Birthday Lessons: What I’ve Learned in 44 Years
Mortgage Broker
Henry Wilkes Mortgage Broker
Published on September 20, 2023

Birthday Lessons: What I’ve Learned in 44 Years

Let’s take a break from our usual mortgage-based content to celebrate life and chat about some hard-earned lessons. I celebrated a birthday last week and spent some time reflecting. Today, I’m sharing with you all the lessons I’ve learned in the last 44 years of life. Over the last few decades of my life, I’ve gone through my fair share of highs and lows, I’ve built core memories, and I’ve learned a few lessons the hard way. Life is a continuous learning experience. We keep rising and falling throughout our lives, picking up essential trinkets of wisdom along the way. The following list unveils some of the most important lessons I’ve learned.

1. Treat Others How You Want To Be Treated.

Bring this golden rule with you into every interaction in your life. Be the person to be kind to a stranger, to make someone’s day because you never know who’s going to need it. I encourage you to consider the feelings, needs, and well-being of others in the same way you would like to be treated. This thought process promotes peace and self-kindness. Here’s my thought: if you were to treat those around you with basic human virtues, such as friendliness, respect, politeness, love, and loyalty, then don’t you think others with similar morals would begin to treat you the same way? It shouldn’t take a genius to realize that if people treated you the same way, your life would be more at peace.

2. Work Ethic Is Everything.

With anything in life, what you put in is what you’re going to get out of it. A great work ethic can take you far in life. From college to the workplace, a strong work ethic will set you up for success through every stage in your professional trajectory. Your work ethic will be what keeps you going when motivation is flagging – and it’s what keeps you on track at the office when social media or email compel you to procrastinate. Here are the key ingredients I’ve found to help build a strong work ethic:

  • Fail to plan, plan to fail. Planning is KEY! People with a strong work ethic know how to work smart, not just hard. Often, this means creating detailed outlines for when and how they’ll complete key tasks. Goals must be quantifiable and achievable – and they must be revisited and updated regularly.
  • Build habits for success. Whether they’re good or bad, habits dominate your life. If you have a strong work ethic, you’ll make the effort to cultivate excellent habits instead of resting easy with the poor ones that get you nowhere. Building healthy habits also helps you build well-rounded wellness and balance in your outside of work.
  • Have passion. While a sense of duty can take you far, it’ll only do so much when you lack passion for your work. It certainly won’t keep you on track on its own, but it can be an amazing supplement to the qualities highlighted above. Red-hot passion keeps you yearning for greatness – and motivates you to take action when obstacles stand in the way.

Putting in the hard work is also what makes your accomplishments that much sweeter. When you coast through life, accomplishments may be few and far between. Even when they do arrive, it’s tough to take pride in something you didn’t achieve through your hard work. The smallest achievements feel extra satisfying when you have a strong work ethic.

3. There Is Never A Second Chance To Make A First Impression.

You’ve heard this expression many times before. “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.” This applies to all areas of life, not just professionally. First impressions count. With every new encounter, you are being evaluated. Studies have shown that a person forms their first impression of another individual somewhere between seven seconds and two minutes. First impressions are always being formed and they are nearly impossible to undo, making these first minutes extremely important.
If you want to make a strong first impression, here are some of my golden tips:

  • Be Prepared
  • Be on Time
  • Be Aware
  • Be Positive
  • Be Selfless
  • Be an Original
  • Present Yourself with Authority
  • Smile (it costs you nothing!)
  • Be Courtesy and Attentive

While it’s true that first impressions are important, it’s also important to recognize that people can evolve and change over time. If you feel that a first impression didn’t accurately represent you, consistent positive behavior and communication in subsequent interactions can help reshape how others perceive you.

4. Choose Happiness Everyday.

The last few years have held their fair share of challenges for myself, and I’m sure for many others. Through those hardships I’ve learned the most important thing at the end of the day is happiness, no day is promised to anyone, so if we decide to choose happiness daily in one way or another, that is a win. Life goes by faster than we think. When you’re in your twenties you think you’ll stay there forever but before you know it you are in your thirties, forties and fifties and you realize just how quickly life passes. Live your life to its full extent because life is short and we never know what tomorrow brings. 

ACT NOW. Do things that light a fire under you. Chase dreams that keep creeping up on you. There is an old Roman proverb that people often quote – “Carpe diem” – meaning “Seize the day”. More often than not, we fail to act due to a lack of confidence or courage. This hesitation keeps us from moving forward and puts us in a cage of wondering what might have been. Whenever you feel it’s time to act, take action. No matter the outcome, you will never regret going for something. 

I hope my small words of wisdom resonate with you and help you finish out this year strong! If your next dream is putting your family in your dream home, we’ve got you covered! Come seize the day at Wilkes Mortgage Group and start your home buying journey today!

Mortgage Broker
Henry Wilkes Mortgage Broker
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(818) 304-7584