40 Years Of Life’s Lessons

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Yesterday I turned 40.

It’s not an important day to me, but I do suppose it’s a milestone – and one that I’m fortunate to have made. I thought I’d write about what 40 years has taught me and in some cases, has been trying to teach me.

School Reunion

Friendship

  • Making friends is a better than getting friends. You can get a cake or make a cake. Great friends are made.
  • Some friends are for life. The quality of your friendship can be measured in the comfort of shared silence.
  • Not everyone wants to be your friend and that’s OK.
  • Sometimes it’s better to lose friends than keep them. Staying on the right path alone is better than taking the wrong path together.

Faith

  • Don’t bend the world to suit your faith. Bend your faith to suit your world – It’ll all make sense the day you do.
  • What you believe is your choice. I choose to believe.
  • Take 10 minutes to think about the bigger picture. Awe brings humility.
  • Meditation doesn’t start with “Ommmm” – It starts with “Ummm?”

Family

  • In order of importance; Family | Friends | Strangers = Acquaintances, treat them both with the same respect.
  • Family is the first place you’ll learn about forgiveness.
  • Practise loving your family first, they’ll always give you an honest appraisal of your performance.
  • Your extended family is often the support under the bridge. They’ve always been there for you, even if you didn’t notice.

Zac

Children

  • Quality time is only possible with Quantity time. Don’t think you’ll get any Quality time without the Quantity.
  • Your child has come into your life, not the other way around.
  • Don’t let people persuade you not to discipline your kids.
  • Every child is different. In some cases a smack works, but it’s not always the answer. Knowing your child provides the right answer.
  • Discipline (even smacking) is not equal to abuse.
  • You can’t learn how to be a parent from reading a book.
  • Always reinforce your love for your child. Even after a smack – give them a hug and a cuddle and let them know you love them.

Love

  • It’s what you do, not what you say.
  • It’s true you can find a soul mate, though it’s not possible to realise while dating.
  • If someone chooses not to love you, don’t think you can change their mind.
  • Romance isn’t love, but when the two meet you’ll be in heaven.
  • Being proud of yourself is ugly. Being proud of others is beautiful.
  • Verbalise your love for others. Don’t make the assumption they already know.

My lovely wife Jayne

Marriage – 19 years

  • Sharing your life with someone is the single greatest gift you have to give.
  • Realise making a commitment is an ongoing event. It’s that shared commitment to continually return to each other that makes your marriage a success.
  • Compromise is everything and required of both – otherwise you’re not in a marriage, you’re in a dictatorship.
  • Being single is like a dry well. A life partner will fill it with water and make you whole.

Ethics

  • Do what is right – you’ll sleep better at night.
  • Don’t promise something unless you’re absolutely sure you can keep it.
  • Honesty is the best policy. If you’re dishonest there is always time to change.
  • Say sorry. Don’t be so pigheaded. No one will hold it against you. Don’t say sorry – People will hold it against you.

Personal Growth

  • Knowledge isn’t power. The application of knowledge is wisdom.
  • Accepting responsibility is the biggest catalyst for growth
  • Blaming others is only for victims. There are very few real victims in life – chances are you’re not one of them. Stop blaming others.
  • Making excuses is akin to lying to yourself. Be honest.
  • When things don’t turn out the way you think they should it’s tempting to live in denial. Don’t. Acceptance empowers you.
  • Always hold yourself personally accountable. That way when accountability comes knocking, you’ll be prepared.
  • Take ownership of problems – owners have more choices, solutions and rewards than tenants.
  • Learning is the pathway – success is the destination.

Dad Me and Zac

Death

  • Get ready, it’s coming for us all.
  • Nothing can prepare you for the hole created by the loss of a loved one.
  • Death is part of a greater plan. “He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.” Rev 21:4

Character

  • People judge you by their own measure. If they don’t trust anyone, they’re not trustworthy. Pay attention, because character matters.
  • It’s better to have character than wealth.
  • Appearances don’t matter. Good character matters.
  • Character is the sum of all the decisions you’ll ever make. Good (as opposed to evil) decisions = Good Character.
  • Build character, reputation will follow.

Zac on Trampoline

Laughter

  • Laughter shouldn’t be the best medicine. It should be a lifestyle choice.
  • When others are laughing I can’t help but have a good time.
  • Don’t take yourself too seriously – no one else does. <– (this is a quote from someone else, but I thought it suitable to repeat it here).
  • Thinking laughter is better than crying is robbing you emotionally.
  • Laughter at someone else’s expense is the most cruel, but also the most funny. Best to poke fun at yourself to make others laugh.

Wisdom

  • Wisdom isn’t in words – it’s knowing what to do and when to do it.
  • Sometimes wisdom is displayed by keeping your mouth shut.
  • Don’t think everyone has the same intentions.
  • Meditate on past events. Play out possibilities in your mind. This will equip you for future opportunities.

Winning Awards

Success

  • Success can only be defined by each individual. Your own success in dependant on your own ideals.
  • Success and failure are both teachers. Learn from them both equally.
  • Having a large bank account is pointless if you have nobody to share it with. Don’t strive to be successful at the expense of others.
 

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