I made a discovery early in life. It is one that I want to share with you today. It is called learning vicariously. Now we have all heard of people that live vicariously through the experiences of others. Maybe you want to go to the beach, but don’t have the money. You might listen to the stories of a friend that went and imagine yourself there. Or perhaps you always wanted to be a great athlete, but never had the coordination. Watching football on the weekends or staying up late for NBA games may be your way to still get a piece of what you wanted.

Just like many people live vicariously through the actions of others, I have found that I can learn vicariously and not make the same mistakes others have. I would like to share with you today some of the mistakes I have observed and how I learned from it.

First, I learned very early how important it is to show mom and dad respect. My brother gave me a shining example of what not to do one fateful day in 1983. I remember parts of it, but have been told the story many times and have filled in the gaps. My brother made less than wise choices and had to live with consequences.

Next, be aware of who you are with and what they are selling. I was reading a book called the Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg. In it he told a story of a housewife that developed a gambling problem that took her from her local casino, to multiple trips to vegas and eventually to bankruptcy. What stuck out about the story is this: everyone around her had a plan, she didn’t. In reading this book I was amazed at how quickly she fell into the marketing traps of the casino.

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