Amber Alert

40 Things I Have Learned When I Turned 40

I turn 41 at the end of this month -- two weeks from today -- and I got to thinking of all the stuff that I have witnessed, learned, and been exposed to during my forty years.

There are many people out there who are far more sage than I will ever be! Though, I do enjoy learning about what other people have experienced. As I head further into my fourth decade on this earth, I thought I would share some of what I have learned.

Please note that the ideas expressed below are purely my own and are not meant to offend in any way, but they are a reflection of what I have observed during the reality of my life thus far.

  1. If you don’t believe in yourself chances are nobody else will either.
  2. No matter what you do or how nice you are some people are not going to like you and that’s okay.
  3. Acts of kindness can come from people you hardly know.
  4. Public speaking is easy; effectively communicating your message to an audience takes hard work.
  5. At the end of the day there will always be someone who is more intelligent, more creative, and better looking than you are so just do the best you can.
  6. If you are not living in a war-torn, drought-ridden, famine- experiencing country you should consider yourself lucky and be thankful every day.
  7. If you don’t like yourself today, start tomorrow by acknowledging that you are a good person.
  8. It’s okay to pursue your own path to happiness.
  9. Travel will change you in ways you never expected.
  10. Failure sucks! But, not trying sucks even more.
  11. Some of the nastiest human beings I have ever met presented themselves as all-knowing religious zealots.
  12. In most circumstances, being a good listener is much more important than being a good talker.
  13. Sooner or later you must be willing to take a risk.
  14. Bad things can happen to good people.
  15. Your pet just might be smarter than than you are.
  16. Four-legged rats are a furry nuisance, it’s the two legged rats that are dangerous.
  17. Bad jobs can be a great motivator.
  18. Even a little bit of exercise everyday can make you feel better.
  19. The Stillness Experiment is so simple and yet so overwhelmingly calming and brings a renewed spirit to your every day life.
  20. You can’t take your money with you when you go so go ahead and take that trip, sabbatical, or mini-retirement.
  21. Some days are just not going to be pleasant.
  22. Faith -- no matter what your faith is; no matter what you believe in; no matter the name of your God -- can help you remain focused.
  23. Every day you should have a list of goals, small and big.
  24. There are some incredible, amazing, and truly inspirational people out there.
  25. Often it will be the people who have the least that will offer you the most.
  26. If you have a great idea, but feel overwhelmed and intimidated at the possibility of implementing it, don’t be afraid to collaborate with others.
  27. Life is short; quit making excuses and get on with it.
  28. Many people will expect you to fail. They don’t necessarily want you to fail, but they do not believe you will succeed, either.
  29. It’s not fair but success in most circumstances comes down to who you know and not what you know.
  30. Some goals take a lo-o-ong time to achieve.
  31. Smiling is contagious.
  32. It does not take much effort to be nice to someone. It takes more effort to be mad or hateful than it does to be happy or nice.
  33. Buying more stuff does not necessarily lead to more happiness.
  34. Most of the time your initial gut feeling is correct.
  35. Clinical depression and mental illness aside, we have the ability to make a conscious choice every day to be happy or miserable.
  36. We have the power to believe.
  37. Prayer works!
  38. Racism, xenophobia, homophobia, and hate mongering SUCK! There is no place for it in society.
  39. Children are your most prized accomplishments!
  40. Age is just a number and does not define you as a person.

How old are you? What are some of the life experiences that you have been through and what have YOU learned? Please educate me as I look forward to continuing my life in my 40s.

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