Hey everyone, LOOK—>! It’s my better half in today’s Life Lessons! Buff Parham and I  been through a lot together over the past nearly 19 years of marriage, including being tested mightily over the last year. But as I said here, we’re still standing and thankful for it. Personally, I think you need to get several things from a mate: you need to be loved and inspired and you need to learn too. It’s not a stretch to say Buff Parham is the smartest guy I know, but more than that, he is perhaps the most optimistic, resilient and realistic too, all things I need to keep me grounded and tethered. Of course he drives me nuts at times, but hands down, there’s no one I’d rather be in the foxhole with. 

Thanks Buff for keeping me motivated, inspired and above all, believing in me, long after I gave up on myself. I will try to make you as proud of me as I am of you!

Are you happy at the moment?

Yes, when I think about my life compared to the lives of most of humanity. All things considered, I am a very blessed person!

If you could go back and say anything to your 16-year-old self now – what would it be?

Don’t be in such a hurry to “grow up”. Take more time and savor every moment.

What’s the most important thing you’ve learned this year?

That adversity doesn’t build character—adversity reveals character…or the lack thereof!

What do you most want to achieve in the next 12 months?

Enough financial success to keep me out of the “9 to 5” world. I have little or no desire to return to the “corporate life.”

What’s your secret to happiness?

Count your blessings every single day. Do as much as you can for the people you care about on an unconditional basis.

What one ritual or practice keeps you grounded?

Getting up at the same time every day. And of late, hitting the gym first thing each weekday morning.

What’s your biggest regret?

Passing up the opportunity to study overseas during college.

What’s the most important lesson you’ve taught your kid(s)?

Hopefully, that they fully understand that all of their actions have consequences.

What bad habit would you most like to change about yourself?

Reduce my tendency to procrastinate doing the most mundane tasks.

Aside from motherhood/fatherhood and marriage what are you most proud of in your life?

I’m proud of the fact that there is no human that I fear and that I have the will and the ability to handle myself in almost any circumstance.

When were you happiest?

When my wife and I spent an amazing time in Paris, doing pretty much whatever we wanted to do!

What ten words best describe you?

Resourceful, loyal, independent, trustworthy, articulate, competitive, demanding, picky, insightful and courageous.

Buff Parham is an independent media sales executive who believes that asking the right question is often more important than having the right answer.  He’s the proud husband of Rene Syler, and the father of an amazing adult daughter and two pretty cool high-schoolers. In spite of ample evidence to the contrary, he remains an incurable optimistic. Follow him on Twitter @buffparham