In 2012, 2013, and 2014, I wrote about hard lessons learned.  Many of the hard lessons were memorable because of how devastating each lesson felt at the time.

In 2015, I didn’t have time to write a post. The adage, “you make time for the things that are important” is true in this case.

My annual post fell pretty low on the totem poll of priorities this year. I spent everything from my birthday, to thanksgiving, to christmas, to new years and everyday in between working on a deal and every single moment I wasn’t in that deal… I was with my family.

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I made the right choice and in retrospect I hope that I’m able to operate in this way reliably throughout my life.

It’s directionally true to say that this post is more arrogant than in years past because I’m writing it from the position of what I think I know. I’m writing with the intent to be more prescriptive about some things I think might make your life a little better. Things I got right.

There are 3 simple pieces of advice that I’d like to give to you because your behavior will be remembered in glorious times and in horrible times.

Care deeply.

About the people, the work, about the idea, about the time. Care deeply about the things you apply yourself to and do it without guilt or refrain.

You can’t fake caring over long periods of time so there is no point in trying to. If you do deeply care, use it. You’ll go further because of it.

Show up and do the work.

If you said you’ll be there, be there. Calendars change and so do priorities so the world will demand presence in various way. When you know in your gut that you’re supposed to be there… That you need to be there… You need to simply show up and do the work once you get there.

Presence alone not a contribution. Presence and associated execution change people’s lives for the better so don’t rob people of what your presence could provide… Contribute once you arrive.

Say what you mean and remember what you said.

The likelihood that you’ll remember everything you said in life is really zero unless you’re superhuman. The likelihood that you’ll be embarrassed by something you said at some point is very high so you can’t bat 1000 on this.

Nonetheless, your life and the life of those around you will be much better if you start with the foundation of meaning what you say because you believe in it. Starting with what you believe in rather than what you think someone wants to hear is a good place to begin.

Be clear, concise, and trust the world to judge you accordingly.