PMP publisher shares ‘50 Life Lessons’ on 50th birthday

By |  September 21, 2016
Photo: ©istock.com/koya79

Photo: ©istock.com/koya79

Mark Twain once said, “Good judgment is the result of experience, and experience is the result of poor judgment.” Reminiscing at my keyboard — I recently turned 50 — I find Twain’s take a witty partial truth. My “experience” features a mix of life happenings beyond my control, and my good and poor judgment. (Admittedly, most of my good judgment the past half-century has stemmed from the “experience sharing” of family, friends and colleagues.)

Every day — not just the day one turns 50 — is an opportunity for reflection … and course correction.

To that point, here are Old Man Whit’s “50 Life Lessons” (aka “50 Things I Wish I’d Remember Every Day”):

  1. Perspective is half the battle: Life’s easier when we embrace an attitude of gratitude.
  2. Seize today: None of us are promised tomorrow.
  3. Things aren’t that important: There’s a reason hearses don’t pull U-Hauls.
  4. People are most important: Relationships rule.
  5. The Golden Rule: If we treat coworkers and clients like we want to be treated, retaining them will be easier.
  6. Customer input is golden: Treating customers as co-engineers helps ensure successful product launches/enhancements.
  7. Stay humble: We’re all works in progress.
  8. Stay teachable: Isn’t it funny how the teacher “suddenly appears” when the student is ready (has an open mind)?
  9. Live in the moment: Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow is tomorrow.
  10. Family first: Smartphones have already replaced our cameras, calendars and clocks. Let’s not let them replace our families.
  11. Talk less, listen more: It’s by design we each have one mouth and two ears.
  12. Dictate less, teach more: How we share guidance is as important as what we impart.
  13. Worry less, pray/meditate more: Seek serenity, the calm amid the storm.
  14. Take less, give more: Service is a gift … to both parties.
  15. Plan your work, work your plan: There’s no shortcut to success.
  16. Recognize excellence: When teammates go above and beyond, reward their efforts.
  17. Differences matter: Identify and leverage teammates’ varying strengths.
  18. Capitalize on complaints: When customers and coworkers identify shortcomings, work together to turn these obstacles into opportunities.
  19. Stay positive: Focus on solutions rather than problems.
  20. Be friendly: A smile goes a mile.
  21. Sell and deliver value: Competing primarily based on price takes everyone down a notch.
  22. Welcome competition: It demands we demand more of ourselves.
  23. True teamwork: Let’s bring out the best in each another.
  24. Work hard: Half measures often avail us nothing.
  25. Work smart: It’s not enough to run the race hard; we need to run in the right direction.
  26. Be a believer: Know that light follows darkness.
  27. Dream big: Who says we can’t spin gold from straw?
  28. WE win: Play for the team on the front of the jersey, not the name on the back.
  29. When times get tough, giddy-up: As John Wayne said: “Courage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyway.”
  30. Be a visionary: See more … before others do.
  31. Communication counts: Increasing understanding increases caring.
  32. Motivating messages: Words from the heart speak to the heart.
  33. Walk the walk: Sometimes talk is just that.
  34. Laugh often: Life’s funny.
  35. Hug heartily: It nurtures the soul.
  36. Dance freely: Disco’s not dead.
  37. Sing loudly: Auditions are held daily.
  38. Love large: Say and show it often.
  39. Be quick to forgive: Life’s too short.
  40. Make amends: Forgiveness is a two-way street.
  41. Pause when agitated: Pray for “the gift of the second response.”
  42. Grow or go: Progress requires change.
  43. Change begins within: It’s an inside-out job.
  44. Accept others: They’ll change what they need to … when they’re ready.
  45. Be happy: Reboot as necessary.
  46. Be good: Do the next right thing.
  47. View everyone as a potential teacher: Lessons can come from all ages and walks of life.
  48. View everyone as a potential student: Our experience can help people of all ages and walks of life.
  49. Remember lost loved ones: Embody their traits you miss most.
  50. Leave the world a better place: One doesn’t have to be a code breaker to figure out the meaning of life.
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