27. It is hard to believe that is how many times this planet has revolved around the sun with me on it. This time of year usually leads me into reflecting on the previous twelve months as I seek to become a better person. This year is no different, and through that process I made a list of the things I’ve learned. Some of them took a lot longer than others and several I’m relearning.

  1. I’m not the best at everything, and that is actually ok and freeing.
  2. It is better to be a problem solver instead of a problem spreader.
  3. Read. Lead. Read. You can’t lead others well unless you first lead yourself.
  4. The way we communicate defines our identity to others.
  5. Very few things are impossible to accomplish with an unlimited number of attempts. Keep trying.
  6. The amount of money we have in the bank doesn’t matter, but how we treat people does.
  7. Hearing and listening are two very different things. Listen more.
  8. Learning by problem solving is one of the best ways that I learn.
  9. A lot of things cry out for our attention. Be careful about who/what gets it.
  10. Life is about balance. I have yet to feel that I accomplished something good after binge-watching a show from the couch all day.
  11. Time is your most precious resource. Spend it wisely.
  12. The word “no” is a freeing word. Do not be afraid to use it.
  13. Gossip brings destruction to any community. Speak wisely.
  14. The number of people that like your art/music/etc doesn’t matter. The fact that you created it does. Keep creating.
  15. At every age of my life, I’ve thought I was a bigger deal than I really was. Pride is not worth all of the trouble and disappointment. Stay humble.
  16. The problem you are facing now will soon be in the past, so conquer it carefully.
  17. We should not hold back our thankfulness for what others bring to our lives.
  18. Encouragement to others should be a daily priority.
  19. Relationships require constant decisions that either build it up or let it crumble.
  20. I rarely get to choose the situation I am in, but I can always choose my attitude.
  21. Take your responsibilities seriously. Others are counting on you.
  22. The best things in life cannot be purchased.
  23. The beauty on the inside always matters more than the outward appearance.
  24. Taking care of our heart and emotions should be one of our biggest priorities.
  25. We can’t change the past, but we can learn from it to make a great future.
  26. Stuff doesn’t make us happy but people (and pets) can.
  27. Let loose and relax. Life is too short to keep a list of worries.

Here’s to the next 27 years!