How do you make important life decisions when your Consigliere is dead?
This is the problem I face.
My father was a walking encyclopedia who also believed in magic and spiritualism. He defined human nature as the axis of the earth, to which all life revolves around. To understand human nature was to win at life.
He balanced the rational mind(espoused by his hero, Ayn Rand) with a surprising, irrational one(he meditated, studied past lives and learned quantum leaping just before he passed away.)
I went to my father to help me solve every one of life's problems. Whether it was a corrupt landlord(don't pay last month rent), a high fever(enemas), a broken down car(he'd send his friend with a tow) yet most of the time, the answers came down to how to handle other people. You know, like Don Corleone, in The Godfather(I would have given anything for him to have left this world picking tomatoes from his garden with his grandchild by his side.)
My father always respected what the other person wanted. He said this was the biggest mistake a person could make...not listening. This advice helped me excel at my sales career. You have to ask what someone really wants - even if it seems embarrassing - and try to give that to them. One client just wanted someone to sit and talk with for an hour every week to break the monotony of their work day. Done. One wanted a $1500 laptop for a 1.5 million dollar order. Done. Another, fame - his name in lights - in a Wall Street Journal article. Done.
My Dad was a great listener - even half asleep on the sofa with the Bears on and his Dachshunds barking - he had super sonic bat ears.
Whether you wanted to earn a million dollars, partake in a threesome, or commit a murder - he would acknowledge your desires (as crazy and as far fetched as they might sound) and give you a platform to defend those desires and then give you your due(no one could calm down a crazy person better than my father.)
Once the acknowledgment was out of the way, he would say, "let's talk reality now" and push you in a pragmatic direction. My father, like LBJ, was a great pragmatist, making keen observations from his bathroom library. He always thought that even the loser in a situation should walk away with just a little something - just a taste. Keep in mind, a lot of his life lessons were learned in the pool room, where one can easily find themselves broke, when on the losing side of things, and in the dead of winter, someone throwing you a nickel for the bus home is a lot better than having to walk.
My father also enjoyed challenges, the more complicated the better, because he took great joy in overcoming them.
A few of my father's favorite mantras:
Desire pushes action
Even early twentieth century self-help guru Wallace Wattles devotes two chapters to this premise. Stanley Kubrick's Dr.Strangelove...
If you're depressed, try and accomplish one task a day and work your way up from there.
You must be active, you must stay busy.
Most people wouldn't jump off a cliff, if they could push someone else off instead
Get rid of the toxic people in your life
If you're broken-hearted, you must "torch."
Find a jukebox bar, get drunk and listen to sad love songs and cry for a week. But only for a week - any longer and you're a masochist.
Fuck them, fuck those mother fuckers
Trademark Freddy - Never give a shit about what anybody else thinks of you. A lot of people are scared to see you accomplish what they cannot.
Be in charge of your own life
Never let anyone else make decisions for you. You must be in control. Unless you're giving in to the universe to allow for magic.
Some people are dangerous. Stay the fuck away from them.
Some people create their own bad luck. Some peoples' only pleasure in life is saying no or hurting you(aka sadists.)
Never, ever give power to considerations when trying to achieve a goal
If you need to have all of the answers before committing to a goal, you've already lost. It doesn't happen like that. The goal comes first.
Change the game
Change the variables and put yourself in control of your reality.
Accept every form of generosity that comes your way and accept every opportunity to help someone.
Be over the top with being grateful to others who do nice things for you. My Dad performed at least 3 good deeds every day.
Don't give up on people, yourself, or a situation so easily.
Just because it hasn't been done before, doesn't mean you won't be the first. Everybody deserves a second chance.
The only way you know you're getting paid back money you've loaned, is if the guy you loaned the money to still knows exactly how much he owes you.
A lot of people still owe my Dad a lot of money...
Never be one of the masses. Be an individual.
Always use your head and question what's missing. Think for yourself.
Stand out, be a rebel, wear crazy clothes(my father was famous for purple polyester bell bottoms), be loud, be unforgettable, like a tiger in the jungle
Stand tall, have good posture
There's a scientific reason applied in the service to standing tall. You hone into your own power and emit that power to others. It automatically makes you feel better about yourself, more confident.
Never deny yourself pleasure in this life
You'll regret it.
Every single day I have a question to ask my father - a problem that requires his unique services in order to be solved. Every single day I try and predict the best version of what he would say.
No one in this world had my back the way my father did. My happiness and fulfillment was one of the utmost priorities of his life. He was never too tired to answer my call, come to my rescue and talk me off a metaphorical ledge. He never let me give up on myself. That's why I feel like I owe him to hang in there and achieve everything he ever wanted for me. It's a lot of pressure, but I'm trying(I hear him yell, don't try - DO! Commit, commit, commit!)
He made you forgive yourself if you made a mistake. He gave you permission to move on.
He absorbed any humiliations
He admonished guilt
He thought life was a divine gift, and if you weren't making the most of it, if you weren't enjoying it, you were letting yourself, and the world, down.
Every single day, I try and listen to my father.
Every single day, I try and teach my children the lessons I learned from their grandfather.
He told me that life ain't on the square...
In my dreams, he often gives me advice.
In one dream, I travel back in time(something my father believed in) and cure him of his illness so that he can be with me today to help me - to spoil me with love, affection, gifts, listening, my favorite foods, to teach me new things, to watch sports with, to pick up the kids from school, have them sleepover and to take to the pool room with, and, most importantly, to regale me with stories of underdogs - Davids defeating Goliaths - that always made me stronger, smarter, more powerful and inspired me to take on the world!
I miss our mutual awe and acknowledgement of all the pleasure and joy that's available and of just how amazing life can be!
I try hard to hear this voice, his voice, guiding me.
Every single day, I miss my father.
A Pool Hustler's Daughter grows up in subterranean America. She dreams big, hustles daily and loves her Daddy. With empathy, fascination and grace she navigates and inhabits every tier of society; sees beauty and hope and magic in all things; respects and lives by the "mitzvah."
A Pool Hustler's Daughter calculates the trifecta payout at the racetrack, hides money on three parts of her body, has an arsenal of "Uncles," and keeps a baseball bat by the front door. She values friendship, loyalty and experiences over "things." Like her father, she seeks to learn "The secrets of the universe" and believes "Life ain't on the square." She applauds the self-made and those who learn to "overcome" their circumstances. Her door is always open for a sofa to sleep on, a hot meal, or an eager listener for a life story.