53 things I have learnt in my lifetime

Today I became yet another year older and maybe another year wiser. So in order to celebrate the fact that I'm still here, on planet earth, I thought I would take the time to share 53 things that I've picked up along the way. I hope you'll find some of them useful dear reader.

  1. Habits beat willpower.
  2. A lot of the things your parents and grandparents told you, that you ignored, probably were correct.
  3. Stop trying to not put in the work. Lifehacks are hollow.
  4. However old you get, inside you’re still that teenager, or twenty something year old trying to work it all out.
  5. Don’t settle for bad coffee.
  6. Don’t settle. Full stop.
  7. You cannot out exercise a bad diet.
  8. Don’t look for the one correct diet, or way of eating. Pick one and stick with it. I’ve counted calories, eaten high fat and protein, juiced. All of these worked, until I stopped doing them.
  9. Reading books is a better use of time than reading online. Preferably paper. The difficulty in getting a book published, weeds out most of the charlatans.
  10. Running is as good for your mind as your body. Run barefoot and use the MAF technique to save your knees and your body.
  11. Nothing is as soft as a Whippet’s ear.
  12. If you are going to read online, read more blogs, yes blogs. The whole weird world is there and there is a far lower rate of “influencers”.
  13. Play board games with your friends and family.
  14. The Breakfast Club is the best 80’s movie ever made.
  15. Trust your gut. Trust your instinct. If you consistently go against these, parts of your body you will make yourself physically or mentally ill.
  16. Learn to say “No” without giving a justification.
  17. When your child suggests doing something with you, learn to say “Yes” more often.
  18. Talk to the people you love as much as you can. One day they won’t be there to talk to anymore and you WILL miss them.
  19. Writing in a blog, beats writing on social media.
  20. Writing in a Journal, beats anything. And may give you material to write on your blog.
  21. You have fewer friends than you think you have, but more than you need.
  22. Worry never solved anything.
  23. Get outside every day.
  24. Your job does not define you.
  25. Sometimes you have to just jump in feet first without knowing where things will go. If I hadn’t done this, I would not be a husband or parent.
  26. Love is more of a verb than a noun.
  27. When feeling timid or intimidated by somebody famous or of high importance, the adage taught to me by John, a farm worker I spent my summer holidays with always helps to build confidence “Remember, his sh*t stinks just like everyone else's.
  28. Lots of problems are solvable by sitting down with a mug of tea.
  29. Listen to the people who tell you to look after your back. I didn’t. I wish I had done so.
  30. Life really is not black and white. The older I get, the more I see shades of grey.
  31. Go easy on other people. The person on the pavement next to you is also loving or grieving or worried or trying to work out the world.
  32. As you get older, time really does seem to move faster and faster. Be mindful to cherish as many moments as you can.
  33. You can have a big positive impact on the world. You are also insignificant in the grand scheme of the universe. Take courage and peace from both of these facts.
  34. Try to treat yourself as if you were a friend. Listen to the language you use on yourself, would you say this to someone else, or to a child?
  35. At the end of the day, you are always alone.
  36. Forgiveness is as much for healing the forgiver as the forgivee.
  37. Vetiver is the best scent.
  38. Make things with your hands, often.
  39. Giving your time to help others always gives you back rewards, but you’ll never quite know how nature will delight you.
  40. Memento Mori - think on this often. Live by it.
  41. The Kit-Kat is the greatest chocolate bar ever made.
  42. There are seasons and cycles in life. Don’t fight them, but remember that whatever one you find yourself in will eventually change into another. Nothing stays the same.
  43. Be aware of false assumptions you tell yourself. Question yourself often.
  44. Embrace the opportunity provided by the fact that most of the time nobody cares.
  45. If you don’t have a clear idea of what you are going to do, someone else will fill in your time by getting you to act on their agenda.
  46. Your employers job is to get the most out of you for the least pay. The sooner you internalise this and get at peace with it, the better.
  47. Never waste time shouting at strangers on social media.
  48. Be aware that you have a reflected sense of self, but fight against the tendency to become dependant upon it.
  49. Nothing gets solved between 11pm and 4am.
  50. Keep a paper notebook with you.
  51. It’s good to remember that opinions are like arseholes, everybody has one.
  52. Be grateful, just the fact that you are alive, right now, on this planet, is an amazing thing.
  53. If nothing else, be kind.

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