40 Lessons Learned

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

I originally wrote this list in 2009 of twenty lessons learned over the years. I've now added twenty more, some learned while growing up and reinforced in the last five years, and some new. In no particular order:

1. God doesn't need a consultant.

2. Never doubt your ability to justify.

3. It's okay to question everything: your faith, your career path, your political views, your choice of friends. In fact, it's dangerous if you don't.

4. Erase the phrase "oh, they would never do that" from your vocabulary. People will surprise you, for better and for worse.

5. Bad things happen to good people. It's not always because of some moral failing or attracting it into your life because of emitting negative energy into the universe. Believing that you can control everything that happens to you is a philosophy of bondage, not freedom.  

6. If people are really concerned about you, they will pick up the phone to call. The ones who don't call aren't really concerned. 

7. Your mental health is important. We all have issues; some that we don't even know exist. See a counselor if necessary.

8. Life is not so much about being fearless, it's about moving forward despite our fears.

9. Good shoes make a huge difference and the money spent on quality is an investment, not a splurge.

10. You can't be responsible for other people's demons. 

11. There's always a deeper story. Ask better questions.

12. Asking, "why me?" is the same as asking, "why not someone else?"

13. Rocking the boat is not the same as throwing someone under the bus.

14. Jaded is not a healthy lifestyle.

15. Learning how to take a compliment and accept forgiveness are just as important as giving both generously.

16. Comparing everything in your life to your "glory days" or a previous season will get you nowhere.

17. If you've "arrived," you've settled.  There's always more to learn, more to explore.

18. Being "too busy" is a myth. We make time for the people and things that are important to us.

19. Trials make you bitter or better. How you respond is up to you.

20. Being authentic doesn't mean laying all your cards face up on the table.

21. The healthiest people have more boundaries, not less.

22. True humility doesn't hide its gifts.

23. Choose the option with the story.

24. Your children and grandchildren will care more about your jewelry than you do. Buy less, choose well.

25. If you can't give up something for 30 days, you're addicted.

26. The right words at the wrong time are the wrong words.

27. The books you read as a child can spark lifelong passions. Encourage the children in your life to read.

28. People have a right to live fully not just merely.

29. Don't expect people to fight fair. More importantly, don't allow that to make you cynical.

30. The quickest way to turn a good habit into legalism is to insist that everyone else do it as well.

31. Consistent acts of kindness trump random acts of kindness.

32. "Buy all this stuff to simplify your life!" is the new face of materialism.

33. Being a critical thinker and having a critical spirit are two different things. The first requires an open mind, the second refuses one.

34. Your values aren't really your values until they impact your wallet.

35. When in doubt, give people the opportunity to save face. When not in doubt, give people the opportunity to save face. Dignity transforms.

36. Expecting people to be perfect is an exhausting way to live. The people you love and respect will disappoint you. Love them anyway.

37. Blind spots are called that for a reason: YOU can't see them.

38. Social media doesn't make a person better or worse, it amplifies who they already are.

39. If design didn't matter in the grand scheme of things, snowflakes would be ugly.

40. Fresh flowers bring a room to life and are worth including in your weekly budget.


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