26 things I know for sure … in this half of life


Celebrating a milestone birthday recently has prompted me to think about perspective and priorities. What really matters is the question that’s been rattling around in my head after blowing out the inferno of candles last month. I was introduced to the term “true north” recently during a business meeting and have contemplated how this concept applies to personal life.

As I look ahead to the next half of life and try to make sense of what matters the most, I figured jotting down a collection of things I’ve learned in my first five decades might be a valuable exercise. I’ve seen some lists including the number of things people have learned tied to the years they’re celebrating … admittedly, I’m not sure I could conjure up a list that long and I wouldn’t dare bore you with such a lengthy list. So here are 26 things I know for sure in this half of my life …


  1. There are two simple “Golden Rules” – both are easy to live by … #1. Treat others as you would like to be treated. #2. Do the right thing.
  2. People are most important – always! Life is about the people in our lives, those who have been a part of our lives & those we’ve yet to meet.
  3. Family comes first. No exceptions — ever!
  4. Time is priceless. Be selective in how you allocate it.
  5. Honesty is always the right answer.
  6. Common sense is a valuable commodity … & not all that common.
  7. There is a big difference between bossing and leading. One involves the wagging of a finger, the other raising others up. People thrive with leadership, not bossing.
  8. As a parent, if ever in doubt of what you’ve done of value … hug your kids.
  9. Thank you are two simple, yet underused words. Say them often.
  10. Grace is not just a dinnertime prayer, nor the little girl down the street. I strive to be grace-filled.
  11. Confidence is a choice. Choose to have it and not allow others to steal it.
  12. Happiness is a choice. Not always the easiest choice, but worth it.
  13. You get what you give — refer to Golden Rule #1 on this one.
  14. Trust is a two-way street.
  15. Skin grows thicker with age and maturity.
  16. Good people bring out the good in people.
  17. A glass of red wine a day is good for you … but more is better.
  18. Exercise is good medicine. More doses needed.
  19. Inspired people are … inspiring. I want more of them in my life.
  20. Negativity can spread like a virus. It should be quarantined.
  21. Passion is infectious. It should be spread.
  22. Music feeds the soul and fuels the spirit. Turn it up!
  23. We were all put on this earth for a purpose. What it is may evolve.
  24. R-E-S-P-E-C-T … Aretha’s anthem is one we should all live by.
  25. A solid handshake makes a strong statement.
  26. Perfection is impossible. As Nike says … Just Do It!

Do any of these resonate with you? I would love to hear some of the things you know for sure in whatever half of life you’re in. Feel free to add to my list.