1000 isl

It is a little surreal to me that as I write this I am on the eve of my 55th birthday. How is that possible? I remember as a young person thinking that people who were 55 seemed really old. Funny how I don’t see it that way now. Anyway, I spent some time reflecting this morning and writing in my journal whatever morsels came to mind about what I have learned over the years. I decided to go ahead and share some of them in case they might be of value to someone else. This is by no means a complete list. I have to admit that much of what I have learned in life has truly been a result of failing the test in order to learn the lesson, but that’s okay with me. Hopefully some of what I share here will serve to give you something to apply when you have some of your tests, if you haven’t had them already. I hope these are meaningful for you.

  • I am more aware than ever of how fast it seems that time goes. The last 20 years seemed like a blink of an eye. We can’t slow time, it just marches on, but if we consciously stay in each moment, we live a lot more and have a much more joyful experience.
  • Not making a change because of fear doesn’t stop change from happening anyway, it just keeps us stuck as life moves on, so if we feel we need to make a change, we’re better off to do it.
  • Whether we are a victim or a victor usually isn’t related to our circumstances, but to our decisions and thoughts.
  • We have to follow our hearts and let our head work on the steps.
  • The more we learn, the more deeply we will understand that we have a lot to learn.
  • Our true value as human beings has little to do with what we have in possessions, awards, or titles, and has mostly to do with what we contribute to others and who we are.
  • The absolute best order of priorities is taking care of self (physically, spiritually, emotionally, and developmentally), then investing ourselves into the relationships we treasure, and then investing ourselves joyfully into our pursuits. This is the strongest platform for a successful life.
  • Most experiences in life are just that…experiences. They are only good or bad based on our perception in the moment. In the bigger picture they are snippets of our story that help to shape us as people.
  • When our intentions are fully reflected in our behaviors and they match the perception of another, they will know exactly to what degree they can trust us.
  • A paycheck will never bring more lasting joy than knowing for certain that we helped another person better their life.
  • Every human being, regardless of age or circumstances, has value and can teach us something.
  • We cannot force our beliefs on another, we can only share and respect what they choose to believe whether we agree or not.
  • We cannot make another person change anything. We can only offer them the opportunity for change and our hand in making it happen if they accept.
  • We can’t please everyone and not everyone will like us regardless of how good a person we are and how much good we do. Do the right thing, for the right reasons, in the right way, as you see it, and let the chips fall where they may.
  • The biggest malady in modern culture is instant gratification.
  • If we are not feeling uncomfortable on a regular basis, we are likely not growing very much.
  • It is absolutely true that the joy found in the journey is much more important than the joy of reaching the goal.
  • The richest people in the world are usually not the people with the most money.
  • Whatever brings us the most joy, at times, will also bring us plenty of tears.
  • The only things to regret in life are the actions we took that hurt another person, and even then we shouldn’t dwell on it. If we regret past decisions we made or didn’t make, it’s like saying we would not want the life we have right now because if we could go back and change one thing, everything else would be changed too.
  • The more grateful we are, the happier we are.
  • The more we give, the better we feel.
  • Regardless of what we think, we do not know how another person feels.
  • Security in this world comes from developing ourselves as people, not from accumulation of assets.

All of us are on our own journey in this life. For some the journey is longer than others. The length of the journey is not as relevant as the quality of the journey. We all have our own wonderfully unique array of talents, gifts, knowledge, desires, tendencies, strengths, and affinities. In essence, our own set of blessings. We all have purpose and the ability to make a contribution such that the world we touch can be better for us having touched it should we choose to step forward. We must live our life fully and as fearlessly as we can with an open heart and an open mind, or it is as if we are not grateful for the bounty we have. If we wake each day and say thank you for this gift of another morning, and for all of our personal blessings, and there are many, we will approach each day with a joyful countenance. If we take a step in the direction of our heart, help another be encouraged to take their step, spread smiles wherever we go, and really love those we love, we will make a difference. If we take care of ourselves so we can more fully give of ourselves, and let the use of each of our minutes truly reflect what matters most, we can rest easily at night knowing we lived well this day.