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CLAYTON RYE

By Staff | Dec 27, 2013

I am always full of advice, but in a high percentage of time, I keep my advice to myself. Almost the only time you will get advice from me is when you ask for it.

Most people do not want advice until they ask for it. Then when they ask, I have found they usually do not follow it unless you tell them what they wanted to hear all along.

Last week I wrote about my memory not being as quick as it once was. I have been making lists of things I do not want to forget such as my favorite jokes.

Another list of mine has my favorite pieces of advice, much of it learned by personal experience.

So, at the risk of bypassing my not-giving-unsolicited-advice, let me tell you about some of the best advice I have. What you do with it is up to you.

A piece of advice I frequently told my children when they were growing up is that, “I don’t care how you get the job done, just get it done.”

I was once a perfectionist who became a frustrated perfectionist because perfection was elusive and hard work. So rather than try or complete something, I just gave up because I was overwhelmed by the immenseness of the job. That’s the short version.

Slowly, I figured out there were many ways to get a job done, not just one – the perfect one. That was when I learned the process could be more enjoyable than the result.

Having faith in my own abilities and knowing that I can figure out the final result was freeing and let me take on tasks that I may have previously avoided.

There were times the result was even better than I hoped for and that was great.

I have since removed the word “perfect” from my vocabulary. Really. I lead a life of imperfection, while realizing that there is always room for improvement.

At a family Christmas cookie decorating event, 5-year-old grandson Gavin was carefully decorating a cookie when he looked at me with a sad face because he had made a mistake on his cookie.

I told him, “Don’t worry about it. We eat our mistakes.” He ate his cookie and started over.

I received a great insight from my boss when I worked for a car dealer long, long ago.

He said to me one day, “We are not in the car business. We are in the people business.”

What he was saying that if you take care of the people, everything else will fall into place. That applies to the company president or the person emptying waste baskets.

It especially applies to people who write for newspapers and those in the news media, which may be the ultimate people business.

Doctors and nurses may disagree.

So, my advice is to always be aware of the people. I enjoy talking to people whose jobs can become faceless such as those who wait on tables or operate cash registers.

Looking them in the eye, giving a smile, and a brief chat helps when they may be only part way through their shift.

I listen to a favorite radio station because it plays my favorite kind of music. No surprise there.

In between songs the station often gives one-line sentences of advice.

For example, I recently heard it say, “Never ask a barber if you need a haircut.”

Those in the hair industry may disagree.

I heard another piece of advice from that same station and yes, I have saved the best for last.

Here it is: “Never name the pig you are going to eat.”

Who would disagree with that? The pig?

Now that is so good you should write it on your own list.

That is my advice, the kind you did not ask for.

Rye is a Farm News staff writer and farmer from Hanlontown. Reach him by e-mail at crye@wctatel.net.

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