49 Life lessons learned by age 49.
As I approached 40 years old, I decided to sit down and write. I wanted to write things I had learned, so that I wouldn’t forget them. Well, research says that you don’t forget as much as your library gets bigger. But that’s beside the point. So those 40 ideas became the foundational 40 life lessons that are the book on Amazon and the first 40 posts on this site. Years, I have tried to do this, but I haven’t always gotten them up on the site. This year, I will try again. Here they are. Each may or may not become a blogpost.
In no specific order.
1. I’m responsible to you, not for you.
2. There is no weather, there is only walking the dog.
3. Money can solve most of life’s problems. Solving the remaining ones makes you truly rich.
4. Nuance is the superpower of the mature.
5. Hard skills save you money.
6. Money is emotion. Your account balance and your feelings are not connected.
7. Listening is a multisensory skill.
8. Keep making new friends. Keep up with old ones.
9. People are not thinking about you. They simply aren’t. When they are, it’s rarely as bad as we imagine.
10. The richness of life is being able to not care if it’s a good deal or not.
11. Laughter is a lost art.
12. Admitting early what you don’t know opens others up later to what you do know.
13. Deconstruction is valuable if you have a reconstruction plan. Otherwise, call it what it is, destruction.
14. Decisions should be made in order of importance to 20 years in the future.
15. Unvoiced expectations are still the greatest killers of good communication.
16. Teach skills and great leaders emerge. Teach leadership and pundits emerge.
17. Stop saying “just”, and like. Then stop writing them as well.
18. The idea that “when this is over, things will be different” is a dangerous trap.
19. Life doesn’t get easier. The trajectory is always harder. Do harder better.
20. Character growth is possible throughout your lifetime. So is character deterioration.
21. Our uniqueness does not lie in our story, but in how we react to it.
22. Embrace who you are. Not who you were.
23. Anticipation is a mark of true friendship.
24. A decision delayed is a decision. I’ll start tomorrow is a recipe for failure.
25. The prepared need few resources. The unprepared need tons of support.
26. The trap of the hurting is feeling like no one knows what they are going through. The journey out is acknowledging others might understand at least some.
27. Ideas become concepts. Concepts become frameworks. Frameworks become curriculum. Curriculum become culture. Rinse and repeat.
28. A PhD is just a long paper. Don’t make things out to be more than they are, don’t underestimate how hard they are either.
29. You don’t understand the real cost of ownership until you have to pay for taking down a tree in your backyard.
30. Getting through this… is the way you do life. So “going through” is more indicative of how you will live, than “getting through.”
31. You never know a person’s true character until they live through a pandemic.
32. Humility is being able to experience generosity without feeling the need for reciprocity.
33. Fear and fun frequently walk hand in hand.
34. Uncertainty is quicksand to mental health.
35. A comfortable couch is an undervalued asset.
36. The World Cup only comes around every 4 years. Before the game, statements are made. Once the game begins, the bigger picture is ignored.
37. Claiming words or actions are “out of character” is not evidence that they are not.
38. Anecdotal evidence is only that, until its my anecdote.
39. The exception makes the rule (l’exception fait la regle). One outlier does not invalidate the results. It simply raises questions.
40. Truth and Certainty may appear to be close relatives but not the same family.
41. The GPS is biased.
42. The greatest success can be stopped by the simplest hurdle.
43. Dogs and cats get along well if they spend time together as puppies and kittens.
44. Expensive mistakes still need to be fixed.
45. Doing something for 20 years doesn’t mean you’ve done it right
46. A papercut isn’t dangerous but it still hurts.
47. Kids will get you to do it for them as long as you keep doing it
48. Learning is one thing. Using the learning its another. A book on wiring an outlet is different than wiring the outlet.
49. Wrinkles are roadmaps of memory.