Wisdom. Where does it come from? It seems that much of the past fifteen months, for me, has been an unending quest for wisdom and understanding. As of yet, I’m still coming up short. Mostly I quote Socrates (as Plato has written): Ἓν οἶδα ὅτι οὐδὲν οἶδα.” All I know is that I know nothing.
Yet, over the years, people have given me advice in one shape or another. Maybe I’ve read it in books, or seen it on television. One of my favorites has done little more than make me smile, but sometimes that’s all advice needs to do. So I wanted to provide some of that here.
The early bird gets the worm
Obviously. The earlier you start digging in the dirt, the more likely you are to reap the spoils.
Measure twice, cut once
I’ve never been one for construction, but this can applied to many avenues of life. It’s about being precise – even if it takes a little longer in the beginning to get it right, it saves time and money on the other side if you aren’t redoing your work.
Quite possibly the simplest yet most profound peace of advice I’ve ever gotten, and it still shows up for me today, to remind me how important breath is. In my singing, and reading of music, I’ll see hand-scrawled notes indicitating breath marks in the music telling me to breathe. When I’m feeling overwhelmed by external forces, breathing slowly makes the anxiety manageable. If I’m lifting weights, or holding a yoga pose, and it’s becoming impossible – focusing on the slow breathing gets just one more out of me, whether repitition or moment of concentration.
Don’t sweat the little stuff, and it’s all little stuff
This was a book that I never read. But the advice is sound. There are very few things in life that can improve if you worry about them. And when you start worrying about something, suddenly the problem is obfuscated and you can’t focus on the real issue anymore. It seems to happen a lot in relationships, where the one thing is the problem, but every other thing starts being seen in the negative by not fixing the actual problem. When life seems too much, focus on the manageable.
Don’t eat the yellow snow
Okay. Thanks Dad. I’ve seen snow a handful of times in my life, and never did I want to eat white snow, let alone yellow. Still, when I was a young boy my dad gave me this advice (even though we lived in Florida) and I’ve remembered it to this day. Never will I eat yellow snow, but I can’t help but smile when I think about it.
And I guess, when it comes down to it, advice is just there to make life easier. To make you smile. So don’t eat the yellow snow.