Celebrating 50 Life Lessons

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I recall that in my teens and early twenties, I thought being fifty years old meant that you were old and life was about to end. Looking back, I can’t help but laugh. My feelings about turning and being fifty have definitely changed. I feel that I actually began learning many of my life lessons only at twenty-five, and since then, the lessons keep coming. Life has taught me many things and I am sure that as I turn fifty, there will be many more lessons to come.

So as I approach my 50th year and look back at all the wonderful life lessons I’ve learned, and at times relearn, I wanted to share a list of the 50 lessons I hold most dear with you (not in any particular order):

  1. God loves ME and my relationship with Him is needed.
  2. Family is important no matter how much they get on my nerves.
  3. Taking a break from social media is a must.
  4. Always be grateful.
  5. Live in the present moment.
  6. Step out of my comfort zone and take risks.
  7. Don’t allow the negativity of the world steal my joy.
  8. Never settle, personally or professionally
  9. Meet people where they are; it’s not always about me.
  10. It’s good to “be still.”
  11. It’s ok to say no (and change my mind), without giving an explanation.
  12. Always do my best.
  13. Prayer and meditation are key to me maintaining balance.
  14. Be respectful of others and their time.
  15. The universe is working with me, not against me.
  16. Having a great inner circle of friends who are motivated, intelligent and supportive is a must.
  17. Sometimes I need to take the vacation and worry about paying for it later.
  18. Special moments make special memories.
  19. Having a spiritual foundation is more important than following a religion.
  20. It’s ok not to have all the answers.
  21. Always ask God for the lesson from every good or bad situation.
  22. Make sure I have a “plan b.”
  23. Always listen to my gut.
  24. No experience is wasted.
  25. Forgiveness is instrumental to growth.
  26. I don’t need anyone to complete me.
  27. Crying is ok and is not a sign of weakness.
  28. Never be ashamed of who I am.
  29. Never be angry with myself too long. Sitting in anger and disappointment takes away from figuring out my next move.
  30. Every day is not going to be a good day.
  31. A plan does not work without action.
  32. I’m not for everyone.
  33. Being hurt is a part of life.
  34. I love being a black gay man.
  35. My decisions are not based on popular vote.
  36. I will make bad decisions and I must own them as much as I own my good decisions.
  37. There is an urgency to living life wisely and well. I don’t have time to waste.
  38. My overall health is a priority.
  39. Wisdom does not come with age, but with life lessons.
  40. The older I get, the longer the recuperation period after a night of partying.
  41. I don’t want to go back to my 20’s, 30’s or 40’s.
  42. A good FICO score and money in the bank are more important than wearing designer labels and driving a fancy car.
  43. Dream big.
  44. Some people you have to love from a distance.
  45. Don’t be afraid to love.
  46. Loving myself is a priority.
  47. I don’t have to wait for the start of a new year to improve/make changes.
  48. Stop with the shoulda, coulda, woulda syndrome. I made the best decision, at that time, with the information I had.
  49. Don’t wait. The time will never be “just right.”
  50. Not everyone needs to know or deserve your story. Some things are private and thats okay.