45 Things I’ve Learned in My 45 Years on Earth

The other night, I was flying back from the west coast and found myself on a flight without wifi and in a rare situation where I was fairly caught up on e-mail/work. Instead of sleeping or reading my latest issue of Rolling Stone, I got thinking about how lucky I was 45 years into my life and all of the things that I had learned along the way. I was skeptical at first that I could come up with 45 lessons (to match my age) but low and behold once I started writing they managed to flow.

ocean

Many of you that know me have already seen this on Facebook (apparently it struck a nerve as I received over 200 likes and north of 85 comments as of the writing of this post). But given the ephemeral nature of Facebook and the fact that I would like to be able to hold onto these little “Stroutisms” as someone called them, I am pasting them over here on my now-seldom-used blog for safe keeping.

I amy also add to these over time in the comments. Feel free to do the same if you are so inclined:

Sitting on a plane with no wifi and thinking about some of the things I’ve learned over the course of my 45 years on this planet. Here are 45 things in no particular order:

  1. Raising children is the hardest job you will ever have.
  2. Raising children is the most rewarding job you will ever have.
  3. Being in love is an amazing feeling.
  4. Being in love with the same woman for 20 years is an even more amazing feeling.
  5. One of the keys to keeping a marriage alive is good communication.
  6. Another key to keeping a marriage alive is being willing to meet your spouse halfway. On everything.
  7. Dusk is my favorite time of the day.
  8. The ocean is one of the most remarkable things on this planet. If you live near it, never take it for granted.
  9. Everything in moderation… including moderation.
  10. I was incredibly lucky to grow up with two wonderful parents and four equally wonderful grandparents.
  11. No matter how many times I fly on a plane, I am amazed that something that big/heavy can fly.
  12. Nothing quite as good as tomatoes fresh out of the garden.
  13. Anything that is good in life is worth working for.
  14. If you don’t love your job, quit. Seriously.
  15. I have been lucky to always work at places where I have enjoyed and respected my colleagues.
  16. A good night sleep is underrated.
  17. Never stop learning.
  18. Never stop listening to new music. Ask your friends, kids, neighbors and colleagues for recommendations.
  19. I am still pissed that Jimi Hendrix, Kurt Cobain and Layne Staley died too early.
  20. Few things beat sitting on the patio/porch/deck in the morning with a cup of coffee.
  21. Okay, sitting on the patio/porch/deck in the early evening with a cool drink might beat a cup of coffee in the morning.
  22. There is something magical about a bonfire or a fire in the fireplace for that matter.
  23. Bacon should be its own food group. True story, I didn’t eat bacon for 20 years. I am now making up for lost time.
  24. It’s important to provide guidelines and discipline and firm boundaries for your children.
  25. It’s equally important to transgress guidelines and boundaries with your kids once in a while.
  26. If you have something to do, get it done first. Procrastinating just makes the time in between the present and what you have to do miserable.
  27. Writing a book is hard.
  28. Writing a blog consistently is hard.
  29. Running 3-4 times a week is hard.
  30. Writing a book is one of the most amazing things you will ever do.
  31. Writing a blog consistently is cathartic.
  32. Running 3-4 times a week feels good. And is good for you.
  33. Don’t ever take yourself too seriously.
  34. Compliment at least one person every day.
  35. Seeing a baseball game at Fenway Park at least once in a lifetime should be everyone’s bucket list.
  36. Having a soul mate makes life immeasurably easier.
  37. Tell your children you love them at least once a day – even when you are mad at them. Same with your significant other.
  38. There is a reason God gave us two ears and one mouth. I am still working on listening more and talking less.
  39. Given a choice, I will choose plain cheese pizza over those with toppings.
  40. There are few things tastier than vanilla ice cream topped with hot fudge.
  41. People are inherently good.
  42. There are no such things as absolutes in politics but rather shades of gray.
  43. Be comfortable in your own skin.
  44. The older I get, the less I realize I know.
  45. I love being 45.

 

SXSW Best Bars, Restaurants, Panels & Pro Tips from W2O

Looking for the “best of” SXSW Interactive this year? Look no further. The W2o Group team has put together a content capsule with lists of best bars, restaurants and panels, videos, survival tips and more. Got additional goodness to add? Throw ‘em in the comments.


Happy SXSW!

Austin Breakfast Places FTW

The other day, our family decided we wanted to break out of our normal habits of eating breakfast at Magnolia and Torchy’s so I asked my Austin friends where they suggested we should try next. The original thread on Facebook is here. In the spirit of sharing, I have created a blog post with each […]

[Continue reading...]

Are You Ready for Some Football?

Yup, NFL season kicks off tonight. For many of us, this is like Christmas in September. After several long months of waiting, dealing with offseason moves/arrests etc., we’ve finally arrived at day one. To celebrate this momentous occasion, several of my W2O Group colleagues — led by Michael Westgate — have put together a social ranking […]

[Continue reading...]

My Wife the Community Manager

melanie

It’s funny how things turn out sometimes. As someone that has worked in the digital/mobile/social space for the last 20 years, I’ve always spent my fair share of time exploring what’s new on the Internet. Testing out new technologies. Embracing new mobile apps and even writing a book on the phenomena that is location-based marketing. […]

[Continue reading...]

Think(ing) Like Zuck: 5 Facebook Marketing Tips

Originally posted on WCG’s blog on 1/15/2013. When I agreed to review Ekaterina Walter’s new book, Think Like Zuck: The Five Business Secrets of Facebook’s Improbably Brilliant CEO Mark Zuckerberg, I immediately tried to think of a way to make the book review special. After all, Ekaterina is not only a friend (and client) but […]

[Continue reading...]

2013 Predictions from a Bunch of “Dummies”

As we roll into the new year, it’s always a great time for us marketers to look ahead to what is in store for us. This year, I wanted to take a unique approach to my predictions of 2013 by asking some of my fellow Dummies book authors to provide their perspective within their specific […]

[Continue reading...]

Explaining the Explainer (animation for marketing)

SS alter_ego

Guest post by friend and digital smarty, Susanne Schantz, Co-Founder of Small Island Studio You may have noticed a small explosion in the number of animated videos on the web lately. They are everywhere now, especially the (sort of) ubiquitous one-minute ‘Explainer Video’. Why are animated videos so compelling, and so Zeitgeist right now? What […]

[Continue reading...]

Location Based Marketing for Business

This was originally posted on WCG’s blog. This morning, I had the pleasure of moderating a panel titled “On the Location-Based Services Horizon” at the second annual Foodservice Social Media Universe (FSMU for short). Joining me on the panel were three of the smartest folks not only in the restaurant industry but also in the […]

[Continue reading...]

Vintank Shows Us the Future of CRM for Vertical Industries

SocialHome

With the volume of conversations that take place online today — literally exabytes worth — I’m constantly amazed by some companies’ lack of monitoring/leveraging these conversations to improve marketing, product development and customer service. In some ways, ignoring this information is tantamount to having a group of your best customers sitting down in your companies’ […]

[Continue reading...]