Sarah Miller / 05.28.2016
The 14 Most Valuable Lessons I’ve Leavened From Successful Men I’ve Dated
1. Invest in what you use – He was an Ivy League educated squash player who I met on tinder. He also happened to be a banker so one day I decided to cash in on some free investment advice. He told me you should invest in what you use. I bought Wholefoods stock the next day.

 2. What got you here won't get you there – I think this is some of the most valuable career advice you can give someone. Just re-read it and think about it for a few minutes…

 3. You have to live in the same world as someone – He was a (married) professor at an Ivy League school and I was an intern at a Fortune 500 Company who was spending her free time searching for her soul mate. We discussed many intellectual topics but the one I remember the most is our talks about religion. One time he said, “ you have to live in the same world as someone” he was referring to trying to marry (or date) someone from a different religious background. He felt it just couldn’t work and I agreed. You can’t have a catholic who is living for heaven and an atheist who is living for the here-and-now because you just aren’t living in the world. 

 4. Life doesn’t always begin at the end of your comfort zone- He was the CEO of his own real estate company and I was head over heals for him. I asked him endless questions in an effort to pick his stunning brain. When I asked what he thought about the age old “life begins at the end of your comfort zone quote he said “ although there are some things which many people may commonly find uncomfortable such as climbing high mountains, touching snakes, going on long isolated vacations with your in-laws, or cave diving, while violating these convictions tends to make people uncomfortable, it does not promote growth. Thus, just doing new and scary things for the sake of doing them is a strategy unlikely to lead to enlightenment”.

 5. Living your life with the goal of being famous after you die is no different than living for heaven – He was successful business owner who had strong values and lived each day in pursuit of his own happiness. I was a miserable atheist who always believed the only purpose of my life was to leave behind something that wasn’t on this earth before I was. It could be a book I wrote, a child I made, or an invention I came up with but my goal was to leave something behind. When I told this man my goal he said “ Well that’s no different than living for heaven”. His statement made me face that life truly is about pursuing happiness (and being wrong made me miserable).

 6. People don't care about your weaknesses. They care about your strengths - He was a coding genius who could make an iphone app faster then most people can make breakfast. We became really close in college and he always told me the truth (even when it was the last thing I wanted to hear). He noticed one day that I was complaining about how hard dieting was on social media. He texted me and said, “ You know Sarah, people don’t care about weaknesses, they care about your strengths”. 7 Years later, I still apply this logic to almost all of my writing.

 7. Working out is important but shouldn’t be at the expense of other intellectual pursuits  -  He was a self-made millionaire and I was a recovering addict who thought the size of her jeans was the only important goal in my life. On our third date I asked him if he worked-out (at this point I hadn’t seen him naked) and he said “ I try to when I can but I don’t put working out ahead of my other intellectual pursuits”.

 8. The fact that it can all blow-up in your face is what makes something worth doing. – He was programmer who ran his own start-up company and I was a post-rehab front desk worker making minimum wage. I had some difficult choices to make and I confided in him. One night on the phone I called him very upset and said “ I want to take this offer but it can literally all blow up in my face if it goes wrong” and he said “ but that’s exactly what makes it worth doing”. I took the offer.

 9. When in doubt, make a decision on the margin – He was that same computer programmer (I kept him around) and I was an unemployed wanna-be writer. I again had some hard choices to make. I was unhappy but wasn’t convinced making a move would make me any happier. He said “ I’m all about making decisions on the margin. Are you unhappy? Can making a move possibly make you happy? If the answer is yes to both questions, your choice is easy”

 10. Desire is a very powerful stimulant- He was the CEO of a billionaire dollar company and I was his new obsession. He always had a few girlfriends in his life, which didn’t bother me but it did make me wonder why he spread himself so thin. So one night I asked why he found it useful to have so many romances all at once. He said, “ Because desire is a very powerful stimulant”. Once I was made aware of this, I started searching for it and I’ve found it to be very true.

 11. Live by example – He was the VP of a fortune 500 company and a devote Mormon. We had many talks about his faith and about his missions to Germany. He told me a story about how when he first started his mission of trying to convert people he went full steam ahead. He would talk peoples ears off but nobody would listen. So one day it dawned on him, he needed to live by example. From that point forward he stopped trying to bombard people with his religious talks and started living in such a way that made people want to find out why he was such an amazing man. It worked for him and it can work for you (and it doesn’t have to be related to religion).

 12. Don't get lost in the details – He was self-starter working his way to the top and I was a typical person who couldn’t figure out how he made it all happen. One day I asked him how he gets so much done in a day and he said “ You can’t get lost in the details. That’s what your lawyers and accountants are for. They are the details men and that’s why they aren’t out there building 30 story buildings like I am”.

 13- There are different degrees of “hard” – He was a professional athlete and apparently I really turned him because he kept saying “ feel how hard you make me”. I tried to figure out what that meant but I finally gave up and asked him “ why do you tell me to feel how hard I make you? Doesn’t every girl you have sex with make you hard?” He said, “ There are different degrees of hard”. I’ve been trying to be more observant of this sexual detail ever since.

14. Sometimes things just run there course - This jem came from the guy who took my “V-card”.  He is now the chef at a 5 star hotel in Vegas.   At the time I was an insecure 16 year old who thought we were going to get married but apparently he had other plans. One morning, on a snow day, he called me to say that things between us were over. Through my heavy sobs and river of tears I asked why he was doing this to me and he said, “ because sometimes things just run there course”.