Some of the most important lessons learned are the ones about oneself.
Last Sunday, my husband celebrated his birthday. We took time early that morning to reflect and discuss some of the key lessons he has learned along the way. In our 9-year journey together, I have gleaned much from him. Some lessons have been learned through observation while others have been learned through conversation. All lessons learned have made my quality of life better. Here are 5 life lessons learned that I believe we can all use:
1. Smile More:
If you’ve ever met my Wesley, chances are you will meet him with a smile on his face. Leading studies show that greeting someone with a smile – softens his/her defenses and makes you more approachable and trustworthy.
2. Start Early:
Wesley is an EARLY morning person and as a result I find myself rising early as well. It is amazing how productive you can be in the first 3 hours of the day while the rest of the world is asleep. It presents an awesome opportunity for personal and professional development in the midst of quiet.
3. Shave Often:
Shave, comb your hair, stay well-groomed – one of his mantras – ‘first impression is a lasting impression.’ I remember when I first met Wesley, he sported a Stetson on his head, blazer, and cowboy boots and gaudy gold belt buckle walking the halls of Atlanta Christian College. Boy, did that image stay ingrained in my mind! Did he forget we lived in Atlanta, GA and not San Antonio, TX?!?! I knew he was someone who was secure in his skin to sport such wear in the blazing summer. Truth is – we judge others within the first 15 seconds of meeting them. It’s amazing how far his daily appearance has gotten him.
4. Stay Active:
Your health is your wealth. One of Wesley’s greatest life values is the ability to be active. When the alarm sounds at 5.00 a.m. and the bed is oh so comfy, he chooses the hard thing and gets up because what he values most supersedes what he desires at present. Yes, he may be the guy you will see running backward on the treadmill or jumping steps on the stair climber. I admire his hiking, kayaking, swimming, bike riding, mountaineering adventurous ways. This one activity has positively contributed to his ability to focus and be more disciplined in life. I admit that I am still trying to learn this lesson. Some days I succeed, many days I do not. Still working at it though.
5. Stress Less:
If you want to learn how to worry less and relax more, spend a few hours with my dear man.
Choose to manage emotions and responses instead of simply reacting to everything life throws our way. Life is meant to be lived fully – to do so we must get to know ourselves, (highs, lows, weakness, strengths) then manage accordingly.
BONUS: Sabbath – A period of intentional rest allows us the ability to relax, reflect, and refocus. We are able to center ourselves, assess our past, and prepare for the future. Ideas rarely evolve while you’re working but form in times of quiet and rest. It is here that relationships are strengthened, creativity is spurred, and true vision is cast. Schedule it in.
Wesley will tell you that he is far from perfect and still has lots to learn but as his friend and his wife, I can confidently say he has taught many through his life choices.