The following Top 40 list is an actual list of advice I have been given and/or developed over my 40 years that has served me well.
1. All women are crazy. You need to decide which brand of crazy you are willing to live with.
2. If under contract with someone for a job be nice but not too nice. After you get the money you can be real nice.
3. Making love starts in the morning.
4. Calories don’t count on special days. Live a little.
5. Ministry as a profession should have a comparable salary to those in higher education or administration. Never compare salaries with other churches when determining what to pay your ministry employees unless you are okay with highly underpaying them.
6. You will never save “enough” money by canceling cable. Find the money elsewhere. Keep the cable.
7. Get it in writing.
8. Everyone must eat one bowl of $#!+ a day. Swallow it down and quit complaining.
9. Overcome, adapt, and survive.
10. If you want to know how much time you have left with your kids, count the summers before they go to college.
11. Never loan anything out if you really want it back. Consider all loans a gift.
12. “Fair” (fare) is something you pay to get on the bus. Life is not fair.
13. Never go to bed angry. Ever.
14. “It” will come back to haunt you. It really will.
15. That girl you are starring at if someone’s daughter.
16. If your gut says, “maybe I shouldn’t say this” . . . don’t say it.
17. Sarcasm comes from the same word that means, “to tear the flesh.” It is the easiest and most damaging defense mechanism to use.
18. Don’t yell. Don’t yell back.
19. If someone says something about your family in public—all rules are off. Defend your family.
20. Never tell your kids to do something because of “your” reputation. Never impose rules because of who “you” are. They have their own identity.
21. 25% of what you know is wrong. You don’t know which 25% though.
22. Buy hardcover books. They “feel” better and will make your experience that much nicer.
23. The fine folks at Kraft picked ¼ cup milk and ¼ cup butter for a reason. Do not mess with the Macaroni and Cheese magic. The directions matter.
24. Spend big money on vacations. Consider it marriage insurance.
25. Buy good shoes and clothes. This requires going to “shops” –not department stores.
26. Tell your wife she is beautiful every day. #1 because she is. #2 because she probably doesn’t feel like she is. #3 because the world tells her she isn’t beautiful “enough” #4 because your kids hear it and will do the same for their spouse #5 because she will still wonder if you think she is even when you say it every day so . . . tell her. Do the same for your daughter. You can't guarantee her husband will do the same one day and maybe you r influence will win out.
27. Look nice every day. Even when at home.
28. Pay to stay in the nicer hotel. Save in advance so you can do this.
29. Tip big. The server needs it and you might come back some day.
30. Buy good paintbrushes for your home—preferably “Purdy.”
31. Make friends with the unlovely.
32. Buy term life insurance—10-12 times your annual salary. Do not buy any “cash value” life insurance policies (whole life, universal life).
33. While traveling abroad, eat what the locals eat.
34. Own a good computer. Sure, they all have a shelf life but you may as well fall in love with yours for the 3 or 4 years you have it.
35. Ask your grandparents and your parents to tell you stories. Get them on tape. Before you know it, they will be gone. The stories can live on however, if they tell them. Ask them about growing up. Funny things they remember. If they had it all to do again . . .
36. Go to NYC. Do all the tourist stuff. Then, go back again but this time . . . Buy flowers on the street. And a hot dog. Walk through Central Park. Drink coffee at a little hole-in-the-wall shop. Buy fresh bread at a bakery. Walk everywhere and forget taxis. Wear a pedometer. Drink at a pub in The Village. This will be the NYC you remember.
37. Buy a real piece of art. Not a print in some super store. A nice original painting. Spend good money. The artist needs the money and we need the arts.
38. Never use the word "punish" with your kids. Talk in terms of consequences and discipline but never punishment. Punishment says "take that!" Consequences and fall-out lessons will serve them well.
39. Call your parents. One day your kids will be gone and you will want them to call you. Let them grow up seeing how you did it.
40. Find something you love to do and then find a way to get paid for it.
THIS BLOG HAS MOVED
Hello, everyone. This blog has moved to JOHNVOELZ.COM!