At times, life feels like it is one fleeting moment to the next. Pockets of time that shape your beliefs, your attitudes, your experiences and ultimately, your reality. Cesare Pavese, an Italian poet, novelist and critic famously professed “We do not remember days, we remember moments.” Cesare may be right.
I’m drawn to a comment in the Deuteronomy Rabbah that states “In vain have you acquired knowledge if you have not imparted it to others.” I’m not a person who professes to have all the answers, hell, I’ve made more mistakes and poor decisions than I care to remember but, if I don’t know an answer to a question, I’ll try my best to find out from someone who does. That’s the beauty of life; coming to an understanding that the more you learn, the less you know.
Here are 50 lessons I have learnt in my short, but colourful time, on this planet.
01. Heaven and hell both exist on earth.
02. Life is not fair.
03. You will meet a lot of people but only a select few are your true friends.
04. Listen to your elders. Often, they’re speaking from experience.
05. There is always someone smarter or more experienced than you. It is okay to ask for their help.
06. It is okay to update your position if someone makes a stronger or better argument than what you have put forward.
07. The only person you need to keep happy one hundred per cent of the time is you.
08. It is impossible to please everyone.
09. When you’re on the path to success, almost everyone that you know will claim to be a small part of your success.
10. When you’re down and out, everyone who has wanted to take aim at you, will.
11. The good and bad in people will never cease to amaze you.
12. The world is judgmental. First impressions count.
13. Being spontaneous doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be prepared.
14. The first time, you will make every mistake in the book.
15. Trust your intuition. Your first instinct, generally speaking, will be the right one.
16. Your emotions are what make you human. You cannot experience the good without the bad.
17. Don’t take everything personally. Often, there are other factors in play.
18. Be present. There is no guarantee of tomorrow.
19. Enjoy the small things. Over time, they accumulate.
20. Keep it simple stupid.
21. Make an excuse to have fun.
22. Give yourself options. Plan A is rarely a success.
23. Timing is critical.
24. If you don’t try, then you’ll never know.
25. Challenge yourself. Often, you’ll be surprised at what you can accomplish.
26. You will fail more than you will succeed. This is okay.
27. Think twice before taking the short cut. There is no substitute for hard work.
28. Nothing great is ever achieved in a comfort zone.
29. Change is inevitable. Embrace it.
30. Fighting who you are will only provide you with great unhappiness.
31. “Find what you love and let it kill you.” – Charles Bukowski
32. The majority of your problems will be insignificant and are imagined.
33. Do not convince yourself that a want is a need. You can live without the want.
34. Do not follow the crowd. When they lead you over the cliff, it is too late.
35. Your perception will create your reality.
36. Recognise that money affords you freedom but realise it is not your health.
37. It is better to say, “I don’t know but let me see if I can find out” than pretend you do.
38. Nothing is ever as bad as it seems and nothing is ever as good as it appears.
39. Time does not heal all wounds, but it can help to lessen the pain.
40. Bring energy to everything you do.
41. Always maintain your standards. Your worth is what you set it at.
42. Always consider context and the source.
43. Moderation and discipline are key.
44. Do what is right, not what is easy.
45. Everyone has skeletons in their closet and everyone is a hypocrite.
46. You are the sum of all your decisions.
47. There is no place like home.
48. The appearance of control is an illusion. The only thing in control one hundred per cent of the time is nature.
49. People cannot be saved from themselves. Sometimes it is better to let them crash and burn on their own.
50. The meaning of life is whatever you make it.