November 12, 2009

What it’s taken me 30 years to learn

So today I am supposed to have woken up knowing all the secrets to life.

Supposed it a big word, bru.

If anything the last week has taught me that no matter how solid you think you have things, they can change in an instant, even though the signs of that instant have been there for ages. I read somewhere that there is never any situation where you could be 100% sure of the outcome. An act of God could be anything, no matter how random you think it could be.

I have lived in a few places, travelled many more. I have so many people I can call friends that I could never get to all of them to give them the attention I would like to give them. Fortunately/unfortunately I am also private by nature and this has led to seasons of misunderstanding in my life. Will I ever be the guy who shouts it from the rooftops?

Doubt it.

Urban Ninja is a persona which suits me, Raoul de Jongh, to the endmost degree. I am the guy who operates in the dark and I go unseen, even if my work is visible. I am shy, I am creative and I am the storyteller. I would never change that to suit societies demands.

So here is a short list of the irreplaceable lessons I have learnt so far. I hope you can use some of them in your journey to here, or past here. Remember that nobody can tell you what to do, or who to be. They might experience a high five in the face from me if they do.

1. Do it now, and ask for forgiveness later. The process of getting permission takes alot longer.
2. Buy new socks and underpants more often than you think.
3. You can never carry “too much” food on the bike at Ironman.
4. The bottom line is the finish line. Stop talking game before that. Show us your game.
5. There will be casualties along the way.
6. Stop, take a moment to breathe, every single day. I neglected this for a while recently (big lesson).
7. Love like you don’t know how. Its not something you should be thinking about. Don’t change your love because if its real and yours and 100% then it should always be good enough.
8. The years get shorter, EVERY year.
9. Your mother is generally always right.
10. Apply the 80/20 rule to your life, and everything you do.
11. The best pie in the world is out there. Its only served at 4am in a dodgy Engen. It is accompanied by a Milo shake.
12. Faster IS faster.
13. You are allowed to feel like a dinkum right idiot in front of your dad. He will still love you.
14. Smile.
15. Smile again.
16. Quiet time is vital for the success of any relationship. Even with yourself.
17. Get out there and push your limits. They are only in your mind.
18. Get rid of your material clutter. Its infecting your mind.
19. Its all about the bike…
20. You are what you eat.
21. You ARE enough. Just BE it.
22. Wine is the best conversation maker. Big red wines make friends for life.
23. Don’t fall in love/date/sleep with every interesting person you meet. Our inherent advertising driven lives have made us immune to proper friendship and companionship.
24. If you want to walk with the big dogs, don’t piss like a puppy my boooaaytchaaay.
25. Suffering together with someone bonds you for life.
26. Give stuff away without expecting stuff in return.
27. Delegate well.
28. The world will have us believe we have to fight for stuff in a world where war isn’t headline news, but just news. If you live your life right, fighting will not have to happen.
29. When you fall, get up and repeat. Unless there is a bone poking out of a limb, obviously.
30. Say thank you more, and sorry less.

I could share at least a few hundred more but I will stop at 30. Have a fabulous day. I certainly am going to do my best to do just that.

11 Comments on “What it’s taken me 30 years to learn

November 12, 2009 at 10:21 am

Nice one bruv, njoy the day! Thanks for the enlightenment, everyday we learn!

November 12, 2009 at 11:24 am

Number 23 is funny, but true….

November 12, 2009 at 11:51 am

Apart from the wine and bike stuff, I’m so with you.

Awesome post, Raoul =)

And HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! (again)


November 12, 2009 at 11:59 am

Awesome list 🙂

Happy Birfday! Have an awesome one 🙂

November 12, 2009 at 12:36 pm

Happy Birthday Boetie!

May the next 30 years double the wisdom, strengthen the heart and grow tighter the bonds with those who love you!

You’re in inspiration to me and those around you. Thanks for being such an awesome big brother.

Oh, and I’ll show my game!

The Mom
November 12, 2009 at 1:17 pm

I’m happy & proud to be the mother of my kids

November 12, 2009 at 3:12 pm

Some wise words Raoul!Happy 30th. You have turned out to be quite an amazing guy and I know you will continously grow to become the man you dream to be,you deserve it!Take care.m

Lynne Brookshaw
November 12, 2009 at 3:28 pm

Congrats on your 30th birthday, Raoul! Hope you are having a realy special day and that the next 10 years are awesome.
Keep up with all your great achievements!

November 12, 2009 at 5:32 pm

Happy Birthday friend, an inspiring list of 30, please do share the rest too, thanks for allowing us to see the special real you that you have become so far. Believing that it is only the beginning for you. How does it go……life your life in such a way that one day when you sit on rocking chair you can smile and re-live it a second time.
Blessings & hugs 🙂

Christine Lambrechts
November 12, 2009 at 11:50 pm

Happy Birthday Raoul! 30 is a big one and you seem to have it sorted.
I have taken note of some of your lessons – nooit te oud om te leer nie.
Hugs from Tasmania – will drink a beautiful glass of our local pinot to toast your health.

November 18, 2009 at 1:32 pm

Hey Raoulie – I know, I know, but I am allowed to call you that as you will always be my Raoulie – since I changed your nappies, bathed you etc. Thank you for this amazing posting on reaching 30….. and happy 30th -via the net – albeit a bit late and even though we have already done the congrats thing! I just want to say that you are probably the most inspirational person to me. I may be almost 47, but you teach me so much with your philosophy/attitude/empathy in life – so true that one is never too old to learn….. it is just that one doesn’t expect to be learning from your 30-year old nephew. We all love you my boy and are truly blessed to have you as part of our lives. May you always grow personally without changing the core of your being …..


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