Pat Summitt’s Definite Dozen of Life Rules

In the early 2000’s, I started watching a lot of Women’s College Basketball, mainly their NCAA tournament. I had always been a big fan of the Men’s March Madness, always remembering the first championship game I ever watched – Jack Givens’ monster game in 1978.

But the women’s game was and continues to be different. It was clear that the fundamentals taught focused on team-first principles. It’s not to say that the men weren’t, but the women’s game had and has minimal one-on-one playing that the men’s game gets bogged down with a lot of times. Sure, the men could sky and dunk from anywhere (who wasn’t a fan of Phi Slamma Jamma?), but I became to appreciate how good the women’s game was.

Back then, there were only a handful of great teams, led by Tennessee and their coach, Pat Summitt.

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You Don’t Know Shit

If there is one thing that I am always reminded of as I go through life, it’s something that a co-worker told me when I was about 25. It’s the one piece of advice I would love for young people to consider.

I have no idea what we were talking about but my co-worker JD said, “you are 25. Trust me, you think you know everything but you don’t know shit.”

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Don’t Expect Thanks. Instead, Be a Go-Giver.

I have the type of personality where I feel uncomfortable if someone pays for something for me out of their generosity. Dinner is the most common of these situations. I always feel like that needs to even out and I don’t like the feeling that I owe someone.

My old boss used to say “it’s better that I owe you than cheat you out” and although that is true, neither option makes me feel any good.

Similarly, I always felt that if you did something nice for someone, they should at least acknowledge it because I would always feel the need to thank someone for the smallest thing like letting you cut in line while driving. How hard is a simple hand gesture?

When someone didn’t acknowledge my nicety, it irked me. Didn’t their mom teach them any manners?

One day, I found myself in the bookstore and stumbled across a book called The Go-Giver. I have no idea why I picked it up. After skimming the first chapter, I ended up buying it.

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The Importance Of Planting a Tree

No not a real tree – a proverbial tree.

In the chance you haven’t heard this saying, it happens to be one of my favorites. It’s an old Chinese proverb. (Is there such a thing as a new Chinese proverb?)

“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.”

If you are human, especially one near the age of 50, you tend to think of things you didn’t do when you were younger.

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Progress Over Perfection

About 15 years ago, I stumbled across the term ‘Quantity Over Quality.’ At first, this went against everything I knew about work and life. What good is quantity if there is no quality? At the same time, I was talking to a friend about the concept and he said that in Alcohol Anonymous, they had a similar phrase – Progress Not Perfection.

Over the years, my use of the term has morphed into Progress Over Perfection.

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