So, I keep an ideas file for my blog.
The following snippets of wisdom (along with about 40 other) have been sitting around for nearly three years. Since I haven’t developed them into full-blown blog posts by now, then I take that as a sign I need to clear out the file and start again.
But the snippets themselves are good—and I wanted to share them.
Below are the best—enjoy.
1. Never make a major decision on a Monday.
This goes for switching careers. Editing books. Dating women. Buying a new house. Everyone’s always a little bluer on a Monday. The world will look better on Tuesday.
2. When doing repetitions of an exercise, count down instead of up.
This gives your workout a psychological edge, and it really works. Instead of counting from 1 to 10, count from 10 to 1. In your mind, you’re not pushing the stone up the hill that way. Instead, the elevator is falling down the shaft.
3. The problem with the Internet is that NONE of the rest of life works this way.
You want instant answers? Instant purchase power? Instant gratification? It’s all just a click away. But if you start to look for Internet-styled immediacy in your colleagues, family members, spouse, or the driver in front of you at the red light, watch out. Only the Internet is immediate. The rest of life—real life—is not.
4. When your wife or girlfriend says, “I’ll just be a minute.” That’s not a literal minute.
Also, when she says, “Hang the picture there.” She means hang the picture there. Or … there.
5. When you travel by yourself and stay in a hotel, take a family photo with you and place it in the room somewhere in a prominent position.
Call home each night you’re away.
6. It’s okay—even cool—for a man to drive a crappy truck.
You’re probably spending your money on things like groceries, diapers, the power bill.
7. Your new baby is self-centered and opinionated, demanding and loud.
It’s always about her, her, her. Good thing she’s the cutest kid in the universe.
8. If you meet a self-professed expert …
in the stock market, the weather, or parenting, he’s probably wrong.
9. I read a news story once about activists who set out in a canoe…
planning to paddle from Seattle to San Diego to raise awareness for some cause. They knew nothing about oceans, they admitted, and hadn’t trained at all for the trip. But they planned to learn about oceans and get in shape along the way as they paddled south. I never heard if they made it. I have my doubts.
10.For kids, it’s all about the big birthday present.
For grownups, it’s all about the big anniversary present.
Question: Your turn—what random bit of wisdom do you know?
Preorder Marcus’ new novel, FEAST FOR THIEVES, in bookstores this September.
A hard-edged and well-crafted novel,
with surreptitiously smart prose, confident plotting,
and characters you feel you know.”
founding senior features editor of
O, the Oprah Magazine