It is my birthday today! I am 54! F-i-f-t-y F-o-u-r! I can hardly believe it! Where did all those years go?
As usual around this time of year, I reflect on another year gone by, and think about what I have learned and where my life will be taking me in the next 12 months. I am hugely positive about what the future may bring …and I am enjoying being in my fifties immensely.
I know I have mentioned this before, but I still remember a counselling client of mine who was so depressed about the thought of turning 50, that she was considering harming herself. I can honestly say she had a far more positive outlook by the time we parted, but I know that I am very lucky in that my outlook is the complete opposite: I have always felt that life is a gift. At any age.
With that in mind, I thought I would compile a birthday list of favourite thoughts/quotes collected over the years. I would love to know what you would add to this list. Please let me know in the comments. And yes, the pictures are all of me, at various stages of my 54 years!
- Take responsibility. For your life, your happiness and most importantly, your mistakes. Never blame anyone else for the situation in which you find yourself.
2. Whatever you do in life, give it 100%
3. Walk away from people who are tough to be around, no matter who they are.
4. Value who you are and what you have to offer. It is unique.
5. In a world where you can be anything, be kind.
6. Exercise as much as you can. “If you don’t make time for exercise, you will eventually have to make time for illness.”
7. Do not live for tomorrow. Enjoy and make the best of today.
8. “No one has the right to make you feel inferior” – Eleanor Roosevelt
9. Don’t get too attached to material things or overstate their value in your life. They will come and go. Purchasing a new ring, handbag or little black dress is not going to significantly change your life for the better. Experiences do that, not things.
10. De-clutter your house and possessions regularly: Possessions complicate our lives and stifle energy and attention. Investing the time to routinely great rid of the non-essential possessions from your life, will result in both your house space and your head space feeling more healthy.
11. Read Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff by Richard Carlson. It will give you a healthy perspective on life.
12. Never stop learning. It will keep you growing as a person. Further education can be taken on at any stage in life. “Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.”– Mahatma Gandhi
13. Try not to worry too much. Worrying never solved any problems. “Worry does not only empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength.” – Corrie Ten Boom
14. Love wholeheartedly. Give your everything to your partner. There is no time for half measures.
15. If you find yourself in an unhappy relationship, leave. You will be much better off on your own.
16. Stay focused on your career whatever it is, but don’t get caught up in thinking that big money means big happiness.
17. When presented with problems, focus on solutions. Try and view the challenges as opportunities.
18. “What other people think of you is none of your business. If you start to make that business your business, you will be offended for the rest of your life.” Deepak Chopra
19. Travel as much as you can. “Travel is the only thing you can buy that makes you richer.”
20. This above all: To thine own self be true.” William Shakespeare
21. Save money if you want, but don’t stint on buying memories. That is a false economy.
22. Find yourself a role model.
23. Give your children all the time they need, because one day they won’t need you as much.
24. Never give in. Never give up. “I haven’t failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”– Thomas Edison
25. Don’t be a victim.
26. When you have made a mistake, apologise unreservedly.
27. Make an effort to understand someone who has a different point of view than ours. Listen before you criticise.
28. Don’t be hurried into big decisions. Take the time you need to gather your thoughts,
29. Don’t burn your bridges. Never step on people to get to where you want to be.
30. Don’t waste your life wishing you were somewhere, or someone else. Make the most of what you have.
31. “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”– Maya Angelou
32. Give a loving home to a rescue animal. You will never regret it.
33. Time spent on a beach is never wasted, being near the sea will rejuvenate your spirit.
34. You do not have to always say yes to everyone. Sometimes there is strength in saying no.
35. Learn to love yourself. You came into the world alone and will leave alone. And, In the end, the best person you have to rely on is yourself. It’s hard to rely on someone you don’t like.
36. Not everyone will like you. And that’s OK …Its usually more about them, than it is about you.
37. Don’t become over involved in social media. It’s not a true reflection of life, either yours or anyone else’s.
38. Don’t judge people. You cannot know what has brought them to the place they are in today.
39. Don’t overthink things . Sometimes the simplest solution is the right one.
40. Read as much as possible, it will improve both your knowledge and your vocabulary..
41. Dress to impress. If you lounge about in scruffy clothes, your mindset will lounge around in scruffy thoughts.
42. Stand up for what you believe in.
43. Never put anyone else down.
44. You are in charge of your life . Figure out what makes you happy and do everything you can to keep it that way.
45. Think before you speak. “Never speak from a place of hate, jealousy, anger or insecurity. Evaluate your words before you let them leave your lips. Sometimes it’s best to be quiet.” – Tony A. Gaskins Jr.
46. “If you look at what you have in life, you’ll always have more. If you look at what you don’t have in life, you’ll never have enough.”– Oprah Winfrey
47. Only let people who are going to make your life better into your inner circle.
48. Every morning on waking, list and give thanks for all that you have. “Gratitude is a powerful catalyst for happiness. It’s the spark that lights a fire of joy in your soul.” – Amy Collette
49. If you get the opportunity to praise someone else, make sure you do.
50. Leave behind the trappings of modern life and get back to nature when you can. “Keep close to Nature’s heart… and break clear away, once in awhile, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean.” John Muir
51. Life is good, but it is not always fair. The delusion that life should always be fair is a source for a lot of discontent and resentment. Understand and accept that sometimes you will be on the losing side.
52. Happiness is a choice you can make every single day, and everything else is just perspective.
53. Don’t be afraid of being afraid. Sometimes the one thing you need to grow is the one thing you are most afraid to do.
54. And finally… Don’t wait: DO IT NOW.