“At twenty years of age, the will reigns; at thirty, the wit; and at forty, the judgement.”
– Benjamin Franklin
Celebrating my 42nd birthday, 42 random thoughts to think about (in no particular order). It’s around 10:00a.m. I’m putting this down now because I suspect later I’ll be falling asleep from too much cake and ice cream.
Find your passions and what makes you happy. Do as many of these things on a daily basis. If your work is your passion and it makes you happy, consider yourself extremely blessed.
In reality, people care about you but don’t really care about what you’re doing (even if we think they do)…they have their own problems to worry about. Do your own thing and don’t worry about what others think.
It’s not as bad as you think. Like Richard Carlson (“Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff”) says, “Is this going to matter a year from now?” Probably not.
Want versus need. (I want that 55-inch LCD HDTV but do I need it?) I don’t even watch that much TV. This is a good rule to follow in keeping purchases to a minimum.
No credit card debt. No car payment. “The borrower is slave to the lender.” (Proverbs 22:7)
I don’t care what anyone says. The 80’s were awesome.
Never take your friendships for granted. Real friends are a blessing and very hard to come by.
It only takes one act of betrayal to destroy years and years of trust.
At 42, I still love hip-hop. By the way, old-school hip-hop is still the best.
The older you get, the more important diet and exercise are. You can’t hide from these two, no matter how busy you are or how many excuses you make. Consequences of ignoring one (or both) will eventually catch up with you.
Honor your father and mother. Recognize the sacrifices they’ve made for you.
You can never show enough gratitude and appreciation for your blessings – no matter how small.
Read. Don’t stop learning.
When your kid is talking to you, pay attention. There will come a time where you wish they would talk to you more.
Do something special for your spouse. This is the one person you probably take for granted the most.
It’s OK to have a guilty pleasure. Like I said, I don’t watch that much TV, but I can tell you what recently caught my attention: The Pauly D Project, Tosh.0, Keeping Up With The Kardashians, Storage Wars. I look at it as junk food. A little is OK now and then.
Do something different. Go to a different restaurant. Take a different way to work. Talk to different people.
You may not like your job that much, that’s OK. First, appreciate that you have a job then start looking for one that you will like.
Dream. What does your ideal life look like three, five, ten, twenty years from now? Start moving towards that vision now.
Incorporate some type of faith or spirituality in your life. The benefits have been well documented.
Forget about controlling other people. You can only control you.
We all have comfort zones. It’s hard and scary, but keep trying to expand your horizon by doing things you know you’re avoiding.
Never take your health for granted. Ask anyone who’s had a life-threatening illness or an accident. Your entire outlook on life changes.
Keep your ego in check.
Help someone else. I try to keep in mind Zig Ziglar’s quote: “You can get everything in life you want if you will just help enough people get what they want.”
There will always be someone smarter, better looking, richer, more accomplished, funnier and (insert description here). So just do your own thing and stop comparing.
Small things count for big things. A compliment, kind word, smile or act of generosity may just be what someone needs at that time.
Your time is limited. Don’t waste it on things like anger, jealousy, greed, hate or anything else that keeps you from being happy.
Be more present. Focus on right now.
Use your vacation days. Is there really a perfect time to take vacation? There will always be work waiting for you at the office.
Be selective about how you spend your time. There are 168 hours in a week. Do you really want to spend your days watching TV and playing video games?
You don’t have to be productive all the time either. It’s OK to shut down and “veg” out for a while. It’s good to let your mind and body take a breather.
I love the terms “The Resistance” and “Lizard Brain.” These are used to describe the voice in our head that tells us we are not good enough, smart enough, or even crazy for wanting to do things we really want to do. The fact we can identify the voice means we can also acknowledge it and tell it to please be quiet.
When someone is talking to you – listen. Don’t be one of those people who cuts others off mid-sentence or begins the sentence with “I.”
Don’t be a M.O.E. (Master of Everything) or Topper (great Dilbert character who is always trying to “top” someone else’s story). No one likes to be around these kind of characters. Stay humble.
Healthcare is a hot-button topic right now. Thank God for healthcare. If you have coverage, consider it a blessing.
Have an emergency fund. It’s nice to know you have a small cushion to cover new tires, a new refrigerator, worn down brakes, or anything else that needs to be replaced or fixed.
Once a year (I do it around the holidays), drive around your childhood neighborhood and old stomping grounds. For me, it brings back great memories and helps me to appreciate where I’ve been, what I’ve done, and where I am today.
Be accountable and responsible. Everyone immediately knows who “that” guy is. The one who won’t hesitate to throw others under the bus at the first sign of trouble.
It’s OK to screw up and make mistakes. Look at these events as learning opportunities, not defining moments.
As we get older, our analytical (grown-up, big boy) voice often drowns out our intuitive (gut feeling) voice. It’s good to be cautious and to think through things, but sometimes we should go with what “feels” right.
Every morning, expect great things to happen.
What are some of your random life tips?