50 Things I Have Learned at 50

Today is my 50th go around the sun and inspired by KK I wanted to capture some of the things I have learned and hope will be helpful to my fellow humans on the journey:

  1. Life is about the people. They matter more than things.
  2. The law of averages is really true. So, take a lot of attempts and don’t let failures be overly discouraging.
  3. Protect your downside and your upside will take care of yourself.
  4. Travel truly expands perspectives and cures narrow thinking.
  5. It’s unbelievable how fulfilling life becomes with a compatible, loving and complementary spouse. Create your own luck by picking well.
  6. My kids fill my heart with utmost joy. They are worth all the time, love and care you can give. Other ambitions are worth trading time for this priority.
  7. Always look to add value. Be a person of value. You get to participate in upside, but more importantly, it makes life and business fulfilling.
  8. You can always compliment someone on their shoes.
  9. High trust deals and relationships make business 100x easier.
  10. Walking first thing in the morning before breakfast is one of the simplest, healthiest habits for longevity and productivity.
  11. Creativity > Productivity
  12. God loves you. He’s always seeking and speaking to you.
  13. Picking up the phone solves problems faster. Don’t hide behind email and text.
  14. Set your family up with lifetime sports. We still snowboard and play tennis.
  15. Plans don’t withstand reality’s curveballs. But, always plan.
  16. Flexibility in a world of speed and uncertainty is vital to protect and use.
  17. Stop trying to impress strangers. Give your best to worthy friends.
  18. Walk 10 minutes after every meal.
  19. Function follows form. Pick your living and office space to force you to do things you like – move, play, make friends, explore, etc.
  20. Make your reading area convenient and enjoyable. When you are bored, simply go to your happy place and read. Read everything all the time.
  21. Express gratitude every day with a personal note. It should be who you are, not what you do.
  22. Love adventure! There’s always more to experience.
  23. Be a minimalist. It makes you more effective. And happier.
  24. The Joneses suck.
  25. Gentleness can be learned. Some people are natural at it. It’s more important than being right.
  26. Writing is therapeutic. Write to figure out what’s in your head. Clarity comes from writing and doing it often.
  27. Learn how to win. Much of winning is persevering through hard things. It’s a muscle and you can’t shortcut it.
  28. Play with different morning routines and see what works for your personality. But, don’t be random. That only exacerbates chaos.
  29. Discipline truly is freedom.
  30. Time is a funny tool to incorporate into your goals. Patient people have a good sense of using time to get new realities to emerge. I have learned that tensions unwind, new opportunities emerge and the universe has a way of presenting new options if you wait.
  31. Loyalty matters a lot. Evaluate this across your relationships and be a person of loyalty where it matters.
  32. Technology keeps changing the game. Don’t get stuck in old games that are irrelevant. Especially, don’t overvalue effort and hard work when technology does the heavy lifting for you.
  33. Try to own very few things. Better to use things and enjoy moments.
  34. It’s very hard to do, but be without sunk cost bias. When things change, move on and ruthlessly eliminate. It’s cleaner and clearer.
  35. Celebrate often and with heart!
  36. “When people show you who they are, believe them.” – Maya Angelou
  37. Read the Effective Executive your whole life repeatedly. It keeps you from doing wasteful things.
  38. Value standing out more than fitting in.
  39. When traveling, prioritize high speed reliable internet.
  40. Visit the national parks. They are incredible, memorable and sacred.
  41. “Some people, if they don’t ask, you can’t tell them.”
  42. There’s always a way. All problems are solvable. Have some grit.
  43. Don’t compromise on your shoes. And, have the right shoes for the right activities.
  44. Show hospitality everywhere. You can tailgate all the time. You can have cold drinks for new and old friends. Just think about making every event fun.
  45. Get really good at dealmaking. It’s very hard, if not impossible, to later change expectations. Put energy into setting up the right deals so you can live with it happily.
  46. Value people who take risk.
  47. Forgive and be forgiven. Have a clean title.
  48. We are spiritual. It’s why we ascribe meaning to everything. We are made in His image.
  49. Don’t flatter. But be accurate in your praise of someone.
  50. Pick where you want to live first. Find your people. Start your career around those two priorities.

P.S. Thank you to my friends for posting your 50+ Things!

Published by Don Dalrymple

I partner with founders and entrepreneurs in startup businesses. I write and consult on strategy, systems, team building and growing revenue.

2 thoughts on “50 Things I Have Learned at 50

  1. HBD Don! – Eric and I have recently turned 50 as well. He just changed jobs and is at a new start-up in Mountain View, ca., & I started a part time job at a design studio. We’re still in Austin though, maybe not for long, empty nest has given us some new freedom. Which is why I like #50 of your learning moments.

    There are more of your learning moments that I agree with than not. The lifestyle you and Sonja have chosen is truly inspiring. Thanks for posting! – Kind Regards – Chris Freedman

    1. Chris, so fun to hear from you and congratulations on your launch. Our oldest, Gabe, is back in Austin working in tech there and also running his own digital marketing agency. We are still in Breckenridge. If your travels bring you through here, ping us and let us treat you to some drinks!

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