Slow down, savor, appreciate, enjoy. Now, Gratitude is.

# 12 on my, 99 Life Tips — A List is: Gratitude works its magic in the moment you become aware of something for which to be thankful. The more aware you become, the more the magic of gratitude will follow you throughout your day. It doesn’t work the same when practiced as a generalized, “I’m thankful for my life.” No, gratitude works best and strongest within the context of contemporaneous specificity.

By word count, this is my longest tip. Still, if I was limited to only one tip, this would be it. This one has the most potential to…


Emotional moment: man sitting holding face in hands, stressed, sad, feeling bad, depressed, disappointed. We’ve all been here.

# 11 on my, 99 Life Tips — A List is: Do not be afraid of feeling bad. There are things to feel bad about, and the contrast is a wonderful reminder of why gratitude is so important.

This is one of the most important Life Tips. It also swims upstream against the prevailing American cultural and social ethic. We are a country terrified of feeling bad. So, we medicate. We pre-medicate prophylactically to prevent even the chance we might feel bad. We’re so afraid to feel bad, we self-medicate. But you do not to be afraid of feeling bad…


This scene shows context, situation, and negative emotion…a recipe for disaster

# 6 on my, 99 Life Tips — A List is: Know your imperfections — You won’t get over them or get past them, you’ll drag them with you through life. You must learn where they live and what brings them out of the dark

TF does this mean, you may be asking yourself? Lemme explain. I often hear people struggling to overcome some negative trait or other, say they are hoping, ”to get over it”. There exists a belief, or maybe a wish, that it is possible to outgrow or forever overcome character flaws. Yet, the contrary is true…


ESPN Illustration: Stephen Curry jumpshot . The best in history

#5 on my, 99 Life Tips — A List is: Practice Your Strengths.

The idea here is primarily a matter of focus. Time spent patching up weaknesses and repairing deficiencies doesn’t pay off as well as effort spent when you simply practice your strengths.

The second part of the equation is the old adage, ”practice makes perfect”. Therefore, think not only of deploying your strengths, but of working on (practicing) them.

This one likely seems counter-intuitive for several underlying psychological reasons. This article from Zapier, by Jessica Greene has this to say:

“various studies have shown that when we focus…


One of the building blocks of apologizing well is the acknowledgement of how you made the other person feel

#4 on my, 99 Life Tips — A List is: Learn to apologize well — that includes not just what you did, but also how what you did made the other person feel.

My post, Own It When You’re Wrong — And The Self-Respect Too implores the reader simply to be able to apologize when necessary. For some, the act of saying ”I’m sorry” is a significant hurdle to overcome. I am giving you the benefit of the doubt. You’re able to form those words and express them when needed. So, let’s look at how to apologize well. Knowing how…


Your hand turns the dice. Whose fault is it?

#3 on my, 99 Life Tips — A List is: Own it when you’re wrong. Accepting fault that is yours is the hallmark of character, maturity, and humanity.

”Well I ain’t often right, but I’ve never been wrong.

Seldom turns out the way it does in the song.”

~ Grateful Dead: Scarlet Begonias

Why is it that some people have such a difficult time with this one? One of the most widely available avenues to personal growth and character development is simply to admit fault. As this article points out, it is one of the surest paths to both self…


This pearl began with an irritant. What kind of beauty can your discontent produce?

#2 on my, 99 Life Tips — A List is: Do Not Ignore Your Discontent. Identify and Embrace It.

The importance of this cannot be overstated, because the springboard of all motivation is discontentment. No one who is at perfect, nirvana-like, blissed-out peace, is motivated to do anything. Toward what end? Blissed out peace is the end of the journey. Discontent is the impulse needed to begin the journey. It is the grain of sand in the oyster that can turn into a pearl once identified, worked on, and transformed.

Your particular feelings of unease and dissatisfaction are unique to…


This white oak has been showing up, hanging out, sticking around a long time. A real good teacher for him that has ears to hear.

#1 on my, 99 Life Tips — A List is: Show up. This is 90% of a job, a relationship, parenting, you name it. Be present.

Allow me a few paragraphs to explore more of what this means. First, to show up is more than being physically present. There is little value in showing up with your body when your mind is somewhere else. Show up both physically and psychically whenever possible. When physically separated from loved ones by circumstance or distance, show up psychically. At all times, show up with your mind fully engaged.

Second, this tip includes the…


I keep a running list of life tips. Here are 99:

Some of these need amplification, clarification, or general unpacking and I will turn them into their own posts. As with all such advisory tips, no matter from what quarter, your mileage may vary. Without further ado:

  1. Show up. This is 90% of a job, a relationship, parenting, you name it. Be present.
  2. Do not ignore your discontent. Identify and embrace it.
  3. Own it when you’re wrong. Accepting fault that is yours is the hallmark of character, maturity, and humanity.
  4. Learn to apologize well — that includes not just what…

The scoreboard shows a running count of goals scored. The team with the most goals at the end of the game wins. In life, scoring is not so simple. Photo: Kevin Kiester, Raleigh News and Observer, May, 2019

As a hockey fan, I’ve often reflected on a phrase I once heard from a coach.

”Play the game the right way and the results will take care of themselves.”

~ Rod Brind’Amour, Head Coach, Carolina Hurricanes

Coach Brind’Amour wasn’t saying that his team would win every game. He was saying that by playing the right way, they would give themselves the opportunity to win every game. Playing the right way; being a good hockey team, is the consistent, incessant determination to apply effort to details that matter. …

Greg Proffit

Spending time rediscovering and enjoying the things that make life worth living…

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