It always seems impossible until it’s done

One of the editors of the Chicago Tribune turned 50 and made a list of 50 things he has learned throughout the years. it’s a nice list, and there are some points on there that are spot on for me too.

6. The most valuable thing to have is a good reputation, and it’s neither hard nor expensive to acquire one: Be fair. Be honest. Be trustworthy. Be generous. Respect others.

Being honest can get you in trouble I can tell you from experience because being honest sometimes means saying things people don’t want to hear. It is sometimes very hard to be honest, but it is the only way. For me. I will, some day, explain this a bit further, but the dust needs to settle a bit first.

12. Keeping perspective is the greatest key to happiness. From a distance, even a bumpy road looks smooth.

In addition to that I would like to add: Stay positive. Nothing annoys me more than people who have turned complaining into a way of life. I can’t stand it. Complaining doesn’t help, especially not when it is about things you have no control over so – just shut up and deal with it.

OK maybe that sounds a bit harsh, but the complaining I am aiming at, it complaining just for the sake of complaining, not because they are important in any way. You know the types.

16. It’s 10 times easier to fall in love than to stay in love. And no matter what the sad songs say about romance, broken hearts do mend.

Yes, yes and yes. They do. Eventually.

21. Fear of failure is a ticket to mediocrity. If you’re not failing from time to time, you’re not pushing yourself. And if you’re not pushing yourself, you’re coasting.

I should write this on my wall, and look at it every time I feel the fear sneaking up on me. Because I do feel it ever so often. Especially when I start thinking about making my short film.

25. In everyday life, most “talent” is simply hard work in disguise.

I hope that’s true.

28. Two cheap, easy self-improvement projects: Develop a strong handshake and start smiling when you answer the phone.
I am very aware of my handshake, it is strong and firm (and long when the other hand belongs to a charming man, no I didn’t want to say that, did I want to say that? No what I wanted to say was – firm, without squashing the other person’s hand).

About answering the phone – there is something about phone calls. I have no trouble answering them I think, I probably even smile when I answer the phone.

But I don’t like making calls. Probably because I always expect to call at a bad time or to just generally annoy people by calling at all. It’s one of those things I keep postponing until I absolutely have to. I need to work on that. Really, I do.

31. Physical attraction is nice, but shared values and a shared sense of humor are the real keys to lasting love.
What do you want me to say.

34. Laundry day is much easier when all your socks are the same and you don’t have to sort them.

Thanks for telling me now, after my sock collection has grown into the worst possible potpourri of socks you can imagine. That goes for colour, pattern and the number of holes in them. Need to do something about that too.

36. Goals that you keep to yourself are just castles on the beach. If you’re determined to achieve something, tell people about it and ask them to help you stick with it.

My goal is too ridiculous for words, which is why it is probably better to not tell anyone about it. This doesn’t mean I am not pursuing it though. I am.

39. All the stuff you have lying around that you’ll never want, need, wear or look at again? It just makes it harder to find what you do want, need or intend to wear. File it, donate it or throw it out.

Here is something for my “2008 goals” list because this is a constant source of nagging in the back of my head. I know that I would feel so much better if I took care of it. Here is the thing:

There are about 12 boxes with contents of my life stocked away in a storage room in Denmark. I haven’t seen this stuff for about 2 years now. Do I know what is in the boxes?

I know there are some boxes with tv-2 stuff. 2 years ago it would be unthinkable that I would even consider getting rid of it. But to be honest – I think it’s time. I have enjoyed my years as a fan, but they have become a part of my past now. I have grown up you see, and I am too grown up to be that obsessed with a person or a movie or a pop band. Am I not?

The other stuff in there I don’t even remember, I don’t want to remember and I don’t want to think about. I am perfectly happy in my room in London, not owning a lot of stuff, it gives me an enormous amount of freedom and flexibility.

So maybe I should just leave them unopened and send them directly to the charity shop. This does mean I do have to return to Denmark for a day or two, which is not something I am really looking forward too. But I guess there is no way around it. I have to fix this in 2008, the sooner the better.

49. Whatever your passion, pursue it as though your days were numbered. Because they are.
If there is one rule I try life after, this is the one.

I have added a few of my own:

51. Don’t let anyone tell you that it is weird to watch the same film over and over again in the cinema. It is perfectly normal. (DIRL: 7)

52. Don’t let anyone tell you that it is unhip/uncool/not done for someone your age to like/appreciate/be obsessed with/be inspired by the work of the best actor in the world. It is very hip, very cool and absolutely done indeed to do so.

And the last one, which I stole from Nelson Mandela and which is written on my wall is the one on top.

Do you have anything to add to the list?

12 thoughts to “It always seems impossible until it’s done”

  1. The world is beautiful and it’s right outside your door. It takes nothing more than a short walk to realise that.

  2. Nature has given us two ears, two eyes, and but one tongue-to the end that we should hear and see more than we speak.

  3. Interesting list.

    I have rummaged my mind but can’t come up with something decent out of my own head just now. I agree with 22: “Anyone who judges you by the kind of car you drive or shoes you wear isn’t someone worth impressing.” I might add it to my little collection of aphorisms and poems. Plus some of the points you have picked out. Or Anna’s comment, for that matter.

  4. 25 is not quite true. The truth is that hard work can replace and outrun talent. In fact, often the existence of talent can curse its owner into thiking they can coast on it. Utter lack of talent, plus hard work will pay off more than mere talent in approximately 14 months worth of trying.

    This is a scientific fact. Which science, I am not saying.

  5. That is quite a list – although I am compelled to add: Vent as required. This might conflict sometimes with the staying positive bit, but false cheerfulness is plain irritating. (shades of pms sneaking up on me??)

    And it is never ever uncool to be inspired, impressed, admiring etc. of a good actor or a film which takes one by storm (eg. DIRL).

  6. That’s quite an impressive list!
    I’ve managed to locate a couple of my favourite quotes which I’d add to my own list:
    “Remember, if you ever need a helping hand, it’s at the end of your arm.
    As you get older, remember you have another hand: the first is to help yourself, the second is to help others.”
    (~ Audrey Hepburn)

    “The mind is like a parachute – it doesn’t work unless it’s open.”
    (~ Unknown)

    “Nothing travels faster than the speed of light, with the possible exception of bad news, which obeys its own set of laws.”
    (~ Douglas Adams)

    “Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; but remember that what you now have was once among the things only hoped for.”
    (~ Epicurus)

  7. Thank you for sharing these… 39 rang a particularly loud bell with me.

    Loved the card!! :)

  8. I love all those gravatars, I can finally see who you are! (or rather what you want to be represented as!)

    @Anna: love that quote! Very true.

    @Joachim: I really like that one too.

    @Zazz – who is that waving at me?

    @Sarsparilla: Well I hope that you are right then!

    @Kate: Vent as required is absolutely OK.

    @Michelle: I love the parachute one, and a Douglas Adams quote even! He has written many good quotes.

    @Jill : yes 39 is keeping me up at night, I need to do something about that really.

  9. A dummy torso in the window of the local driving school. I took the picture when preparing a town rallye for a kids birthday. The lady and I don’t resemble at all, though, neither in looks nor in brains…

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