35 lessons at 35 - Fabio Bonanno

35 lessons at 35

What happens as you get older?

You get wiser,

At least that’s the idea

If you’re always looking to learn and grow then the theory is that you gain knowledge as you age

This knowledge is then applied when you take action and time compounds it into wisdom

I feel since having a little boy and becoming a dad, I’ve had to grow up pretty fast

With that growing up has come a lot of experience and a lot of lessons

Below are 35 things that I’ve come to know and believe over the years

Some are new, some have stood the test of time. 

The lessons

Lesson 1 – 1 good day can make a good life.


You have 365 opportunities in 1 year to have a good day, 7 days to make a good week, 52 opportunities to have a good week which makes a good year. Enough good years and you’ll have a good life. It all starts with a good day. 

2 – Fatherhood makes you rethink what’s important in life 


I used to think a lot of things were important in life. When you have children, it’s like nothing else matters. It’s made me rethink the importance of work, my desire for material things and made me work to be a better man for my son. 

3 – Health becomes more important as you age


In my 20’s I took my health for granted. In my 30’s that’s changed. I’m less durable, have to prioritise recovery more and be a lot more balanced and sensible compared to my younger self. 

4 – The best time to start investing was 10 years ago, the second best time is now.

Investing takes time and skill. The sooner you can start the better, but the longer you leave it, the less chance you have to compound interest. You should play to not lose as well as playing to win while you build up skill.

5 – Most things you buy, you don’t need


Accumulating stuff you think you need is a shortcut to always needing more stuff. If that thing brings you joy and you can buy it twice, get it. If it just to give you a short term feel good boost, leave it. 

Most of my money goes on my health now and occasionally buy myself something nice. I save the rest. 

6 – Water is the easiest thing you can do to improve your health


Water is cheap, easy and anyone in the Western world has access to it. It helps build muscle, burn fat, increase energy and get rid of toxins. Drinking 4.5 litres per day is always my goal. 

7 – Sleep is the best thing you can do to improve your health but not always the easiest


Sleep is so good for you it would be illegal if it was a supplement. It’s a bit more complex to fit in the modern world than drinking water. Most people should be sleeping 7-9 hours if they want to be health, strong and have energy. Less than this and you’re just surviving.

8 – Life is a lot harder than you think it is but doesn’t need to be, simple things are always what make it worthwhile.


When life gets complex and stressful just remember to bring it back to friends, family and your health. These 3 things make eveyrthing better when they’re good. Then you can focus on making your passion your career. Do what you love with who you love. 

9 – People make life, not things


Like number 8, people are what make this world a special place, not things. People make things from their mind so it’s people, not things you should love. People make you smile, children make you laugh because of their pure innocence. 

10- Life gets better as you age, but only if you get better, if you’re not learning or growing, you’re dying


If you’re not learning or growing, you’re falling behind. What I love about getting older is the accumulated wisdom and knowledge and experience. It saddens me when I see people the exact same as they were 10 years earlier wasting their potential. 

11 – Depression is real and gets worse if you don’t recognise the signs. 


You can stop it early if you’re healthy and take action when you see the signs, but if you let it get out of hand, like money or anything else, you end up in debt to your emotions and it will take some serious time and effort to get you out of it


12 – You can’t stretch enough. 


If you’re weight training, more specific mobility work will always help you. It’s the first thing to get dropped for most (including me) and the first thing that most (including me) need to do more of. At least 15 minutes per day


13 – Tell the truth, lies always hurt. 

So does the truth but the truth is better than lies almost all of the time. You don’t have to be brutally honest to everyone, sometimes saying nothing is better, but little lies hurt people. 


14 – Meditate


It helps you make sense of the mess in your head, we all need space to figure out what’s going on and most are too busy being busy to figure it all out. Try and carve out 15 minutes per day to meditate. 


15 – Take advice from people who have what you want, not from people worse off than you. 

Their intentions may be good but their ability isn’t always up to scratch. Thank them and then seek out someone better. Family members and friends are usually top of the list with opinions. 


16 – Track progress. 

Health, finances, business, relationships, tracking helps you be more objective so you can make better decisions away from the emotional mess of your head. 


17 – Hire a coach 

If you struggle in an area then hire someone better than you. Sometimes it’s just more work than you’re able to do well when you go alone. Hire, do the work and learn as you go. Investing in an expert that has helped others is always money well spent. 


18 – Drugs can be good.

Controversial one here. Drugs mostly get abused due to their nature and ability to change states. Lots of drugs can have benefits in the right doses. Coffee, tobacco, alcohol, psychedelics.

The answer is in the details, context, environment and dosage. If you don’t have control, don’t do it. Sometimes someone else will have to tell you to stop. Don’t try them because they’re cool, do your research and make an informed decision. 


19 – Talk less, work harder/better. 


Enough said. Talk doesn’t get things done, doing gets things done.

20 – Do things you’re bad at. 

You only get better when learning new skills. If you don’t grow or change, you will go backwards. Seek out things you’re bad at and get better at them. Try and make it relevant if it helps. Dancing might not help a IT career but it could help you develop brain power and this can indirectly help it. 


21 – Don’t eat. 


Fasting can help clean out junk, increase mental focus and alertness as well as lose fat. Everyone should do it from time to time to help manage hunger and improve health. 


22 – Practice gratitude. 

Science has shown this to improve the quality of your life but it just makes you feel better too. Focus on things you want to improve. If you want your relationship to improve, focus on being grateful for all the things you love instead of giving energy to the things you hate. 


23 – Avoid excessive anything. 

There’s a time and a place for a lot of stuff but most of the time, abusing anything isn’t the best idea. Balance and gradual growth is key to sustainability. 


24 – Work fast but be patient. 

Time will pass anyway so do your best but don’t rush. Too many people make too many mistakes by shortcutting the process of the long term grind, enjoy the process before you get passed it. 


25 – It’s ok to not be ok. 

Injuries, sickness, depression, they all tell us something is wrong and we need to fix it. If we didn’t have these signs then we wouldn’t know what to change


26 – Working out helps all areas of life. 

More energy, less pain, more strength. Find something that gets you results and a version you enjoy and you will stick to it for the long term


27 – Being strong can be a sign of weakness. 


Often what looks like strength is a cover up for something deeper that isn’t right. Confidence can be to cover up an insecurity, strength can be to cover up a weakness or insecurity. Nothing defines you, you can be weak and still be strong by accepting your reality and working on it. You can be strong but be weak because you’re hiding from the fact you have deeper issues. 


28 – Love unconditionally. 

Love can be great but when you put conditions on them or when someone upsets you it can change. That isn’t love. Put your best self out there and expect nothing in return.


29 – Communicate  

Don’t keep deep feelings you have to yourself or it can build as spite and resentment. If you’re in the right relationship, you will both work it out with love


30 – Putting on muscle is simple but hard. 

You need to make a commitment, train hard with good technique and eat enough Calories and protein. 1 day is easy, a lifetime is what makes it hard, you can’t just want it, you have to prioritise it. 


31 – Morning routines are where the magic happens. 

If you beat people up in the morning and get to work when it’s quiet you can almost double the quality and amount of work you get done. 


32 – Life is a game. 

If you’re not happy with it and governments etc then it’s up to you to play it better or you’ll forever be played. Don’t be a victim, take action. 


33 – You’re never too old, good or experienced to be humbled. 

Injuries, loss and things outwith your control can still effect you. 


34 – Be a good person. 

We all know negative and spiteful people, they’re not nice to be around. If you want things and the world to be better, be the change you want to see in it. Stop complaining about others, start doing what you can to be and attract positivity. 


35 – Family can’t be changed so they have to be managed. 

Even if you know best, you can’t force people to change. You can’t choose your family but you can choose how you show up. Be a good person no matter what and it will all work out. Be bigger than the issues at hand. 




If you made it this far, thanks for reading. 

What did you like? 

Did you agree or disagree with anything? If you did, let me know, I’d love to hear it. 

About the Author fabiobonanno

Fabio is a health and performance coach that changes business mens life without sacrificing the things they love.

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