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Small Blessings

Small Blessings

I was thinking that small blessings, cumulatively, are more important than a few major ones for most of us. Here are some of mine, as I considered my own good fortune:

  • Caffeine does not interrupt my sleeping at all, ever. My wife is upset that I can put my head on a pillow and instantly fall asleep. I keep pointing out that this is what beds and pillows are for: sleeping.
  • I bought a 95-cent book before my senior year in high school and taught myself to “touch type” in two days. I can do north of 60 words per minute, which is far more important to me than being able to tune an engine or raise beets.
  • I can drive a stick shift, and currently enjoy a seven-speed sports car, and anything that European rental car counters can throw at me.
  • Early on I developed a process for crushing standardized testing and received great benefits as a poor kid in scholarships and grants. I murdered the LSATs and was offered a full scholarship to Rutgers Law in 1968 (worth $407,000 in today’s money) which, thank God, I turned down.
  • Somewhere around 1980 I learned to love dogs when my brother-in-law asked us to take his Siberian Husky, and I’ve been learning from them ever since.
  • My mother and father was always reading (it was cheap entertainment) and developed that habit in me.
  • I became an exchange student for a summer in Europe when I was 17 and it turned my life from black and white into technicolor.
  • My inner city grammar school teachers were superb, and I learned English (I can diagram sentences), math (which I can do in my head), geography (I know where countries are and their capitals), and history (I understand how we got here and what we ought to avoid in the future). I can still remember all those teachers’ names (not so for high school or university.)
  • Therefore, I mastered language and learned that language controls discussions, which control relationships, which control business. I’ve closed a hell of a lot of business.
  • I didn’t like drinking when young and didn’t drink alcohol in college. That worked out well.
  • I’ve never learned to operate a dishwasher, washing machine, lawn mower, etc. I’m not embarrassed by that. One time I was unable to retrieve a lunch my wife left for me in the microwave because she placed a post-it saying “push the open button” over the real “open” button, which I could not find. I went out for lunch.
  • I believed in therapy early, and my original therapist changed my life telling me, “For God’s sake, Alan, life is about success, not perfection.” He did that for $110 an hour.
  • I have over four million air miles and have been hit by lightning in airborne planes five times, twice thinking we were going down. Yet here I am.
  • I don’t get motion sickness or seasickness.
  • My wife is kind enough to sit next to me and explain movie plots. (She’s a veteran of soap operas.)
  • I have no real or perceived food allergies.
  • I can speak enough Spanish to get a taxi, a room, a meal, and to find the bathroom.
  • I leaned to address tough audiences in high school
  • I grew up “hungry” because my family had no money to speak of for a long time. If I wanted something, I had to work for it, physically and/or mentally.
  • Finally, I have a stealth charm which no one suspects, and when I throttle it up I can influence anyone about anything, and after I leave people are asking, “Who was that masked man?” (This, of course, does not apply to my family, as per the Gospel of Mark, 6:4.)
Written by

Alan Weiss is a consultant, speaker, and author of over 60 books. His consulting firm, Summit Consulting Group, Inc., has attracted clients from over 500 leading organizations around the world.

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