Skip to content

Do You Have A Motto?

July 6, 2021

Recently I was asked if I had a motto.

This question bothers me. And I’m not sure why it bothers me. And that also bothers me. There has been a lot of screwups in my life. Many by me. Some by others. I know what my motto is NOT. It’s not, “Whatever doesn’t kill me makes me stronger.” That idea is not only silly, but stupid. I’m more likely to adopt the motto offered by my friend Howard Tayler in his “Seven Habits For Highly Successful Mercenaries.”

“Maxim 35: That which does not kill me has made a tactical error.”

I’m certainly stronger from the experiences. But, I’d hate to think my life is defined by stuff trying to kill me. That’s not my motto. More likely my motto has to do with family. Family has defined my life. I was adopted when I was 16 years old. I wanted to be adopted by my step father, Lloyd V Bliss. I was searching for a family. For my entire life I had a different last name than my father. My family was always a blended family. I wanted a “normal” family. Of course, there is no such thing as a normal family.

Now, forty years later, I feel bad about the effect it had on my birth father, John Richard Keeney. I reconnected with him a few years ago. We’re in a good spot in our relationship.

When we started our own family, my lovely wife and I had three birth kids. But, we knew two things. First, we were not going to be able to have any more birth children, and second, we definitely wanted additional children. So, my families growing up, we all looked alike but had different names. Now, my family has the same last name (except for the married ones, of course) and but we all look different.

So, I guess my motto would be “Family.”

Stay safe

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren.

Follow him on
Twitter (@rodneymbliss)
Facebook (
LinkedIn (
or email him at rbliss at msn dot com

(c) 2021 Rodney M Bliss, all rights reserved

One Comment
  1. the Seven Habits to Seventy Maxims journey Howard took is its own example of Maxim 35, though I’ve never seen that attached to Missionaries, always been to Mercenaries when I saw it. Or are either of you trying to add supplementary materials to The Book of Mormon with those Habits|Maxims? Perhaps as helpful tools for those on mission?

    Cheers to Family, I always enjoy hearing the success you’ve had on this front.

Leave a Reply