Four Oh.

As I approached the big four-oh, I spent some time reflecting how to mark this milestone birthday. I decided, on a whim, to write down forty things that came to mind in a stream-of-consciousness exercise when I looked back on four decades of life. These are, in no particular order, personal truths as well as collected wisdom, cliches, quotes, and corny sayings that have helped shape the way I see the world, to date. I write them here for posterity; maybe for a time in the future to look back and see how or if things have changed for me. 

  1. Loved ones, always.
  2. Make time. Give the people who matter what’s right, not what’s left.
  3. Some stuff matters; not as many do; and what you thought did, sometimes doesn’t.
  4. Admitting fault and saying sorry is difficult, but necessary.
  5. You can’t go wrong doing the right thing. The trick is knowing what the right thing is.
  6. Do not abandon in the dark what you have learned in the light – C.S. Lewis.
  7. Failure isn’t final, but it sure stings – even if it’s only for a little while.
  8. Be grace-full – life’s hard, people are broken and, sometimes, we’re all just trying to make it through the day.
  9. “Always give yourself options.” – Mom
  10. Pursue excellence, but don’t be held captive by it. Sometimes, good enough needs to be good enough.
  11. You have limits. Pretending you don’t or ignoring them only limits you further.
  12. Get enough sleep.
  13. Live life in ways that help you sleep well.
  14. Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. 
  15. Just because you can’t, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t.
  16. “We are all given the same amount of time to live – a lifetime.” – Inspired by Neil Gaiman’s “Death, The High Cost Of Living.”
  17. Recognise “The Moment”; take hold of it! But this can only come from being fully present.
  18. Bad shit happens. Sometimes there’s no meaning and purpose… but it can be redeemed.
  19. Sometimes, it’s just plain, dumb luck. So, remember to check your privilege.
  20. “You form your habits, then your habits form you.” – Sarah
  21. “Schedule your priorities, not prioritise your schedule.” – Danny
  22. “Malaysia isn’t Bangsar.” – Dr. Vincent Lim
  23. More showing, less telling.
  24. You are not entitled to your opinion, but what you can argue for.
  25. Pursue wisdom.
  26. Wisdom worth pursuing: how to live life well, how to interact with others, and how to manage money.
  27. There’s a difference between Wisdom and knowledge.
  28. There is wisdom that can only come from experience, when you can finally say, “Ah, I get it now.”
  29. This, too, shall pass. Maybe like a kidney stone, but it will pass.
  30. Getting up after falling down is a feat unto itself.
  31. It’s okay to ask for help; it gets you there faster.
  32. Grit and determination are required.
  33. There’s a lot of good, valid, but contradictory advice.
  34. Life is often lived in the gray.
  35. Your principles are anchor points in the raging, ever-changing sea called Life.
  36. Money isn’t everything, but it’s certainly something.
  37. Smile more, laugh a lot.
  38. The days are long, but the years are short.
  39. It’s not the number of years in your life, but the amount of life in your years.
  40. Never underestimate the power of carefully-worded nonsense.

My birthday wish, as I start this new season of life, is to be better: a better husband, father, son, Follower, and friend. Here’s to Four Oh, and beyond.

4 thoughts on “Four Oh.

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