60 Lessons From 60 Years by Mark Sanborn

When I turned 50 I shared the most important leadership lessons I’d learned with my sons, Hunter and Jackson.

Now that I’m turning 60, I updated the list for them by adding ten more.

It is important that I impart as much knowledge and wisdom as I can to my sons. But I’d also like to share what I’ve learned with you.

What follows, in no particular order, are:

60 of the most important lessons I’ve learned in 60 years of living.

  • Know who really loves you and return the favor.
  • Take care of those who take care of you.
  • Read more than your competitor.
  • When you start to worry, replace it with action. If there’s nothing you can do, then don’t worry.
  • In the final hour, persistence wins.
  • If you have an opportunity for a new experience, take it.
  • It isn’t the quantity but the quality of your friends that matters most.
  • Help others increase their success and you will increase your success.
  • Rehearse the good things in your life regularly. Release the bad things quickly.
  • Develop the ability to simply sit and think.
  • Worry more about what God (Universe/or Self) thinks about you and less about what others think about you.
  • Take Walt Disney’s advice: “Find a job that you like so much that you would do it without compensation; then do it so well that people will pay you to continue.”
  • You usually win or lose in the preparations.
  • Add a little extra value to everything important that you do.
  • Fear nothing but to waste the present moment; if you take care of the moments, the moments take care of your life.
  • Follow-through and follow-up are critical. Surprisingly few people practice either.
    Learning is your most powerful leverage in life.
  • If we could completely understand God, He wouldn’t be much of a God.
  • You can’t take too many notes. Write down as much as you can.
  • Know why you believe.
  • Give loyalty to those who deserve it and value loyalty when you receive it.
  • Nobody has extra time—you must make room in your life for what is important.
    To be encouraged look at how far you’ve come; to be discouraged look at how far you have to go.
  • God gives us children to help us understand how much He loves us.
  • You can’t have it all; but when you know what’s important, you don’t want it all anyway.
  • The more things you own, the more things own you.
  • To be of service, lessen the pain of another or increase his or her joy; do both when you can.
  • You can be almost anything you want to be but you can’t be everything.
  • It is more fun to give fun than just to have fun.
  • Activity creates momentum. Try lots of different things.
  • Time is the ultimate test of friendship.
  • Don’t ask, “Why me?” Ask, “Why not me?” Nobody is exempt from the challenges of life.
  • To live a life of grace remember these words from Philo Judaeus : “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.”
  • Keep your word. Say what you’ll do and do what you say. It is that simple.
  • It shouldn’t be lonely at the top. If it is, you got to the top the wrong way.
  • Once you are successful, more people will befriend you than will truly be your friend.
  • Successful people are those willing to do what others aren’t willing to do.
  • “The world will never lack for wonders, but only wonder.” G.K. Chesterton
  • “Good and evil both increase at compound interest. That is why the little decisions you and I make every day are of such infinite importance.” C.S. Lewis
  • The navel is not the center of the universe. Anger will rarely serve you well.
  • It is hard to live a high performance life in a low performance body.
  • Practice the three loves: love what you do, who you do it with and who you do it for.
  • Everyone is an example: choose to be a great one.
  • Success with people comes not from being interesting but being interested.
  • Guard your heart.
  • Work harder and smarter (not one or the other).
  • Always give credit where it is due. You can never express too much appreciation.
  • Work is rewarding and even fun when you’re doing it well.
  • Make time each day to think.
  • Put yourself in the place of maximum opportunity.
  • Humor adds immensely to your journey.
  • “Speak the truth in love.” The Apostle Paul
  • Even when you think you’re certain you may not be right. Be careful with certainty.
  • Emulate to learn but innovate to earn.
  • Learn to outthink your problems and your competitors.
  • “You can never get enough of what you really don’t need.” Eric Hoffer
  • First you make your choices and then your choices make you.
  • The antidote to negative thinking isn’t positive thinking, it is gratitude.
  • No matter what happens, look for the lesson.


About the Author: Mark SANBORN, CSP, CPAE, Monthly Mentor, is president of Sanborn & Associates, Inc., an idea studio dedicated to developing leaders in business and in life. Mark is an international bestselling author and noted expert on leadership, team building, customer service and change.​ Mark holds the Certified Speaking Professional designation from the National Speakers Association (NSA) and is a member of the Speaker Hall of Fame. He was honored with the Cavett Award, the highest honor the NSA bestows on its members, in recognition of his outstanding contributions to the speaking profession. Mark is also a member of the exclusive Speakers Roundtable, made up of 20 of the top speakers in America.​ He is also the author of eight books, including the bestseller The Fred Factor: How Passion In Your Work and Life Can Turn the Ordinary Into the Extraordinary which has sold more than 1.6 million copies internationally.​ Read More…​

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