Things I Have Learned

Some of these I’ve figured out on my own so they are original.  Some I’ve found elsewhere.  Some even cover the same ground.  The older I get the truer these become.THINGS I’VE LEARNED AS I’VE GROWN OLDER.  (I’ve learned this software doesn’t always format this page the way I want it to.)

√  A life is not important except in the positive impact it has on other lives.*

√  Life is not as easy as it seemed when I was young.

√ Change your life, change the way you think.

√  If you want to cheer yourself up, you should try cheering someone else up first.

√  You need 3 things in life.  First you need good health.  Then you need a good companion who will stay with you.  Last, you need enough energy for the two of you to build something good from what you have.

√  Life can surprise you.  Sometimes you get another chance, sometimes one mistake is all you get.  And sometimes what you get is best.

√  Life gets in the way of your plans.  Be flexible enough to deal with these changes & setbacks.

√  You shouldn’t go through life with a baseball glove on both hands.  You need to be able to throw something back.

√  Peace and happiness is better than a stressful life with lots of money & demands.

√  Having a loving family brings great peace of mind.

√  I’ve learned that if you pursue happiness, it will elude you, but if you focus on your family, the needs of others, and doing the very best you can, happiness will find you.

√  What’s important isn’t always what you do, but how you do it.

√  It is better to attack a problem than be consumed by it.

√  Anything is possible.

√  Holding my children and grandchildren and watching them grow has been one of my life’s greatest pleasures.

√  Children are your investment.  Grandchildren are your dividends.

√  The best compliment is the confidence of others.

√  Listen to Francie.

√  Never pull a fait accompli on your spouse.  A fait accompli is selfish & self-centered.

√  You never stop missing your parent[s] after they die.

√  If you listen to someone else’s troubles they will think you are a good friend.

√  Rationalizations are poor justifications for action.  When you do something do it for a positive reason, and do it well.

√  Negotiation is better than confrontation.

√  There are many exceptions to the rules.  For instance, there is a time speak up instead of being quiet, a time for confrontation instead of negotiation.  The hard thing is knowing what to do & when.

√  If you negotiate, do not negotiate to win.  Negotiate to progress.

√  During a confrontation it is best to bite your tongue.  This causes two very important things to happen.  The first is people will think you are a whole lot smarter than you really are.  The second is you will get a very sore tongue.

√  The only thing your sharp tongue can cut is your own throat!

√  To use my resources.

√  Sometimes a person is measured against how they handle their loses, not their gains.

√  To do my best to set a good example.

√  The only way your ship comes in is if you send a few ships out.

√  Simple decisions can change your life forever, sometimes years after you make those decisions.

√  Never let your problems darken the promise of a new day.

√  You can make someone’s day by simply sending them a greeting card.

√  Whenever I decide something with kindness, I usually make the right decision.

√  Making responsible decisions is the best sign of maturity.

√  If someone says something untrue about me and I hear of it, I must live so that no one will believe it.

√  If it were fun it wouldn’t be called work.

√  Making a living is not the same thing as making a life.

√  The greater a person’s sense of guilt, the greater their need to cast blame on others.

√  There are people who may love you dearly, but just don’t know how to show it.

√  The answer to things is often right under my nose.

√  A helping hand is often found at the end of my own arm.

√  If you wave hello to someone they will most often wave back.

√  It is a good thing we don’t get everything we wish for.

√  If you ask for an opinion or advice be prepared to hear something you may not like.

√  A good song can lift my spirits for hours.

√  Of all the things you wear, your expression is the most important.

√  Sometimes I’m right, sometimes I’m wrong.  When I’m right I had better be darn sure of my facts because when someone else is wrong they never care about their facts, or yours.

√  People will often ask your opinion only so they can tell you their opinion.

√  Ignoring the facts does not change the facts.

√  Life makes us all depreciating assets.  Make the most of your time, skills, and opportunities.

√  Someone will take the opportunities I fail to take.

√  Two things are important when you travel down the wrong road.  The 1st is to know it.  The 2nd is to know how to turn around.

√  The heaviest thing you can carry is a grudge; it is also a waste of energy.

√  Life is too short to wake up with regrets.

√  I try to have as few regrets as possible.  You should try to have none.

√  Life is too short for cheap wine and cheap Scotch.

√  Look back to learn from the past, but always remember to look forward.  It is OK to look back if you think you can learn from your mistakes.  Otherwise it is a waste of time.

√  It is great hitting a home run in life, but it is very hard to do that.  It is much better to hit singles.  That way when you’re done playing the game you will have a good average.

√  Babe Ruth said “Never let the fear of striking out get in your way.”  A more popular version is “Never let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game.”  They are both true.

√  One thing you can give and still keep is your word.

√  Your mind is like a parachute; it only functions when it is open.

√  If you lack the courage to start then you have already finished.

√  The only failure is the failure to try.

√  You lie loudest when you lie to yourself.

√  Make the best decision you can with the information available to you at the time.

√ Truth is not just facts.  It is also what people want to believe and what they are willing to believe.

√  I’ve learned it is better to email someone than have no contact.  It is better call someone than email them.  It is better to see someone than call them.

√  Sometimes you eat the bear, and sometimes the bear eats you.  (Or sometimes you are the windshield, and sometimes you are the bug.)

√ Don’t smile and don’t think about dinosaurs!   I used to say this to my children when they were young and unhappy about something.  They smiled and thought about dinosaurs.  It works on adults too!

√  The best (and only) way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time.

√  When things get you down just forget it.  There will always be times when things get you down.  Instead, figure out how to make your situation better, then do it.

√  I know there is always someone worse off than me.

√  I always accomplish the most if I have a challenge, a plan, or both.

√  It is very easy to be critical of someone else’s decision – especially if you do not bear the responsibility for the outcome of that decision.

√  The world is far more complicated than you think it is.  or if you prefer…”There are more things in Heaven and Earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”  Hamlet, Act 1, Scene V.

√ It takes less energy to be angry about things than to fix them.  Use more energy.

√ If you take a starving dog and make him prosperous he won’t bite you.  Thats the principle difference between dogs and former employees and partners I’ve had.  Thanks to Mark Twain for that inspiration.

√  Most people do things for short-term gain.  People who plan far ahead are very few.


I still have a lot to learn.


*I found a version of this first item somewhere many years ago.  I wrote it down and taped it above my desk.  Eventually I added the word “positive” because I felt it important to differentiate between the effects that actions can have on others.  Only now, March, 2013, I learned a quote much like this is on the gravestone of Jackie Robinson.  I do not know if he said this first, but I am indebted to him because he made it famous and I have learned from him.

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