40 Things I’ve Learned Before I Turned 40

I turned 40 last August and I have to say, in the run up to it, there was a little anxiety! Mostly induced by other people asking me how I felt about it and what I was going to do to mark it etc. But the more I gave it thought I realised, its a priviledge denigned to many. The 40’s for me mark a time when I finally stop caring aobut what others think and finally feel confident in my own skin. The phrase ‘if I knew then what I know now’ came to mind….. So many things have been achieved over the years but the most valuable things are the simple lessons.

  1. Stop caring about what other people think – it’s the biggest road block. ‘Those that matter don’t mind, those that mind don’t matter’ – Thanks Dr Seuss
  2. Figure out what fills the tank and what drains the tank – in work, in relationships, in everyday life. Some people drain us, others radiate energy that we can charge from. Knowing the difference makes a big difference.
  3. We were created with 2 ears and one mouth – God must have intended for us to use our ears twice as much as our mouths! We should listen more than we talk.
  4. Sometimes we need to sit out trends if they are not for us. Don’t fit in, fit out.
  5. Confidence is a habit not a personality trait. Everyone needs to work on their confidence. It’s actually 90% of everything we do. So improving your confidence needs to become a habit.
  6. Flamingos are born with grey feathers, they only turn pink – from the natural pink dye that they obtain from their diet of brine shrimp and blue-green alga. My point is eating well makes us look better. Full stop.
  7. So many people get caught up on learning more, instead of using the things they already know.
  8. Our thumb and forefinger make an ‘L’ shape – to remind us that this is our left hand (you are holding out your thumb and forefinger right now to make an ‘L’ shape, aren’t you!)
  9. People will always remember how you made them feel. Especially in business. You may not have been able to control the outcome, but you can control how you react to it. Think first.
  10. Always keep a side hustle – if it fills the tank. 85% of Irish people are not happy in their jobs. They are working to pay the bills. Change that stat if you can. Even if its only a hobby that satisfies you.
  11. We won’t remember the detail, but we will remember the memory. Therefore stress less about the details (like finding the perfect dress, or the most impressive cake) and more about the kind of memory you want to bank. It makes occasions more enjoyable.
  12. Stop overthinking – it’s a waste of time and wont change the natural outcome.
  13. Constant pickers wear big knickers – learned this the hard way, enough said.
  14. Stay weird, its your biggest point of difference. Conformity is overrated.
  15. It’s not what you know, or who you, but how you leverage both.
  16. ‘Hormotional’ – when you are very emotional due to your hormones – this is a physical state an a word I made up. (But it needs to become an actual word!)
  17. Confidence is the decision to try, self doubt is the decision not to – thanks Mel Robbins!
  18. There is no excuse for bad manners – in business or in everyday life.
  19. Living with regret is harder than living with the failure of trying.
  20. We can literally learn anything so long as it’s part of our daily habits.
  21. Most women play down their good strengths instead of highlighting them.
  22. Take the compliment – you deserve it. Be unapologetic about it.
  23. Say ‘no’ more often – feel free to add your own explicit here. Helen Mirren did!
  24. The best saving system ever – spend a third, save a third, invest a third of everything.
  25. You either win or learn – retrain your brain to see losing as learning.
  26. Never take no for an answer – unless you are dealing with someone who is working on point 23 above.
  27. Stand over your mistakes and say sorry – it really helps you to remain humble and honorable. In business it really shows your integrity.
  28. Respect is earned – don’t presume you have it and don’t presume you will keep it.
  29. Coffee at home is never the same as coffee out – no matter how fancy your machine is.
  30. Men are wired differently- don’t try to change that.
  31. Children mimic us – so proceed with caution. Don’t tell them, show them.
  32. The very first sip is always the best – coffee, soup, wine.
  33. Very few retail spaces are designed for buggies or wheel chairs.
  34. If you have time to weigh food or count calories, you have too much time on your hands – get a hobby.
  35. Blue eyeliner and red lips will never be out of fashion – just don’t wear them at same time!
  36. Carbs are hard to give up.
  37. Sugar is a silent killer.
  38. Try the #30wears rule – only buy things you will wear at least 30 times.
  39. Nothing changes if nothing changes – stop waiting for opportunities to come. Go out and make them happen. Only one way to see into your future and that’s to create it.
  40. Turn up the dial on your inner voice and instincts. They are always right for you.
  41. Nobody has their shit together so stop comparing.