45 Life Lessons

45 life lessons blog post. Photo of a young Iris Apfel

1. Life isn't fair, but it's still good.

2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.

3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.

4. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.

5. Pay off your credit cards every month.

6. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.

7. Cry with someone. It's more healing than crying alone.

8. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.

9. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.

10. Make peace with your past so it won't screw up the present.

11. It's OK to let your children see you cry.

12. Don't compare your life to others'. You have no idea what their journey is all about.

13. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn't be in it.

14. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. 

15. Life is too short for long pity parties. Get busy living, or get busy dying.

16. You can get through anything if you stay put in today.

17. It's never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else.

18. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don't take no for an answer.

19. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don't save it for a special occasion. Today is special.

20. Overprepare, then go with the flow.

21. Be eccentric now. Don't wait for old age to wear purple.

22. The most important sex organ is the brain.

23. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.

24. Frame every so-called disaster with these words: "In five years, will this matter?"

25. Always choose life.

26. Forgive everyone everything.

27. What other people think of you is none of your business.

28. Time heals almost everything. Give time time.

29. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.

30. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch.

31. Believe in miracles.

32. Whatever doesn't kill you really does make you stronger.

33. Growing old beats the alternative - dying young.

34. Your children get only one childhood. Make it memorable.

35. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.

36. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's, we'd grab ours back.

37. Don't audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.

38. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.

39. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.

40. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.

41. The best is yet to come.

42. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.

43. If you don't ask, you don't get.

44. Yield.

45. Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift.

Adapted from a list by the journalist, Regina Brett, who compiled it back in 2006 after her recovery from breast cancer.

The photo is of the amazing and incomparable Iris Apfel when she was younger.