An Introspective Look At 40 Things I Learned In 40 Years

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My husband and I have both created a list we call ‘Things I Learned” in the number of years we have been living. It’s actually kind of fun to do and an opportunity for an introspective conversation with yourself. 

Multi-tasking is over rated

One of the ‘things I learned’ from my husband, and I would agree is that Multi-tasking is highly over rated! Don’t you agree?

My husband and I were recently discussing life lessons. I absolutely love having those deep conversations with him. I asked him if he could name 40 things he had learned in his 40 years of life. He stared at me for a moment, I didn’t know what he was thinking. Finally he said, yes but not all at one time right now.

I will admit, I didn’t think he would even do it. I did not ask him to write it down and wasn’t expecting to revisit the conversation. My original intention was not to produce a blog post, really it wasn’t. We were just talking about life lessons at the time.

Conversation starter questions. Ice breaker questions

Several weeks later, clear out of the blue he told me that he had his list of 40 things! I was blown away. He handed me the list. I actually began to cry reading it. His list is very introspective.

He told me that it had taken him these last several weeks to make the list because he wasn’t trying to come up with 40 things off the top of his head. He wanted it to be genuine life lessons. I appreciate my husband so much. Sometimes, when I am awake and my husband is still sleeping, I lay my hand on his shoulder and pray for him. Wives, you simply must pray for your husbands! I always pray the same prayer. I ask God to continue to bless him, keep him safe and give him wisdom, knowledge and understanding.

Before you begin to read this list, let me say two things.

The reason it made me cry is because I wasn’t expecting him to even do it! And, his list was a trip down our memory lane at times, happy & sad tears.

Would you accept my challenge to create your own introspective list of the things you have learned in your lifetime? My list is right here which took me several years to complete and that leads me to one more lesson I learned, Finish what you started!

40 Things I Have Learned In 40 Years by Stacy Wood

1. Jesus is the only way to Heaven.
2. The only debt you ever REALLY need is a house (and maybe a car).
3. Minutes drag but years fly by.
4. Determination is more valuable than talent.
5. Multi-tasking is overrated.
6. The best way to be heard is by talking less.
7. Be kind to animals; it’s a bi-product of righteousness
8. No matter how hard you work or how good of a job you do, you won’t always be recognized or rewarded…but work hard and do a good job anyway.
9. Anything that can’t be explained on a fifth grade level is more complicated than it needs to be.
10. Opportunity happens when your preparation crosses the path of luck.
11. Don’t count on it and you won’t be disappointed when it doesn’t happen.
12. Once you become an adult, don’t blame things on your childhood.
13. Let your spouse have his/her way more often. Your way is not any better anyway.
14. Simple-minded people talk about other people.
15. Technology doesn’t enhance communication; it diminishes it.
16. Don’t buy the cheapest thing, but don’t get the most expensive either.
17. It may sound cliché, but you really can do pretty much anything you commit yourself to doing.
18. Don’t be afraid to make a decision; it’s worse to be indecisive than to be wrong.
19. Everyone should learn to be self-sufficient. Cooking, cleaning, laundry, yard work, etc.
20. Higher education doesn’t make you smarter than anyone else. It demonstrates that you are CAPABLE of learning and finishing what you started.
21. When in public places, never sit with your back to the door.
22. When dealing with women; whether your wife or your daughter, remember three things: chill out, don’t get excited, and roll with the flow.
23. A good hotdog can be better than a ribeye steak.
24. Have a little mystique about yourself. Keep people guessing.
25. If you’re gonna have a pet, have at least two. Everybody and everything wants a companion. Noah took two of everything onto the Ark, and it wasn’t just for reproduction purposes.
26. Money is not the most important thing but it is important. Just ask anybody who doesn’t have a job.
27. Don’t try to solve everybody’s problems.
28. There’s no better odor than the smell of wood burning…but bacon comes in at a close second.
29. Men, no matter how much you love your wife, always strive to love her a little more.
30. We would all sleep a little better at night if we would be more content with what we already have.
31. God replenishes the earth and everything in it every day; the sun rises and the sun sets. The moral of the story is most anything can be endured for a season.
32. Don’t be ambiguous. Ambiguity is a cop out and benefits no one. There was nothing ambiguous about Jesus’s example for us.
33. The promise of heaven means that all earthly suffering is temporary…that’s a very big deal.
34. If you are fortunate or successful don’t brag about it, and if you’re down on your luck don’t be a whiner. Both are equally detestable.
35. Don’t ever loan money; give it instead. Loaning only makes you mad when people don’t pay you back.
36. Don’t low rate people who are living wrong. Instead, live right in their sight and don’t say a word about it.
37. Be open about everything with your spouse.
38. The older you get the more you realize that home is the best place to be.
39. The only time I ever get upset is when I don’t get my way.
40. The eyes are the door to your soul. Be careful what you let into your soul.
41. Find pleasure in other people’s good fortune. Most people do the opposite.
42. Always go above and beyond, which is why I have 42 things on this list instead of 40.

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  1. What a beautiful list! I don’t think I have a favorite. I agree with you on prayer being vital to our husbands life. I, too, pray for him when I can’t sleep. Such a powerful authority we have against the enemy of our souls. Blessings! Hopping over from Tammy’s Thursday Thoughts link-up.

  2. Isn’t it so true that multi tasking is overated. How can you enjoy the minute if you are trying to do four different things.

  3. Determination is more important than talent. We can do pretty much whatever we set our minds to. Great ideas and great post!! I love learning from life. There is so much more I need to learn.

    1. Thank you for stopping by Rachel and for the kind words. I hope you and your husband enjoy the process. We are still talking about it as I continue to work on mine.

    1. Reginia, I’m sure there are more than 40 life lessons in 40 years! I hope you enjoy making your list, I’m still working on mine, trying not to use cliché’s. Thanks for taking the time to stop by!

  4. This is an amazing awesome list. I’d love to tell you which one is my favorite but they’re all so spot on! Such important lessons to learn in life, I’m so glad you shared it!

  5. I have to add another comment and I’ve never commented twice on any blog post.

    My husband and I were driving home from Columbia this afternoon and I read your post to him. We were talking about what a great post this was! We love number 1!

    Also, I think you should have your husband do guest posts more often. Y’all are an adorable couple!!

    1. Alli, I am so touched! I appreciate you and your husband! I’d love for him to contribute more to the blog also, I will encourage him along that path 🙂

  6. Shirley, this is so wonderful! I think I would have had your same reaction if my husband did this after I asked him to LOL (But I might try it and see what he does!) Literally everything on here is a good, solid and inspirational lesson – will you thank him for sharing with us?

  7. I’m speechless! I almost cried and I don’t even know your husband (but feel like I know him a little bit now). I also laughed because he and my husband think alike! My husband never sits with his back to the door (I have to, but I don’t mind because I don’t think I’m Matt Dillon). He believes in living debt free (except for mortgage) and he never talks bad about anyone. Ever. I also love the statement about giving money instead of loaning it. I do the same thing with clothing, etc. All of his points are spot on!!!

    You’ve inspired me to start my own list and tell your husband that he’s an awesome blogger and a good man! Great post, Shirley!!! Looking forward to reading yours when you are finished!

    1. Alli, I think it is a ‘man thing’ to not sit with their back to the door. I’d love to read your list when you are done! I’m working on mine. Thanks for the kind words.

We enjoying hearing from you!