As I approach my 58th birthday, I realize I’ve learned a lot of life lessons. Most of them seem like common sense, yet some are hard earned.
Do something creative every single day, even if it’s just for a few minutes.
5 minutes a day equals 30 hours a year. 15 minutes equals 90 hours. What can you accomplish in 90 hours? And many times, those few minutes will turn into more as you get into a rhythm.
Learn something new every day.
Take a lesson or a class. Choose a how-to video on YouTube. Do a chapter in a how-to book. Sign up for an online course. Move out of your comfort zone a little.
Don’t be afraid to fail.
It’s how you learn, it’s how you grow, and how you improve. Think of failures as lessons or experiences. Now you know what not to do when you do it again. Then do it again, or something better.
Don’t compare yourself to other people.
You don’t know what demons they’re battling. You don’t know how much work they put into something to make it look effortless. Did they work harder than you? Did they put in the time? How many times did they fail and pick themselves back up to be where they are?
Do what fulfills you, not what people think you should do.
It’s your life. Do you really want to spend it doing things you don’t enjoy doing? The time is going to pass either way. Do you really want to lay on your deathbed and think, “Wow, I really wish I had spent more time filling out expense reports.”
Mindfulness is not what you think it is.
You say the word and everyone thinks of yoga, meditation or deep breathing. But mindfulness can also be found doing a craft, like quilting or building furniture in your garage. These kinds of things can take your mind to the same place you would go if you were stretching on a mat.
Try to listen to criticism only from people whose work or opinion you respect.
Take the comments section with a grain of salt. People don’t always have your best interest at heart. Sometimes it’s about them and their agenda. Sometimes they need to tear you down to feel better. Or they’re jealous that you’ve actually put something out into the world. Trolls don’t always troll because your work is bad. And this is important: you will NEVER please everybody. The movie “The Wizard of Oz” was savaged by critics when it came out, and now it’s one of the most beloved movies of all time.
Surround yourself with positive people.
Recognize when someone is not healthy for you and walk away. Choose people who support and encourage you, even when your ideas seem weird to them.
Turn off negativity in other ways.
Too much political crap on social media? Stop looking. Too much toxicity in the news? Don’t watch. But ask your spouse or a friend who enjoys the news to tell you if something important happens, within limits. The goal here is to limit your negative energy.
Turn your phone off for 30 minutes or more a day.
Do something fun or interesting with the time instead. Or talk to your partner.
Check your personal email only once a day.
More than that and you’re doing it as a distraction to keep you from what you should really be doing.
Say “please, thank you, and I love you” more often.
Not just to strangers, but to the people you love. All too often we treat strangers better than the ones we truly care about.
Check in once in awhile with friends you don’t see very much.
With electronic devices, there’s no excuse not to. And I don’t mean just looking at their Facebook or Instagram posts, I mean reach out and say hi. Ask them how they’ve been. Be a friend. Take the time.
If you need to do the “Bro Hug” to keep it from being awkward, that’s okay.
Recognize that “You’re never too old, and it’s never too late.”
Laughing is ok, but no laughing and pointing.
Want a chuckle and maybe something to think about a couple of times a week? Then click here.