4. Love your wife.
I can see the contrast of how Tony lived his life, and the result of his infidelity, to that of my parents, and my friends who are married. A happy wife leads to a happy life.
Man up. Be her man. Treat her like she’s a princess, and don’t think that sleeping around will fill any void or desire you have, it will only lead to pain, darkness, and the death of a promising marriage.
5. Cigars are a great stress-reliever.
No, they’re not healthy, but my goodness do they taste good. A nice cigar, after a long workday, is tough to beat. They relax you, take your mind off of whatever worries you have and allow you to be in the moment.
I don’t smoke like Tony does (almost daily). I’ll have 6-10 cigars a year. For me, they’re either a stress reliever, or as the result of celebration. But I do love them.
There’s a scene in the Sopranos, I think it was the 6th season, regardless, it’s a cold, fall evening. Tony’s marriage is on the rocks, he’s at war, thing’s aren’t going well with his shrink, and he comes home, sits by the pool, opens his cigar case, and has a smoke. I’m not here to advocate smoking cigars, but in moderation, they’re incredibly relaxing.
6. There’s always someone watching you.
If you’re a dad, there’s always someone watching you, mimicking your mannerisms, and your actions. Be cognizant of this fact. Tony saw how his dad acted; the violence, anger, and rage, and mimicked it in his own life. Tony’s son eventually did the same, albeit in a different way.
How you treat your lady, will be noticed. Whether or not you work hard, sleep in, watch TV, eat bad foods or healthy foods, is all being watched and absorbed. If you want your son to grow up to be a strong, good, healthy, successful man, you need to be one yourself.
If you’re not a dad, you may be one someday. Start acting as if. Start being the guy you want to be. The best man you can possibly be, not only for your own happiness and success, but for your future children.
Man up before you have no other option.
7. You are the 6 people you hang around with most.
Tony grew up around gangsters, and became one. Odds are if most of your friends are millionaires, you’re one as well. If most of your friends are drug addicts, you’re likely the same. If most of your pal’s are jacked, strong, and take care of themselves, you likely do the same.
That doesn’t mean that you have to dump your friends, but it may.
If they’re losers. If they think small. If they hate on the accomplishments of others, because they’re too lazy and afraid to get off their asses and do the work in their own lives, then yes, you may have to dump them and find other friends.
Your friends should lift you up, not bring you down. They should challenge you to be better, to work harder, and to extend yourself to new levels that you wouldn’t even attempt had they not been around pushing you, and doing the same in their own lives.
Be A Boss
You don’t need to wait for the title to be handed to you to be a boss. Be one daily. Act as if you’re already there, making the big decisions, wielding power.
Life, adventure, excitement, isn’t for the timid souls who don’t dare to create or conquer. It’s for those who reach for the stars, don’t accept mediocrity as the norm, and push themselves beyond what they can currently accomplish.
I was sad to hear that the actor who played one of my favorite characters had passed. He was a father, a husband, and one of the few in his world that focused on his craft, not on the fame that comes with it.
There are lessons we can learn from the man, and from the character. We can learn how to be a boss in our own lives, how to stand up, not get pushed around, and how to lead, from Tony. We can learn that it’s the craft, our work, our dream, that matters, not the fame that may accompany it, from James. Fame isn’t real. It’s not a substance that lends anything great to our lives. Fake friends are fickle, our real friends will never leave us.
Take care of your body. Don’t leave this earth any earlier than you have to. In the end, though, make your seconds, hours, days, and years, epic. Live with honor. Leave your fingerprints all over this canvas. “It’s not the length of life, but the depth of life.” Emerson