My dad used to say, “Too soon stupid, too late smart.” There’s truth in that.
Looking back, there are some things I know now (too late smart) that I wish I knew when I was a young mom (too soon stupid). Life is our best teacher for some of these things, because you and I learn best through experience, often called “the school of hard knocks.”
Yet if I’d taken the time to listen to others who were just a bit further down this Life road, I would have learned:
- People are more important than things. Always.
- There’s very little that is major.
- Failure = learning and growth.
- Worry less. Laugh more. A lot more.
- Always look through the lens of wide-eyed wonder.
- Mud pies, wiggly worms, and water from the hose aren’t as harmful as advertised.
- A clean house doesn’t tell any more about me than that I know how to clean (or have a great cleaning lady).
- Kids have free will just like you do and they exercise it regularly just like you do.
- The stuff won’t make you happy. It’s just stuff.
- Work hard but know when to play harder.
- Your legacy is more than money, prestige, or a “name,” and can be redefined multiple times as needed.
- One or two trustworthy, truth-telling friends are beyond valuation.
- Authenticity beats perfection.
- “Take time to smell the roses” is more than a catchy phrase, it helps keep other stuff in perspective.
- Time in nature restores your soul, mind, and creativity—tap into this regularly.
- Live without regret.
- Doing less accomplishes more.
- Joy and happiness are not synonymous.
- Some rules aren’t meant to be broken. The lifelong consequences aren’t worth it.
- Playing it safe isn’t always safe.
- Just make the decision and move forward. Failure is better than standing still.
- Be generous, always.
- Say “I love you” and “please forgive me” more often than you think you should.
- Practice gratefulness instead of criticism.
- What you do with failure speaks louder than that failure.
- Success reveals your true character.
So, on this day of reflecting, there is hope.
Learning is muscle development. Each day you and I practice the above lessons, we get stronger. When we apply wonder to every day we are even more on the lookout for these lessons.
Life is extra-ordinary. Never lose your wonder.
Years ago, Robert Fulghum, wrote a credo entitled All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten. It became a New York Times #1 Bestseller that reminded us that the most basic things in life are important.
I encourage you today to look at these basic things. How many of them have you learned and put into practice? Like you, today I needed to remember that the basic things are most important.
Capture the extra-ordinary in the ordinary today.