Quietly Inspire & Manage Expectations

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If you assume people are going to have the high standards that you might have, think again. You’ll likely be let down. But this should not stop you from keeping high standards and behaving like you should, regardless.

Unfortunately, more people than you might imagine have poor etiquette, lack proper social skills, manners and general discipline that parents would hope their children have.Read More »

Lessons from a Dying 94-yr old

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About 6-years ago, I sympathetically befriended an elderly man, a Hungarian holocaust survivor who reminded me of my father. In the sunset of his life at age 88, he had outlived all of his family and, unfortunately, never had any children.   When I met Steven, I was immediately struck by his amazing mind and the depth of his repertoire. I also was saddened by how lonely his life had become. It seems very ironic that a man with so much richness to share had nobody with whom to share it. Over the next 6-years, I spent hours and hours just listening to him speak – some of the most interesting stories I have ever heard. Having survived the holocaust and subsequently living in 4 different countries, you might imagine the topics of discussion.

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Soft Landing at Home

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Do you look forward to going home? Does ‘home’ feel comfortable, warm and inviting? I’ve learned that the more that home feels like a ‘soft landing’, the better off you’ll be. Here’s why… No matter what happens during the day, no matter how challenging or difficult, how exhausting or biting, it will always be simply a matter of hours until you return to your soft landing. Knowing you have a soft landing waiting helps you get through almost anything that life throws your way!Read More »

Salary vs. True Compensation

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While earning money is great, it should never be the only form of compensation you receive. In fact, there are actually many formats of compensation, including, but not limited to, intellectual stimulation, learning valuable skills, gaining important experience, enjoyment, meeting interesting people (perhaps life-long friends), seeing interesting places, feeling fulfilled, etc. Read More »

Life Goes Fast!

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We all know that time seems to move faster and faster as we age. The older we get, the more the days and weeks literally seem to rocket by. The biggest marker of this for me is how fast the seasons change. When I was in school, I recall feeling that school holidays like spring break or Christmas break were quite lengthy. Today, 3 summer months feels more like 3 weeks with the leaves beginning to change in fall before I’ve even properly settled into the summer. Then the holidays hit and then the winter. Then another year gone.   What does all this suggest?  Read More »

Smarter First Dates

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After many years of dating, I have found there to be several important fundamental rules to help make dating a more productive and positive experience for you and your date. While we all have different styles / modes when going on dates and there are lots of variables to consider, I believe that the following rules should be applied on every first date:Read More »

Beyond Your Comfort Level

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In almost all cases, it is more rewarding, interesting and enriching to challenge yourself instead of maintaining some sort of familiar routine. At the same time, it’s common to feel safer and more comfortable when keeping familiar routines, avoiding new experiences, people and places. The Smarter Sooner guy, however, will challenge this and push beyond his comfort level at every opportunity. In the past few years, I’ve done this with greater frequency and have gained so much. I only wish that I spent less time cautiously staying too comfortable and more time pushing myself earlier in life. Opportunities to challenge yourself happen all the time and can be big or small things. We know we’re challenging ourselves when we feel a sense of discomfort or nervousness associated with new experiences and undertakings. When we feel this slight discomfort, we are ‘pushing beyond our comfort level’ and here are some common examples.Read More »

The Need for Recognition

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When you accomplish something that is noteworthy, do you prefer that other people know so you can get some sort of ‘credit’ or acknowledgement? Would you rather have an audience so you can ‘prove yourself’ or make some sort of statement in front of them? If you make a donation to a charity, do you like to have your name attached to it so that people know you generously donated? Do you seek acknowledgement in general? Most of us, if being honest, will respond YES to these questions. It is common human nature to want credit because this credit, in our minds, helps shape (or augments) how we are perceived.Read More »

“Men Have Become Tools of Their Tools”

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The title of this blog is a famous quote from Henry David Thoreau. And while he said this about 170 years ago with an intended meaning that is a bit different than my blog’s use of the quote, it’s very relevant. Here’s the SmarterSooner interpretation… Simply put, the more we have, the more we complicate our lives. And, in fact, we become the tools of our tools. While human nature drives us to want more because we think it will enhance our lives, the opposite is often the case.   This notion is captured well in the following saying about buying a new expensive toy like a fancy car or boat: “The two best days of Porsche (or other fancy, expensive toys) ownership are the day you buy it and the day you sell it.” I have learned a lot about this over the years and share a number of examples that support this below. I hope this blog provokes you to think about your interaction with material things.Read More »