By the time you read this I will be within days of my 50th birthday. I am not apprising you of this for well wishes (or mostly sarcastic comments), but to say that I enjoy major milestones as an opportunity to assess my personal, professional, and spiritual growth, or perhaps the lack thereof.
That said, now a half century old, I would like to present my own Top 10 list of lessons I’ve learned along the way — many through the proverbial school of hard knocks. So, in no particular order:
1. Nothing you are doing in your professional or personal life is as important as time spent with your kids. Easy to say, difficult to do. And yes, they really do grow up fast.
2. Try to be kind to everyone, not just those in a position to help you.
3. Now is the time to do what you have always wanted to do. I got my bachelor’s degree at 34 and Master of Science in Management degree at 38. I started playing drums at 43 and have enjoyed every minute of it since. I still always am looking for new and interesting things to do.
4. If you don’t have anything good to say about someone, even a competitor or rival, then don’t say it. We all intend to do this, but don’t always follow through.
5. Take the time to mentor or help others. I have relied many times over the years on lessons learned from others, two people in particular. You know who you are; thanks, and don’t blame yourself, the advice was good.
6. I have spent the last decade heavily involved in coaching youth sports. It’s time consuming, but I would not trade the relationships with the kids and what I have learned along the way (mostly patience, but they learned to be patient with me, too).
7. If you have one or two friends you can count on for literally anything, you are fortunate. I have two lifelong friends I can depend on; very fortunate indeed.
8. Give back. Volunteer. Spend time helping non-profits, not for the recognition but because it’s the right thing to do.
9. In a community that often suffers from a municipal self-esteem problem, lead, follow, or get out of the way. But don’t sit back and complain. It’s not helpful.
10. Always remember, no matter what your age or where you are in life, these truly are the “good ol’ days.”
Thanks for reading Evansville Business and as always I look forward to hearing from you.
Todd A. Tucker