Growing up I had questions. Sometimes I got answers and sometimes I didn’t. Sometimes the things I wondered seemed silly. Sometimes the things I wondered I didn’t even know what to ask about?!? There were times I just wanted to know what was going through other people’s minds at the same time in their life. Sometimes I wanted to know more about how my parents handled/would handle a particular situation.
Help you with your questions?!?! Well, that’s what I’d like to do. Sometimes in the day-to-day, it is hard to sit down and talk through every little situation. I do not pretend to have all the answers. There are so many places and people to get information from. The real Bible (as opposed to this worldly one), textbooks, teachers, books, preachers, bosses, family, internet, etc. I learn something new each day about the rock we live on, others, and myself. Since we are linked via our little family tree I offer these write-ups for you to read and look back to from time to time as you go about your life. I think I’ll grow by just writing this to you guys regularly over the years and expect that I’ll learn from you in the process as well. In the end, when I meet my maker you’ll have it. A little piece of me can live on alongside you. Maybe you’ll pass it along and my words will tag along with future little rug rats in the Dean family tree! Maybe you’ll liken these to the ramblings of a mad man and cast them aside!?! Regardless, I hope the things I write about in the coming years help you in life and explain a little about why I do the things I do.
So, I do not make any claim that anything you will read here is on par with the real Bible in wisdom. But this is kinda what you are stuck with, unfortunately!?!? For that you can blame the great creator I guess! Regardless, I hope it helps!
Tenet: a principle, belief, or doctrine generally held to be true; especially: one held in common by members of an organization, movement, or profession
Several different tenets have lead me in everything I have and will do in my life. I believe these tenets have served me well. Over the years I’ve tweaked how I use them but the underlying principle still drives the direction. Almost everything I write about in this will come back to these specific tenets. I will start with this and cover each of these in detail. After that, I’ll just pick topics that are on my mind and write about those but you will see how almost everything will probably tie back to these tenets. These are in no particular order and some are probably more important than others.
- Personal Responsibility – Own your life and your decisions.
- Balance – Keep things in balance and you will have few regrets.
- Be Well-Rounded – Learn as much as you can about as much as you can.
- Have A BHAG! – Set Big, Hairy, Audacious Goals.
- Don’t Do Things That You Know Ain’t Right – Just act right! So many people get this simple concept wrong.
- Life Is Hard – Our lives are easy in comparison to most BUT life is hard. Be prepared to go to war against a multitude of hard things every day.
- Hard Work – It is frankly easy to outwork most folks…but do it anyway.
- Idle Mind Is A Devils Workshop – Sitting around with not much going on invites bad things…stay busy doing worthwhile things.
- Nothing Bad Can Come From Going To Church – Be humble, reflect, and look for guidance in your life.
- Always Learn / Seek New Knowledge – If you aren’t learning something new you’ve stopped growing.
- Stand On The Backs Of Others (Steal The Good Stuff) – Don’t reinvent the wheel, learn from others. Steal the good and leave behind the bad.
- Time Is The Most Precious Resource – The time you have in your life and how you use it is your most precious resource.
- Focus On Relationships That Truly Matter – Don’t have a lot of acquaintances…have (and focus your energy) on the relationship(s) that truly are important to you and them.
- Think Long Term At All Times – Always think about the long-term benefits (or consequences) of whatever you do.
- Own Where You Work – Don’t spend your life working for someone. Find a way to serve your fellow man and own part of it (or all of it).
- Don’t Gossip (Work Out Your Issues Directly) – Everyone has their version of the truth (and it is usually wrong). Deal directly with folks on important things and don’t talk about folks behind their back.
- Make Your Own Way – Don’t wait on someone else to do something for you…do it yourself.
- Have Goals – Live your life one goal at a time. Cross things off your to-do list, add new things, repeat.
- Luck Follows Hard Work – I’ve found it is funny how luck has found its way into my life and helped make all my hard work more effective. The harder I work the luckier I get.
- Treat Others Like You Would Want To Be Treated – The Golden Rule works in almost every single case. Gandhi said, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” Do the right thing even when others do not.
- Do Things That Make You Happy – Life is too short to do things that do not bring you joy. Find a life where you spend your time doing things that bring you joy.
- Manage Your Finances Closely – I have spent my entire life keeping my finances in order…it gets easier every single day.
- Attitude Is Altitude – To achieve great things you have to have the outlook that you can achieve great things (well before you achieve those great things).
- Be Thankful For Your Blessings – Take time to be thankful for the things you have and for the folks in your life. Do not take good things for granted. Say the words Thank You a lot.
- If It Sounds Too Good To Be True…Run!!!! – If something seems too good to be true I promise it is so don’t waste a second on it. Remember life is hard.
- The Vast Majority Of People Are Inherently Good – You’ll hear a lot about how bad things/people are. You’ll also see that the world rarely ends (it hasn’t yet). Trust humanity and give folks the benefit of a doubt.
- Have Healthy Paranoia – Be paranoid about the things that can disrupt your path in life. Do the things to keep those things from disrupting your life.
- Your Work Is Your Service – If you do what you love you will not work a day in your life. Make your work be your calling to serve your fellow mankind. Make your work a calling. Give it a higher purpose. You’ve been given talents. Use the talents you’ve been given responsibly.
- Know Your Strengths And Weaknesses – To use your strengths and improve your weaknesses you need to know what they are. Use both in your daily journey.
- Do What Others Are Not Doing (Road Less Traveled) – If you find yourself doing what everyone else is not doing you stand a good chance to get a different result than everyone else. Don’t follow the crowd and don’t be afraid to take the hard path.
- There Are Several Billion People In The World Find People You Get Along With – Don’t spend a lot of time with folks you don’t get along with. Go find one (or more) of the several billion people to spend time with. Chances are high that there is someone out there who you can be happy with.
- Grandparents Make Great Friends – Grandparents can be great people to spend time with…probably way better than your current knucklehead friends.
Of course, I’m writing all this in retrospect (that’s kinda the point). I’m approaching 40 and looking back consider my journey so far a big success. A lot of these tenets were taught to me along the way. Many are common quotes/ideas you may hear. I’m not stealing them just passing them along. Many more I learned/honed by seeing them in action. I hope these tenets can become a part of your life and a part of the Dean family life. I hope that my writing about them gives you a leg up and helps you develop a happy life!
Love you so much!
[originally published 1/31/2012]