Life Lessons

“Go with your gut” – another words, use your instinct to tell you what to do next.

Roger Bara

I have two tales to disclose, which had some 35 years distance between them. 

Let’s go back to early 1977 – I was a married chap, pretty much broke, but having the chance of a lifetime to make something of myself as a keyboard player with an up-and-coming young Welsh singer called Bonnie Tyler. We toured, and we recorded an album, and when “It’s a Heartache” was designated to be the next single, we, the band, were offered sessions fees or royalties. 

Personally, I didn’t think much of the song, but in the back of my mind, I realised the songwriters knew what they were doing, and would not have written a tune which they thought would not be successful. But I was in debt, having bought my keyboard, amplifier and speakers, and the lure of £100 per day for a minimum of three days outweighed what my gut instinct was shouting at me. I chose the session fees.

Text "Play It Again"

17 world-wide silver discs later, and featured on almost every 1970s compilation album, “It’s a Heartache” could well have earned me a cool £25,000 every year since 1977. I’m not going to work out the total, as it’s too depressing. The band split up before too long.

Fast forward to 2011 – both Mrs B. and I were to retire early on health grounds, and my brilliant missus obtained an inspection trip to a resort in the Turkish part of Cyprus. Within three days, we had been attracted by a yet-to-be-built apartment, but both our gut instincts told us to buy, buy, buy. Of course, what you should do, is take some time out to consider the pros and cons before coming to a decision. We bought.

One of the best decisions we ever made, and we’ve been together over 50 years. Our retirement has been in luxurious surroundings, with a perfect climate and surrounded by beautiful people. All because of a snap decision which felt right.

What a shame I didn’t take that route all those years ago…….

Here is a link to a TV appearance of the song in question – I’m the git at the back on the keys with the long hair………

Life’s Lessons Learned

Life has a way of beating you down.

Photograph of Dean Lewis

Some become torn down and angry, broken inside. Others become successful… predators. CEOs and such only too happy to lay-off thousands while taking million-dollar bonuses. Life often crushes souls. We start out as open, happy children and often end broken.

Years ago, I would have been in my mid-thirties, I took a couple of days out to think deeply and take stock of my life. I know that I minimize problems and I’m far too fast to trust, to the point of being naive and gullible. Be nice to me and you’re my friend. Betray that and I’ll minimize the problems. This trait has cost me dearly several times. From the outside it looks like I don’t think highly of myself.

Text "I Can't Learn Anything"

After a day or two considering these shortcomings, I decided I prefer this to the closed person I would become if I strive to learn life’s lessons. Here’s my point: it looks like I haven’t learned a damn thing. It looks as though I have changed some but I haven’t really grown. Do I like children’s animated movies? Yes. Disney? Sure, I like animated Beauty & The Beast and the Little Mermaid and I was never the cool kid in school. Laugh and blow tea out your nose? I love that; I’m comfortable in my own skin, shortcomings and all.

I have a very small circle of friends I let inside and trust completely. I maintain friendships I’ve had for decades. A couple of weeks ago one close friend said she was tired of learning life’s lessons and just wants to be happy. Her words stuck with me; we all want that… except the broken people.

Life’s Lessons Learned? I hope not a damn thing.

Life’s lessons learnt 

We learn as we live, and the lessons we learn are countless. 

Our Rusuk Blog writer Sergey

When I was in my 20s, I was sometimes an arrogant guy. At 18, I went to America as a foreign exchange student, and I did it alone, without my parent’s help. I was a student at Moscow State University, at the prestigious DoJ, plus I worked at the same time at an American advertising agency. I was making good money for a student. Frankly, I felt some superiority over my peers. I can’t say that I was arrogant all the time, it was sometimes, but still, it was. 

Then, I had a small film production company after graduating. It was called Penguin Pictures. I was independent as a film producer, primarily advertising. And then, at some point, I just relaxed. I stopped making progress as I had lost motivation for it. 

But then I learned a good lesson; my career at Penguin Pictures could have been more impressive. So, my arrogance faded away. I went to another end of the spectre, feeling inferiority as some people from film production had left me light years away with their careers. That was a good lesson. Some may call it karma.

Text - "Yes I'm That Important"

This is why I hate arrogance in other people, as I have come through it myself. 

There are other lessons in life that I’ve learnt. But the most important thing is making the correct conclusions from your mistakes. Now, at 48, I feel more confident in myself in a mature way. You can’t compare it with the same feeling I had when I was 25. Back then, it was immaturity. Now I am more experienced, I feel both my advantages and limitations. 

And the most important lesson that I’ve learnt is that you always continue learning your life lessons and passing exams.