by Sunil Bali, 30-09-12

It’s the big five zero today.

Before I go off to celebrate, here are some of the lessons I’ve learned – often the hard way – over the last 50 years:

1. Get rid of anything that isn’t useful, beautiful or joyful.

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

3. One of the best feelings in the world is to make a difference by doing the work that you love.

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

5. Make peace with your past so it won’t screw up the present.

6. Take a deep breath and be still. It calms the mind.

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

8. Over prepare, then go with the flow.

9. Be eccentric now. Don’t wait for old age to wear the colours of the rainbow.

10. No one is in charge of your happiness but you.

11. Do what you love and play with whoever turns up.

12. Growing old beats the alternative — dying young.

13. Your children get only one childhood.

14. Get outside and keep showing up every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.

15. Life is so much easier when you stop trying to be cool and impress others and simply do more of who you really are – in my case a Kevin Keegan perm in the 70′s and wearing Farah slacks which were so tight that self-castration was a distinct possibility every time I tried to sit down.

16. Trying to be something you’re not is not sexy. Be you. That’s when you’re beautiful.

17. You don’t need a certain number of friends just a number of friends that you can be certain of.

18. Spend more time with people who increase your energy and make you smile and stay away from people that drain you of energy and make your heart sink.

19. It doesn’t matter how badly your heart has been broken, the world will not wait for you to wallow in grief and self-pity and the sun will not stop from shining – 16 years ago I was dumped 2 weeks before I was due to get married and thought I was going to die, only to get married 4 years later and have 12 great years of marriage – and counting – with 2 wonderful kids.

20. If you want something you’ve never had, you have to get out your comfort zones and do something you’ve never done.

21. If you want love, give love. If you want money, give value. It’s really that simple.

22. Acquiring knowledge doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re growing and developing. Personal growth happens when you apply what you know and it changes your life.

23. There is only one way to learn, and that’s through taking action. Trying to learn without doing is like trying to lose weight by watching someone else exercise. It’s just not going to work.

24. You’re never too old to follow your dreams, whatever they may be. I didn’t become a writer and speaker until the age of 43.

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


Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind – Dr.Seuss

To be is to do – Plato

To do is to be - Sartre

To be do be do – Sinatra


Alternative definitions:

Rancour – Japanese term of abuse

Idiomatic – Ugandan washing machine

Circumstantial – circumcision on a really big baby

Dunderhead – what a sculptor says when he’s done the top part of a statue

Psychiatric – guessing right, three times in a row

Diarrhoea – an unattractive bottom

Moustache – got to go!

Posthumous – the act of delivering Greek food by mail

Sanctity – drooping bosom

Piston – humiliated

Negligent – a man who wears lingerie

Wallaby – someone aspiring to be a Kangaroo

Miniscule – a toddler’s playgroup in Liverpool

Lactose – the effect of frostbite

Fiasco – unsuccessful wall painting

Shingle – Sean Connery’s definition of a bachelor

Avoidable – what a cow with a headache does



To your success,