Wisdom. They say it comes with age and experience. 

As I mark my 50th birthday and reflect back on my life today versus ten years ago — or even last year — so much has changed. I’ve gained freedom and clarity. I am fulfilled and excited by the possibilities. 

But that hasn’t happened by accident, by simply letting time pass.

I’ve been very mindful and intentional of what and who garner my attention (and those not worth it), and how, where, and why I do what I do or don’t do. 

Here are some nuggets of wisdom I’ve come to realize as truths: 

  • Discovering your “why” is life changing. 
  • Relationships are everything. 
  • People are fascinating, and everyone has a story worth telling. 
  • Words have tremendous power. 
  • Less ego; more compassion and empathy. 
  • Listen more than you speak. 
  • Always be curious. 
  • Serve, don’t sell. 
  • Listen to your gut. 
  • Surround yourself with people who see your value even when you do not. 
  • Positivity is contagious. 
  • Stop hiding. 
  • You can’t shine unless you feed your inner light. 
  • The power of saying no to the people and things that no longer serve you is that you can say yes to those that do. 
  • An encouraging nudge can be the greatest gift of all. 

Remember, you have one life, but many choices. Choose wisely.

This post first appeared on LinkedIn.