Lessons along the journey

43 Lessons From My 43 Years

Last night before I fell asleep, I started writing down a list of lessons I’ve learned over the past 43 years of my life. Most of these I’ve learned by experiencing them several times until it dawned on me. Some of them I’ve stolen from friends and mentors. I don’t know why I started writing them down. Maybe just to see what I would write. Making the list made me remember friends and family, highs and lows, and ended up being a better exercise than I intended it to be. So, I thought I would share it. If you have any to add to the list, then please leave them in the comments. I am blessed to have friends on the road with me.
  1. Answering the God questions are the most important pursuits in life.
  2. Faith is not the opposite of doubt, it is the opposite of fear.
  3. My wife is my life partner.
  4. Being a father is the most meaningful work that I will ever do.
  5. You measure love by the degree to which you are willing to be inconvenienced.
  6. Forgiveness helps you more than the person you are forgiving.
  7. Saying “I’m sorry” is the best weapon in any relationship – especially your marriage.
  8. The Bible is an awesome book of books.
  9. Dreams happen in your head, life happens out here with everybody.
  10. If something is worth doing, then it is worth doing right.
  11. Writing equals thinking. Writing well equals clear thinking. It is the hardest work you will do, and the pursuit of writing well is lifelong.
  12. Some things you just have to experience to learn.
  13. God loves more and better than I do.
  14. Marrying well is a blessing that words cannot describe.
  15. My emotions can (and will) betray me.
  16. Being deceived means you don’t realize you are wrong – if you know you are wrong, then that’s just being stupid (or euphemisms like willful or stubborn).
  17. Having only one word for love hurts us English speakers.
  18. If I don’t love myself, then I won’t love anyone else very well. It is “love your neighbor the way you love yourself,” which I now think is a warning and not a command. You will love others the same way you love yourself.
  19. There’s a little arrow on most gas gauges to tell you which side the pump is on.
  20. Most people don’t care what you think, but they sure will watch what you do.
  21. Money is a great tool, but a terrible master.
  22. Financial debt shackles your future to its service.
  23. Make decisions today based on what you want to be true 10, 20 or 40 years from now.
  24. What I do every day is more important than what I do every now and then.
  25. My calendar and my checkbook tell the world what I value.
  26. Verbs transform sentences. Use them. Adverbs definitely clog sentences. Delete them.
  27. There are two products that are for everyone – air and water. One is tasteless, the other one is invisible. Don’t make your products for everyone.
  28. Simple trumps complex.
  29. When everyone is going the same way as you, it might be a sign to turn around.
  30. If three people tell you the same thing, pay attention.
  31. Crawl, walk, then run is the best approach to business partnerships.
  32. Always push back in a negotiation (even if you love the offer), otherwise people feel like they got a bad deal.
  33. If the CEO isn’t preaching the change, then it won’t happen no matter who is telling you it will.
  34. There is more to life than just what we see.
  35. Relationships are all we take out of this life.
  36. Success is taking the next step of obedience.
  37. Your sins will find you out.
  38. When you get caught, confess. Hiding makes me a coward (see #37).
  39. People love stories more than lectures. Learning to tell them well is worth the effort.
  40. Getting outside of yourself is the only way to engage an audience. The fearless inspire.
  41. Never let your career outpace your character.
  42. You are never to old for a significant change in your life.
  43. The older I get, the less I know.

That cleared my head. Ready for the lessons of year 44. Bring it on.

Comments (2):

  1. Mike Rusch

    February 11, 2012 at 9:06 am

    …sage wisdom & reflective of a live being well lived with God.  Thank you and Happy Birthday.

  2. Anonymous

    February 11, 2012 at 1:01 pm

    Mike, your life is one that inspires me. You lead so well, and you lead from the front. Thanks for all that you do.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *