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50 Things I Have Learned in 50 Laps Around The Sun

Posted by David Jones on Oct 8, 2020 10:30:00 AM
David Jones

50 things labelLife is good...no, really...in this year when so many have suffered, I’ve been busy rediscovering joy and goodness in life. Personally, spiritually, and professionally. And it happens to be the year I turn 50. Half a century...50 laps around the sun. And as I sat at my desk and looked out the window at the Market Street traffic, it occurred to me that I’ve learned plenty of lessons during my lifetime...and that maybe I should jot some of them down. All of these lessons are personal...some are definitely spiritual...but every one of them can be profitable if applied to business, too.

  1. “Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.” - Proverbs 22:6...thank you, Mom and Dad!
  2. Some things once said can’t be taken back...think before you speak.
  3. “Not all those who wander are lost.” - J.R.R. Tolkien
  4. While we would all prefer to learn the “easy way,” the learning seems to stick better when it’s done the “hard way.”
  5. Without wonder how can life ever be wonderful?
  6. I’ll try just about anything twice...my first impression might have been off.
  7. I’m inclined to trust just about anyone, but abuse that trust and you will have a hard time regaining it.
  8. “Trust, but verify.” - Ronald Reagan
  9. Happiness is not getting what you want, it’s wanting what you have. 
  10. All cell phone companies suck...they just do so in different ways.
  11. Treat people like you’d want them to treat you...except a little better!
  12. “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.” - Steve Jobs
  13. If someone offends or betrays you, it’s best to just forgive, even if they never ask for it...the forgiveness is more for your own good than theirs.
  14. If someone does you wrong, instead of praying that they get what they deserve, pray for an extra measure of grace for them.
  15. “Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans.” - John Lennon 
  16. Guard your heart against those who would abuse it.
  17. Balance is key.
  18. “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” - Romans 12:18
  19. The older I get, the less I know...but at least now I know what I don’t know.
  20. “True humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less.” - C.S. Lewis
  21. Hiking (and being out in nature in general) is good for the soul.
  22. “It feels good to feel good.” - Jerry Redman
  23. “Pray as though everything depended on God. Work as though everything depended on you.” - Saint Augustine 
  24. “We learned more from a 3-minute record than we ever learned in school.” - Bruce Springsteen
  25. To Luanne, some words borrowed from John Hiatt: “I only got to where I am now learning how to love you.”
  26. “With great power comes great responsibility.” - Stan Lee
  27. “For I know the plans I have for you...plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.” - Jeremiah 29:11
  28. It doesn’t cost anything to be nice. 
  29. “Failure is always an option.” - Mythbusters
  30. If you don’t value your time, don’t expect anyone else to.
  31. It’s good to donate your time to charitable causes...but you probably should concentrate the majority of those efforts on doing things you don’t do for a living so that you don’t burn yourself out doing one thing.
  32. If someone asks you, “Are you working hard or hardly working?” the correct answer is “Neither...I’m working exactly as hard as I need to for today’s situation.”
  33. When it comes to coffee, cigars, beer, or whiskey, I tend to enjoy bolder, full-flavored expressions. Not necessarily full-strength, but full-flavored.
  34. You will make more mistakes, but try not to make the same ones. 
  35. Doing the same thing in the same way and expecting different results is the definition of insanity.
  36. “Monsters are real, and ghosts are real too. They live inside us, and sometimes, they win.” - Stephen King
  37. It’s better to keep your mouth shut and have people think you’re a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.
  38. “In defense of the innocent, cowardice is the only sin.” - Dean Koontz
  39. Get it in writing.
  40. Before you hit “Post” or “Tweet”...read over what you just wrote...then read it over again...then probably just go ahead and delete it.
  41. The customer is NOT always right...but they are always the customer and, therefore, deserve your respect.
  42. The list of things in this world you can control is very short...basically it comes down to “what you do.” The sooner you come to grips with that reality, the easier you will rest.
  43. “Sometimes life is going to hit you in the head with a brick. Don't lose faith.” - Steve Jobs
  44. Under-promise. Over-deliver.
  45. If you do something you love, you’ll never work a day in your life. (Anonymous)
  46. BUT...even the best jobs will have bad days.
  47. “Whether you think you can, or think you can’t – you’re right.” - Henry Ford
  48. If you’re trying to lead and no one’s following, you’re just out for a walk.
  49. “I owe my success to having listened respectfully to the very best advice, and then going away and doing the exact opposite.” - G.K. Chesterton
  50. Learning is a lifelong process...I look forward to adding another 50 things in another half century. 

Going back over this list a time or two (or three or four), it made me especially want to point out a couple things when it comes to business. I learned #34 a few years ago when organizing an annual event...every year brought its own challenges and mistakes, but I never wanted to make the same mistake two years in a row...make different mistakes!

Also, the quote from Henry Ford in #47 speaks to mindset, as well as the ability to get out of your own way. If you constantly go around thinking negatively about what you can and can’t do, you will have trouble accomplishing anything. Be positive. Be confident. You may still fail (lesson #29), but you will gain experience so you can do a better job the next time around.

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