- People who advise you to “embrace failure.” Probably good advice, but if I’ve heard it once, I’ve heard it ten thousand times. We get it: Embrace Failure. Let’s move on already. Extra demerits: You have opinions on other completely played-out topics like management vs. leadership and how to optimize your LinkedIn profile.
- People who say “Can I put you on hold for a moment?” and then immediately put me on hold without giving me a chance to sigh ostentatiously and say “If you must.”
- Full-grown adults who tell you how sexually attracted they are to an actor or actress in a movie. Extra demerits: You invent your own fawning vocabulary with words like “droolworthy.” Your ability to be sexually aroused by a fantasy on a movie screen doesn’t enhance my opinion of you at all. Try maintaining a relationship in real life with someone who’s no more attractive than you are, lover boy (or girl).
Notes from the Golden Orange
EppsNet Archive: Advice
My first thought was that this woman should write a book. There are a lot of books out there about how to get a man, how to get a husband . . . how does one assess the credibility of the advice?
Normally a woman who’s markedly overweight and doesn’t have a single attractive feature can’t even get a date, let alone alone a husband, and yet this woman’s had 14 of them! How does she do it?! Who wouldn’t like to know her secret? I would!
Paste her grinning mug on the cover — the woman with 14 husbands! — and the book sells itself. Her upcoming jail term should give her plenty of time to write it.
I’m not comfortable giving people advice that they didn’t ask for, so I usually preface it by saying “Feel free to ignore this . . .”
That being said, I want to talk about the mindset I think you should have for this class, maybe for other classes, maybe even for things outside of school.
Feel free to ignore this . . .
Education has allowed me to make a living doing things that I like and things that I’m good at. A lot of people are not able to say that. Most people, I think, are not able to say that. Most people are like “I hate Mondays” and “Thank god it’s Friday” and that sort of thing.
I have had jobs where I spent the day doing things that I don’t like and I’m not good at and it’s painful. And the amount of money you get paid to do it doesn’t seem to make it any less painful.
I have brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews, cousins . . . some of them were serious about education and some of them weren’t. And the ones who weren’t, I don’t want to say they’re all losers, but they’re all . . . disappointments. As I expected they would be. My wife doesn’t like when I say this — she thinks it’s bad karma or something — but I like it when people screw around in school and go on to have disappointing lives because it reinforces everything that I believe to be true about life.
It’s satisfying when people make bad decisions and suffer the consequences, isn’t it? I think it is.
My own mindset, and this doesn’t apply just to school, is that no one is going to outwork me and no one is going to outlearn me. If you’re working on homework or a programming assignment, or you’re studying for a test or quiz, and you get stuck on something, and you try to get unstuck by reading the textbook, or going to the website and reviewing lecture slides or handouts or watching a video or posting a question to the Facebook group, you’re doing things the right way. You should do well in the class, you should do well on the AP exam and I’ll do everything I can to help you do well in the class and on the AP exam.
If you hear yourself saying things like, “I spent the weekend playing 47 straight hours of video games, and by the way, I have no idea what’s going on in this class,” you’re unlikely to do well.
If you’re asking questions about assignments on or after the due date, you’re unlikely to do well.
If you miss a class and don’t check the website to see what you missed, you’re unlikely to do well. Everything we cover in class is on the website, plus a lot of extra stuff as well.
“Nobody’s going to outwork me and nobody’s going to outlearn me.”
Again, if that doesn’t make sense to you, feel free to ignore it . . .
“You should live every minute of your life as though it’s your last.”
“You’d spend the last minute of your life giving other people dopey advice?”
If I had to single out one piece of advice that’s guided me through life, most likely it would be from my grandmother, Nellie Molonson. She always made a point of making sure I understood that on the road to success, there’s no point in blaming others when you fail.
Here’s how she put it: “Sonny, I don’t care who you are. Some day you’re going to have to sit on your own bottom.” After more than half a century in the energy business, her advice has proven itself to be spot-on time and time again. My failures? I never have any doubt whom they can be traced back to. My successes? Most likely the same guy.
I was watching a Paul Barton YouTube video about piano practice . . . he said that when someone asked Horowitz how he’s able to play so many difficult pieces, Horowitz replied, “You just got to really want to.”
That seems like excellent advice. It’s short, just a few words . . . you can remember it without even trying to. And I think it could be applied to almost any endeavor.
Imagine someone listening to Horowitz and thinking, “Wow, that’s great! I’d give anything to be able to play like that!”
But he wouldn’t really give anything. He wants to play like Horowitz but he doesn’t really want to play like Horowitz. He doesn’t want to practice 20 hours a day and give up everything else in his life.
In any endeavor, reaching a goal often requires more than someone is willing to give . . . not more than they are able to give but more than they are willing to give.
Well, there is a piece of famous advice, grand advice even if it is German, to forget what you can’t bear. — Saul Bellow, Herzog