Turning fifty was a tough year for me. This year I turned 52 years old, and I have a different mindset with regards to age. I don’t view it simply as getting older but rather years of gaining wisdom. I’ve heard it said that common sense isn’t so common anymore. Sad to say – wisdom and life lessons are also rare. The trick is to take some time and reflect on the life lessons learned along this journey called life.
Here are ten life lessons I learned over the years:
1. Action often trumps knowledge.
Someone that knows a little but does a lot will beat someone that knows a lot but does little. Sad to say, but many people procrastinate under the guise of gathering more information. Maybe it’s time to put feet behind your faith and get out of the classroom and into the real world. Use what you already know and see what a difference it makes!
2. You can’t control other people.
You can’t make anyone change. They have to want to change more than you want them to change. My wife and I have seen this play out in ministry over and over again.
3. Your life is passing by quicker than you think.
I used to hear people say that time flys by. The older I get, the more I can relate to this saying. The truth is – life is short. There’s no time for worrying or waiting. Get busy living your life. Get busy making a difference. What will your legacy be? I hope that you are finding ways to make an eternal difference. #Matthew28
4. Progress is more important than perfection.
Striving for perfection is a waste of time. On this side of heaven, we will fall short, and life, in general, will be imperfect. Just focus on doing a little better today than you did yesterday. Good things will happen.
5. People think about you a lot less than you think they do.
It might be a relief, or it might be insulting, but few people care about your successes and failures. Either way, it’s true. Focus on things that make a difference rather than other people’s perceived opinions.
6. Most of the things you fear will never happen.
And if they do, it won’t be as bad as you think. With that being said, relax, and enjoy where you’re at right now – be present.
7. Your time is your most valuable possession.
Time is the one thing you can’t get more of, so watch it carefully. We could say – “time is the new currency.”
8. People are doing the best they can.
You don’t know what others are going through or have gone through. Everyone is doing the best they can at that moment. Give grace to those you come across that appear to be rude and just flat out mean. There may be a root cause that you aren’t privy to at the moment. Look beyond the words and see the potential past hurt in their lives.
9. Place a priority on your health.
Everything suffers if your health deteriorates. When I was young, I felt like I was superhuman. As I get older, the bones creak a bit, and it’s tougher to trek to reach remote villages on the mission field like in previous years. I had a choice to make: 1) stop – quit and resign to the fact that the best days are behind me or 2) Do something about my health. I chose #2. I lost weight and found natural anti-inflammatories that help improve my overall health. Whatever health issue you may be facing, I encourage you to not give in to the notion that the best is behind you. Determine in your heart – the best days are yet to come and do the things needed to make that a reality.
10. Avoid making decisions when you’re emotionally compromised.
Science has shown that your ability to make wise decisions is hindered by strong emotions. I didn’t need to know the science behind this one. I have a lifetime of experience. The bottom line is if you are emotional – whether on an ultra happy upswing or a draining downward spiral, don’t make hasty decisions. Simply wait until you are level headed and had enough time to pray and think things through. If you are being pressured to make a hasty decision, it’s not of the Lord.
You can learn by making mistakes, or you can learn from others who have lived it, learned the lessons, and have the t-shirt to prove it 😊
I hope this post helps you. If you’ve been blessed by it, please consider sharing it with others.