I don’t want to wait until I’m 90 to make this list. This 2016 I took stock of the things that I learned and experienced in my 45 years. These things put fire in my soul and took my breath away as I try to balance life and work and my different passions as an entrepreneur:
1. Call people by their first name.
2. Stay curious.
3. Be open-minded.
4. Pay it forward.
5. Love unconditionally.
6. Trust people to make their own mistakes.
7. Learn passionately. Unlearn bad things even more fiercely.(tweet this)
8. Hurry slowly.
10. Appreciate people.
11. Say thank you for specific things they do or have done.(tweet this)
12. Say sorry from the heart and look people in the eye.(tweet this)
13. Forgive others… even if they are not sorry. Some people need this encouragement to say sorry.(tweet this)
14. If you can’t let your hair down, then go bald and show your true colors.(tweet this)
15. Be present. Your attention is your gift to others.(tweet this)
16. Be focused. This is your gift to yourself.(tweet this)
17. Learn to brush things off…before they weigh you down. Even feathers, when too many, can make your cap look silly.(tweet this)
18. “No” means you asked the wrong question or the wrong person.
19. Listen not only with your ears but mostly with your heart.(tweet this)
20. Speak from the heart. Or do not speak at all.(tweet this)
21. If people can’t pay you, then don’t lend. Give it to them instead, or let them pay in kind or later.(tweet this)
22. Invite to your parties people who can’t return the favor.
23. Determine in your heart what is the most valuable treasure you have and be ready to give it up for something else that you would later find out as infinitely more valuable.
24. Ask this question often: What is the purpose of it all?(tweet this)
25. “Why” is an excellent 3-letter word. Use it often.(tweet this)
26. Obey, so you can understand. Understand so you can discern. Discern so you can obey.(tweet this)
27. Count your blessings. The same blessing received daily with a thankful heart is blessing multiplied.(tweet this)
28. Count your days right. Remembrance brings you back to your purpose and to the reason why you are counting in the first place.
29. Humor is a sign of humility, especially if you can laugh at yourself.(tweet this)
30. Courage is not only speaking up with conviction but also listening with intent to understand.(tweet this)
31. Fearlessness is not only the daring to be strong but also the willingness to be weak.(tweet this)
32. Failure is not the opposite of success but the prerequisite to success.(tweet this)
33. Be an artist. Improvise and surprise yourself and others.(tweet this)
34. If you can’t be precise and careful, get others who are to join your team.
35. If you can’t be free-flowing and carefree, find others who are.
36. Marvel at the diversity. Search for the glue that will bond your teams together.(tweet this)
37. Be thankful you are not the center of the universe. Hard to bear all that weight on your shoulder.
38. Cherish friends both old and new. Old friends are custodians of your past, new ones can bring fresh perspectives and insights to your experiences.
39. Family is more than blood and a common lineage but also a kindred spirit.
40. Always take the scenic route. Don’t just smell the roses; marvel as well at the wild flowers in your path.
41. Simplicity is not easy. It takes genius and deliberate planning.
42. Respect yourself so you can respect others and others can respect you.(tweet this)
43. Enjoy music in the shower. You can sing even when you are out of tune.(tweet this)
44. Life’s not fair but it is not forever so that’s alright. Do search for what’s eternal.(tweet this)
45. Honor your father and mother so you may be blessed. Bless your children by loving and training them right so it will be easy for them to honor you.(tweet this)
Finally, the wisdom from entrepreneurs and innovators who went ahead of me like #JohnDRockefeller #AndrewCarnegie #JPMorgan inspire me to write my upcoming book L.I.F.E.E. (Life Instructions for Entrepreneurs and Executives), to hurry slowly, and not to take no for an answer. As E.M. Forster said, “At the side of the everlasting why, is a yes, and a yes, and a yes.” Let’s say yes to the ebb and flow of life, both to the ordinary as well as special moments.
David Drake is the Chairman of LDJ Capital, a multi-family office; Victoria Partners, a 300 family office network; LDJ Real Estate Group and Drake Hospitality Group; and The Soho Loft Media Group with divisions Victoria Global Communications,Times Impact Publications, and The Soho Loft Conferences. Reach him directly at David@LDJCapital.com.