A friend of mine, who I believe is in his late 20's, posted a Business Insider article last week called, "I just turned 40--Here are 8 life lessons I wish I'd learned a decade ago."
It had you typical lessons learned, seeing old friends less often, passing on an extravagant wedding, parenting, the added importance of health, being patient with your career, and financial security.
It seems like the 40-year old who wrote this article had had a pretty smooth sailing life where his biggest lessons he learned were about not being able to hang out with his old friends as much and his 401K.
I would like to add the most important life lesson you can learn at any age but especially before turning 40...FAIL.
Learn to fail. Fail big. Take chances.
Bill Vaughn said, "In the game of life it's a good idea to have a few early losses, which relieves you the pressure of trying to maintain an undefeated season."
I'll never forget the conversation I had with a business mentor of mine. I was recently coming out of a difficult time in my life. I had just lost about everything that I had worked for in my 20's. He put his hand on my shoulder and told me, "Good job!"
A little confused I asked, "What do you mean?"
"You knocked all that out early," he said. "I waited until my 50's to do that and that was a mistake."
Here I am a 33-year-old thinking how am I going to get my life back together when one of the most successful people I knew told me he experienced all those same failures in his fifties!
It renewed my confidence that I could bounce back. And those lessons I've learned in failure have carried me farther than any other experiences I ever had.
Out of any lesson you can learn in life, you must learn and do this: Fail early, fail often, and never look at a failure as something final.