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Life Lessons from an 80-year-old

     Byron Wien, of Blackstone Advisory Partners, decided to list the life lessons that he has learned in the eighty years of his life. What especially caught my attention was that he wrote these and wrote that he is determined to apply these during the next 80 years. I like that positive thinking!  Here are his abbreviated thoughts:

  1. Concentrate on finding a big idea that will make an impact on the people you want to influence.   If you want to be successful and live a long, stimulating life, keep yourself at risk intellectually all the time.
  2. Network intensely.   Nurture your network by sending articles, books and emails to people to show you’re thinking about them.  Write op-eds and thought pieces for major publications.  Organize discussion groups to bring your thoughtful friends together.
  3. Get enough sleep.  Seven hours will do until you’re sixty, eight from sixty to seventy, nine thereafter which might include eight hours at night and a one hour afternoon nap.
  4. Evolve.  Try to think of your life in phases so you can avoid a burn-out.  Do the numbers crunching in the early phase of your career.  Try developing concepts later on.  Stay at risk throughout the process.
  5. Travel extensively.  Try to get everywhere before you wear out.  Attempt to meet local interesting people where you travel and keep in contact with them throughout your life.  See them when you return to a place.
  6. When meeting someone new, try to find out what formative experience occurred in their lives before they were seventeen.  It is my belief that some important event in everyone’s youth has an influence on everything that occurs afterwards.
  7. On philanthropy,  my approach is to try to relieve pain rather than spread joy.  Music, theatre and art museums have many affluent supporters, give the best parties and it can add to your social luster in a community.  They don’t need you.  Social service, hospitals and educational institutions can make the world a better place and help the disadvantaged make their way toward the American dream.
  8. Younger people are naturally insecure and tend to overplay their accomplishments.  Most people don’t become comfortable with who they are until they’re in their 40’s.  By that time they can underplay their achievements and become a nicer more likeable person.  Try to get to that point as soon as you can.
  9. Take the time to pat those who work for you on the back when they do good work.  Most people are so focused on the next challenge that they fail to thank the people who support them.  It is important to do this.  It motivates and inspires people and encourages them to perform at a higher level.
  10. When someone extends a kindness to you, write them a hand-written note, not an e-mail.  Handwritten notes make an impact and are not quickly forgotten.
  11. At the beginning of every year think of ways you can do your job better than you have ever done it before.  Write it down and look at what you have set out for yourself when the year is over.
  12. Never retire.  If you work forever, you can live forever.  I know there is an abundance of biological evidence against this, but I’m going with this theory anyway.

      Well, those are his thoughts, his recipe on life. Almost a recipe for getting things accomplished. And for pic o’ day, here’s a recipe of a different kind:

recipe

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