What I’ve Learned – wrapping up 2011

One of my favourite columns in Esquire magazine is called “What I’ve Learned”. It’s 2 page feature… a great portrait of the interviewee, and then a page of bullet-point statements summarizing that person’s life’s lessons. Here’s my version.

WHAT I’VE LEARNED

  • Often the people I initially judge as jerks, end up being some of my most dear friends.
  • ALWAYS listen to your conscience and do what it says, even if it will break the hearts of people who you love.
  • You know those girls who, when you first meet them, drop hints of sexuality? You know, like they are dangling a carrot in front of you? RUN LIKE HELL. Inevitably, dealing with such a woman will be bad news.
  • love … IS … God
  • We attract what we already are. The world is a mirror. Thus, you can make a decent, quick assessment of a person by looking at who their friends are.
  • Before you can overcome something, you have to go through it. There is power in admitting you are angry, lonely, needy, etc.  You have to just BE in that shit for a while and acknowledge your present shitty state before you can transcend.
  • Safety first – then teamwork… 50%.
  • There is a certain divinity in doing exactly what pleases you, other people’s opinions be damned.
  • DONE is better than PERFECT.
  • Indecision is a cancer that will destroy your life.
  • Indecision is usually a symptom that you are not being honest with yourself.
  • When in doubt, ask yourself, “What Would Adam Carolla Do?”
  • It’s a good custom to get drunk with someone that you are just getting to know.  Alcohol will lower inhibitions and let you see what’s behind the mask.  If you just find a relaxed, sleepy version of the person that they were before drinking – you have found a worthy friend.
  • Mushrooms are a beautiful thing.
  • I still haven’t found the balance between over thinking things, and not thinking things through enough.
  • Environments are powerful.  Never underestimate the power of who / what you are surrounded with. Take steps to weed out the negative forces and consciously replace them with people, places, and things that inspire you.
  • Trust your nature. Most of the forces out there are trying to destroy the trust you have with yourself. The public education system, the political rhetoric, religion… all these things will detach you from your inner knowing if you are not careful.

 

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Paul Duane

Paul Duane is a photographer, writer, and talk show host based in Salt Lake City, Utah.

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