I started writing this on my 50th birthday. For some strange reason I never thought I would still be alive to celebrate that milestone but here I am.
To celebrate this major milestone, my fiftieth birthday, I decided to see if I can write a list of fifty things I have learned over the years so here they are. There is no particular order to this list. It has been compiled on the run so the items are listed as they came to mind not in any order of importance. Some of these things were learned the hard way but all of them are more important to a good life than they may seem at first glance.
People may think there are some glaring omissions in this list. Things such as the do unto others rule and walk a mile in someone else’s shoes before you judge them but I can’t include everything.
Well known things, such as those, have been excluded to avoid ending up with a list that just parrots the ten commandments, biblical sayings and well known things from common folklore and sayings.
I have, of course, included some well known chestnuts but they bear repeating. I have included them because those were the things I learned personally and I learned each of them the hard way!
Fifty Things From Fifty Years
1. People are not perfect.
2. I don’t have to be perfect either.
3. Be willing to change.
4. Change is growth.
5. Bad things happen for no reason.
6. Good things happen for no reason too.
7. There is always something to be learned from bad experiences.
8. The only person I can change or control is me.
9. Trying to change and control myself makes me a better person.
10. Trying to change or control others makes me an abuser.
11. I must ask for what I want, or need, to have any chance of getting it.
12. People are not mind readers – I have to tell them what I need them to know.
13. Life can be unfair but it isn’t personal.
14. To seek revenge is to walk through life looking backwards.
15. I can’t be anyone else but me.
16. I won’t want to be anyone else if I like myself .
17. Helping others makes me feel good about myself.
18. Nobody can take who I am from me – I have to give that away to lose it.
19. If I behave the same as people I dislike, I won’t like myself.
20. The world owes me nothing.
21. People like to be listened to.
22. The best way to make someone like you is to like them and show it.
23. Big favours can come from the most unlikely people.
24. You get no favours from people you treat badly.
25. Fear is not respect.
26. Fear says “As you wish” and thinks “But I despise you”.
27. Respect says “As you wish” and thinks “Because I admire you”.
28. Sex is not love.
29. The best way to improve the world is to make myself into a better person.
30. Children are human beings with “L Plates” on them.
31. We are all learners when it comes to life.
32. Each new day is a new teacher in the classroom of life.
33. Learners make mistakes.
34. It’s acceptable to make mistakes – it means I am learning.
35. Making the same mistake repeatedly means I am NOT learning.
36. There is ALWAYS someone who is a worse person than me.
37. There is ALWAYS someone who has less of the good things in life than me.
38. There is ALWAYS something to be thankful for!
39. There IS a God!
40. God DOES love me!
41. I am not beaten until *I* say so.
42. Real defeat can only happen if I give up.
43. Sometimes the only way to win is to accept unpleasant realities such as the fact that some people tell lies.
44. Accepting unpleasant realities, like lying, is not the same thing as approving of them.
45. Unpleasant realities only genuinely beat me if I APPROVE of them because then I will probably do them.
46. I will always find whatever I look for in people whether it is good or bad because everyone has good AND bad qualities in them.
47. If I really love someone I will do what is best for them whatever the cost to me.
48. Letting someone I love abuse me is NOT doing what is best for them!
49. People will tend to take my word about who I am when it comes to negative things so, for example, if I tell them I am stupid they will treat me as if I am stupid!
50. People will be suspicious of my word when it comes to positive things so it is best to let them find out about my positive qualities by themselves.