Wednesday, June 07, 2006

41 Things I've Learned By 40

June 8th marks my 40th Birthday. Here are 41 pieces of advice that I have learned along the way:

41. Don't worry too much about what others think about you.

40. Everyone has an ego. Tread lightly as to not bruise them.

39. Nothing produces results as much as taking action.

38. Don't gossip. What you say will always find its way back to the person.

37. People do business with people they know and like.

36. Jealous and petty people are just part of life.

35. Say "please" and "thank you". It will make you stand out from the crowd.

34. When you need help, ask someone.

33. Having written goals is an important step you achieving your dreams.

32. Over using credit cards will stall your financial future.

31. A supportive spouse is worth her weight in gold, and then some.

30. A true friend is excited for you about any event that makes you happy.

29. True friends are rare and should be cherished.

28. No job is secure. Have a "plan B"

27. Always find the best in other people. Do not focus on their flaws.

26. You are not what you drive or what you wear. Do not judge others by their cars, clothes or zip code.

25. You are a "brand". No matter what you do it impacts your reputation.

24. Luck does not happen by accident.

23. Start saving money when you are young. 10% of your income should always go to your 401K.

22. Dedicate time to think about your future. Know what success looks like.

21. You cannot love your kids too much!

20. Treat everyone with respect. You never know when they might circle back into your life.

19. If you are not knowledgeable about wine...Don't fake it.

18. Be-friend your competitors.

17. Regardless of your political beliefs - attend a presidential inauguration once in your lifetime. The whole thing is very cool.

16. Find a mentor.

15. Be a mentor.

14. Staying physically fit gets harder as you get older. But do it anyway.

13. You do not have to be smart to be successful. Tenacity trumps intelligence.

12. Having a strong network of professional contacts is the best career safety net.

11. Read a lot of books, magazines, websites, blogs and newspapers. Knowledge is power.

10. Writing a book is hard work. Promoting a book is harder work.

9. Develop your public speaking skills. Join a Toastmasters group and participate actively for two years.

8. There is no substitute for integrity.

7. Have friends who challenge you to be a better person.

6. If you know someone who wrote a book, read it. The biggest compliment you can give an author is to read what they wrote.

5. Helping others always comes back to benefit you.

4. Find a good lawyer, accountant and banker before you need them.

3. Learn to cook.

2. Opportunities exist. You just have to look for them.


#1 - Those who have achieved REAL success in life (financially, emotionally and spiritually) will never criticize your dreams and aspirations. Instead they will look for ways to share their own experiences to help lift you up to higher levels. Successful people are rarely jealous and welcome the achievements of others.

As with all free advice....remember, you get what you pay for.

Have A Great Day.

Thom Singer


Steve Harper said...

Happy Birthday and thanks for sharing these insightful tidbits. Very cool and novel concept you have come up with here!

Anonymous said...

Hey Thom...I hope it's OK...I thought your list was so good that I copied your list and put it on my blog today. I gave you credit and encouraged people to check out your blog.

thomsinger said...

Thanks to everyone who sent emails, left comments, called, etc... to wish me a happy 40th Birthday. They had spice cake cupcakes at the office today along with a goofy hat that announced I was not "Over the Hill". I especially want to say thank you to all the people who posted the list of "41 things" on their blogs, or emailed the link to their lists. I have got some great feedback from this list. Thanks. thom

Bobby said...

Excellent post. Thank you so much for taking the time to put these thoughts down and to share them with us.


Rajiv Perera said...

Wonderful list -- thank you so much.
Happy Birthday!

Anonymous said...

Point 25 kind of contradicts 26 and 41. Point 15 and 16 are what one must always have regardless of age. 28 and 12 are life saving. Good blog post - Anon

thomsinger said...


Thanks for leaving a comment.

I do not think they are contradictory. But I understand your point. It is a fine line. You definitely are a "brand", but the car you drive does not really define that brand (I guess it can be part of it to some folks, but I hope we all go deeper).

And while you want to project a positive image into your community... you cannot worry too much about what others think (especially the jerks and nay-sayers) or you will become frozen and not act. It is not that the points cancel each other out... it is more about embracing the best parts of each point and keeping them in balance!

Have a great day!

Oh, #19 is my favorite.


Carlos Martins said...

Nice tips, that fortunately are valuable no matter the age. :)

Anonymous said...

Good piece of advice.
Wish you happy birthday !!!

Anonymous said...

These are nice but you are just scratching the surface. You must find the absolutely truth instead.

Anonymous said...

That was a good read!

Unknown said...

From 47 looking back, I could state a couple more, although they are really just variants on what you've said.

- Know what you respect in others, and live that way yourself.

- Help other people often.

- Do things you can be proud of, regardless of whether you'd ever say anything about them.

Anonymous said...

Feel free to moderate this out. It's intended more as a private message than a public comment.

Perhaps lesson #0 should be, "Proofread everything you intend to be read by thousands of people."

Obvious typos in 27, 25, 23, and 5.

Niv mani said...

wow... so well said!

Kate Buck said...

ok, Thom... I don't know about #3 (should read, "learn to cook, or marry a chef!" ... but all the rest are spot on!

thomsinger said...

Even though this post is from years ago, I enjoyed the traffic it got today. Thanks for all the comments!

Kate Buck.... I did both, learned to cook and married a cookbook author!

Anonymous - about the typos... it is cool, I make typos (and made even more in the past, so 2006 I was full of them) -- thanks for the post, as I get better with the help of others.

Dale - Thanks for the extra points. Spot on.

Anonymous (2) - What is the absolute truth? As I get older (and I am now five years older than when I wrote this post), I find less absolutes in life.

Keep the comments coming. And thank you to all for visiting my blog.


Anonymous said...

Nice list. Happy 40th.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing. I am 28 and just found out there are so much yet to be learnt.

Anonymous said...

Thank for this list. Appreciate it ! :-)

Karen Worden said...

Thanks, Thom. Timeless advice. Appreciate all of what you said. #1 was the most true and powerful!

Jeff Mac said...

Nicely said! 13 and 21 are my favorites.

Stephen said...

Awesome! I just disagree slightly with #23. You should save early but not with a 401K, in my opinion. Your savings should be in a something with real tangible value that cannot be inflated away by irresponsible government and central banks. Gold and silver come to mind.

Rohan Aurora said...

Lovely advice. This is really useful. Reverence to you for sharing

Arun Basil Lal said...

Omg, I had a Goosebumps when i read the last one! Rock!!

ES said...

Awesome list. I learnt the point no. 28 the hard way. Now, I am working full time on a sustainable plan B!

I never thought about point no. 33. Thanks for that important advice.

Point no. 39 is correct. But to sustain the action, you need both patience and attitude.

Thesis Statement said...

Very nice list of tips. Need to look at it regularly. Taking a print.

Prisqua said...

Great points but I have to agree with Kate bucks about #3: I can cook, not great but I can, but I so do not like cooking!

kalyan said...

wow ! outstanding and the last one is the best point . I really learned some very useful things thank you !

Sina said...

Hi. this is really outstanding. I translated this post and posted it in my weblog:

Best Wishes :)

Seet said...

Good stuff. I like number 1 and 24. Luck comes into play when success meets opportunity!