Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Wisdom That Sticks With You

I got to thinking, as I was putting my clothes into the dryer, how certain phrases/advice has stuck with me over the years.  And it's very odd what has stuck.  I don't have a very good memory when it comes to remembering specific events and the times they happened, etc. however 3 phrases have stuck with me and I think of them or remember them pretty often. 

Phrase #1:  Make sure you get at least 8 hours of sleep a night.  

This was a phrase repeated over and over by my health teacher in I think 10th grade around age 15/16.  Mr Sheare I think was his name, I know the spelling is probably wrong.  There was all sorts of reasons why, being more alert, able to concentrate, health reasons like it will extend your life, etc., but it's that single phrase I still picture him saying to this day.  And yes it is always good to get at least 8 hours of sleep, but of course that doesn't always happen.  Not much more to that one, it is what it is...Just something to keep in mind. 

Phrase #2:  Always clean out the lint filter on the dryer, because it will help your clothes dry faster.

This might seem like common sense, but quite honestly it was an epiphany when I heard that phrase from my college RA the THIRD or possibly FOURTH year I was in college!  Hah, no joke!   And it's funny, compared to prior RAs, we couldn't stand the guy, his name was Mike something er other.  Who knew he would come up in a blog post 18 years later as someone who provided 1 of 3 memorable phrases in my life.  Hah...It's kinda embarrassing to admit, but it's the truth.  College kids aren't usually known for the laundry skills and that goes doubly for college males I think.  The RAs would always tell people to clean out the lint filters cause they'd get clogged and could cause a fire, but no one ever took the time to explain that cleaning the filter makes your clothes dry faster!

Since my mom always did my laundry until I left for college, that wasn't something that I was taught along the way.  I was told to clean the filter any time I switched loads, but that was all and I didn't do it very often.  A light bulb went off in my head and it made perfect sense when the RA mentioned that.  No wonder it always took at least two rounds of quarters to dry my clothes.  A lot of it was probably the amount of clothes crammed in there, but for sure cleaning the lint filter would help as well.  It didn't click until I was told something that would benefit me personally.  If I cleaned the lint filter, it would take less time to dry my clothes and take less money to do so.  That was really a slightly bigger life lesson, if you're trying to convey something important to someone, be sure to relate it to how it will affect them personally, with a positive outcome being more effective.  I just thought about that when putting my stuff in the dryer, thus this post!

3rd Phrase:  When driving, only drive as fast as the ticket you're willing to pay for.  

This was by a NY state trooper when I was taking a Drivers Ed class so that I could drive at night, so I was probably 16 or 17 at the time.  He also went on to say most of the time a cop won't give you a ticket if you're 9 MPH or less over the speed limit.  Not something you should really tell an auditorium full of teenagers, but that made him cool and maybe it's part of the reason I remembered it.  It really made sense, but I don't think it sunk in until a few years later but it really did stick with me and it was also a bigger life lesson...Think about the consequences of your actions and potential outcome before you do something.  I do think about this when driving and although I do drive faster than my wife would like at times and she would say (with good reason) that I'm extremely impatient when it comes to slow drivers in front of me, I do think about that phrase all the time.  I generally will try to think ahead to the worst possible scenario of what my actions or inactions to do something would cause and try and react accordingly ahead of time.

In the example of speeding, if you decide to drive 90 in a 70MPH zone, think about having to pay $200 or whatever the fee is, having to deal with taking a defensive driving class, have insurance go up potentially and think about how it would feel to have to spend that $200 to pay the court fees when you could have used it on something else.  I haven't gotten a speeding ticket since I was 18, which in and of itself is a miracle, but the point is I still remember how it felt to have to use my whole paycheck at the time to pay the court fees when I could have used the money on something else and I for the most part, TRY and keep it to 9MPH over the limit. 

Really the point there is thinking of the consequences of what you do or don't do and prepare ahead of time to try and prevent a negative outcome.  Another small example of this that I thought about yesterday was that I had cleaned the sink in our bathroom with liquid cleaner and wiped it with paper towel, but hadn't rinsed it out fully with water.  Normally, not a big deal, I had moved onto the next bathroom to clean that, but I got to thinking ahead.  2 of our cats are known for drinking out of the faucet and lately I've seen one of them just licking the sink/drain portion itself without any water running or in the sink.  I thought about what would happen if he went in right after I cleaned it and started to lick any leftover cleaning solution.  Probably nothing negative would happen, but why take a risk of something bad, worst case having to take him to a vet, pay huge fees, all for nothing when I could have just taken 2 minutes to rinse the sink out with water fully after.  So back I went to do that.  Not only does thinking that way usually prevent a negative outcome, it also provides peace of mind knowing you did the right thing. 

These are 3 random phrases that have stuck with me over the years for whatever reason.  I wanted to share those, but really more wanted to hear if there are any phrases or life lessons that have stuck with you over the years!  Please share any you might have and don't feel like you have to post it to Facebook if you want to keep it on the downlow.


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