Life's Lessons
Return to Lessons Learned
Here are some of (we think) the most important life lessons we've learned in our first seven decades. We see the goals of life as: (1) mastery of the self; and (2) becoming wise before it's over. This page is a work in progress so stay tuned.
Internal External
  • Stop often to wonder. Not just why or how things are, but that they are.
  • Assume underlying good intentions. Don't make up ulterior motives for other people.
  • Recognize when it's time to adjust your attitude. Happiness and health are all about attitude. Yours.
  • If you're uncomfortable it must be your move; don't maintain a passive or victim stance.
  • Don't blame your feelings on someone else's actions. Own your own emotions, your own "stuff."
  • Know your priorities and keep them always in mind.
  • Practice witnessing your own thoughts, and be aware of their impact on you.
  • Notice when you're judging someone else, finding what's wrong with them. Try switching to what's right with them.
  • Make an effort to find out what about your behavior bothers other people or tends to exacerbate interpersonal problems. Open your Johari window!
  • It takes about 6 weeks of conscious work to make or break a habit.
  • Get in the habit of eating healthy foods, and do so in moderation.
  • As you age, remember the adage: Use it or loose it. Muscles and joints stiffen and need to be kept mobile and lubricated with stretches, yoga, and/or other exercise.
  • Likewise, as you age, your mind can set. Keep it mobile and lubricated by exposing it to new ideas and mental challenges.
  • Know when to let go, and when the times come, do it.
  • If you feel depressed or conflicted or angry, go for a walk.
  • Remember that each of us is no more special than anybody else.
  • The only person who can change someone's behavior is that person.
  • Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
  • Stop frequently and notice where you are, what you're doing, and the people or things around you. Take a moment to see what's behind these, and how you got to this moment.
  • Love often, and give (including hugs) freely.
  • Focus on cooperating rather than competing.
  • When you're caught up in a conflict, think about what really matters here. Take a few breaths before responding to a confrontation by someone else.
  • Regarding money:
          People are more important than money.
          Money will never make you happy.
          If you have wealth, share it.
          Money is useful but never important.
          You can get by on a lot less than you think.
  • And hold in your head what Charles Dickens said in David Copperfield: Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen and six, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery.
  • Make eye contact with, and smile, at strangers.
  • Those who are flexible don't get bent out of shape.
  • Keep in touch with those who are dear to you.
  • Don't say things about absent people that you wouldn't say if they were listening.

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Bill Dillon (KG4QFM)
Pat Watt (KG4QFQ)
This page was last modified on August 9, 2009

Home | Site Map | Cruising | Logs | Seminar | Writing | Growing Old | Photos | Nuggets | Contact