Lessons Learned Along the Way

I don’t give advice, but I don’t mind passing along some lessons. Here are some of my own and a few others I’ve found from other sources. Feel free to add your own.

 1. Work hard, work smart.  If you have to work long hours get the most out of your efforts. Working long hours is not always working smart. Don’t waste effort and be mindful that you can create your own luck.

2. Never leave something important unsaid. Regret will eat you alive. Don’t leave life-lessonssomething unsaid or undone. Moments never come around again.

3. Perfection is a dangerous flame. Striving for perfection is great, but obsessing about it, and expecting it from others or ourselves will burn us in the end. Balance your drive with reality.

4. Karma is real. What goes around comes around. Often.

5. You are a combination of the five people you spend the most time with. If you really want to change your life, you have to change the people you hang around with. Spend time with people who support you and believe in you.

6. Your gut is always right. Your gut is usually a good barometer of your intuition. But it’s not perfect. Listen to it but listen with both ears.

7. If you’re not happy with yourself, you’ll never be happy in a relationship. Every successful relationship starts with you. You can’t rely on someone else to make you happy. Finding a great spouse or partner is just the icing on the cake, but you’re responsible for the cake. Be your own self, not someone else.

8. Money doesn’t buy happiness. But it can buy a lot of attempts to get there. If you are focuses on material worth, you wont’ be focused on anything else. If money is your love, it will be a lonely relationship.

9. Don’t take yourself too seriously. Have a sense of humor and be able to laugh at yourself. Be humble. Be human.

10. Persistence will pay off. Every mother tells her child that if you set your mind to something you can accomplish anything. Almost anything is possible and it is directly tied to your commitment to get there. Failures are learning experiences if you learn from them.

caution-hard-lesson-ahead11. Believe in something larger than yourself. This is not about religion. We are tiny things in the universe. You don’t have to believe in a god to be spiritual and to behave in a manner that respect life, displays kindness and works to make this a better world.

12. Nobody else can make you happy. Happiness is your responsibility not anyone else’s. Make your own happiness; it is not something someone else gives you.

13. Character and integrity define you. They matter everywhere and all the time. The most valuable person things you have.

14. You define meaning. The meaning in your life is unique and defined by you. Your friends, your work, your hobbies, your family, and your views and beliefs are the texture of your life. When you and someone else can experience something meaningful in the same way your lives connect. How cool is that?

15. Risk is good and fear is not. Playing it safe has its place, so does standing still, but it will not get you anywhere. The tastiest fruit is further out on the branch. Calculated rather than crazy risk is growth fuel. Fear makes you think. It makes you hesitate. It is the obstacle between you and attaining what you want.

16. Relationships matter. Relationships are how we get things done, how we live, how we learn, how we grow, how teams function and how we connect with other humans. Relationships are the houses we live in or the cars that transport us, and they need to be maintained and invested in to keep them vital.

17. Gratitude in contagious. The more we express our gratitude, the more things we will have to be grateful for. Look around, there is more to be grateful for than what we don’t have. Gratitude is a magnet for more good things.

18. Forgiveness sets you free. Holding onto anger and resentment punishes you, not anyone else. Anger makes you a prisoner inside yourself. Anger holds energy inside you, crowding out peace and contentment.

19. The gift of listening. Listening often says much more about you than speaking. You have two ears so use them. Other people have ideas, want to express themselves and just want to be heard. They can’t if you are sucking all the oxygen out of the room. Listening shows respect and it expands the feeling of teamwork.

20. Keep learning. When you stop learning you stop growing. Learning doesn’t have an age limit. The world keeps moving by so don’t stand on the sidelines. Keep your brain engaged, your mind open and expand your understanding.

21. First impression. What is the first impression someone has of you? You only get one chance to make a first impression so make it count. How many times does someone’s impression not match your own? Hold up the mirror occasionally and see what others see.

22. We all have something to teach. Find what it is and let it loose on the world.

23. Kindness matters. Simple acts, big payoff.

24. Connect with nature. Appreciate the outdoors and the wonders of nature. Sunshine is healthy. Respect the environment and treat our planet with care, it is the only home we have.

25. Agree to disagree. We all have different views. You don’t have to agree but you should respect them. Disagreement is not a blood sport. Form your own views and opinions, turn off the TV, radio and ignore the Internet. Civility is not political correctness, it is respect.

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