Tomorrow marks my parents’ 30th wedding anniversary. Not many people have had the fortune of being raised by parents who have stayed together that long. Thank you, Mom and Dad, for picking each other wisely and teaching me the value of a strong partnership. Thank you for making my brother and me a reality and putting up with our shenanigans. We all love you dearly and wish you many more years to come!
- Politics should not be a war or game. It’s a process – and we’re in it together.
- Appreciate everyone. Even if you strongly dislike someone, thank him or her anyway. As genuinely as possible. Gratitude is the social currency of life.
- Experiences are more important than possessions. Food and travel make the spirit of life go ‘round.
- Marry smart. Find a brilliant woman and do your due diligence. Love is more than lust.
- Build something much bigger than yourself – and finish it. My Dad built a city and spent over half of his life doing it. I have a very long way to go.
- It’s okay to listen to the same song a million times. If you love something, why stop doing it?
- Fictional worlds are healthy. They help you spark imagination, engage with art and escape for a few minutes per day.
- Modesty keeps things simple. I can think of no human being more humble than my father. No fuss, no drama, no ego. If any of those things exist in his life, he never brings them home.
- Stay Organized. My father keeps more lists, records, photo journals and data on his life than any man I’ve ever met. He forgets very little, tends to important tasks quickly and keeps life together like no other.
- Don’t sweat the small stuff. It won’t matter this time next year.
I love you, Dad. Happy Father’s Day.
…is one you can talk to. I find little more therapeutic than coming home to a good conversation. Party friends, work friends and game buddies often make lousy roommates. Find someone with whom you can vent or philosophize. Same applies to the person you marry. Sex only lasts so long – make sure you’re with someone you’ll still be relieved to see and talk to everyday when you’re old and broken.
Busy people often struggle to make ends meet with their loved ones. Life gets out of hand. Before you know it, you miss every meal with him or her and spend no time together except asleep at night. If left unchecked, this can tax your relationship to a bitter end.
If your relationship is truly important to you, you must carve out sacred time for it. One of my teachers in Hollywood, Bruce Botnick, upholds a rare feat in the entertainment industry: he and his wife have been happily married for 43 years. Beyond a pact to stay the uncompromising individuals they each fell in love with in the beginning, a large part of their success as a couple comes from sacred time together. To this day, they still go on dates and get to know each other. Bruce’s stories are a charm to hear – and he spouts them like a giddy schoolboy. A man in true love.
Spending time together is one of the keys to keeping a union healthy. Many forget or neglect it, especially couples that have been together forever. As unromantic as it sounds, you must schedule time for love. Make those blocks of time sacred and let no one take them away.
Dig deeper, push boundaries, and put up a fight – together.
Growing up is not about age or education; it’s about reaching your next milestone. After college, milestones get fuzzy and unique to each person. For some, marriage is the next logical step. For others, a job promotion. What’s your next logical step? It’s okay if you do not know right now. You’ll know when the time is right.
One thing is certain: you’re the only one who can decide when it’s time to grow up. No one else can decide for you. It’s really rare to be promoted without you asking for it first. You’re the only one who can decide when you’re done paying your dues. Likewise, successful marriages build out of mutual consent – each partner agrees it’s time to take the next step together.
Other people can make suggestions, but only you can put one foot in front of the other.
Do not be afraid to opt out of something if you’ve done everything you can to improve the situation. Marriages, jobs, partnerships, friends with bad habits, group projects, hobbies, gatherings, etc. If it’s not working out for you and you’ve taken reasonable measures to fix things, there’s no point in suffocating yourself anymore. It’s not cowardice; it’s logic. Sometimes quitting is the best way to improve your life, the lives of your partners, and the lives of others who care about you. Imagine all the possibilities of what you can do without that burden, time drain, and commitment. Do not be afraid to quit and go do those things.