This summer, in the game of life, I reached level 40. Apparently, the spiritual meaning of number 40 is transition or change, a new beginning, or a rebirth.

What better way to transition into a new beginning than with ‘the best of’ the previous 39. These are the 4 lessons that I wish I had been convinced of at the beginning and during of my last 40 years.

  1. What you think of me is none of my business – a snazzier version of “You can’t please everyone.”

This lesson is almost a cliché by now because it should be a given, but it’s not. Seeking for the approval of others is not only exhausting, but it has the power to disrupt your own course by minimizing your self-worth. The lower your self-worth, the more you seek others’ approval to feel whole. Like a rat in a wheel.

Forget not that you never need to apologize for who you are, or ask for permission to be you. If you lack clarity about who you are, or what are your values, write down your personal constitution.

Care about what other people think and you will always be their prisoner.  Lao Tzu

  1. Customize, customize, customize

Not only are we genetically different, but in every minute millions of cells in our bodies die and new ones are born. The building blocks for the newbies come from our environment and food. Since the way you go about your daily life – people you meet, places you go, foods you eat – is different from anyone else, you are an ever-changing unique being. You are even a different person from the one who started reading this post! Treat yourself accordingly.

A new diet regimen? Make it your own and substitute. A new exercise routine? Modify, or add. What worked yesterday, might work tomorrow, but maybe not today. Remember, days are not brothers. What works for your friend, might or might not work for you, so listen to your body and know yourself, try and experiment.

Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them – it only creates sorrow.  Lao Tzu

  1. Done is better than perfect

That’s a big one. How many awesome ideas and projects remain collecting dust in the desk drawers or far corners of the mind? Why? Because of the problem of execution; because if it’s not good enough, it shouldn’t be done. I postponed starting a blog for a decade because someone might not like it (see lesson 1 about that), or I didn’t have the perfect ideas, or logo, or English skills, and so on. And I still don’t, but I think of it as version 1.0. Look at the greats – we wouldn’t have iPhone X if there hadn’t been 1.0. Or Windows. Or cars of any kind. Or anything, really. So get out there and take action knowing that you are allowed to make improvements and get better as you go. Don’t hoard your greatness – the world deserves your 1.0-s!

He who obtains has little. He who scatters has much. Lao Tzu

  1. Own your mornings

Every day is a new chance to start fresh. The moment you begin encountering the world – family, traffic, colleagues, challenges – you have entered the changing and unpredictable era of the day. But early mornings are yours and yours only. That’s the time you can control, so make the most of it by incorporating some of these:

  • Start small and wake up 5-10 minutes earlier, then expand that time
  • Create a morning ritual – meditate, journal, set goals, visualize, exercise, stretch, etc.
  • Make it doable on your worst day – this way you will keep to it
  • Practice Lesson #3: use these ideas, yet make them your own

Mastering others is strength; mastering yourself is true power. Lao Tzu

Yes, it would have been perfect to have had adopted these lessons a long time ago. But perfect is not the aim; done is the aim. Now it’s your turn to transition into a new beginning and incorporate these lessons into your life!

P.S. Leave me a comment with your greatest life lesson, and don’t forget to sign up for my blog!