Ten Things I Learned in 41 Years on Earth

Ten Things I Learned in 41 Years on Earth

Painting in the Studio Photo (c) David Macomber, Shark Sugar

“Nobody grows old merely by living a number of years.  We grow old by deserting our ideals.  Years may wrinkle the skin, but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul.”  ~Samuel Ullman

Today I turned 41.

This time last year I was surfing awesome waves at Pipeline for my fortieth birthday.

Today, I’m celebrating at home.

I wanted to share a few things I’ve discovered throughout my 41 years:

  1. BUSINESS:  You have to constantly adapt to the ever-changing world.  It seems like about ten years ago everything started changing super fast.   Things that we did last year that worked, aren’t working now.  Maria and I have to constantly change what we’re doing to adapt.
  2. THE EARTH:  Needs more respect.  There’s no one thing we can do to respect it more; there has to be a total change in the way we treat the earth.
  3. SURFING:  It’s pure joy.  I’m going to be like my friend Gary Linden, surfing big waves when I’m in my sixties.  Quality over Quantity!
  4. MONEY:  Is always coming and going.
  5. GOD:  The concept of God is kind of abstract; is there really a man-like being standing “up there”?  I think it’s more like a Universal Energy.
  6. HEALTH:  Move or Die!  (I think there’s company named that)  Stay active.  Eat less.
  7. ART:  It’s just another way to convey an idea.  It can be deep and meaningful, making art.  I just try to make people happy with it.
  8. FAMILY:  Is the best part of life.   Makes you feel like you’re not alone.
  9. MARRIAGE:  Is better than being single.
  10. HAPPINESS:  The happiest part of my day is walking Dylan over the bridge and to his classroom.  It’s as simple as that.

What have you learned in your years on Earth?  Share in the comments, please.

Life is Good,



PS:  Photo above is by David Macomber, photographer and owner of Shark Sugar, NJ.  Please visit his Facebook Page at http://www.facebook.com/SharkSugarNJ

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  • the creative side of surfing – kristianne koch riddle photography
    Posted at 09:01h, 03 April

    […] the Sea, the ghost ship, various deep sea creatures and lots of jellyfish. So, when talking to Drew Brophy about what we wanted in the drawing on the deck of Merrik’s board, it was easy to communicate […]

  • Geoff
    Posted at 08:26h, 15 May

    Hey there Drew!

    Happy Birthday! I hope it’s an awesome one. : )

    I’ll be 45 in August, and I’ve learned a few things over the years… at least I hope I have. Some of them are probably pretty well known or common sense, but for some people it takes seeing it in print to make it come to life for them. So here goes:

    1.Never take anything in your life for granted, whether it’s family, friends, your job, money, or anything that’s important to you, because it can all be taken away in a heartbeat.

    2. Always tell the people you care about that you love them, don’t assume they know.

    3. Like Lynn says in her #3.. Don’t envy what other people have, but instead, use it as a template and motivation for your own life if that’s what you want. We all have different life experiences, education, abilities, means, and opportunities, that have brought us to where we are in our lives at this moment, and everyone is different. Use the tools you have to the best of your abilities and find your own direction.

    4. Money is great, it gives you choices, but it’s not the end-all. I can promise you, when you’re old a gray, you’re not going to look back at your life and say “Remeber the time I made $20,000 on that deal? What you will remember are the moments, live for the moments.

    5. You can tell everything you need to know about a person’s character by how they treat children and animals.

    6. Live and let live. If you don’t like what someone else is doing or how they’re living their life, unless it’s directly affecting you, what do you care? Just let it go and go be happy in your own life.

    7. Remember, no matter how bad how bad a situation may seem, or how bad you may be feeling about something, it’s only temporary. Life is always changing, evolving, and turning into something else. Eventually, it will always get better.

    8. Family is everything. Friends will come and go throughout your life, but family will always be there.

    9. Never stop learning. Take every opportunity you can get to learn from others, because there’s always someone out there that knows more than you do. Besides, it’s fun. : )

  • . the creative side of surfing – kristianne koch photography----photo blog
    Posted at 11:50h, 07 May

    […] the Sea, the ghost ship, various deep sea creatures and lots of jellyfish. So, when talking to Drew Brophy about what we wanted in the drawing on the deck of Merrik’s board, it was easy to communicate […]

  • Lorenzo
    Posted at 06:33h, 10 March

    It’s nice to read all this great insight! Lynne has a good list going. Drew and Maria, thanks for starting up such insightful threads where we can share these thoughts; it was great for me to meet both of you in person.

    One more: I’ve learned that a healthy sense of humor goes a long way. Maria, I can relate to shifting from being serious to lightening up.

    It’s especially touching to read how we can appreciate the simple things like walking your son school.

    Good stuff!

  • Sparky Firepants
    Posted at 19:34h, 09 March

    One thing I’ve discovered in my own 41 years is that people love it when you make them laugh. They’re not as enthusiastic when you mistake their baby for a chihuahua. Not. that. I’ve. ever…

    Happy Birthday, Drew.

  • Kat
    Posted at 18:00h, 09 March

    Happy Birthday to you, Drew! You are a Pisces–no wonder you enjoy surfing! LOL! You cannot stay out of the water. I appreciate the fact that you spend so much time in your child’s classroom. Your son is blessed to have a dad like you. Wishing you a year full of many more blessings!

  • rich
    Posted at 16:12h, 09 March

    65 and still surfing in jersey. 3 quick sayings: “all work and no play is totally missing the point” and “if you’re not living on the edge, you’re taking up way too much space” and “age should not be measured by the years in the life but by the life in the years”

  • Joe Denton
    Posted at 12:12h, 09 March

    Happy BDAY Drew! Couldn’t be more right about the best part of your day, I feel ya brother!

  • Lynne
    Posted at 12:08h, 09 March

    Hi Maria – of course you can use it!!!! Anything 🙂 loving the paint pens you sent me. And the DVD and book are fantastic, too!!! Doing my first surfboard, and thanks Drew for inspiring me always.

  • Maria Brophy
    Posted at 11:57h, 09 March

    Lynne, I love your list of things you learned! That would make a great blog post – if you don’t use it for your blog, can I use if for mine?!

    Lorenzo: I, too, have learned in the past few years to “Embrace life in every moment” – because really, it’s a thrilling ride! An adventure, so to speak.

    At times when I find I’m taking life too seriously, I remind myself of this silly idea:

    My soul came to earth for a vacation – this isn’t even real or important. it’s just a tiny blip in all of eternity. So have fun, don’t take it seriously. Pretend like your at summer camp, or acting school….

    and Lighten up! 🙂

  • Drew Brophy
    Posted at 11:54h, 09 March


    Thanks for your wisdom! And I’m really happy to know that I could influence you in some way to enjoy your creative side.

    It’s been great getting to know you and meeting you in person.

    Maria and I both have read Eckhart Tolle’s books, and they have opened our eyes, too.

    Thanks – Drew

  • Drew Brophy
    Posted at 11:48h, 09 March

    Lynne, great words. I like the “common thread” concept. I think artists somehow are more tapped into that thread than most.

    I love what you wrote, thank you for always participating!

    PS: Checked out your website – your art is awesome.

  • Lynne
    Posted at 11:29h, 09 March

    Happy birthday, Drew! Many more

    Things I have learned in my 52 years on this earth:

    1. Grandchildren are the gift we receive for some very hard work 🙂
    2. Being a great artist has very little to do with talent. It requires showing up every single day.
    3. Envying another’s success will make you an angry, empty person. Enjoying their successes will bring you many of your own.
    4. The more you fret and stress over money, the less you’ll have.
    5. Living life on a cash only basis changes your whole perspective. Debt makes you a slave.
    6. Give and give and give of yourself, with no expectation of return. The principle of what goes around comes around will make your life full.
    7. You have within you the power of the Universe. All of it. Harness it and fly high.
    8. We are all connected by an invisible thread. That is why we feel empathy when we see someone in pain. We can really feel their pain.
    9. What everyone wants is to feel like they have made a difference. To be noticed, appreciated. Tell at least one person a day how important they are.
    10. If you give, give anonymously. Only then will you know the true spirit behind the gift.
    11. Animals deserve much more than we as their protectors give. The earth cries when you throw even one cigarette butt out the window. Protect them, and you protect yourself.

    I am sure there’s more, but that is all I can think of at the moment.

    Happy Happy Burthday!!!!!

  • Lorenzo
    Posted at 20:18h, 08 March

    Drew, you’re artwork as inspired me to play again and to tap into my own creativity. Having your artwork in my work spaces has made being at work more enjoyable and I thank you for that! Tapping into my own creativity has made it easier to get out of bed and get through each day.

    Your confidence in what you do has helped me to be more confident in the things I create from poems to artwork and whatever contraptions I devise. Your message of not trying to be perfect and just letting your art flow, flaws and all, has truly inspired me to be more free with what I create.

    Thank you!

  • Lorenzo
    Posted at 19:43h, 08 March

    Well, Drew, I’m 2 months behind you… I’ll be 41 in May. I’ve learned that most people have good intentions and mean well. I’ve also come to learn that living a fulfilling life means different things to different people, which is why it’s important to appreciate and accept people for who they are, unless they are intentionally trying to harm others.

    Also, I’ve found my fellow humans to be more reliable and supportive than an invisible being that seems to do nothing even if I make the effort to believe in Him. I’m with you, I believe more in universal energy.

    Life is going to have it’s good times, neutral times and bad times. We just have to ride through it and not have to fix it. Bad times come and go…

    The most pivotal message I learned was Eckhart Tolle’s Power of Now. It changed my life from an anxious and fearful person to one who wants to embrace life in every moment and accept that any moment could be my last. Paraphrasing: There is no problem in this moment… Only when we wish to change the past or anticipate the future do we bring in suffering, which is why it’s important to be/observe in each moment.

    I’ve recently become aware that although I’m good at math and accounting it’s not what I’m passionate about; it comes easy to me and pays the bills. I’m more excited about art, music and creativity, which, even though I’m not “skilled ” at doing, I do it anyway! It’s what I live for!

    Thank you for your post! I appreciate your willingness to share your perpective.

    Happy Birthday!

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