What Have I Learned in 40 Years?

The average life expectancy of the American male is 75.6 years, so if the averages hold up my 40th birthday today puts me past the halfway point in my life. Here are 40 lessons I have learned in my 40 years.

  1. Look forward to being off work on cool sunny days like today, February 25, 2012.
  2. Cool rainy days aren’t bad either as long as you’re inside.
  3. Real friends are gems; they are rare and never change. Cherish them.
  4. Relationships are weird. Follow your hunch, but be careful.
  5. Skip the sirloin. The filet is worth it.
  6. Also, cook over charcoal, not gas.
  7. Take your time and do it right the first time.
  8. Buy high-quality products. Frugal does not mean cheap.
  9. They never made 101 Calicos, Lady and the Feline, or Hotel for Cats. Cinema has proven dogs are better than cats.
  10. Refusing to compromise makes your life difficult, so try to give a little (I’m still working on this one).
  11. Read more.
  12. Write a lot more.
  13. Stop fiddling. Pick a system and stick with it.
  14. You don’t have to put so much pressure on yourself when you’re young.
  15. You should probably put a little more pressure on yourself in your 20’s.
  16. Ease off the pressure again in your 30’s
  17. I’ll let you know about your 40’s.
  18. Feel free to look back, but don’t wallow in the past. Learn from your mistakes and move on.
  19. Mac vs PC? Mac all the way without a doubt.
  20. Don’t judge others. We all make mistakes.
  21. Burned a few bridges in your life? Some are worth rebuilding and others aren’t. Choose wisely.
  22. Fried food is OK every now and then, but not every day.
  23. What you think you should do and what you should do are not necessarily the same. This applies to everything from menu choices to college majors.
  24. Listen more.
  25. Talk less.
  26. Plain text will outlast proprietary word processor formats, so use .txt.
  27. Also, learn Markdown.
  28. Being passionate is sometimes better than being an expert.
  29. Sometimes, the opposite of #27 is the better option.
  30. Times have changed. Choose a laptop computer over a desktop.
  31. Start exercising while you’re young and don’t ever stop. It’s hard to start again when you’re old.
  32. Hug your loved ones more often (I’m still working on this one too).
  33. Some arguments aren’t worth winning.
  34. Your word is everything. If you aren’t trustworthy you aren’t worth much to anyone.
  35. Do a little at a time. Don’t wait until it becomes overwhelming.
  36. Don’t be nosy, or a gossip.
  37. Be thankful for what you have instead of jealous of what you lack.
  38. Be better today than you were yesterday.
  39. Focus on what is really important.
  40. Don’t take advice from strangers.