Yesterday I watched 6 live childbirths.
It gives you a newfound respect for women. It’s unusual to see a tiny person come out of such a small hole. Yet mother nature makes it happen.
My wife wants me to watch live births to be prepared for the big day. She knows I can’t stand hospitals. I go as white as a ghost the moment I set foot in one. Or a kind nurse pulls out a needle.
So this day has been in my head for years.
How do you help your wife give birth when you’ll likely drop to the floor the moment your baby makes her way out? I have no clue. But I’ll happily tell you the answer after it’s all over 🙂
If it’s not the baby that knocks me out, I suspect it might be the placenta. It looks like an organ. And live organs in front of my eyes make me vomit — one reason why I don’t eat meat, because I can’t cook it.
When kiddo arrives these are the principles for life I’m going to teach her. They’re perfect for adults too.
1. The best parts of life are the challenges, not the comforts
People hate failure.
They get upset at losing their job, getting divorced, or seeing someone they love die. This is normal behavior.
But when you get old enough you realize these challenges are opportunities, and the comforts of life are boring as hell.
Hope for the challenges because that’s where progress is found. Challenges wake you up and get you back on track.
2. “Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius and it’s better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring.”
As you go through school kiddo they’re going to try to make you conform.
They want you to follow their script so you can enter the economy and be a good little worker. When you study music, like I did, you’re taught that the imperfections are what make the song good.
It’s the mistakes, the accidental edits, the random note … great musicians go mad trying to create these moments. They call it their muse. When they don’t find it they call it writer’s block. Sounds ridiculous, right?
The people we remember though are ridiculous and wild. Be that instead of a boring sheep.
3. Irritations lead to a better understanding of yourself
All of us get pissed off at times kiddo.
The master stroke is to dig deeper and understand why you’re pissed off. Often it’s because of some unfulfilled need inside of you that you’ve been putting off.
We see it with the rich versus poor battle all the time.
People aren’t actually pissed off with Jeff Bezos and his billions of dollars. They’re pissed off with how they managed their finances.
4. Food is energy for the mind (but this one sucks)
So kiddo you’ll be born (mostly) allergic to animal products.
Your mother and I haven’t eaten them for years. While in mommy’s belly you got none of it so your tiny body will struggle.
This might seem like a curse. Most other kids won’t have this problem.
You’ll grow to love our decision though as you experience less inflammation and fewer sick days. A properly nourished body can think better and not be held back by all-too-common brain fog.
We don’t have to eat animals to live. Plants are just fine to dine on.
5. It’s okay to be whatever you want when you grow up
The traditional advice is to go to college and get a good job.
There are a lot of baked-in assumptions. Humans aren’t linear creatures. We like to change our minds and try new stuff. We don’t fit perfectly into round holes. Some of us are squares. I’m a freaking triangle.
Don’t let anyone tell you what to do with your life when you grow up. Oh, and you never grow up. You’re never too old to have childlike imagination and that type of annoying 5-year-old curiosity many parents hate.
Stay curious kiddo.
6. We’re lucky to be born in civilized countries
You hit the jackpot with the birth lottery kiddo.
Not everyone comes from here. Many would kill to live in Australia. So don’t talk to strangers from other countries like they have the same as you. The basics we have here are luxuries in other places.
One of your jobs in life is to take these luxuries and use them to help those who don’t have any.
7. Your greatest asset can be taken away at a moment’s notice
Papa lost his excellent hearing last year.
Now all I hear is a high-pitched ringing sound that makes it hard to go to sleep. I’m hoping your cries through the night help to relieve the sound. People told me to dislike your cries. But papa can’t wait to hear them.
Don’t take hearing for granted.
Headphones slowly ruin your hearing, so listen to music on speakers and wear earplugs at concerts.
8. There are no big girl toys without hard work
The worst thing parents do is spoil their kids.
There’ll be none of that in our household. We work for what we get and we’re grateful for it. Too many disaster kids that become criminals and go on to do heavy drugs suffer from excess.
“Just enough” leads to the real good life.
9. A lack of feedback is a modern-day epidemic
Feedback triggers egos.
That’s why the norm on social media is to block people who leave you nasty comments. This is bad. The same lessons will get taught to you over and over until you listen to the feedback instead of ignoring it.
Even the trolls occasionally say something true.
And remember … feedback is an opinion, so don’t let it ruin your day.
10. Fame is a nightmare
Kiddo you’ll be brought up in the TikTok generation.
Many people will make you think it’s a good idea to be popular and rack up the ‘likes.’ Take it from me: it’s a nightmare.
Aim to make a difference rather than be popular. That’s how you feel good about life.
11. Greatness isn’t a solo sport
Teams build dreams.
Author Ryan Holiday gets his name on the book cover but there’s a team behind it. Every noble endeavor is that way.
So your job in life is to be a recruiter of people to build your team. Then channel that energy toward a worthy goal.
Everything else is loneliness in disguise.
12. This is the one life skill you must master to be successful
Those who succeed all have one common trait: they can sell.
The true meaning of “sales” is to persuade. That involves presenting arguments and understanding both sides. Then getting good at handling objections rather than accepting a no as the final truth.
If you learn to persuade with honesty, you become unstoppable.
13. Reality isn’t as simple as labels tell us it is
Black or white. Left or right. Blue or red state. Smart or dumb. Rich or poor.
This is how we become racist, divisive, imbeciles. No one is 100% anything. Don’t let labels help pit you against other humans. We’re all a little from column A and a little from column B if we dig deep enough.
The goal isn’t to hate. It’s to love.
14. How you treat others determines your success
Not when anyone is watching either.
As cheesy as it sounds it’s about being kind to one another. Kindness is a skill we have as kids but forget as adults. The economic competition forces us to treat each other as numbers instead of humans.
Once you unlock humanity you unlock a hidden third door in life. Everything starts to become easier. Your work looks effortless.
15. Life is nothing but a series of dots
I learned this from Steve Jobs.
Humans create dots through wins, losses, moments, and choices. The life we live places an imperfect line through these dots.
The dots form a beautiful picture of your life looking back.
But knowing how the dots will connect is impossible. So all you can do is hope each day that the dots will connect and the outcome will be better than you hoped.
The dots have joined nicely in my life, but for the love of the almighty, I can’t tell you how or why. Life is full of nothing but spontaneous miracles.
Believe in the dots.
16. Experience is stupidly overrated
Push back whenever you hear someone praise experience or require it.
Most experienced people have such a fixed mind they can’t even try a different type of bread. The ability to change your mind is what matters.
17. High IQ causes people to doubt themselves
It’s why people with average intelligence like me produce above-average results that look like dumb luck.
I’m not smart enough to experience doubts about my goals. Doubt requires intelligence and solid rationale. I prefer to trust my gut and lead with my heart. So don’t worship intelligence … it doesn’t determine success.
18. When the work is easy it lacks satisfaction
The aim is to choose hard goals in life.
Hard creates the real fulfillment. The journey one goes through with a difficult challenge is far more interesting than the result. You never forget the journey. But results that create trophies are forgettable snoozefests.
19. Focus on patience games
The world loves short term.
Short-term pleasures offer the addictive drug of dopamine. So much of society is hooked on the hidden drug and they don’t even know it. Sad.
People rarely think about the costs of their decisions decades on. They just do what makes them feel good in the moment.
If you play life games that require patience, it’s hard not to get what you want in life. There are very few players and a lot of opportunities.
20. Be slightly more vulnerable than is comfortable
Vulnerability looks like weakness to the untrained eye.
It’s where you say more than you probably should and share how you really feel. Papa does this online all the time. People don’t expect it so they bizarrely love it.
Vulnerability is just speaking the truth. Truth sets you free.
21. Papa won’t live forever
No one knows when life ends.
I’ve already had multiple close calls and survived (barely). But daddy loves you very much and will never forget your smile. See you at your birth in roughly 21 days kiddo. We have much to learn together.