The People Pro

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Location: Small town, Northern Wisconsin

Barbara is an author, speaker and psychotherapist in private practice. She provides keynote presentations and is a Certified Professional Speaker, a designation held by fewer than 8% of the speakers in the world. She has appeared on FOX, CNN, and CBS and is considered an expert in relationships.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

What it Took Me Fifty Years to Learn

I turn fifty this month. As part of a generation that vowed not to trust anyone over thirty, this is a humbling milestone. I take some comfort in the fact that I am not alone. Every seven seconds, a baby boomer turns fifty. Nearly 64 million boomers will turn 50 in the next 14 years. Listen closely; you can hear their screams. The generation of perpetual youth is now planning retirement.

I am reminded that it is impossible to grow wiser without growing older but a lot of people get older without growing wiser. Here is some of what I have learned in a half-century of living:
  • We all think we look younger than our age.
  • It doesn’t occur to most of us at 20 years of age that we will ever be 50.
  • We all think we are good drivers. It is the other guys that are lousy. If they are going slow in front of us, they are idiots. If they are right on our tail, they are morons.
  • A job, no matter how great, is still a job. That’s why they have to pay you to do it.
  • The best organizations work on understanding people first and business second.
  • I have yet to meet a successful person that did not work very hard. As Eddie Cantor once said, “It took me twenty years to be an overnight success.”
  • Never work for someone you don’t admire and respect. You won’t advance your learning.
  • Hire for attitude and train for skills. Skill building is easy. Attitude changing, impossible.
  • You can’t train people to have good judgment. As Mark Twain said, “Common sense is not that common.”
  • Employees want to do a good job and feel successful. Employers can set them up to fail.
  • Whether you call it downsizing, rightsizing, re-engineering, or re-structuring, to the guy out the door it feels like “fired.”
  • It’s not who you know, it is who knows you.
  • My life is not simpler or easier with all the new technology. The “time saving” devices take up all my time.
  • If my summer clothes feel loose in the Spring, it is because the elastic has washed out in the wash.
  • The things I like the best are not good for me.
  • The basics of healthy eating, exercise and balance aren’t all that basic or easy.
  • No matter how hard I try, I can’t drink 10 glasses of water per day.
  • If I had the first 50 years to live over, I would worry less and laugh more.
  • Happiness is in the doing…not the result. Spend your time doing what you love.
  • Marriage is not based on love; it is based on trust and commitment.
  • The primary goal of raising children is to have a good relationship with them when they are grown.
  • Life is like a toilet paper roll; it goes faster the closer you get to the end.
  • My mother was right about everything; from flossing, taking vitamins, the joys of children, to the importance of forgiveness.
  • If you reach 50 years of age with no major health problems, loving family and friends and you don’t know how blessed you are…you will never get it.

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    Copyright 2003, by Barbara Bartlein. All rights reserved.