Seven Observations for My 24 Year-old Self ⋆ Politicrossing
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Life

Seven Observations for My 24 Year-old Self

In the end, your life largely will be what you make it

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If I only had seven things I could tell myself at age 24; reflecting on all that I’ve learned in observance since then, it might be difficult. Nevertheless, here are seven “gems of wisdom” that I think would help any 24-year-old today, and that certainly would have helped me back then.

1. Stay Positive, it Will Be Okay

Generally speaking, most of the personal concerns that you have at 24 will have long worked themselves out by 30, 35, or 40. Much of what seems to be urgent, or crucial to your future well-being and happiness, proves to be less so with the passage of time. Then, looking back, you think to yourself, why was I so agitated?

2. Maintain Your Health All Along

I’ve had many friends at varying ages, in their 40s, 50s, 60s, who’ve had surgery for this and that, who are limited in mobility, or who have passed away. Health is not something to take lightly even in your mid twenties.

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Once you begin the slippery slope towards not maintaining your health, it’s difficult to get it back. If you maintain healthy habits all along, get proper sleep, maintain a good diet, and exercise regularly, even after many decades, you still can be adept at most of what you could do in your 20s.

3. Friends Come and Go

Some stay with you for a lifetime, some are your friends during eras in your life, and some vanish rather quickly. Predictably, somebody who you thought was a close friend will betray you, or abandon you, or otherwise seem distant. You might exert considerable energy seeking to win that friend back, and rarely does it work.

The friends we make by high school and college seem to become more important with each passing year. Yet, you can make good friends, even great friends, at any age. You have to be open to the possibility.

4. Watch Your Finances

The fastest and most effective way to maintain control of your finances is to construct a 12-month cash flow. When you plot your projected income versus your projected expenses, you gain the best picture of your cash position at the end of each month. There is no substitute for doing this.

I have maintained a cash flow projection for myself starting at age 24. Moreover, since becoming an entrepreneur in my mid 30s, and working for myself all these years, my projected cash flow has been an invaluable tool. My daughter adopted the practice after running into some financial difficulties. Now she’s keeps her head financially above water all of the time.

5. Earth Is Fascinating, and Chilling

Altruism, beauty, and grace are all around us, but so is greed, the quest for power, fanaticism, and lust. Some people will do whatever it takes to get what they want: ravage the environment, trample on others, or act as if maintaining what we have for future generations is not important. Such behavior occurs on the left, right, and middle of the political spectrum. Even environmental, civic, and charitable groups are not without their own faux pas. Keep looking for the good in others.

6. Learn to Trust Your Instincts

The intuition and instincts that we’ve developed since we were small lead us well. Many people minimize or ignore their internal feelings in favor of someone else’s opinion, especially in this day and age of social media. However, the wisdom of following “the beat of your own drum” is as good now as ever.

Your brain, heart, and gut all function for you around the clock, and can provide direction without you having to engage in considerable analysis. Once you tap these amazing mechanisms, don’t be surprised if your decision-making capabilities improve. You have it within you.

7. Only You, the Whole Way Through

From now ’til the end of your life, however long it might be, you are the only person who will accompany you every step of the way, on every interview, on every trip, and on every encounter. Your life is a do-it-to-yourself proposition and a work in progress.

Blaming others, or citing nebulous factors that keep you from getting what you want, is a prescription for mediocrity. Fortunately, most people, most of the time, have the power to move from where they are to where they want to be, and so do you.

 

In the end, your life largely will be what you make it. And that is wonderful news.

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Jeff Davidson is the world's only holder of the title "The Work-Life Balance Expert®" as awarded by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. He is the premier thought leader on work-life balance, integration, and harmony. Jeff speaks to organizations that seek to enhance their overall productivity by improving the effectiveness of their people. He is the author of Breathing Space, Simpler Living, Dial it Down, and Everyday Project Management. Visit www.BreathingSpace.com for more information on Jeff's keynote speeches and seminars, including: Managing the Pace with Grace® * Achieving Work-Life Balance™ * Managing Information and Communication Overload®



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Education

‘Anti-Racists’ are Racist: Do Not Apologize for Being White

‘Anti-racists’ claim that whites, by virtue of their skin color, are detrimental to society

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Ibram X. Kendri, the bigoted professor from Boston University and director of their Center for Antiracist Research, says that whiteness is a problem for all of society, indeed for the entire globe. Who knew?!

Kendri, who was included in Time’s 100 Most Influential People of 2020, seemingly knows a lot about white people. In fact, he professes to know about every white person in America if not all over the world.

Me? I’m one of those people who merely gets up every day, brushes his teeth, gets dressed, eats a decent breakfast, and goes to work. I had no inkling that in the U.S. and other western nations white people like me had been “socialized to feel that they are inherently superior because they are white.” How naive I have been all these years!

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Now I discover that to be “less white” is a virtue! It requires one to be “less oppressive, less arrogant, less certain, less defensive, less ignorant,” and, more humble, more willing to listen, more willing to believe, and, get this, “to break with the apathy” that white people like me exhibit and “to break with white solidarity.”

Woke Institutions and Brainwashed Authors

White solidarity? Darn, nobody told me about this. Thank goodness it’s all become so clear thanks to enlightened (white) authors such as Robin DiAngelo, who wrote the thoroughly racist and condescending book White Fragility, and thanks to companies such as Coca-Cola which have the foresight to impose programs for its white employees, to be less white.

When there’s a challenge in front of me, I actually do strive to find the right answer, particularly something related to numbers. I will collaborate on occasion, but most of the time I prefer to figure out things for myself, aided by the “all-knowing” Internet.

Am I arrogant, oppressive,  defensive, or ignorant? No one has ever brought this up. Being white, however, I guess I can’t help it! I don’t seek to inhibit the success of others, but I’m now informed that by virtue of my skin color I am detrimental to society. Mea culpa!

The Anti-Racist Racists

With Coca-Cola and other organizations teaching white people to be less white, I’m wondering, will the sequel be how Asians can be less yellow and Indians can be less brown? In America, both groups seem to excel academically. Perhaps only domineering Caucasians, particularly 60+ white males like me, however, are the ones upsetting the apple cart all over society.

Was I given a free pass for the last 40 years? I mean, all the while nobody mentioned my whiteness as a social and cultural problem. My black friends from Little League, high school, various hiking groups, and other groups around town haven’t said squat. So, up ’til now, presumably, I was doing okay. Perhaps they’ve merely been nice to me while whispering behind my back.

Heeding the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., I thought our common goal was to live in harmony and to reach a state of color blindness where people were judged by the content of their character and not by their skin color. Hmmm…  I guess that is no longer in play.

I’m wondering, what would MLK conclude about today? Would he speak up against the propensity of the Left to define everybody else by class, sex, or race? Would he be opposed to pitting young against old, rich against poor, black against white, rural against urban, male against female, and all the other phony dichotomies that the Left relentlessly promulgates each day?

Absurd From the Get-Go

Imagine the unending uproar if someone drew up a list of how hundreds of millions of black people all over the world could become “less black.” The  absurdity of regarding all white people, hundreds of millions of them, as having a general set of characteristics, let alone having those characteristics be detrimental to society, is the grand facade of the ages.

How long will “woke” organizations maintain this illusion? Have they been coerced to the point where they’re afraid to say, “This is ridiculous, and needs to stop now”? [Actually, they have been coerced.] Will decades pass before we see the end of this malarkey?

I do not apologize for being a white person, just as no person of color has to apologize for their ethnic background, skin color, race, or religion. If you’re a good citizen who respects the rights of others, that, my friend, is sufficient.

Morgan Freeman, who played God in the movie Bruce Almighty, wishes we would do away with Black History month and merely have history. Freeman also wants us to stop regarding individuals as black and white and simply let people be people. Amen to that.

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Life

Finding Meaning in Daily Activities, Even Now

You are creating your life every day; every choice you make determines the quality of your life

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If you’re like me, each day you shudder to think what new, nation-destroying ploy, or blunder, the Biden administration will foist upon us next. In our own lives, nevertheless, while awaiting November 2022 and the chance to take back the Senate and House, we have the opportunity to find meaning nearly each day.

In her book, My Grandfather’s Blessings, Rachel Remen tells a story about a doctor who had to deliver a baby in the hallway of the emergency room area. He had delivered other babies but not like this. While swabbing the baby’s face, she opened her eyes and looked right at him: he was the first person she had ever seen.

This experience changed the doctor’s way of proceeding. He regarded this as sacred moment. He remembered why he chose this line of work. He felt validated. His cynicism fell away. He became more invigorated, more inspired, and started to interact with more of his patients and his co-workers. Soon, he was invited to events he had never participated in before. His whole world opened up.

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Now, he seeks such moments constantly.

A Capacity that Builds

Finding meaning is a capacity that we build, like a muscle. When you first started in your current career position, finding meaning was not an issue. You were excited. There was so much you wanted to do. You had all kinds of plan. Then, years passed.

Little by little you became jaded perhaps. Why did I choose this line of work? Why can’t I find competent help? Why are customer or clients so demanding?

It is possible, even now in this time of turmoil, to reinvent yourself on the job, to rediscover what initially attracted you to this profession and what the current possibilities might be. Sometimes the re-awakening is triggered by attending a conference or convention, taking a course, reading a vital book, or spending time with a colleague or peer.

Goodbye to Yesterday

Today and the days that follow do not have to be extensions of what came before. You do not have to proceed into the future looking through a rear view mirror. A world of choices awaits, even if in the same old position you’ve been holding down for years.

Will you make new choices? And what will drive those choices?

Discovering or rediscovering meaning is about getting clear on what’s most important to you and aligning your choices with those priorities. It’s about living and working with intention instead of operating on autopilot or by default, where one day looks exactly like the next.

So, What Matters Right Now?

Start by identifying what’s most important to you …today, not what was important five, ten, or 20 years. Is it creativity, or perhaps collaboration? Maybe it’s impact or flexibility?

Next, identify what professional – and this might be different than your current profession! – and personal goals align with those priorities. What does living or working more creativity look like? If, say, collaboration matters to you, how can you incorporate more collaboration into the work you do?

From here, you’ll want to pinpoint actions or choices that support those goals. Where are your current choices in or out of alignment with what you’ve identified as most important? What new, more intentional choices can you make?

Each and Every Day

Consider this: You are creating your life every day. Every choice you make, action or inaction, determines the quality of your life. If not now, when: Making the choice to live and work with intention and in alignment is the key to cultivating a life of meaning and fulfillment.

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