My son, Will, has 5 tenets that he follows. He says that they are his keys to happiness. They are:
1. Always give everyone the benefit of the doubt – you don’t know what they’re going through. Curiously, I just saw a very corny but moving video on youtube that illustrated this point really well.
2. Keep busy
3. Approach everything you do with enthusiasm
4. Make sure you always have something to look forward to during the day.
5. Surround yourself with people you like – because these are the people who will lift your spirits.
For those of you who know Will, you know that he came up with these 5 keys in high school. Simple stuff? Yes - but he really tries to follow them. He won't give Bill credit, but I think he may have absorbed these tenets by observing his father.
Bill has got four out of the five down pat; I'm not sure he's completely embraced #1. But, who has?
He definitely is one of the busiest men alive. The man does not slow down until his head hits the pillow. He's a lawyer, a teacher, a bassist, a father, a husband and he takes care of all the household chores I choose not to do.
He is one of the most animated and enthusiastic people I know. If there is a job to do, he will do it and make it fun! I think some of his clients hire him for the sheer entertainment value.
He has always tried to plan things in advance. At dinner time he's already talking about the next night's meal plan. If we don't have an idea about our next vacation, we have a family meeting to decide. If we don't have plans for the weekend, he remedies it in short order.
And the thing that I love about Bill the most is that he has so many friends! He has kept friends from his childhood. He has a very strong loyalty to those people with whom he grew up, with his college pals, his law school buddies, his musical comrades. If he had to list the people he counts as real friends, it would be a big list.
One of the best friendships I have seen, first hand, is his friendship with our pal, Bruce. Now, Bruce came into Bill's life because he married one of Bill's oldest and dearest friends, Barbara. Barbara chose well - not only for her life partner but also as a trusted companion for Bill. Bruce and Bill do a lot of things together including going to EVERY Bill's home game and even one the Superbowl games that the Buffalo Bill's were lucky enough to play in. They are both lawyers and have had some overlap in the type of law that they practice. They have a lot in common and I think they really enjoy each other's company. We have spent almost every New Year's Eve with Barbara and Bruce since we were married. There's no one else we'd rather spend it with!
Maybe it's because Bill did not have any siblings growing up; he learned the value of having and maintaining good friends. And, he has successfully surrounded himself with a bevy of them. And the really close ones, like Bruce, truly do lift his spirits.