Lessons Learned 2019

Part I of II

Continuing the tradition I started more than a decade ago while reflecting on the year, here are some of the biggest lessons I learned during the past 12 months:

Gen Why – ‘OK, Boomer’ became a thing this year… and I have to admit – much like mansplaining – it’s real. So often those of us of a certain age think we have all the answers…and are quick to share them with those who haven’t lived as long. While I doubt this is any different than how past generations passed along wisdom, we should realize ‘kids’ today are smart whippersnappers and don’t need our constant input. (Note: I would have used ‘meme’ instead of ‘thing’ in the first sentence except many born between 1946 and 1964 wouldn’t know what it means.)

Travelin’ Man – During my sports television days, I spent a lot of weekends on the road: more than 30 the last year I worked in that industry. Then as the kids entered ‘busy’ years, I changed careers twice and stayed home most of the time to help out with sports and other activities. That held true my first decade as a coach; however, recently I’ve been away a lot more. This year, the number of nights not spent in my own bed was 90. When I told Kathy how much I appreciate her understanding my time away, she said: “Now that the kids are grown, I’m fine with it.”

Big Apple – In my twenties, I twice turned down opportunities to relocate to further my television career. I couldn’t pull the trigger on moving away from my Texas family and friends. Meanwhile… our youngest, a senior in college, just finished a semester with an internship and taking classes in New York City. A decade ago, our oldest spent a summer studying in France. Our son is 25 and lives in Nashville. While it may not hold true for every family, in our house, the next generation is more mobile, flexible and confident than I was at that age.

Bowled Over – On New Year’s night, my beloved Texas Longhorns upset Georgia in the Sugar Bowl – and in the postgame celebration, quarterback Sam Ellinger said, ‘We’re baaack,’ as an exclamation point that nine years of mediocrity was over. Well… Texas went 7-5 this season and it seems the only thing ‘baaack’ is continuing underachievement for the nation’s wealthiest collegiate athletic department. Be careful what you say, and remember success is fleeting, so don’t ever consider things settled.

Free Stylin’ – A few years ago I made a commitment to post to this blog three times each month – and I try hard to honor it. Recently, one of my clients asked what book I’m going to write at age 70… which arrives in 2030. I don’t have the answer; however, I keep sitting down at the keyboard and working on improving my skills. Jerry Seinfeld is credited with the ‘Don’t Break the Chain’ theory about his dedication to writing comedy every single day. That’s a good philosophy to adopt around focusing on all your personal and business goals.

Tomorrow: Atomic Habits


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