Life Lessons From George Washington – Intimacy

By William Kristoph

As you can see by the title of this post, I’ve decided to start back with some more “Life Lessons” posts! This time focusing on quotes by George Washington. I hope you enjoy it.

“Be courteous to all, but intimate with few, and let those few be well-tried before you give them your confidence.” – George Washington

George Washington knew nothing about the future. Well, at least I don’t think he did. He didn’t know that the Internet would make communication easier. He didn’t know that every 7-year-old would have a cell phone. He could not have foreseen social networking sites like Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter. George Washington’s advice was not meant to apply to 2012. Amazingly, it’s still relevant.

How many of us have hundreds of Facebook friends, yet only talk to a few? How many of us follow hundreds on Twitter, yet really communicate with a few on a daily basis? With email, social networks, phones and everything else, technology gives us the ability to “know” so many more people than George Washington ever had the opportunity to meet. Perhaps it’s just human nature to like variety, but hold only a few friends and family members as our truly close friends?

Continue reading Life Lessons From George Washington – Intimacy

Friday Files – Harold MacMillan on Trust

The Benjamin Franklin series I wrote is over, but I am continuing the type of posts where I look at a specific quote and write about it. In this case I took a quote from my quote website by Harold MacMillan. I hope you enjoy it. If nothing else these writings are always from the heart. – William Kristoph

“A man who trusts nobody is apt to be the kind of man nobody trusts.” – Harold MacMillan

Two Ways To Understand Trust

There are two ways to work with trust. I can either trust a new person until I have no reason to trust them anymore, or I approach with caution until a person earns my trust. The latter sounds a bit arrogant to me, and the former sounds unbelievably naive to me. It doesn’t mean that either one is wrong, just that I’m not an extreme person. So what do I do about trust? How do I navigate a world that relies on trusting relationships, yet is full of “us” (people who make mistakes on a daily basis, violating trust)?

Solution #1 – A Childlike View of Trust Continue reading Friday Files – Harold MacMillan on Trust

Life Lessons From Benjamin Franklin – Wise Up

By William Kristoph

This is the last post in the Benjamin Franklin series. I’m pleased with it and thanks for reading it. It provided a good basis for 14 posts. Next Friday I’ll start something new.

Wise Up – “Life’s tragedy is that we get old too soon and wise too late.” – Benjamin Franklin

Might I add that we don’t know when our life ends either? Talk about a triple whammy! This final quote in the series is self-explanatory and rings true. We might think we know it all when we’re young, but then we get older and realize we didn’t. It’s a rare person that knows what he or she doesn’t know. It’s even rarer to find a truly wise young person.

As I get older, I figure things out sometimes. As I become a parent, I’m sure that I’m about to find out a ton of topics that I’m horribly uneducated and unwise about. Thankfully, I’ve gained the wisdom to hang back from being arrogant about it and let my ears work about 10 times as much as my mouth. Hopefully, I’ll learn a lot before I get too old to appreciate it.

More importantly, I hope I can instill some of Benjamin Franklin’s point into my son as he grows up. I hope that he’ll have the ability to make wise choices and be open to multiple points of view. I hope that he’s tolerant and caring early on and that he keeps that with him as he grows up. Will it happen? I guess I’ll know in about 20 years, when I’m definitely even older and hopefully a lot wiser.

Life Lessons From Benjamin Franklin – Don’t Give Up

By William Kristoph

Don’t Give Up – “Energy and persistence conquer all things.” – Benjamin Franklin

Benjamin Franklin’s advice is obvious. Keep at it. Keep trying. Wake up, get out in the world and achieve something. It’s not an easy task for most of us. Whether it’s because of working two jobs or something as simple as lack of nutrition and exercise, energy seems to be an ever shrinking commodity in America. We’re a nation of tired people.

I’m sure that when Benjamin Franklin was alive, the nation was tired too, even though it was young. Physical labor was more prevalent and life was physically hard on a day-to-day basis. Somehow, they persevered and willed the United States into a great country. Somehow, the people of this country overcame their weariness and tiredness.

How do we do it today? Would Benjamin Franklin laugh at how easy our life is today, yet we all complain about tired? Or would he understand the different stresses we face on a daily basis, between a 24 hour workday and the strains of life pulling every direction? More importantly, how do we conquer this a bit? I have a few ideas that work for me.

3 Ways To Have More Energy

  1. Get the right amount of sleep. – It’s easier said than done, because finding 8-9 hours in a 24 hour day to sleep is a tough task.
  2. Eat better. – I’m not talking anything drastic. Eat a couple of vegetables and you’ll be surprised by how much more energy you have.
  3. Say no. – Limit the schedule and say no occasionally.

3 Ways To Be Persistent

  1. Set a reminder. – Set a reminder on a smart phone, to do list or somewhere that you’ll see it.
  2. Set goals. – It’s hard to be persistent if you don’t have something to achieve. Set a clear goal and keep trying to achieve it.
  3. Accept failure. – Failures happen. Learn from a failure and apply that knowledge to future goals.



Life Lessons From Benjamin Franklin – Don’t Self-Sabotage

By William Kristoph

Don’t Self-Sabotage – “Who had deceived thee so often as thyself?” – Benjamin Franklin

I’m great. I’m terrible. I can’t do this. I definitely can do that. I’m the best at this. I’m the worst at that. Benjamin Franklin’s quote, on the surface, looks like it’s speaking about negatives. The “I can’t” and the “I won’t” because the word sabotage has a negative connotation. However, self-sabotage isn’t only about knowing negatives it’s about limits overall both negative and positive. It’s about knowing our own boundaries and limits so that we don’t sabotage ourselves. It’s about not lying to ourselves.

Negative Self-Sabotage

I feel like many people fall into a negativity trap. “I’m not good enough to do this.” “I don’t know how to do that.” “I’m too tired.” The list goes on and on. At times it’s easy to get into this type of thinking. It’s easy to say can’t or won’t. But, how many times do we miss out on an opportunity to have fun, to learn or to grow because of some silly self-doubt? How many times do we sabotage ourselves because of laziness? Benjamin Franklin (and all of the Founding Fathers) amaze me with their general positivism and ability to compromise in a time that was full of war, anger and cultural differences.

Continue reading Life Lessons From Benjamin Franklin – Don’t Self-Sabotage