38+ Life Lessons That Helped Me to Retire Early

38+ Life Lessons That Helped Me to Retire Early

I turn 38 this week.

At 38 years old, you are stuck somewhere between young man, man, and old man. I guess it depends who you talk to? Sad truth: my kids think I’m old.

Regardless, I do know that the older I get, the more I am focused on living a fun and enjoyable life.

As I reflect back on my life, I can’t help but think that it all just goes by too fast.

I don’t want to live my life with regrets. When I’m 80, I want to look back at my life and know that it truly kicked ass.

So anyways, enough waxing poetic. Lets get to this!

Here are 38+ Life Lessons That Helped Me to Retire Early

  • No one is out to get you. Everyone is so focused on themselves, believe me, they aren’t focusing on you.
  • You’ll never regret going on a hike or a camping trip. It’s good for the soul.
  • You are NOT your job. And your job does not equal your self worth. Jobs are like clothes that you can change as you see fit.
  • There is no such thing as a perfect job, perfect house, perfect investment, or perfect fill-in-the-blank. Just make a decision and move on.
  • No matter what Instagram or TikTok may be showing you, the grass is never greener.
  • Time is more important than money. Health is more important than time. All are wasted if you can’t be in the present.
  • Always buy two dozen roses, not one – it looks better and is more impressive
  • Kids just want you to play with them. No matter how tired you are, just play.
  • Indulge in the things you love and enjoy. Then skimp on the rest.
  • Travel and adventure are good for the soul.
  • There are billions of people. We are all different, and yet all the same.
  • Society programming is all wrong. It’s your job to reprogram.
  • Your house will never be big enough. Car will never be flashy enough. Vacations never lavish enough. Until you are OK with what you have here and now. Then it will all be enough.
  • Doctors are NOT responsible for your health. Financial Advisors are NOT responsible for your finances. Your spouse is NOT responsible for your happiness. Only YOU are responsible for you.
  • It’s always easier to take the high road and apologize, even if you are in the right.
  • Always own your mistakes. Always. Own it. Fix it. Move on. There is no one else to blame.
  • Don’t cary emotional baggage inside. Leave it outside.
  • Wait a day to send an emotional email or text. Chances are you’ll feel differently in 24 hours. And if not, hit send.
  • Finishing off a shower with cold water. It helps. Twitter was right.
  • There is no such thing as an expert.
  • If you think you know something, you know nothing. If you think you know nothing, you probably know something.
  • There is no such thing as a right way to live life. Create your own path.
  • Reading for 30 minutes a day is all you need to learn new skills and get ahead. Don’t stop reading!
  • Reading is only the second fastest way to upgrade your brain. The first is doing the things you’re reading.
  • Action begets mood. Do the things you enjoy, even if you don’t feel like it, and see what happens to your mood.
  • Happiness takes work.
  • Relationships take work.
  • Doing the right things slowly always beats doing more things faster.
  • Don’t sleep through your spouses labor…you’ll never live it down. Trust me on this one.
  • BUT sleep is more important than anything else you’ll do. If you want to be healthier, more athletic, in a better mood, sick less, and add brainpower. Get consistent sleep!
  • Life happens and it saps up your mental energy and your productivity. And that is OK.
  • Sometimes the best way to spend your time, is to sit around doing absolutely nothing.
  • Writing down a list of things you love and enjoy is a sure way to feel better.
  • Likewise, writing down a list of all the hard things you’ve been through reminds you how strong you are.
  • The little things matter less than the big things in life. And yet, the little things are what makes life worth living.
  • Looking up at the stars always has a way of putting things into perspective.
  • There is no such thing as a bad sunset, but the great sunsets always happen on cloudy days.
  • Read to learn. Write to think. Breathe to calm. Sleep to energize. Eat to enjoy. Laugh, cry, and love for everything else.
  • What you think in the shower shows where your priorities are.
  • Career choice doesn’t matter: anyone can become a millionaire
  • If you aren’t requalifying for your job every year, you aren’t truly putting in the work.
  • Perfect is the enemy of done.
  • The worst risk is never taking any risks at all.
  • Sometimes the best thing you can do is just put your head down and work.
  • Most of the time the simple path, is the best path. But just because it’s simple doesn’t mean it’s easy.
  • Don’t focus on being efficient, when you want to be effective.
  • Pareto principle. 80% of the results come from 20% of your effort. Find your 20%.
  • Think in decades. If I wouldn’t be ok with this in 10 years, then don’t do now.
  • You don’t need multiple income streams to build wealth. You only need ONE.
  • Buy, hold, AND wait. That is the secret to building wealth.
  • Make an “automatic no” list and stick to it.
  • Own your failures. Make a failure resume and let it all go.
  • If you don’t ask, you don’t get. There is nothing to lose by asking for anything from advice to a raise.
  • Be insanely generous. It just feels better.
  • Listen more, speak less.
  • Say “no” to business travel, unless absolutely necessary.
  • Compounding is the 8th wonder of the world – as Bogle says “as investment returns compound over time, costs also compound“. These include costs on your body AND costs on your mind.
  • 10% of investing is creating a plan. 90% is sticking to that plan.
  • Progress. Results. They happen AFTER the dip. You need to wade through all the bad times to get to the good times.
  • Life is too short to make a half hearted choice in any big decision. It’s either a “Hell Yeah!” or a “No.”
  • Nobody knows what they are doing when they start out. Nobody.
  • If you are thinking about starting something. Just start. Start today. Don’t look back.

Well this was a fun one!

I may have gone a bit past 38 lessons, but hopefully you got something out of it. I know I did.

AR Recommends


  1. These are words to live by! There are some really great nuggets in here. I had to write a few down to add to the whiteboard 😉
    Happy Bday!

  2. AR,

    Happy birthday! This list is really valuable. Thank you for putting it together.



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