What I've Learned From Uncle Karl

I keep a small collection of old cards and letters in the drawer of my nightstand. Most are birthday cards oozing of love, but one in particular, given to me on the day I graduated high school from my Uncle Karl, is chock-full of advice. Besides being an incredible skier (and ski coach!), he’s one of the smartest, most successful people I’ve ever known, and although I don’t see or speak to him nearly enough, he’s someone that I admire deeply — someone who’s advice I’d be silly not to take, or share.

Keep close touch with your friends from high school and grade school, as these friends will probably be the ones who know you best.

Throw away old bank stubs and receipts and checks, and keep old love letters and memorabilia.

Take time to “stop and smell the roses,” as they say, but don’t waste time watching TV, or playing video games.

Read books, consult multiple sources, and make your own conclusions.

Contribute to the causes that you feel are important.

Judge others, not by what they own, but by their honesty, integrity, how good of a family they raise, and what they do to make the world a better place.

Never vote for the lesser of two evils — you’re still voting for evil.

Exercise regularly, socialize frequently, and above all, have fun!

And, he didn’t include this in his card, but something I’ve learned the past few years from him: do whatever it takes to show up for the big events. It matters.