Hooray! All too recently I found myself turning 40, and I couldn’t be happier.
Because if the first 20 years are spent just learning life, your twenties are spent getting ready to work, and your thirties are often getting established.
But your forties…. oh baby, that’s when things get good. Because when you turn 40 you have the skills, experience (read: mistakes) to start making things happen.
That said, I’ve been doing a lot of reflection and I would like to share with you the 40 things you should know about turning 40.
Since I’m writing this on my holidays in Maui (yeah I did that), they are in no particular order.
Travel whenever you can
You learn more when you leave your comfort zone. Travelling is the best way I know to do that.
I write this as I’m on a trip. It’s great, but travelling is stressful. New places, new faces, new food, new experiences. While it’s all great there is a hidden stress behind this. I’ve always said, “I love having travelled, but I could do without the travelling part.”
It’s a good idea to get out of your comfort zone. That’s where the magic happens.
I’m always taking chances to grow. Some of them work out others don’t. But I grow as a person and to me that’s more valuable than anything else.
Try that thing you have been putting off. You’re 40 and you deserve it!
Pick your friends wisely
If you have great friends, good for you. But I hear so many people complain about those so called friends in your life that they don’t really care for. What’s the point? If you aren’t thrilled with the people in your life, there are others out there that are perfect for you.
Be picky about the people you let into your life, you are worth it.
Pick your partner even more wisely-er
Everything I am, is because I have someone supporting me through all the good, and bad decisions. Without the right partner you will never meet your true potential.
Come Up with Quesitons to Tell If Someone is Your Kind of Person.
This is just something I have been toying with. There are a few questions I ask people to tell if we are the same kind of peeps. If you answer the right way to these I know immediately that we can hang. If not, that’s cool, but this probably isn’t going to work out.
Here’s a few:
- Do you travel?
- What’s the funniest thing you’ve ever seen?
- What have you watched lately that’s pure awesome?
- Have you ever played Cards Against Humanity? What did you think of it?
- What’s your guilty pleasure?
Sure this makes for an awkward 5 minutes (but only if it’s the wrong person), but I have found that it saves you so much time later on.
Make Everyday Count with Your Kids.
As parent’s we are constantly torn between the hustle of day to day, being a parent, being a partner, earning a living. But your kids still need you, do something every day to make sure they know that they are the most important people in your life.
Small Things Add Up.
This is just a given, but anything you do repeatedly and consistently will make who you eventually become. Strengthen the habits that you want to make you the best version of yourself.
Enjoy What You do and Who You Work With.
It’s easier said than done. But understand, you will spend more time with your co-workers than you will with most of the other people in your life. Ensure you want to be in their company 5 days a week or more.
If you are doing something you love, you will never feel like it’s work.
It’s true in someways, but it’s a crock in others. Look, any kind of work will have some downsides. But it’s that those downsides are made up by the work being so awesome in other places.
Learn The Art of Perfection
I’m a perfectionist. But not the kind of person who wants everything to be perffect and never takes action. No, I’m a perfectionist, meaning that I do something and it’s perfect “for now”. It goes out in the world and I know I have done my best on it in the moment. Is it free of mistakes? Nope. Is it the greatest thing I’ll ever do. Maybe. But I’ll keep working at the next thing to be even better.
That, in my mind is a perfectionist. Someone who is always doing things perfect in their moment, and fully knows it could be better, but understands that getting it done and out there, is better than working something for 3 years and never doing anything with it.
Case in point, this article is riddled with typos and bad grammar, and claims to have 40 points but it’s actually more. But I got it out there. And I’m grateful you are reading it.
That’s what matters.
Be Grateful for Today.
I’m awful with this. My thoughts tend to move to the future. I’m trying to be more presenting the moment (meditation helps).
But the truth is the planning for another day doesn’t always come to be. Enjoy your life in the here and now. By doing this you will be so much more grateful for what you have.
Treat Your Body with the Respect it Deserves.
We often forget that it can stop working on us at any given moment. I recently put my back out and couldn’t move for a full weekend.
I didn’t do anything big, but ignoring the warning signs over and over added up and “suddenly” my back went out. When you are younger you can get away with things that don’t seem to matter, but one day that switches.
When it does you will be happy you treated your body kindly. Trust me.
Call your parents. They miss you.
They really want to talk to you. The curse of parents is while you are trying to make it all work with your young ones. Finally when you have the time you need for your kids they have grownup. Why eles does everyone get misty eyed when they hear cats in the craddle.
Allow Your Kids to be Your Greatest Motivator.
Kids can give you purpose and drive, if you let them.
So many people say that their kids are the reason they can’t do what they want or live the life they would like.
I think that’s a matter of perspective, if you have kids use them as your motivation to be amazing and give them an amazing life.
Desire is the Root of Riches
Don’t deprive your kids of the joy of working hard for something they want. By giving them everything they want and handing them all their wishes on a platter, it’s a sure way to deprive them of motivation.
Most of who I am is because I wasn’t handed anything when I was young.
It gave me a hunger and determination that is still with me today.
Never leave someone angry.
This one is a little more personal, so bare with the oversharing. Our neighbour was once over when I was 12, my mom asked me to do something (I think it was take something to the basement), like all 12 year olds I was incapable of listening. Our neighbour who was over told me to listen, and put me to task. While I went to do the 5 minute chore , a boy we were watching (who also had autism, like my sister) destroyed a brand new toy that I had got earlier in the day.
It was busted beyond use.
I was really angry at our neighbour for making me do that chore. Like all kids holding a grudge, it didn’t mean much, but I was hurt and didn’t say good bye as she left.
She passed away that night very suddenly from an anuerysm. I’ve felt terrible about it since.
Not every encounter in your life will be smooth, and I pray you never have something like this. Still every time there is an argument in the house I strive to make sure that we have repaired the damage and leave on good terms.
Love is most Important thing in this world.
It comes from inside you, not from others. Before you can love anyone else you should learn to love yourself.
You are your worst critic.
Try to turn yourself into your biggest fan.
You know normally I try to round these out but I’ve been typing all day, so here are some quick fire ones that will make sense.
Take a moment for yourself every day
I use mediation. If you are like me and completely baffled by meditation, as I was. use this. I’ve been using this for 3 years and it’s changed everything for me. Get the feedback I need about my session and it’s really nice to get immediate feedback on my sessions. I also try to get a walk in every day.
Waiting for things is more gratifying than actually getting the item most of the time
Waiting for your Christmas gift as a kid was special because you had to wait. If your purchases are making you feel empty, then you probably need to relearn the art of delayed gratification. I practice it all the time, and it makes me more grateful for the things I buy.
Everything online is designed to make a good impression. Which usually leaves us feeling terrible. It’s nobody’s fault. But realize that nobody is perfect, despite them trying to convince you otherwise. If Facebook is making you feel terrible. Unfollow that person. If “friend” is constantly complaining and you don’t feel it’s worth it, hide the from your feed.
Filter the information you take in
I stopped watching the news almost 15 years ago and it’s one of the best decisions I have made. Somehow the news still finds me. I’m just a happier person not worrying about what the fear angers wanted to share that day.
Don’t watch the news
This goes with the last one. The news is the one -offs of life. It’s not he 99.9% usual stuff that happened in every ones lives. IT’s the 1 terrible thing that happened that gets shared.
I’m working hard on this because, truthfully it’s hard to ignore the bad. But strive to be the light, not the darkness.
If someone makes you feel terrible, get them out of your life.
Life’s too short to be around people that don’t value you.
Your kids care less about the stuff you give them than you think.
Yes they will always want the next thing. But more than anything they want your time. Asking my friends and others who had everything growing up, what they really wanted. You know what the answer was? To spend more time with their mom and dad. They just wanted more time with their parents.
Now, because I want this published, here are some rapid fire ones…
Nobody dies wishing they had watched more TV, or worked more at their job.
It’s true, ask any dead person.
The little things are what matter most in life.
Enjoy these more.
Put down your phone and enjoy the world right in front of you.
Except finish this article first.
This is Your One Life (as far as I know), Give it All You’ve Got.
If you have proof of this being wrong please let me know.
If you find someone that treats you well and makes you laugh. You have found a remarkable person.
Laughter is far more important than looks. My mom taught me that, of course she used to put a pork chop around my neck so the dog would play with me…
That thing you are worried about, likely won’t happen.
EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.
Treat others the way you want to be treated.
Because that makes sense.
Time is more important than money, but that should diminish the value of money in your life.
Saying money is unimportant is a sure fire way to make sure money isn’t sticking around in your life. It’s ok to value it, that’s what money is for establishing a value on an item.
Your kids will grow up fast. Enjoy every diaper filled moment.
But the non-diaper filled moments are great too, and smell less, until they are teens. Then you miss the diapers.
Your photos are your memories. Try and remember that when you don’t get a like on your latest post about your daughters day at school.
FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) is ridiculous.
You are always missing out on 99.99999% of the things happening in this world.
The only thing you aren’t missing out on is where you are right now. Make a point to enjoy it, or go where you want to be.
Life is to short to be around people that don’t get you.
I’m repeating this because everyone needs to undertand this. You are worth the best people in your life. Find them and be with them.
You are the sum of the 5 people you spend the most time with. If you are with someone who isn’t a good fit, do yourself and them a favour and walk away.
Fear is killed by action
This will kill your fear. Take action, talking about things has it’s place but action is more important. It’s also the antidote to fear.
Everyone feels fear all the time. The successful people use that fear to take action and do great things.
Organize your life around the things you want to do.
YOu can never get to everything you want in life. Prioritize the things that are important and organize your life around those things.
Nobody has ever died wishing they were busier
Think of being busy and a form of laziness. That will make you look at things differently. Now when I think “I’m so busy”, I replace it with “I’m so lazy” and I think of what I can do to free up time in my life.
I’m 40 I’m too old to be caring what people think about me anymore.
This is my gift to myself, I’m sure you read through these things and you are thinking I’m off my rocker. Good for you. But you don’t need to tell me that. I have my beliefs and you have yours.
Because of this we can respect each other. But my gift this year was to be free of what other people think and say about me. But if you have your own learnings I would love to read them. Just take some action and get them out there.
Look back on your life with fond memories.
But don’t spend too much time in the past, the present is amazing and it’s helping you create an amazing future.
Create an amazing life for yourself. It’s never to late to start, and you will be happy you did.
Get a pen and paper and write out what you want to be, have and see in the next 10 years. That’s how I started my thirities. It radically changed my life and I’m so happy I did. Change is that gift you give yourself.
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