Wisdom from a 36 year old (6 things I'd like to tell my 35 year old self)

  1. When tragedy comes, the first thing to go must be worry. It's the thing you spend the most time on which has the least benefits. 2. The inability to trust is a debilitating disease. It cuts you off from others, from God, and from your own self. Learning to trust is an crucial discipline. Trust is better to talk about than faith. They may be the same thing, but trust is a more concrete and helpful term in our culture. 3. Horrible things may happen, but they're never as horrible in realtime as they are when imagining them. Fear of horrible things is worse than dealing with them as they come. Therefore, don't worry about tomorrow. This isn't just a nice thought. It's an extremely difficult mental discipline which can only be cultivated by hours and weeks and years of intentional hard work. 4. You have everything you want the most, already. The things on your wish list are only niceties. That house with the recording studio and the view, or that success you're working toward- you'd forget about them in a second if one of your kids were sick, or your wife left you, or your legs fell off, or you were starving to death. You have everything you want the most, already. So stop acting so discontent. 5. Plan less, prepare instead. If you want to be a professional, don't go to the Internet or email or your contact list. Go to the practice room. You become what you want by hard work, discipline, and consistency - not by better information and tools. The outcomes are so much farther out of your reach than you think. But preparing and disciplining yourself is completely within your jurisdiction. 6. There are no (worthwhile) shortcuts. The search for shortcuts leads to mediocrity, faulty foundations, ruined relationships, frustration and missed life. Shortcuts are suicide- skipping life to get to the end. Your focus must be on the process - enjoying it, being content with it, remaining in it, experiencing it - and not on outcomes.

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