I’m always stunned when I’m invited to speak to local groups or organizations. It happened twice last week. (I usually just assume they have some sort of betting pool: Will he wear socks? Will they match? Will he remember to comb his hair? Will he forget his name?)
I’m even more amazed when people ask for my advice. Of course, usually these people are only pretending to ask for advice, as an entre to asking for money. But, sometimes, even after they realize that I’m broker than they are, they still ask for advice!
Any time I’m asked for advice, I dish it out, fairly comfortable that no one’s gonna actually listen to my opinion anyway. Why would they? I’m old, tired, broke, worn-out, over-weight, crippled, hard-of-hearing and rapidly deteriorating: losing my hair, my teeth, and my memory. I dress shabbily, eat like a five year old, and have the social skills of a gnat. What is it about this picture that would compel anyone to say: “Here’s a good idea! I’ll ask HIM for advice!”????
Still, I sometimes get asked, so I feel compelled to comply. (Keep that card and letter coming in.)
There’s already some pretty good advice floating around out there in the cosmos, if you just know where to look for it. I recommend starting with really famous dead people, like Ben Franklin and Abraham Lincoln.
Franklin, it seems, did little more than sit around all day making up advice to give to people: “Early to bed, early to rise… blah, blah, blah.” It’s sound advice. Boring, but sound.. He wrote entire books of sound advice, much of which, I suspect, was borne of his own personal mistakes. “Never fly a kite when it’s lightning.” Experience is the best teacher.
Lincoln’s advice was plain and simple. He offered gems like: “Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.” Good advice. Plain and simple.
Bill Cosby’s not dead, but he offered good advice… about giving advice. He said: “A word to the wise ain't necessary - it's the stupid ones that need the advice.” Cosby’s smart. Of course, most dentists are smart.
While these famous people, both dead and alive, offer pretty swell advice, it sometimes seems a little over-reaching. Healthy, wealthy and wise are lofty goals… but most people I know need more practical day-to-day advice, like how to make the gas pump come on… or what’s the best color of shoes to wear with your lime-green leisure suit.
So, to help the masses along the way, I am today unveiling:
Rod-Boy’s 21 Axioms for Life
(Free advice, and well worth it!)
1. Time is NOT money. Time is time. But a lot of people TRADE their time for money. Ergo, the old (but incorrect) adage: “Time is money”. Of the two, time is actually worth a lot more than money.
2. Don’t sweat the small stuff. And there ain’t really much big stuff.
3. Wear happy shirts.
4. Always remember you're unique, just like everyone else.
5. Remember half the people you know are below average.
6. The sooner you fall behind the more time you'll have to catch up.
7. There are 3 kinds of people: those who can count & those who can't. (That’s not actually advice. It’s just an observation.)
8. Be nice to your kids. They get to choose your nursing home
9. It may be lonely at the top, but you probably eat better.
10. Wear happy shirts.
11. The first step to getting the things you want out of life is this: Decide what you want.
12. If you ever need to make a list of anything, try to make it end up at exactly 21 items… because I think 21 is a lucky number. (Even if you have to include some of the same items more than once!)
13. Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticize them, you're a mile away and you have their shoes.
14. The severity of the itch is inversely proportional to the ability to reach it.
15. Whenever possible, use words like “axiom”, “inversely” and “ergo”
16. A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort.
17. Hard work pays off for your future. Laziness pays off now.
18. It's always darkest before dawn. So if you're going to steal the neighbor's newspaper, that's the time to do it.
19. Never miss a good chance to shut up.
20. Time is what keeps everything from happening all at once.
21. Wear happy shirts.
That’s it for this week. I’m done. (See Axiom 19.)