37 Thoughts About Life

I turn 37 this week.

To my surprise, I don’t mind getting older. Seriously.

I would much rather be 37 then 27. Sure 10 years ago I was a few pounds lighter and strapped with a few less responsibilities but at 37, I feel like I’m finally starting to really learn some things.

I finally have enough maturity to admit my weaknesses and I’m finally have the courage to ask myself difficult questions. Questions I refused to ask 10 years ago.

(*Please note– I’m 37 and carry a Spiderman lunchbox to work everyday, so please take all of this “maturity” stuff with a grain of salt).

But seriously, I’ve recently come to learn, that I have so much more to learn.

For the past calendar year,  I have explored a variety of subjects on this blog. My weekly writing practice has reinvigorated my love of learning, my desire to explore new ideas and thoughts and questions.

Below you will find a collection of 37 thoughts I had over the last year. Some thoughts materialized into a blog post. Others remain handwritten scribbles in my notebook while others simply linger on my Twitter feed waiting to be retweeted.

Either way, here are 37 thoughts I wouldn’t have had the insight or perspective to have 10 years ago.

1. The easiest way to ruin your life is to allow other people’s opinions of you become your reality. (The Easiest Way to Ruin Your Life)

2. Listening is the best way to honor any relationship. (5 Simple Things My Life has Taught Me)

3. The real key to parenting is knowing when to get the hell out of your child’s way. (The Awkward Dance of Parenting)

4. Soulless work will kill you. The trick is to find work you would happily do in the last hours of your life.

5. If you choose to evaluate yourself justly you’ll find flaws, but you’ll also find all the motivation you’ll ever need.

6. When mothers ask their sons to do something it’s a chore. When fathers ask their sons to do something it’s a challenge.

7. Life is a beautiful mess. If you spend your days trying to make sense of it you will miss an awful lot.

8. When your doubts become truths you’re destined for mediocrity.

9. Life is daring me not to write. That’s why I treat every writing session like a snarling act of defiance. (What I Learned from My Year of Writing)

10. I can only equate that living your ideal life in the privacy of your mind instead of living it out loud is equivalent to hell on earth.

11. Your character is either strengthened or weakened the moment your plan is compromised.

12. One of the most honest moments in a person’s life is when they realize their potential talent just became wasted talent.

13. If you find the courage to entertain uncertainty you will find the courage to change.

14. It’s not where you are but who you are that matters.

15. Hope without action is a meaningless exercise. (What I Learned from My Year of Writing)

16. True happiness only occurs when you have the courage to put others needs above your own.

17. We can say we understand another’s pain but no matter how accurately we articulate, our words fall tragically short of what is swirling in our heart and head– further exposing the flawed nature of the human design. (To Robbinsville, New Jersey)

18. It takes a daily courage to roll up your sleeves and work through the unhappiness of your life. (The Only Way to Happiness)

19. We often forget we’re just animals in fancy clothes and funny hats. When we sense fear, our primal instincts kick in and we run. But as the smartest animal in the schoolyard, we know that avoiding fear will only compound fear. And we also know that those who avoid risks will spend their entire lives just dangling from the monkey bars. ( What I Learned from My Stand-Up Comedy Career)

20. Life becomes a lot less stressful and a lot more fun when you realize that everyone, yourself included, is a walking contradiction.

21.Children are champions of momentary living. I shudder to think of all the adult hours of happiness I’ve forfeited to the pills of anxiety, worry and regret. (Dad, What’s a Championship?)

22. The courage to question is often the only difference between good and great, between success and failure.

23. When I grow up I still want to see the world through childish eyes. (Bowling with God)

24. Because most of my pain (and probably your’s) is caused when we try, with all our human strength, to control the uncontrollable.

25. It takes more courage and less energy to say, “I don’t know” than pretend you do.

26. The moment you start complaining is the moment people stop listening.

27. Maybe you become an adult when you truly understand that your choices have consequences. (So When Do We Become Adults…?)

28. If we condition children to think they are entitled to victory and trophies every time they compete for something they will become uncoachable players, grade-grubbing students and disillusioned adults. (Winning and Losing in our Instant Oatmeal World)

29. Despite what you may think, your private disaster is not your end–it’s your turning point.

30. To avoid the eternal hells of complacency you must be courageous enough, everyday, to stoke the fires of passion.

31. Hang around long enough and you’ll learn that living is tough business. It’s a punch-you-in-the-gut, kick-you-in-the-teeth, steal-your-lunch-money, insult-your-momma, spit-on-your-grave kind of business. Yet there is so much for to be grateful for. (Why I Decided to Start a Gratitude Jar)

32. As parents, our fundamental job is to care for others. And even though it’s necessary and healthy and humbling to put others needs first I’ve learned that devoting time to yourself gives you more energy to devote yourself to others. It’s a beautiful reciprocal.(How I Avoided Parental Burnout the Summer)

33. It’s only when you fully accept your tragic, inevitable death that you begin to understand the purpose of your life. (5 Simple Things My Life Has Taught Me)

34. For some, a diploma is earned, for others it’s a reward for loitering.

35. When we let fear dictate our decisions we fail to make progress. We move in every direction except forward. When we let intuition navigate, when we have the courage to trust ourselves–we are guaranteed to move forward. (Standing at the Intersection of Fear and Intuition)

36. I never knew kindness could be a painkiller. (The Healing Power of Donuts)

37. Sometimes the best cure, for any aliment, is a pint of beer and an old friend eager to listen.