On Turning 40… Plus 12 Life Lessons I’m Still Learning

Yesterday I hit the BIG 4-0…

First, I’d like to thank you for being a part of my day-to-day journey. As I age, I am convinced I have surrounded myself with the best people this planet has to offer – and that I am working for people in an industry that I admire and appreciate.

Second, I want to share a few things I have learned. Maybe you younger types will find this helpful…

In many of these categories, I am identifying what to do…
not that I necessarily do it as well as I should, but I am working toward it.

Your Spouse – Treat her kindly and if a conflict threatens to arise, list off your ten worst characteristics mentally and consider if it’s worth mentioning. It probably isn’t. Say nice things. Often. Enjoy the moments you have together. Defend her, protect her and make her comfortable.

Kids – Civilize them, constantly remind them of the characteristics of their Creator and spend time doing something you both enjoy. Break the routine and get them out.

Family – You only have one and you only have them for a short while. Be kind to them and try not to sweat the small stuff. Overlook weirdness’s and oddities… maybe they will do the same for you.

Friends – Standing before you, at any given time and any age, may be a man or woman who will become closer than blood. Be deliberate in your cultivation of these people who will shape and guide who you become. They make life’s celebrations grander and your failures manageable. The work is worth it.

Faith – Know that God is not waiting on you to get it right. He loves you just as you are. All He wants is a mustard seed of faith in what He did for you on the Cross to save you. Thereafter, strongly consider his manual for the mortal coil… things will go better if you do.

Wealth – Live within your means and stay out of debt – especially cars, credit cards, etc. While you should always consider the ramifications of expenses, never forget the larger opportunity costs of doing nothing, doing it late or half-assing it. Earn and save enough to be happy and secure, but remember that comparison is the thief of joy.

Health – Do not eat too much of anything and avoid food made in factories. Three times a week, do something you enjoy for an hour to stay healthy. Once you get used to that, consider if it is the most effective method for achieving your fitness goals and make alterations accordingly.

Give – God has given you talents and wealth. Pass it along to your church, charity or someone in need and you will be rewarded with peace. You do not need all of it, nor does anyone else have a claim on it that did not earn it.

Government –They will never make better decisions for you in a promised tomorrow than you will with your own hands today. If they cannot solve their own plainly evident problems, they cannot solve yours for you. When in doubt, err on the side of more freedom and less infringement. Pretend they do not exist on your road to success.

Music – Do not listen to soulless crap if you can help it. Learn to play a musical instrument.

Technology – It’s not a person. Put the phone down. Talk to the people. It’s a tool for finding a solution, it is rarely the solution itself.

Outside – Go there. Get some sun. Light a fire. Take a hike. Wander and explore.

That’s it… at least as much time as I can put into it
today.

For all of you who have wished me well, I appreciate it
greatly.

For the rest, I hope I get to see you soon.

Your Friend,

Brandon Lewis Chattanooga, TN

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