40 Things I Learned Before I Turned 40: Part One

30 May

paper and pencilSpend enough time doing something, and you’re bound to learn a few things along the way.

Such is the case with life.

Over the past 40 years, as I’ve lived a life full of ups and downs, I’ve learned many, many, many things. Some, of course, are the obvious ones: How to walk, talk, drive, cook, and write with decent grammatical ability.

But there are other things I’ve learned — important lessons that I hope will stick with me as I enter my 41st year. Many of these weren’t easy to learn, and some haven’t quite sunk in yet.

Regardless, I thought I’d put together a list of 40 lessons learned from 40 years of living. Here, with one week left till my actual birthday, are the first 20. Enjoy.

1. There is no unattractive street in Paris, France.

2. You can’t put a value on good customer service.

3. Turning the clocks back in the fall is worse than turning them forward in the spring.

4. You get what you want by being nice to people. It just takes a little longer than being a jerk does.

5. No one plays a better live show than Bruce Springsteen does. No one. As Bono said, “They call him the Boss. Well, that’s a bunch of crap. He’s not the boss. He works for us.”

6. Apple products are superior to anything in the Microsoft family.

7. Everyone always says the best thing about their job, the reason they stay there, is “the people.” The truth is, there’s good people everywhere. You’ll find them, even when the job sucks. Especially when the job sucks.

8.Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies.”

9. You can be a fan of a team, but that will change. It’s when you become a fan of the sport that you really become loyal.

10. It’s good to have connections.

11. Coolest man alive? George Clooney

12. You get over your crushes. Eventually. But they don’t always get over you.

13. When it’s time, you’ll know it.

14. Karma is real. It just doesn’t work the same for everybody.

15. New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago are all fun cities to visit, but there is no better city to live in than Boston.

16. Best vacation ever? Disney World in Orlando, as an adult, without kids.

17. Batman is the best superhero.

18. We all have our own personal social media bubbles. Eventually they’re all going to burst.

19. Yellow is not my color.

20. It’s possible to take hundreds of pictures of the same thing and still feel like you haven’t taken the perfect one yet. (For example, Waterfire in Providence, R.I.; 500 Boylston St. in Boston; and the Getty Center in L.A.)

That’s just for starters. Some of these are profound, and some are silly, but all are valuable. I’ll post the remaining 20 lessons next week. Stay tuned.

What are YOUR favorite life lessons? Are any on this list? Let me know in the comments section below.

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6 Responses to “40 Things I Learned Before I Turned 40: Part One”

  1. Steve May 30, 2014 at 11:55 am #

    disappointed that #16 isn’t Acapulco. 😉

    • Martin Lieberman May 30, 2014 at 12:08 pm #

      That’s in the top 5, Steve. And for the record, I was going to include “Sending a Boston Cream Pie through the mail is harder than it sounds,” but it just missed the cut. 😉

  2. Peter Hughes June 6, 2014 at 10:51 am #

    My son would absolutely contest #17; he vetted them thoroughly and strongly believes Iron Man is the best. Having said that, when I asked earlier this week, he did say Hulk, so he’s prone to change. 😉


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