“45 Lessons Life Has Taught Me”


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This week’s article came to my attention recently. It was written May 28, 2006, by Regina Brett, then 90 years old, in a column of The Plain Dealer in Cleveland, Ohio.

Regina says: “To celebrate growing older, I once wrote the 45 lessons life has taught me. It is the most requested column I’ve ever written.”

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1. Life isn’t fair, but it’s still good.
2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.
3. Life is too short, enjoy it.
4. Your job won’t take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and family will.
5. Pay off your credit cards every month.
6. You don’t have to win every argument. Stay true to yourself.
7. Cry with someone. It’s more healing than crying alone.
8. It’s OK to get angry with God. He can take it.
9. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.
10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.
11. Make peace with your past so it won’t screw up the present.
12. It’s OK to let your children see you cry.
13. Don’t compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn’t be in it.
15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye, but don’t worry, God never blinks.
16. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.
17. Get rid of anything that isn’t useful. Clutter weighs you down in many ways.
18. Whatever doesn’t kill you really does make you stronger.
19. It’s never too late to be happy. But it’s all up to you and no one else.
20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don’t take no for an answer.
21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don’t save it for a special occasion. Today is special.
22. Over prepare, then go with the flow.
23. Be eccentric now. Don’t wait for old age to wear purple.
24. The most important romantic organ is the brain.
25. No one is in charge of your happiness but you.
26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words ‘In five years, will this matter?’
27. Always choose life.
28. Forgive.
29. What other people think of you is none of your business.
30. Time heals almost everything. Give time time.
31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
32. Don’t take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
33. Believe in miracles.
34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn’t do.
35. Don’t audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.
36. Growing old beats the alternative of dying young.
37. Your children get only one childhood.
38. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.
39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.
40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else’s, we’d grab ours back.
41. Envy is a waste of time. Accept what you already have, not what you need.
42. The best is yet to come.
43. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
44. Yield.
45. Life isn’t tied with a bow, but it’s still a gift.

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You and I would be able to think of many additional items to add to the list of lessons life has taught us. I encourage you to think about and actually create your own list.

In that regard, the past few years I’ve given thought to titling my next book something like On Wings Like Eagles – Learning to Live, Love, and Lead through the Lessons of Life. I’ve already written seven of the 12 chapters I have in mind and have every intention of finishing it someday.

For now I leave you with some of the most important of such lessons, from the pages of Holy Scripture: We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. If God is for us, who can be against us? For I am sure that neither death nor life … nor anything else in all creation, will ever be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:28, 31, 38-39)

While the fulfillment of these promises of God has not always been evident in my life, especially in recent years, I believe God’s promises are true. I look forward to discovering the ways in which he will choose to reveal their fulfillment. Some days that wait is impatient and doubtful, other days, by the grace of God, confident and hopeful.

May the peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you always!

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