Wise Words From My Friend Willis

Wise Words From My Friend Willis

Recently I started the new hobby of beekeeping. At my first meeting, I met a gentleman by the name of Willis. Willis is one of those guys you gravitate towards. He’s 75 years old, always smiling, the physique of a 30-year-old and a demeanor that just exudes PEACE AND HAPPINESS.

Seeing my enthusiasm for learning more about bees, he invited my out to his house to help him with his hives. I went to his house 2 days later. He lives a rural area and has a little over 2 acres of land. As he’s showing me around his property, I can help but to notice 2 things immediately

  1. How quiet and peaceful his yard
  2. His 2 acres are pristine! No grass out of place. With nearly 60 or 70 trees, there is not one stick in his yard. Even the pine straw looked dress right dress (military term).

And he maintains it all by himself.

I really like Willis’ company and I guess he likes mine as well, because every since we met I am probably at his house once or twice a week cutting down trees, tending to the bees, or messing around in his garden and before I leave he is always coming up with new project for the next visit.

Willis is a married, retired railroad executive that consults from time to time with railroad companies both domestically and abroad, he is very well educated and has so many stories and knowledge. He seems like, do to the age difference between us, A great grandfather figure.

Before I continue I must say this:

Over the years I have realized that most advice is nonsense that is either second or third hand, made up with no proven facts, bias, or the product of misinterpreted situations that formed a messed up belief system. So I am very careful about most advice that I take.

  • If we are talking about sales and you are not a salesmen or you don’t study sales:
    IM PROBABLY not going to take your sales advice without researching it first.
  • If we are talking about being happy and you’re constantly on edge: IM PROBABLY NOT going to take your advice without researching it first!
  • If we are talking about having a happy relationship and you are constantly complaining, arguing, yelling, screaming, blaming, manipulating, attempting to control and hiding things from the person you are in the relationship with, I AM DEFINITELY NOT TAKING YOUR RELATIONSHIP ADVICE. No matter how long you have been together because whatever you BELIEVE or whatever you are DOING is not working for you! You haven’t learned how to be HAPPY in your relationship, you have learned how to CO-EXIST in your relationship!

So with that being said I must say I really respect Willis and he has never seemed to me to be inconsistent (His words match his life) and he has no reason to be biased because he doesn’t know any of the people in my life. He is only speaking for a place of knowledge, and/or experience.


So being that I am on my RECONSTRUCTION JOURNEY, I find every opportunity to learn from his wisdom and ask for advice:

Getting to the GEMS………

Willis’s Advice On Happiness

As I mentioned, Willis demeanor exudes PEACE AND HAPPINESS. There is a difference between acting happy and being happy. His spirit screams HAPPINESS.

So one for the first question I slide in as we were burning wood after chopping two of the pine trees in his yard was “What your secret to being so happy all the time?”

Without even looking up or even having to think about it, he began to talk about maintaining the yard, his beehives and giving his “honey money” to help a girl through med school that he took in when she was in high school.

He then summed it all up into one neat package:

“Everyday you have to do something that makes you happy. I work in my yard every day because I love it and it makes me happy! No matter what you do in life there is always going to be complications, They just happen but by doing something that makes you happy every day it relieves the stress and helps you think through the problem with a clear mind.”

Willis and His Wife’s Advice On Marriage.

One afternoon, after we were finishing feeding the bees and cleaning out the honey extractor. His wife ordered a couple of pizzas and we sat down and had dinner together.

After a while of spending time with Willis and watching how he and his wife interacted, I had to ask the question.”What’s the secret to being HAPPILY MARRIED for 30 years?”

Willis and his wife, with a smile on their face, explained that they have been married for 30 years but, HAPPY for only about 26! We all couldn’t help but laugh!

Willis then began to explain that he grew up in a patriarchal environment. “Where the women were supposed to listen to the men without question” he believed “men were supposed to control their woman”.

She kind of chuckled then admitted to “wanting to maintain her independence. So we were always arguing. We use to call friends and family to help us understand how to handle the problems but it seemed they just got worse.”

Then he stated “the only thing we had in common, it seemed, was our faith. We had both been married before and we committed to making it work. We kept going to church, we started talking to the pastor, we kept trying to understand how to be married through the bible. Things began to get better.”

Then the WISDOM began, “You know Adrian, marriage should be a threefold cord: you, your wife and the holy spirit! So If we have a problem we work it out TOGETHER if there is a decision to make we make it TOGETHER, we pray TOGETHER, and we eat TOGETHER. God never told me to control woman that’s what my environment told me. He told us to love them as he loved the church. We as men are supposed to try to understand our wives and serve them – No ego, no pride.” He continued “When you get married you are no longer 2 but 1. Then she added “It was hard for me because the problems I had with my prior husband. We both had children from our prior marriages and I looked at everything as MY. Once we began to understand that we were 1 we became HAPPIER. We have disagreements, everybody does, but we go right back to the bible.”

I KNOW IT KIND OF SOUNDS LIKE A BIBLE STUDY or a Christian Relationship Movie!

But the proof was in the pudding: MARRIED 30 YEARS HAPPY 26 (LOL) 3 kids, 5 grandkids and they still smile, kiss and hug after all those years!

I kind of just sat there trying to absorb it all for a second but I GOT IT!!!! After, that we continued eating as Willis told stories of his past, most of them were hilarious and I left.

On the drive home I couldn’t stop thinking about what had they said.

I want to be HAPPY in all areas of my life and BEING HAPPILY MARRIED is a goal of mine. So, I will keep these nuggets close to me AT ALL COST.


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