Forty by 40: The Big List of Things I Learnt By The Age of Forty.

Forty by 40: The Big List of Things I Learnt By The Age of Forty.

By the age of 40 any reasonably intelligent person should know some stuff.  Not the stuff that  you were forced to learn in high school, or paid good money to learn in college but a realization about the way the world really works.  It’s an epiphany  about your life, your career, your relationship, that once learnt changes your perception of everything else in the world.

By the age of 40 any reasonably intelligent person knows that other people also know some stuff.  This is the point at which we must really sit down with friends, family, colleagues and listen, truly listen.  When we reach that point we accept the truism of Eleanor Roosevelt, “Learn from the mistakes of others.  You can’t live long enough to make them all yourself.”

Here are forty things I knew to be irrevocably and undeniably true by the age of forty.  Some you will agree with, others you will outright reject, either way leave a comment and share some of your own.  Initials have been used to protect the philosophical.

Let the Epiphanies begin:



1) Not everyone likes you, and  no matter what you do not everyone wishes to be your friend.
Eula Delancy

2) People who talk behind my back are talking to my ass.
Elise Delancy

3) Keep the home fire burning, or someone else will try to out it with gas.
Kevin Delancy

4) “I most ninety but I ain’t old yet”.
Elva Minnis

Harsh Realities

5) The only thing worse than a spanking is not learning from a spanking.

6) Everyone has a plan until they get hit. “Iron” Mike Tyson

7) The time is always right to do right.  Nelson Mandela

8) Every panties off is not a grind.  

9) “Fuck it” is sometimes a perfectly justifiable philosophy.  J.D

10) A man has got to know his limitations.
Clint Eastwood  as“Dirty Harry” in Magnum Force

Work, The Public Service and Governance

11) When a country has a just leader, oxen pull carts filled with grain to feed the people.
When a country has an unjust leader, the oxen are slaughtered for food and horses pull chariots to war.

The Master of Demon Valley.

12) Weapons are the instruments of misfortune, they should only be used when unavoidable.  A ruler should not mobilize an army out of anger, military leaders should not provoke war out of wrath.  Anger can revert to joy.  Wrath can revert to delight. A nation destroyed cannot be restored to existence and the dead cannot be restored to life.
Sun Tzu “The Art of War”

13) It’s easier to run ya mouth than to run a country.
Sir Lynden Pindling

14) All problems in the world are alike, in the beginning they may be hard to understand yet easy to solve, but given time they become easy to understand but impossible to solve.
Niccolo Machiavelli, The Prince

15)First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”Mahatma Gahndi .

16) There is something horribly wrong with a world in which there are more lawyers than good chefs.  Peter Mayle, Acquired Tastes.
17) The public service is a place where you have to know when to bow and when to duck.

18) Remember, you don’t have to be 500 percent better to earn 500 percent more money.  Usually, the difference is very, very small between top notch producers and the multitudes of mediocre people.
David Schwartz Ph.d The Magic of Self-Direction

19) I sure hope we’re making the right mistake.  John Morley

20) The people who get promoted are those that work hardest . . . . on getting promoted.

21) Slunkers  f^*king get, Slunkers f^*king pay.
Bahamian workers saying.

22) The marketplace is a battlefield
The Master of Demon Valley

23) If ‘A’ equals success, then the formula is : ‘A=X+Y+Z, where X is work, Y is play  and Z is keeping your mouth shut.
Albert Einstein

Love and All that lies Therein

24) In every relationship, one person is in control, if you have to ask who it is; it ain’t you.

25) Love is a species of warfare,
Slack troopers go elsewhere.  Ovid 6th century B.C

26) Girls in PoomPoom shorts ain’ for free.  Dancehall song

27) The ways of a woman are past understanding. King Solomon

28) When a man loves A woman
Can’t keep his mind on nothing else
He’ll trade the world
For the good thing he’s found
Percy Sledge, “When A Man Loves A Woman”

29) I would rather have curses from you than kisses from any other woman.
Captain Troy “Far From The Madding Crowd” by Thomas Hardy

30) Love and do what thou wilt.  St. Augustine

31) Boy, if you think saying sorry when you wrong is hard, wait ‘till you have to apologize when you right just to keep the peace.
Sister Jennie Reckley

32) Thou shalt Love thy neighbour, as thyself.
Matthew Chp.22 vs.39

Life and Luck

33) I returned and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill, but time and chance happens to them all.
Ecclesiates Chp.9 vs 11

34) Today they take from the field and put you on the throne.  Tomorrow they take you from the throne and put a saddle on your back.                                                                          Fountain of Persian Wisdom

35) But wilt thou know of vain man; faith without works is dead?
James Chp.2 vs. 20

36) It is compassion rather than the principle of justice which can guard us against being unjust to our fellow man.
Bruce Lee, “The Tao of Jeet Kun Do.”

37) An hour of real justice is worth 70 years of prayer.
Turkish proverb

38) When elephants fight, only the grass is trampled.
African proverb

39) Malice extends folly.  Proverb from the game of Go

40) Many people now describe themselves as ‘gurus’ that’s because the word ‘charlatan’ is too hard to spell.

Francis Wheen. “How Mumbo-Jumbo Conquered The World




  1. Ha! Looks like I’m not the only fan of Rodin’s Thinker. Loved the quotes, but #40 hit especially hard. It reminds me of one of my favorite quotes by Andre Gide: “Believe those who seek the truth. Doubt those who find it.”

    When I was younger, I admired the people who talked and bragged about their knowledge and accomplishments the loudest. As time went on and I became a teacher (of sorts) myself, I realized that the true gurus are humble and *always* eager to learn. Of course, I can only aspire to be great in my field, but I try to bring the same attitude to my own life.

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  4. Very good post!

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  9. Awesome list. A few I had heard before, most were new. #9 is by far my favorite.

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  11. I couldn’t help myself but to continue reading and reading. The post is simply marvelous.

  12. I should take some advice, only 24, but hopefully I be that wise at 40… I love the quotes I keep a list myself, but always seem to lose it… 🙁

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  14. Love this post, great stuff..

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    6) Everyone has a plan until they get hit. “Iron” Mike Tyson

    Going to tweet this right now…

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