So, I felt a need to do a turning 40 blog post. I have always been a little impatient and impulsive so when I feel something, I generally go for it and do it. I plan and think things through, but I go on and do what's in my heart and mind. So, while I have time and good scenery, I figured I'd write about 40 lessons I have learned over these past almost 40 years of living. Hopefully, the blog won't be too long and you'll glean some things that will help you in your life's journey. So, here we go...
1. Do what's in your heart and mind. As I said above, that's generally how I live. I have tried to have no regrets about things I've wanted to do and the few things I haven't done yet are the things I always wonder what-if about. Plus, after living these almost 40 years, I know life, time, and good health are precious commodities. So, don't waste time and think you have time to do what's in your heart and mind. Plan and do it!
2. Make a plan and write it. Planning is important to anything you want to do. You have to think things through, weigh options and courses of action and see what resources you need to make your dreams happen. I've always been a journal writer and over the years have found that the things I have written down, I have done.
3. Know and keep your values. You need principles and values to live by. Often what you may want to do or plan to do may not be in agreement with what you have been taught, aspire to be, or choose as the values you live by. For me, I've always cherished the following things: love, integrity, faith, and excellence. I seek to measure everything I do by these things and when my aspirations or plans don't line up with these values, I abandon the aspiration or plan in order to keep my conscious clear.
4. Mind your business. This is harder said than done, especially when it comes to those close to you, but I've learned that people have to make their own decisions. You can provide them with information, encouragement, or support if they ask, but even then they may resent you if things don't turn out the way they want and they took your advice.
5. Root for the underdog. I've had so many odds against me and I always love to see those with odds against them win and overcome. I've found that adversity often is what pushes people to be great and develops the character needed to achieve our dreams.
6. Don't be stuck to a plan or course of action. If you've been going in a direction for a while and see it's not working or going the way you planned, don't be scared stop and/or start again in a new way. I've had to do this so many times and it took courage to admit that something just wasn't working.
7. Take good advice. What you don't learn from listening, you will learn from experience. Listening to proven, sound wisdom can save you time, money, and mistakes.
8. Don't be scared of conflict. You'd rather say how you feel and deal with a conflicting point of view or disagreement than keep your feelings bottled up. I've been a volcano myself and often once you overreact, you don't get an opportunity to fix what's been messed up.
9. Everything others do, you may not be able to do. You have to accept that you can't be like everyone else and do what everyone else does depending on your own purpose and goals in life. I've had to deal with this every since I've been a serious Christian and pastor. You have to live according to your principles and the dictates of your God, faith, and conscious. Others may not agree, but they will respect it.
10. Another's emergency and poor life management cannot be your issue. As a responsible person, I've always felt I had to help others and often fix messes they made. You cannot do this. Some lessons people have to learn on their own and if you are always there to bail them out, you enable them and they never get better.
11. Save money and plan for the unexpected. I've had so many emergencies and issues that were ultra me or anything I could control and I know this first-hand. So, you have to have resources at hand for unexpected illness, bills, death, etc.
12. You cannot care what everyone thinks. No one will always agree with you. People will often dislike you and your ideas and dreams and sometimes for no reason. Thus, you have to do and say what your convictions direct and be bold if you're going to do so.
13. Don't keep expectations of people unless you have to. We expect certain things of family members we care for or who care for us, people on our jobs, close friends, etc. However, other than what people explicitly say or commit to, you cannot expect more. You end up with unmet expectations and hurt feelings.
14. Everyone is not your enemy. Everyone is not your friend. Discern the two and keep information until you discern correctly. You have to take the time to get to know people and classify relationships accordingly. I've heard many different categories, but you have to just make sure your closest friends are tried and true and that you really trust them before sharing information and your life with them
15. Be honest and don’t be fake. Lies always come to light and if you don't want to answer, just don't answer unless you have to. However, you have to be honest with those closest to you! Also what you feel about people and circumstances will eventually come out so just be honest up front.
OK...I only made it to 15 lessons. I'll have to continue the rest at another time. Until then, LIVE your best LIFE!!! Enjoy some pictures from my 40th birthday party!
LOVE INTEGRITY FAITH EXCELLENCE