(The text below I sent out to the book publisher’s customers when I turned
50. Many liked it) LISTEN TO ALL STRINGS!
I turn fifty today.
And it started as a strange experience.
I woke up this morning and suddenly started doing things I had never done before. Cabin with fists ate some disrespectful kids who hissed outside the window. Drank coffee on tap and listened to the old cuckoo clock’s arduous ticking on the wall. Then I did squats and arm stretches for five minutes and solved today’s crossword puzzles while thinking about what I learned during these fifty years.
50 year. It’s a big day for most people (I thought when I cut my nose hair, shaved my back and gathered all my hair in five big black plastic bags). People put up signs to honk at, they organize big parties with relatives and friends, they book trips to distant places and go with their heads held high this day to… yes, maybe because they made it all the way here?
… But how do I usually feel like an action-oriented UFO who prefers to celebrate life every other day instead of according to what the calendar says?
Hm… I tucked in the mustard-colored nylon shirt properly and pulled up the gabardine bralls somewhere to the chest, put on the cap and headed down to the store where I bought today’s lunch – canned entrails and boiled potatoes with boiled carrots and boiled… yes you get it.
It was on the way home when I almost stumbled over the nose hair (which has grown out again) that it hit me:
I CAN USE THIS!
So, with the right of age to make itself heard, I urge, no, I now order all youngsters from 49 and down to prick up their ears. Now you will hear what Uncle has learned about life during these years. There are 15 things, because you probably can not remember more where you sit more your Ipads and wonder how many likes you should get today.
(Now imagine how Uncle Stefan lights the fire, pours out a brandy and stumbles into the rocking chair while you young people sit around like lit candles, waiting for the wisdom that you will soon be able to partake of).
Are you ready?
Here are the 15 most important things I learned in 50 years:
1. BECOME THE PRODUCER OF YOUR LIFE – YOU ONLY HAVE 30,000 DAYS ON YOU
“All these days that came and went – I did not know it was life”, said the aphorist Stig Johansson. That’s just sentimental nonsense! It is rather like this that “All these actions and non-actions every day – I did not know that they BECAME life.”
SO WHAT DO YOU WANT? Most people do not know it. Most people just go around a bit after how the wind blows. Look around you. What are your friends’ jobs and how did they get that job? You will find that it was often pure coincidence that made them end up where they are. A friend friend knew a friend who…
You are either a consumer or a producer in your life. I have met many of both varieties. It’s much easier to snap on a screen and let yourself be entertained throughout life than to create something yourself. The one who is maintained does not create real values and quickly becomes tired, restless and blasé. He who creates his own values may fight for his ambitions, but at the same time be satisfied.
It’s a choice and it’s yours. You can turn your 30,000 days into your days and it starts with finding out what you want .
2. STOP PASSIVELY WAITING TO BE HAPPY
“I just want to be happy” I hear people say – ridiculous!
Life is usually like a lukewarm, semi-boring mass. It’s like the normal state of affairs for most of us. To lift life, one must act. And here you will hear something sensational. Something fantastic:
If you lift your eyes and pull off the veil from that sign right in front of your nose, you will see a large text that says that … oh…, “life is a do-it-yourself project”. It is clearly stated that YOU are responsible for your own happiness . It does not come through anyone else. It comes through you. Build a new road, take a new step, but do something. Then you will soon also find what the romantics call happiness.
3. COUNT EVERYTHING GOOD IN YOUR LIFE – AND Ignore the OTHER
Listen here: It’s so easy to find flaws and mistakes in everyone’s life if you just look – SO STOP LOOKING! Just count what is good and when life is tricky – make the list of everything that is good in your life so you see that there are actually good things as well. This is important. Write down the list now directly.
4. STOP TALKING SHIT ABOUT YOURSELF – WITH YOURSELF
It is said that about 95% of everything we say to ourselves about ourselves is shitty. In other words, there is a great risk that there is a small evil figure in your head and influences you to say evil things to yourself. If you do not believe me, then listen to yourself for a day and you will see. I can bet that much of what you think and say to yourself contains lots of guilt over things that have happened or you are tormenting yourself by creating anxiety about the future. This kind of negative bullshit destroys the energy we need as we struggle to reach our dreams. Think of it this way: If it was a friend who said what I’m saying to myself right now – would I still want that person as a friend then? Becoming your own best friend is a knowledge everyone should get early.
5. TAKE CARE OF YOUR SOUL
Answer these 10 questions (it’s that little voice in your head that whispers):
1. Are you holding on to something you really should let go of?
2. Is it what you want out of reach or have you just not reached for it enough?
3. What is the most important change you need to make within a year?
4. What are you postponing from doing right now?
5. In what way are you your worst enemy?
6. What mistakes do you make all the time?
7. Right now – what do you want most of all?
8. What has prevented your fear of failure from doing so?
9. What in your life do you always avoid confronting?
10. If you could go back in time and talk to yourself, what would you say?
Was there something that hit? Do something about it.
READ ALSO: If you want to be successful – do not tell anyone about it
6. TAKE CARE OF YOUR BODY
I know seventy-year-olds who have better physique than some 20-year-olds, but scary enough, I also know 50-year-olds who neglected to take care about themselves and they are already old and powerless. You rarely see successful people who do not stay in shape in any way. If you can not do at least one pull-up and ten push-ups, you have a problem to solve. If you are a man and can not take your own weight in bench press, you have a healthy challenge ahead of you. Go to the gym and lift the heaviest you can – this also applies to women.
You can not expect to be able to control your life if your body is in worse shape than it needs to be. Drop the burgers and pizzas. Eat fish, lean meats, vegetables and fruits and all foods that are as close to their original form as possible. Ignore all weird shortening diets and hyped dieting methods. The expression: “Real food does not need a content declaration” is correct.
7. SMALL CONSISTENT DOCUMENTS ARE THAT GET THE JOB DONE
The vast majority of people are slaves under the craving for immediate need satisfaction. Smack, slurp, give me, give me! I want it now! People in common are like drug addicts who just want the next dose of food, drink, drugs, sex, products, entertainment. They miss the whole thing with life success. Everything that is worth something means a struggle, a little trouble, a little sacrifice. And it all starts with SMALL CONSISTENT EFFORTS.
Say you want to write a book and write one page a day. Then you have a really cool book ready in one year. Say you spend five pitiful hours a week in the gym instead of in front of the TV. Then you have a “sixpack” on your stomach in one year. Say you spend an hour a week making an action plan for what you want to do in your life and evaluating the results the week after – then you’re soon where you want to be while your neighbor sits and feels tired in front of the computer game without really understanding why . Not you.
A little at a time going forward – that’s the key to all success.
8. COMPARE YOU – WITH YOU
All people, even the one you think are the happiest in the whole world, have their demons to wrestle with (me too). We feel we are not good enough. That’s what it’s like to be human.
And we wear those masks until we realize that everyone else is doing the same thing. Then we dare to relax. Maybe because we have turned 50. But, here is a suggestion: Open yourself to others and they may open up to you and you get a real life, instead of an anxious cowardly life. Help others mask so you can find relationships that are really close. Do it before 50. And when you find yourself competing with a colleague, neighbor, friend or celebrity, pull the emergency brake and stop crashing. Compare yourself with you . Remind yourself that you have strengths, qualities, visions and qualities that others do not have.
9. STOP EXPECTING APPLES FROM PEOPLE WHO DO NOT HAVE ANY APPLES
If you are trying and trying to reach someone, but do not get what you want, then maybe you are looking for a solution in the wrong place. You may want support and encouragement from your loved ones, but their sources are too shallow and you will not get what you want or you may be hanging out with someone who almost always disappoints you. Take that life lesson with you as quickly as you can to avoid wasting more valuable time. You can live a whole life and hunt for your mother’s (or whoever it is now) words of encouragement. You can nag and nag and nag at your partner about not burning your entire salary already on the 10th of each month. If you want apples from people who repeatedly prove to you that they have no apples, it does not matter what you do. Oh, what “apple truth” has helped me a lot in my life. It helps us see things more objectively,away from people who do not want us well . Forward.
10. BECOME A HELPER
If you have humility enough to help others, the world will help you. If you have a business – become the customers’ best friend. Help them. Put on them. Make them think of what they already knew and what they did not know. They will help you back. When someone needs help with the pram on the bus, do not stand there like the rest of the sheep cook and just stare. Step forward quickly and offer your help. If a little aunt is standing and looking insecure – offer to help, carry things or whatever she needs help with. If you have seen the movie “Karate Kid” where the young student was initially allowed to wash cars, clean and do everything but practice karate, it is about the same principle. Exercising on less isolated movements and habits will get you ready for bigger tasks later. Does it sound fuzzy? I know, but that’s how it works. You have to start shopping in the small to be able to make it safer in the big later. Polite and nice. Say thank you often. Ask for forgiveness first.Become a person of style .
11. EXAMINATE WHAT MAKES YOU LAUGH WITH YOUR STOMACH
Do it now. What makes you laugh so it hurts in the stomach? Write it on a note right now and put it in your pocket, so you can see the note every day and in the end also do something that concretely entices you to laugh every day. Do not wait until the day when you have everything – make sure you have fun now!
12. GO TO THE DEEP PART OF THE POOL
You can not get anywhere if you take baby steps through life. Sometimes it requires you to take a real giant step and just drive on. If you are willing to take the chance and dare to be vulnerable, then you also have so much more to gain than those who squat in life and always put safety first. Safety is for dead people. follow your dreamsand ignore what people say. If you build a sand castle on the beach, you may find that someone will soon be standing there pouring water on it. Note which ones you have in the area that are green in the face and have water buckets in your hands. Go from there and look for others who build instead. They exist.
How do you know if you’re where you want to be? It’s very simple. If you feel a little stupid, you are in the right place.
ALSO READ ABOUT THE BOOK: Shit in Jantelagen
13. LISTEN TO THE LIFE LESSONS YOU GET EVERY DAY
He who kisses his wife and says something true and kind gets a happier life as a reward. Those who get stuffed and tired after the sausage kiosk lunches can continue to eat the same thing or change something so it gets better. But it is important to listen every day. To make you remember it – listen to this story:
Two co-workers are having lunch and settle down in the lunch room with their lunch boxes.
The first man opens his little plastic box and looks down into it.
– Oh, no banana sandwich again, can not we change ?, he says.
– No thanks, I do not like the banana on sandwiches.
The next day the same thing is repeated.
– Oh, no, bananas on the sandwich today again – can we change?
– No, I have already said that I do not want bananas on the sandwich. It’s disgusting. I told you that yesterday. Why not ask your wife to do something else?
– My wife? I’m not married. I make my sandwiches myself.
Sensual morality is self-evident. Most people do nothing to change things, but still they are surprised that life serves them banana sandwiches every single day. Not you!
14. HOLD ON TO THE GOOD – AND RELEASE THE REST
There will always be people who do not like you, it does not matter what you do. The terrible thing is that many people do everything to be liked by everyone – and therefore ignore putting energy on those who are really worth it – those who contribute positive things in your life.
Those who are there when the wind is light
Keep them tight – they are your tribe.
15. FINALLY – SEE FOR SEVENTEEN SO THAT SOMEONE WANTS TO READ THE BOOK OR WATCH THE MOVIE ABOUT YOUR LIFE
Life is really in many ways like a movie. You write the script, you are the star, the director and the critic and just like in a movie, there is also an end. What matters is not just the plot, but the quality of the plot. Therefore, it is important that you do it every day so that it becomes as good as it ever can. How exciting is the film / book right now? How exciting can you make it? Who will talk about you in a positive way in a hundred years when you are gone and what do they say then?
Try making a novel of your life. Fill in the blanks:
If my life was a novel, then the chapter where I am now would be called__________ and it would be about___________.
Now jump forward a year in time and fill in the same void with a dream:
If my life was a novel, then the chapter in a year from now would be called_________ and it would be about________.
The question now is: What is the first, smallest and tiniest step you can take today, and every day in the future, to be able to write that chapter in a year?
Thanks for listening. Now I will sleep for dinner and then concentrate the rest of my life on feeling discriminated against in age, get a younger wife and walk around with the net to all the young people around me and say: But I do not look like fifty…