Lessons to live by

The following was written by Regina Brett,
of The Plain Dealer, Cleveland, Ohio

To celebrate growing older, I once wrote the 45 lessons life taught me. It is the most-requested column I’ve ever written, so here is the column once more:

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 to waste time hating anyone.
4. Your job won’t take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and parents will. Stay in touch.
5. Pay off your credit cards every month.
6. You don’t have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.
7. Cry with someone. It’s more healing than crying alone.
9. Save for retirement starting with your first pay check.
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.
16. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.
17. Get rid of anything that isn’t useful, beautiful or joyful.
18. Whatever doesn’t kill you really does make you stronger.
19. It’s never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is 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 sex 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 everyone everything.
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.
35. Don’t audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.
36. Growing old beats the alternative — 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. You already have all 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.

Yes, I know that #8 is missing. No, I do not know what happened to it.

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11 responses to “Lessons to live by

  1. Yes, those are very true!

  2. Love it. I have often said #43 to my kids. I can now see the positive difference it makes between people that learned that early and those that didn’t.

  3. #31 is my fave. Actually all of these are wonderful and so worth printing and reading daily, or when needed.
    Thanks!

  4. Mary Alice and Regina are right about 43. Most of life is showing up. This is wonderful.

  5. Absolute wisdom!

  6. I love these! I need to try to keep them in mind.

    Thanks for always stopping in and commenting on my blog! When I get here and read through all that you do, you are incredibly busy, but always find time to comment when you visit me! I’ve been terribly remiss in returning the favour!

    Did you solve your travel dilemma?

  7. yes, agree to disagree, smile and move on

  8. Thank you for this and thank you for your gorgeous words on my last post… I am going to write them out!

    X

  9. Regina's Friend

    Please know that Regina Brett, author of 50 Life Lessons, is not 90 years old (don’t feel bad – that misinformation is all over the internet), but she is indeed wise. She is actually 53 years old; she is the senior metro columnist at The Plain Dealer in Cleveland (Ohio’s largest weekly newspaper); she was a finalist in both 2008 and 2009 for the Pulitzer Prize for Commentary; and she has a book based on her 50 Life Lessons coming out in April of 2010. You can check out her website by going to http://www.reginabrett.com where you will see that all I’ve written here is true !! You can also read all of her past columns, including the columns nominated for the Pulitzer Prize, at http://www.cleveland.com/brett

  10. Great list. I learned most of those on my own but I was a slow learner.

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