Things I have Learned In My Life

As of this writing, I have been on this earth for 69 years. That is 828 months, 3,558 weeks, 25,105 days, 604,440 hours, 36,266,400 minutes….and counting

I have learned a few things along the way. In no particular order:

  • I am not as smart now as I was in my 20s – but I am much wiser
  • I have learned that when we are young, we think we know it all, because we do…..based solely on our experiences to date.
  • Your perception is your reality
  • Our world view is shaped by our frame of reference
  • We are all the same; black, white, brown, gay, poor, wealthy, Christian, Muslim, Jewish, man, woman, child. We harbour the same hopes and fears, dreams and ambitions
  • We are all dealing with something, including doubts about ourselves
  • No matter how old our bodies get, our minds remain young
  • Religion, while important and a safe haven to many, is the cause of much of the world’s pain.
  • Religion teaches tolerance – but not necessarily for other religions or those that express differing viewpoints
  • The longer our parents are gone, the smarter they were
  • Happiness and success both personally and professionally is based on relationships
  • Open and honest communication is both the easiest and most difficult thing to maintain in any relationship
  • It should not be hard to tell someone how you feel about them
  • If you are thinking it, you should say it. Your partner cannot hear you think “I love you” or “I appreciate you”.
  • Verbalize your compliments
  • Simply say “thank you”
  • Acknowledge and celebrate accomplishments – both yours and of those you love
  • Failure is experience cloaked in pain and anxiety, but used properly, is also a great motivator
  • The more you are afraid of failure, the less chance you will allow yourself to fail
  • The more you fail, the more you learn. It is called experience
  • Children aren’t born full of hatred, but learn it from society
  • We are all doing the best we can with the circumstances we have been dealt
  • It is easier to have an opinion on social media, than to have an opinion face to face.
  • Don’t go to a meeting without having something to say. What is the point of being there otherwise?
  • Its a tragedy that our phones have become more important than our face to face conversations.
  • Technology has both been a boon and a disaster for society. Its getting worse.
  • “Sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never hurt me” – is a big fat lie!
  • Some people feel their opinion is the only truth. Just because we don’t agree, doesn’t mean we should not respect each other’s opinion. My truth is as important as yours.
  • Few problems are simply black and white, but many shades of grey
  • We have forgotten how to have civil discourse
  • No one gets married thinking it will not be forever
  • The head can’t control what the heart wants
  • The minutes and hours are much longer when you wake up in the night
  • Just because you are a good parent is no guarantee your kids will not have social or emotional difficulties
  • Some kids thrive despite poor parenting
  • Parenting is a day to day process. There is no right way and many wrong ways. Ever child is different and every day is different
  • It’s a hard thing to tell a child no. It is harder yet to stick to it.
  • Don’t wait till you are an adult to experience other cultures and foods.
  • We are all capable of making life changing decisions. In fact we do daily without realizing it. Hundreds of decisions are undertaken each day, some large and many small and seemingly insignificant – all potentially life changing in their own way.
  • Life speeds up as you get older – 0-25 takes much longer than 25-65
  • You can have many friends, but very few are lifers. Even less will be there for you in your most difficult moments
  • Your friends and your evolving interests are often interdependent
  • Life is not a straight line, but a series of lines connected by decision points. No matter the path you take, there will be another decision to make, allowing a opportunity for a course correction.
  • Being a Leafs fan is a fools errand
  • Chemistry, despite science, cannot be explained
  • Two sets of lips touching can create electricity
  • For no readily apparent reason, we resonate with some people and not others
  • The most bold and “in your face” people are often the most insecure. They treat a good offence as their best defense in hiding insecurities
  • People that make confident decisions in their every day life, often become paralyzed at work because they have been made to feel their opinions don’t matter
  • Women are more detailed than men – and often better managers as a result
  • Men are better at politics in the workplace
  • Men speak in sentences
  • Women speak in paragraphs
  • Men can fish all day and never say a word to each other – women are astounded by this phenomena
  • Men are incapable of folding a fitted sheet
  • “Smell this” means something completely different, depending whether it spoken by a man or a woman
  • As for peeing on the toilet seat…. It’s complicated. 
  • “Honey, I have an idea”, generally means you are about to begin a project that only one of you are interested in
  • The term “tomorrow is another day” is more than just words. No matter how challenging today is, when you wake up tomorrow, you often have a new perspective.
  • Problem solving is often done while you sleep. Many solutions are more obvious after letting the problem percolate overnight
  • The only one that can truly make a difference in your life, is the person looking back at you in the mirror
  • You never stop worrying about your kids, no matter their age, or yours
  • Until you have grandchildren you don’t understand what all the fuss is about
  • There is no bigger reward than hearing your children share something with your grandchildren that you shared with them 
  • If we could view the world through the eyes of a child, it would be a better place
  • You cannot get by in life without family, friends or both. There are many times throughout your life that you will need support to get through a difficult time
  • We learn more through adversity, than through any other means
  • Life long friends are made when you go through trying times together
  • If you have a list of tasks, do the most difficult ones first. You can coast through the rest, knowing the tough work is done.
  • Anyone can be a handyman applying logic, patience and the right tools. It took me decades to understand this
  • All jobs are about problem solving. The better you are at solving complex problems, the more success you will have
  • The easy thing to do is not always the right thing to do
  • It is far easier to be negative than to remain positive
  • Every day is a good day. Some are just better than others
  • With a shout out to Ricky Nelson “You can’t please everybody, so you got to please yourself” – is one path of many to happiness
  • An uncomfortable truth: Despite best intentions to “be there” for someone that has suffered a loss in their life, those best intentions fade as life evolves.
  • The lesson is that you have to be your own advocate no matter how difficult things become in your life
  • My opinion only – too early to say if it is something I have learned. BUT – Artificial Intelligence (AI) is likely to cause the end of our civilization as we have come to know it.
  • Imposter syndrome is real. I have spent my life trying to keep people from finding out how little I know
  • I am still learning

4 responses to “Things I have Learned In My Life”

  1. Thanks Kent. As always you’ve opened my eyes to how amazing you are. Using my words- you’re a bingo!

  2. all of it is true…especially when someone says “I’ve been thinking…” LOL scares the bejeessus out of Ron!

  3. Many comments resonate with me – especially the Leaf fan comment. Thanks for continuing to spread your wisdom.

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