50 Lessons I’ve Learned Over the Last Half Century

Recently, I had one of those milestone birthday where I celebrated the fact that I’ve spent 50 years in this body. Considering the fact that younger people routinely assume I’m younger than them, I must have done something right. To mark the milestone, I wanted to share 50 lessons I’ve learned over the last half century. Since writing, and reading, a list of fifty things is no small feat, let’s jump right in.

  1. You can’t change anyone in this world other than yourself.
  2. Never put anything down in writing unless you are prepared for someone else to read it.
  3. The Golden Rule is flawed.  You should treat people the way they want to be treated.  Assuming someone else wants to be treated the same way you do is just ignorant and proves you have no respect for the other person. 
  4. “A life of almost is a life of never” -Blinkous ‘Blinky’ Galadrigal (Trollhunters)
  5. Money and power corrupt.  If you know someone actively seeking to gain more than a fair share of either, that’s probably not someone you should trust any further than you can throw them.
  6. Homosexuality IS natural.  At least 500 other species on the planet Earth exhibit homosexual tendencies.  It is natural.  There is nothing wrong with homosexuality. There is nothing wrong with you if you have feelings for someone of the same sex.  No species other than humans have organized religion.
  7. Organized religion is not natural. No other species aside from humans have organized religion. Organized religion is nothing more than a control mechanism created by humans to allow certain people to hold power over others.  Worship and spirituality should be something special and private for each person. No true god needs churches, a portion of your money, active attempts to convert others, or blind devotion.  Humans need those things. No true creator, especially one who claims to have created all of the amazing things in the universe, would ask or even expect his worshipers to hate or hurt another living thing in their name. 
  8. If you’re looking to your job to give you a sense of meaning and purpose in this life, you’re looking in the wrong place.  Your job is just a job.  Hopefully, it pays your bills, but it isn’t who you are.
  9. All that time you spend worrying what someone else will think of you is pointless.  If you could really hear what people are thinking about when you think they are focusing on you, you’d find out you probably are no more than a passing thought in their mind if you even rate that high.  
  10. Whenever it is possible, you should save up for that thing you want rather than buying it on credit. 
  11. If someone has or gets something without taking anything away from you, then you have no room to complain.  Spend that energy working towards your own goals instead.
  12. Creativity and logic aren’t opposed to each other.  Both can exist and flourish at the same time.
  13. Enjoy the people and things in your life while you have them because this moment is all you’re guaranteed to have.
  14. Plan for the worst, and you’ll be ready to deal with whatever comes your way. 98 out of 100 times, the worst doesn’t happen.
  15. Humans rarely deserve the love and devotion animals give us.
  16. Change is a constant. Embrace it and ride the wave onto something new. Try to stop it, and eventually, you’ll just end up crushed.
  17. Every single living thing in the universe either wants something from you or doesn’t know you exist yet. The key to successfully navigating life’s journey is understanding that fact.
  18. If you are old enough to play, then you are old enough to pay.  Everything in life is a choice.  Every choice has consequences.  If you make the choice, be a big enough person to deal with the consequences of your own actions like a responsible person.
  19. Never pull a gun on someone unless you are prepared to shoot them.  Think you are ready?  Go back and read #18 just to be sure.
  20. If you lend something to a friend, be it money or an object, do so with absolutely no expectation that you will ever get it back.  If you can do that, you might just keep your friendship.
  21. Every person has at least one story that is worth taking the time to hear.
  22. Seek out the quiet people.  They are often the ones with the best stories and have been waiting so long for someone to ask to hear them.
  23. Before you decide to do something or put your trust in someone, ask yourself, “Who benefits from this?”  If you can figure out the motive, you will know if you the thing you’re contemplating is worthy of your participation.
  24. Verify everything from multiple independent sources before you accept it as truth.
  25. Anyone, and I mean ANYONE, who tries to bully you into a decision through intimidation, drama, theatrics, hysterics, emotional manipulation, lies, gaslighting, etc. does not have your best interest at heart.  They are selfishly looking out for themselves.  You should realize that and act appropriately to make sure you don’t fall for their tricks.
  26. Your rights end where my nose begins.  A more modern way of saying this is to tell someone, “You do you, and I’ll do me.”  People forget this one ALL THE DAMN TIME.  It leads to a lot of unnecessary rudeness and pain in the world.  Believe what you want.  Live the way you want so long as you aren’t hurting another living thing.  Have the decency to let everyone else do that too.
  27. People see what they want to see. You can choose to see that as a negative, or you can choose to use that to your advantage. If you think you’re going to force them to change, you clearly skipped over the first thing in this list.
  28. There’s more going on in this world than most people can imagine.
  29. Karma is real.
  30. Magic is too.
  31. If you don’t love yourself and feel worthy of being loved, then spend time working on yourself BEFORE jumping into that next relationship.  A relationship won’t fix what is missing in you.  See…we’re back to item #1. There’s a reason it is first.
  32. If someone does something for you, thank them.  Be it a compliment, a gift, or even giving you their time, let them know you appreciate it.
  33. Speaking of time, it is the ONLY thing in this world you can never get back after it is gone.  Try not to waste the time you have been given and certainly don’t waste someone else’s.
  34. Trust your own intuition.  If something feels right, go with it.  If something feels off, then don’t ignore that feeling.
  35. Crying is a normal expression of emotion, and there is nothing wrong with it. Try offering a crying person a shoulder or a tissue rather than saying something like, “Real men don’t cry.” 
  36. Being yourself is never a bad thing. 
  37. Try not to judge others too harshly until you can understand what they are going through.
  38. Words can hurt just like a weapon, and the damage takes a lot longer to heal.
  39. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
  40. Failing at a certain task does not make you a failure. It just means you need some more practice.
  41. Don’t let fear be the reason you don’t do something you really want to do.
  42. When someone shows you who they really are, believe them. 
  43. Always make sure you are thinking your own thoughts rather than just hearing the thoughts of others.
  44. Be honest with people.  True honesty is a rare thing nowadays.  Truly genuine people will always appreciate it. 
  45. You can be honest without being cruel.  That one took me a long time to learn, and I still tell myself I need more practice.
  46. It is easier to keep someone’s trust than to earn it back.
  47. Not everything you think needs to be said.
  48. Stand up for yourself. You have as much right to exist as anyone else. Keep in mind though that you do not have more of a right than anyone else. Don’t forget about lessons 11, 25, or 26.
  49. Don’t take anything home with you when you go ghost hunting.
  50. People devote time to the things that matter to them, and that includes friendships.  If you want to keep someone in your life, make time for them and let them know.  You can’t treat people like a doll you put on a shelf and expect it to be there waiting for you when you get bored enough to want it.

Comments are closed.

Up ↑