Best Advice at 50

Your servant passed the 50-year mark yesterday. Family and friends turned up for a highly convivial evening hosted by my beloved who, after 30 years of marriage, still surprises me with her astonishing talents in art and hospitality.

The previous day, I gave myself a stress test Canadian-style by going skiing on our mountain (Seymour). Yes, I was a little sore the next day, but nothing that a prudent regimen of Advil and Glenmorangie couldn’t soothe. (Important Disclaimer: Self-medication is dangerous and this blog in no way recommends it—unless you’re a doctor . . . and, conveniently enough, I am one.)

The photo is courtesy of middle son Joshua, who came along:

As one thus begins one’s second half-century, one ought to be wise—or, at least, no longer settle for being non-wise.

So I’d like your help: What’s the best single line of advice you’ve ever been given?

Yes, smart-aleck answers will be allowed, even encouraged, but I hope a few pearls will appear as well.

Got one to share?

0 Responses to “Best Advice at 50”

  1. Vicky Barnes

    Find a common interest with my husband of 30 years to fill the hole left of our 4 girls leaving home. (by the way, we picked kayaking!)/

    • John Stackhouse

      Ooh–good one. Kari and I have done some (sea) kayaking at Deep Cove, nearby, and maybe we’ll do much more once Number Three flies away….

    • John Stackhouse

      He should sue Nike, Mark.

      No, that’s not the best advice I’ve ever been given: just a helpful thought to pass along to you…

  2. Jeff Loach

    This isn’t a piece of advice I’ve been given, but I’ll share it with you as it has come to me: the Madeira wood finish of Glenmorangie goes best with Advil. 😉

    Many more, John, many more (birthdays, that is – well, and Glenmorangies, too, if that’s any encouragement)!

  3. Tracy

    “Never look up while seagulls fly over.”


    “Wherever you are, be all there.”

  4. Amie

    “We must tell them that there is no pit so deep that he is not deeper still” Betsie ten Boom (Corrie ten Boom’s sister.
    I really enjoy your blog. Blessings

  5. Janette

    I can’t remember the source, but somewhere I heard that there is a rabbinical saying to this effect, “After this life, God will hold you accountable for every good thing he provided that you did not enjoy.”

  6. Chris Wignall

    “Anything worth doing is worth doing poorly”
    the things that matter are rarely easy from the start, need to work through the failures, explore new things, eventually you may achieve success

  7. David Strunk

    Got this advise from my pastor recentlyin my quest for greater health, but in my need for some exceptions:

    “If you’re going to eat dessert, then eat really good dessert. Stop eating store bought desserts and one-day old cookies. Save yourself for the good stuff, like warm baklava.”

  8. Lyle

    “It’s important to let people down.” Bono sharing advice from Bob Dylan

    “The people that mind don’t matter, and those that matter don’t mind.” Ted Geisel

  9. Anonymous

    Don’t forget: you’re worse than you think you are and God is more Loving than you think He is.

  10. alanbulley

    A manager some years back, who wasn’t very effective in most respects, nevertheless gave me one very good piece of advice: never skimp when buying shoes.

    Oh… and happy birthday, John.

  11. Larry S

    I’ve got 6-years on you. The following may help:

    Design little tricks to ensure you remember day-to-day details. Buy one of those little memory games. Stay or get into shape – buy the ‘perfect push-up device’ and do at least 3 sets of 20 each day. Buy a treadmill and use it. Go away for a long wknd with your beloved and make sure the room has a nice view, fireplace, double tub and room service.

    To sum up “use it or lose it”

    by the way, i like your blog. and i bought your Regent Culture course through Regent Audio and listened to it via IPOD while doing resistant training. blessings

  12. Paul Adams

    Best advice at 50?

    “When you have eaten and are satisfied, praise the LORD your God for the good land he has given you. Be careful that you do not forget the LORD your God, failing to observe his commands, his laws and his decrees that I am giving you this day. Otherwise, when you eat and are satisfied, when you build fine houses and settle down, and when your herds and flocks grow large and your silver and gold increase and all you have is multiplied, then your heart will become proud and you will forget the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. He led you through the vast and dreadful desert, that thirsty and waterless land, with its venomous snakes and scorpions. He brought you water out of hard rock. 16 He gave you manna to eat in the desert, something your fathers had never known, to humble and to test you so that in the end it might go well with you. 17 You may say to yourself, “My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.” 18 But remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your forefathers, as it is today.”

    • John Stackhouse

      I ask for pearls and I get plastics instead. Thanks for the allusion to “The Graduate,” Mich–a film that has always inspired me…

  13. Patricia

    Happy Birthday John! May you know a year of blessings as you so freely bless others through sharing your words and wisdom!

    My best piece of advice came in the form of a thought delivered in a sermon some 25 years ago: “Every person is a monument to the decisions they have made.”

  14. John Stackhouse

    Thanks, Sister Paddey! As for how monumental I’ve become, well, let’s just say I must have made a few too many decisions along the way…

  15. Henry Cullihall

    I have memorized this:

    …I would like to beg you dear Sir, as well as I can, to have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don’t search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer.
    Rainer Maria Rilke, 1903
    in Letters to a Young Poet

  16. Ian


    Summer 1983
    “Do or Do Not. There is no Try.” Yoda

    Spring 1995
    “Why don’t you apply to Regent College?” Pastor

  17. BrianT

    When you dish your food, always make sure you have at least three different colours on your plate!

  18. Timothy Jones

    Ok, I actually have a much better one-liner I forgot:

    “The reason most people fail is that they replace what they want the most… with what they want in the moment.”


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