  There is no cosmic ledger that’s balancing.  Make your own "karma."
8.   People care as little about my atheism as I do about their religion.  But if they’re going to recruit – so am I. 
9.     Fortune favors the well-prepared.  Always.
10.  Forgiveness is our greatest capacity as humans – and we don’t use it enough.
11.  It’s better to be with no one than the wrong one.
12.  I can’t decide which two words are more frightening “post truth” or “fake news” – I think I’ll just go with “President Trump.”
13.  There is absolutely no virtue in a lack of education.  None.  That said, there is also no shame in it.
14.  No matter what your preferences, the two universally sexy things are confidence and fitness.  Everything else is subjective.
15.  Plenty of things are worth getting angry over, but precious few of them are worth staying angry over.  Three very important words:  Let.  It.  Go.
16.  Life is tragically short.  Time is our only real commodity.  What and who you spend it on is your only real opinion.  So, keep an eye on the clock tonight… and spend wisely in 2017.

Happy New Year, Everyone.    


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