maybe emotionally as well

When I turned 50, for some odd reason I never warmed to the idea. Finding myself caught in a nostalgic fit, before I knew it, I was recalling my 20’s. Smashing my diminishing brain cells together, I found myself unable to believe at one point in history I could actually eat 6 hot dogs, a Party size bag of Nacho Cheese Doritos and a one pound bag of Plain M & M’s in a single setting without gaining a single pound or vomiting.

Oh I tried hard to remember my amazing victories, my countless individual astounding triumphs. Like when I took a college course and made a side bet with two of my buddies that I could get at least a C grade without buying or reading one single page from the text books. I will not grace that “made for TV” movie with a “spoiler” ender. Wait for the Netflix download.

Or the time I took three different girls out for coffee all in the same night and managed to get away with it. Nope. None of that crossed my mind. Instead all I could recall was all the stupid mistakes I made in my 20’s.

Growing up spiritually. Growing up emotionally. Do I have to? Kicking and screaming I hurdle down the road to my 60’s. Before I fly off the abyss, join me on a nostalgic trip of epic proportions. Where do I start? Here’s one thing I for sure learned. See that red hair and goofy looking kid face…as much as you hated it and were teased sadistically…it works and it’s GOING to last. Most of your friends have already lost their hair or have to cut it super short to hide the fact they ain’t got any.

And you… still have no gray… have never dyed your hair and look pretty stinking good for a 50 year old something or rather…Keep drinking that  Diet Mountain Dew, and punching and kicking those bags in the gym. It appears to be working!

Diet Mt DewNow, since we got the important stuff out of the way. Here are a few other choice tidbits I discovered along the journey. Don’t blow these off… they might save your life. And you might grow spiritually a little to boot


As a younger person you literally have zero to little of anything that resembles responsibility. You don’t even have a dog… so travel. Go on that missions trip your heart keeps pounding for. Run that tough mudder or climb Pike’s Peak. Visit every baseball park in America. Whatever, but go out and travel.

Figure out what your view of the world is! Slow down and enjoy life. Why are you worrying so much about the future? “Does worry add one single hair to your head?” Nope! In fact that actually explains behavior for a lot of people. When you turn 30… you will probably have a mortgage… two to three kids… OH … and a spouse. The only traveling you’re going to do is to the store for milk and bread and to visit the in-laws at holidays. Super quick… please stop trying to be successful… or dreaming of being a world-changer… or saving the planet … rescuing kittens and inventing the next great tech toy… ALL BEFORE YOU ARE 25.

                         How do you know what you want to do if you don’t know what’s out there to do?

  • Don’t just travel to the obvious places.
  • Travel to the tough places.
  • Travel to learn.
  • Travel to discover.
  • Travel to the places that will challenge who you think you want to be.



Don’t spend too much time working and dreaming other people’s visions. Stop going to other people’s conferences, seminars and meetings (CSM’s). Stop listening to how others changed the world… save your own life. Spend time figuring out how you view the world and how you want to live out your dreams.

CSM’s are where dreams go to die. Stop meeting and start building. Write, sing, cook, drive or listen. But do something. 

                              Build things don’t just dream

Read More. Watch Less Television Movies & Videos

UnknownRead every day. Read everything you can. Don’t just read about things you know about. Read about people. Places. Things. Read about things you don’t understand. Read about history… Read about the future… BUT READ… and oh yeah… Read people.When you read people, you see what they see and pretty soon, you can become part of their story…. THEN… and only then will you start becoming a world-changer… a leader… a difference maker.

PLEASE… Stop watching television, movies and videos. Trust me, you’ll get your fill of old reality shows and The Big Bang Theory by the time you are in your 70’s.

Start understanding people instead of just criticizing them.


People are the best and worst thing in your life. Some will help you go further and faster. Others will suck you down to their level and help you fail. Most are OK. Many are average. Some are excellent.

      A few people will change your life forever. Find them

 When it’s all said and done you will have less than five close friends in a lifetime. There will be a lot of average friends who will leave you feeling alone when all you need is to feel surrounded by people who care. You don’t need a lot of friends or people around you. You just need amazing people who do for you as you do for them.


You are going to get it. Learn to recognize it. Don’t listen to it. Just nod your head and pretend they are Charlie Brown’s teachers (Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah)

But listen… to key “older” people who actually care about you and have life wisdom and who live what they teach.

                               No more listening to frauds







Even if it kills your relationships. Even if it destroys your ideas. Even if you lose your friends. Even if it means you end up getting hurt. But don’t be naïve. Some people are out to “kill your dreams.

               Trust people until they give you a reason not to


Don’t waste time on people you don’t trust. Don’t waste time with lovers who cheat on you. Don’t waste time with friends who don’t treat you the way you treat them.

                                                             Do not be late


Value other people’s time. That means if you’re late, you’re telling them your time is more important than theirs and that you think you’re worth more and therefore can keep them waiting.

       Do not be that person!



Fail a lot. Fail often. Fail at love, relationships, and business. Fail at everything. Because you will.

                   Fail. But do it quickly and learn a lesson.

 If you don’t learn something every time you fail then all you’ve done is failed. If you learn something, then you’ve grown. If you grow, you learn. Start figuring out how to succeed. Got it? Good. Now go fail.


There is no point on this planet at which you will have finally succeeded. Not in your twenties, thirties. Not ever. Get over that reality TV show. Start building things and dreaming dreams of success. (See point 2 and combine with point 10). Find success.

                 Embrace the mini-victories. Celebrate the wins.


Be patient. Nothing worth doing well is done quickly. It just isn’t. Don’t drink the Kool-Aid. Nothing of value is formed in a minute. Nothing dreamed is accomplished overnight.

                Plan in decades. Think in years.

                  Work in months. Live in days.


Stop doing. Start being something besides a shopping bag full of stuff that finds it’s way to Goodwill or a garage sale.

Stop wasting time, crushing dreams, flipping someone the middle finger or anything else that requires no comprehensible thought or action.

Doers hate, moan, whine and curse. Beings forgive, show mercy, have compassion and give love.



              Eat more… whether it’s dark, white, brown, milk, creamy, soft, hard, brittle or burnt.


      Chocolate is chocolate… Eat more and enjoy!




Dr. Lon Flippo is a professor at North Central University in Minneapolis, MN. He chairs the School of Pastoral Studies and coaches the Men’s Golf Team.