Just Turned 40: My Thoughts on Life
Yes it’s true. I just turned 40 today. [I know…I don’t look a day over 39. Thanks! 🙂 ]
Some would say that 40 is the new 30. I’m assuming some 4o something year old made this up. 40 is still 40.
I feel like turning 40 for me has been far more significant than when I turned 30. In reflecting this past week about the last 10 years of my life, I can’t believe how much I’ve changed (for the good hopefully!). It’s been quite the journey. Life has been filled with ups and downs and twists and turns. The only constant has been the presence of change. Through it all, I discovered a clearer sense of who I am and came to terms with what I was designed to do.
While things are still in constant flux, I sense deep sense of peace about my life. I genuinely love life. I wake up every morning to a great family and a vocation that I truly love. What more could you ask for?
As I enter my next 40 years of life, the following is what I’ve learned about life so far (in no particular order other than the first couple). These aren’t necessarily deep thoughts, but I do think they matter (at least to me).
- Nothing is worth chasing if it comes at the cost of losing your love relationship with your family. When the crowd go home and the spotlight is turned off, who will be there for you? Invest in relationships that will outlive your ventures.
- Take time to play with your kids (if you have them) when they ask. If not, one day they may actually stop asking you to play. Don’t be that parent.
- Listen well to your wife (if you’re married to one). She is the next best thing to hearing from God directly. I’m pretty sure God is regularly in collaboration with my wife to get through to me. 🙂
- You can’t play Jedi Mind Tricks on your body. All the wear and tear you put on your body will eventually catch up. No joke. Choose to stay healthy, both for yourself and your family. You’re no good to us dead.
- Don’t over-think about your life. It rarely turns out the way you thought it would anyway. Instead, stay flexible and figure it out as you go. Life doesn’t happen according to schedule. It’s not like school. Stuff happens in the real world when we’re moving on our passions.
- Don’t be intimidated by people’s titles. Everyone is insecure and faking it at some level. They may know a lot about a few things, but they definitely don’t know everything. Don’t forget…everyone poops. They are as human as us.
- Don’t try to impress people by showing off how significant you are. Impress them by how you act and what you do not say.
- Who you are is not the same thing as what you do. Lead with who you are rather than what you do. Yes, think about this one.
- Stay intellectually honest and humble. You have far more to gain if you choose to be a sponge rather than a brick.
- Most of the world has no idea who you are nor care about what you do. Don’t buy into your hype. You’re not all that. (I still like you though.)
- Money is a nice by-product of pursuing your passion, but it’s a horrible goal. Focus on something greater than money.
- Collaboration trumps competition. We are far better together than we are on our own. Admit it. We need others. No one is that talented to do it alone.
- Live to benefit others because it’s right. You will find your purpose as you help others achieve theirs.
- Don’t forget to laugh…often. Life is meant to be enjoyed and celebrated. When’s the last time you laughed so hard that you cried?
- Work extra hard to create bandwidth to replenish your soul through reflection, rest, and dreaming. This is not an option. It’s a necessity in life. The alternative is burnout.
- Travel as often as you can. Invite yourself into new spaces and allow the unfamiliarity to spark creativity in your soul.
- Stay generous towards people even if they take advantage of you from time to time. It is far better to live life with an openness to others rather than suspicion of their motive. Lean towards seeing the good in people even though you know people can turn on a dime.
- Don’t listen to critiques that don’t care about you. Life is short. You don’t have to defend yourself with those who don’t even know you. Listen to people who truly want to help you become a better person. Embrace the words of people who side with hope for you.
- Just because something hasn’t been done doesn’t mean you can’t do it. FIgure it out. Wisdom will come as you do the “impossible”.
- Lack of forgiveness will eat away at your soul. You will become a slave to your own suffering. Forgive whenever possible.
- Don’t forget that the pain and suffering from your past is often the source of your passion. Don’t ignore the pain. Embrace it. Pain often frames our purpose.
- Recapture the life of wonder whenever possible. Don’t standardize yourself to how the world expects an adult to act like. Hang out with your kids and watch them play. They will remind you of the reservoir of imagination that far too often stays dorment in our soul.
- Write often. One day, you too will forget the beautiful story of your life.
to be continued…