How I lead my life. It’s either by design or habit; better or worst. The 9 things I rely on to get me through or to a place I need to be. Life lessons so impactful I can remember each situation as if it happened yesterday. The shapers of a successful life. Some from a very early age others developed over time. Some are planned and methodological, and others are inherent.
In the first of this blog series, I will dive into the first three words that have helped me throughout my career.
Never Be Late – “I would rather be 15 minutes early 1,000 times than late once”
I try to refrain from using the “h-word” but I really hate tardiness. Those that treat the round object on the wall with two arms numbered 1-12 as a decoration as opposed to something sacred has and always irked me. It’s not the person who is the victim of some unseen circumstance but the people who are habitual 5-7 minutes late no matter the occasion. I saw it at UPS and I see it at the Parisi Speed School. 80% of the lateness comes from 20% of the people.
Life Experience – I do a 5:45 AM Adult Boot Camp every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Excluding our shutdown, because of COVID I’ve done this session for 8 straight years. Traditionally I’m 20 to 30 minutes early. One November morning I procrastinated a bit before I left. To my dismay, the windows of my car were completely iced over from the first frost of the season. By the time I found the ice scraper and my car heated up I was pulling out with 8 minutes until start-up – it’s an eight-minute drive. I arrived 30 seconds late! My back was completely soaked from sweat and my heart was racing. The 12 in attendance were just happy to see me as they thought something had happened to me. I think for the next 4 months I came in 45 minutes early.
Don’t let other COMPROMISE who you are
Sometimes easier said than done. But be firmly committed to your purpose and beliefs and this will come naturally. Trust me as you probably already realize there are a lot of people out there trying to make you do something you don’t want to do. A lot of times these people are your friends. I’m not sure how.
Life experience – I stopped drinking alcohol 35 years ago; not a drop. I feel it is better to have clearly defined boundaries and eliminate any grey areas. I’ll just drink on special occasions, or I’ll just have 1 or 2 drinks on weekends. I felt it was better to go all or in his case nothing. The strategy has proven to be very effective for me not just with drinking but in a lot of things I either have eliminated from my life or on the flip side things that I have gone all in on. People would almost take it personally that I wouldn’t take a drink; almost get angry with me. I finally would say “ I don’t tell you not to drink so I would appreciate you not telling me to drink.” I think the message has gotten across as people in my inner circle stopped being so persistent. Now it’s just, “Do you want a piece of birthday cake?” which I respectfully decline.
Get up an hour EARLIER than you need to
Through the years I’ve developed a lot of positive routines my most beneficial is getting up way earlier than I need to. What I found is it’s the only way to truly control time. Once you step out of your front door and “start” your day you are at the beck and call of what the day brings. My day starts at 3:00 AM with a large black cup of coffee. It’s just me in my rocking chair and my thoughts. No emails, no voice mails, no one looking for me. It gives me a great opportunity to review the past day, plan the current day and sight my mind’s eye to the future.
Life Experience – I have these long conversations with myself every morning. It’s just me, my rocking chair, a very large black cup of coffee, and my thoughts. Sometimes, my wife, Nanci will come downstairs and ask me who was I talking to as these conversations with myself will become audible.