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Some year-ending life lessons

['Did You Know That with Alan Walter']
['Did You Know That with Alan Walter']

Did You Know with Alan Walter

This is the time of year when we take time to reflect on what kind of a year it’s been. With good things, and not so good things happening.

Whether good or bad experiences, there are lessons to be learned that hopefully will help us avoid repeating the bad things and make a habit of repeating the good stuff.

I don’t have the skills to make this kind reflective exercise worthwhile unless I consult wiser minds who seem to be able to capture valuable thoughts that can really help me out.

Such a person is Bob Lefsetz a 65-year-old whose day job is as an American music industry analyst and critic, and author of the email newsletter and blog, the Lefsetz Letter …

Calling Santa Monica, California home, he also dispenses sage advice on dealing with life’s many adversities and was recommended to me by my son Henry as worth following.

Most recently he produced an excellent blog entitled “Lefsetz’s life’s lessons”. With his permission I reproduce that blog in two segments appearing in this week’s and then next week’s article. I think you will find some encouraging and amusing thoughts in what follows.

So, to begin………


1. You can't make it alone. No one is complete, everyone needs help and guidance.

2. Be the best you can be, that's your only hope, don't try to be someone else, it's your uniqueness that's your calling card. Your goal is to be yourself and then to glom on to someone who can complement your greatness and beam you into the stratosphere...assuming that's where you want to go, that's not the only goal, happiness is key, sometimes a little is enough.

3. Don't sand off your rough edges, learn how to get along, but don't aspire to be a namby-pamby wuss without opinions. We gravitate to those with edges, who express what we feel but cannot say.

4. Getting it right is worth a lot. Most people don't try that hard. Others try to do it just like everybody else. Your goal is to fulfill your vision and get it right for yourself. When you do, others will resonate.

5. Introverts need extroverts, opposites attract, look for someone to fill the holes you cannot. (This is an analogue of #1, but it bears repeating in a society where everybody's trying to be someone they are not.)

6. Leave the house. Even if you're not sure you want to go. Online is a facsimile of life. You can only truly be alive when you interact with other people. You never know what will happen, assuming you are playing.

7. Everybody hates failure and loss. The key is to put yourself in uncomfortable situations. Once you do this you'll find out the good results outweigh the bad, and then you will be empowered to take new risks.

8. Everybody is lonely too. If you're honest and forthright you might be able to make a connection. Be vulnerable, people are attracted to that.

9. For every person who doesn't remember meeting you, who doesn't say hi, there are many who remember every word you said and are eager to interact with you again.

10. Those who talk longest are unaware they're wasting your time. Learn how to extract yourself gracefully from these one-sided conversations.

I hope you found something in this list that will prove useful in the coming year.

Next week’s article concludes with Lefsetz’s Life’s Lessons, 11 to 21.

Alan Walter is a retired professional engineer living in Oxford. He was born in Wales and worked in Halifax. He spends much of his time in Oxford, where he operates a small farm. He can be reached at

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