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36 Lessons on my 36th Birthday

Today is my 36th birthday.

AfroDaddy Smiling
The Birthday Boy

Yes, I know what an awkward time of the year it is to have an birthday, but after so many of them I really have the lowest of expectations: to have a fairly relaxed day.

Regardless of what I hope to do today (or not do, actually), I can't help but think about what I've learned during my 36 years on the planet. Obviously there are many more lessons than just these 36, but let's stick to the theme, shall we?

These aren't in any particular order, so here goes:

1) There will always be someone better off and worse off than you. You'll be happier if you focus less on the former and more on the latter.

2) Have a really good idea of what success looks like before you start an endevour i.e. have a goal.

3) Regarding food, moderation and control is crucial...unless you're having a good time with friends around a dinner table.

4) Same can be said for wine.

5) Everyone's opinions (even the experts) are formed through their particular worldview. You need to understand that before placing value on the opinion.

6) Keep people who give honest and valuable feedback and criticism close. They are worth their weight in gold.

7) There is NOTHING wrong with being super enthusiastic about your friends' projects. It costs nothing to you and can make all the difference when they get disheartened. Go be their cheerleader.

8) Learn to give compliments without being creepy.

9) Learn to receive compliments without being awkward.

10) Good apologies are rare, and are therefore incredibly powerful.

11) No one likes a "tactical conversationalist": some who talks as though they have attended a seminar on how to talk.

12) If you are comfortable doing something that others are scared of, make sure you get paid to do it.

13) Big companies have more money than they know what to do with. Just charge them more than you think you're worth.

14) You are probably worth more than you think you do, unless you are one of those people. You know the kind I'm talking about.

15) It's likely that you have are a villain in someone's story. It's equally likely that they are right to think of you in that way.

16) It's okay to care about something that other people don't care about. It might be lonely, but keep with it until you find a like-minded community.

17) People give back and do good in different ways. Try to encourage more and criticize less.

18) When you want to do good, think clearly about the how and why, but not so much that it paralyses you into inaction.

19) You can't understand what a group of people experience and think if you don't regularly engage with the members of that group.

20) On that, a diverse group of friends and family will make you're life much more interesting. If everyone you spend time with looks, acts and talks like you...then you're missing out.

21) Life is big wheel. There are bad times, and then the wheel turns with some good times. But be ready for when the wheel turns again.

22) Some people are just arseholes. Once you realise that someone is, in fact, an arsehole, there is zero point trying to engage with them. You'll only end up looking like an arsehole. It's contagious.

23) Learning to lose graciously is as valuable a skill as winning impressively.

24) Some people really do care about things beyond what the stuff does for them practically. These people use things to feed their ego and they are NOT YOUR PEOPLE.

25) Don't ever excuse the pun.

26) If you want to do something creative, it is unlikely that you are good enough or lucky enough to get paid to do it. That isn't a reason not to do it, though.

27) Don't yuck someone's yum. Unless that yum is "reality TV", then yuck away.

28) Siblings are important. More so as you age.

29) We all need basic journalistic skills in this day and age. There's a load of crap information out there that we need to be able to sort through.

30) Some things seem wonderful but aren't, like that second burger.

31) Speaking of wonderful things, hearing your children laughing together will never not be a total heart warmer.

Father and sons
These two nutters

32) Having the ability to adapt and improvise is much more valuable than having all the resources and tools.

33) Having the right tools is essential with any DIY project, though. Especially if you want to keep swearing to a minimum.

34) Some people actually do like dad bods. Not your dad bod, specifically, but more the idea of it.

35) It's okay to be sad...but if it goes on for too long, get some help.

36) Thirty-six is far too many to put in one blog post...

Did you have a favourite lesson from the list? What would be on your list?


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