Yesterday I celebrated my 31st birthday. It’s official, I’m old.
Actually, I feel great and am in the best shape I’ve ever been in, so I guess old is relative. But I can’t help remembering how old someone in their 30’s seemed when I was a teenager. They seemed like they had already lived a ton of life, had a lot of wisdom to offer and were just a few years from needing a walker to get around-basically like a less wrinkly Yoda.
Now that I’m in my 30’s, I realize how wrong I was. Although I’ve done a lot of living in 31 years, I am just as immature and juvenile as I was when I was 15, I’m still kind of an idiot and I’m nowhere near needing ambulatory assistance.
All that being said, I’ve been thinking over the last few days of all the lessons I’ve learned throughout my life. Some were easy to grab a hold of and immediately implement into my life while others were terribly painful and I fought them as hard as I could. Either way, they’ve made me who I am today and considering the fact that I like who I am, it must have all been worth it.
So here is a list of 31 lessons Ive learned in my 31 years of life. Some of them are related to training, others are personal. Some are funny, others are fairly serious. But all of them are lessons that I’m glad I’ve learned.
1. Everyone has something to offer, no matter how much they annoy you.
2. Strengthening your weaknesses is the best way to become a stronger person. Focusing solely on your strengths only makes the gap between what you’re good at and what you suck at bigger.
3. Never underestimate the power of a good nap.
4. There are necessary endings in life. Whether professional or personal, some relationships must come to an end.
5. Marveling at nature (sunsets, sunrises, watching an ant carry a leaf) can connect you with the universe in a way little else can.
6. #5 also reminds you of how small you really are and that you’re not THAT special.
7. Shutting off your cell phone, computer and TV and instead, having a conversation with your wife is more entertainment than those three combined.
8. Whatever you are doing, do it %100.
9. I’m not sure there is anything deadlifting can’t make better. Having a bad day? Deadlifting is a great stress reliever. Need to get stronger? Deadlift. In fact, I have it from an unofficial source that deadlifting is currently working on a cure for world hunger.
10. Sometimes, it’s important to do the things you don’t want to do.
11. Wake up early. I am in no way a morning person. I hate getting up early. But I swear, getting to work early and diving in gets more done than staying late ever will.
12. Having kids and being a parent are not at all the same things.
13. Your own personal history gives you two options: 1. Fall into the same bad habits and behaviors you had modeled to you by influential people, or 2. Do everything you can to not pass those same habits and behaviors on to those around you. The latter is always the better option.
14. Making yourself go to the gym and train when it’s the last thing you want to do is rarely something you regret.
15. You don’t “find” time to take care of yourself. The time is already there, you just have to stop doing things that take it away from investing in yourself.
16. Always be reading 2 kinds of books. One that makes you a better employee, boss, spouse, parent, etc. The other should be something that is purely for fun. I strongly recommend Calvin and Hobbes.
17. Having an open mind doesn’t mean you are wishy-washy in your beliefs. It means you’re not a self-absorbed jerk that is incapable of having a conversation with someone who sees things differently than you.
18. If you don’t like your life than change it! You’re the only one who can control what you do.
19. Whenever you think you don’t have a choice-you probably do. You just may not like the options.
20. Have lots of friends, but only a few confidants.
21. You’re never too old to enjoy a good game of hide-and-seek.
22. Be the kind of person you would want to be around.
23. Set your goals beyond what you are sure you can do. Setting the bar at a confident height doesn’t do anyone any good.
24. Extending forgiveness is much more about you then it is the person who wronged you.
25. Pick your battles. Most of the ones you want to fight aren’t really worth the effort.
26. Don’t live beyond your means. It only adds unnecessary stress. But sometimes (not frequently or often…but sometimes) being financially irresponsible is just what you need.
27. Being generous with your time says much more than being generous with your money. But being generous with your money is good too.
28. Being “on” a diet and having a diet are not at all the same things. Learn the difference between the two. Do the former once in a while. Do the latter always.
29. Music should almost always be listened to LOUD!
30. Sometimes it’s important to have a detailed plan. Other times it’s best to jump in with both feet and figure it out as you go.
31. Making a list of all the things you have learned in life is a great way to remind yourself of how much you’ve grown.
(Forget to get me a birthday present? That’s OK. Just re-post this to Facebook and we’ll call it even!)