Hamilton Herald Masthead


Front Page - Friday, December 26, 2014

Where are you going?

View From The Cheap Seats

William O. "Bill" James, Jr.

As we round the corner to yet another year and hope we get $200 as we pass “GO,” it’s time to start thinking about how you’re going to improve yourself over the next 12 calendar months. This is an age old tradition. We lay out all the things we’re going to do or not going to do. We set goals for ourselves that we’re unlikely to ever achieve. This could set us up for disappointment. One could make an argument that this roller coaster ride we put ourselves on might actually do more harm than good. 

Even if that’s true, you have to try. You have to set goals for yourself that are beyond your wildest dreams. A life without dreams of the future is a life without direction and certainly one without hope of improvement. These dreams act as a guiding light to how you live your life and the decisions you make every day. If you’re not basing the decisions of today on the dreams of the future, how will you ever get where you want to be? If you wouldn’t take a long trip without looking at a map, why would you live your life that way? Set your sights on the prize and go for it.

Be a fixer

My big resolution this year is to do all I can to be a problem solver. First, I want to make sure I solve more problems than I create. I’m also resolving to keep my mouth shut about most things unless I’m going to do something to improve them. If there’s nothing I can do to fix a problem, complaining is a waste of time. If there’s something I can do about a problem, but I choose not to do it, then I’ll likewise keep my mouth shut. I want to be a fixer rather than an identifier. An identifier points out the problem but doesn’t do anything to fix it; fixers fix things and make them better. We don’t need more people to tell us the barn is on fire, we need more people lugging the water.

When you’re a fixer, you’re a benefit to people’s lives. While learning that the barn is on fire is helpful, people certainly appreciate the help of those that put the fire out. Would you rather have someone in your ear telling you how to do a project, or have them actively helping you reach your goals? Which person brings you more happiness? Put another way, which person is more irritating to be around? I want to be around the fixer.

Happy New Year

I want to thank all those that have helped me over the last year. I want o thank all of those that have read and supported this column. Most of all, I want to thank my family for putting up with me for yet another year. What I really want to do is wish each and every one of you a Happy New Year, and remind you that the best is yet to come. I think that’s important to believe. That’s true for everybody, especially those of us in the CHEAP SEATS!

Bill James is a co-founder of the James Law Firm with offices in Little Rock, Conway and Fayetteville, Ark. His primary area of practice is criminal defense. He can be contacted at Bill@JamesFirm.com