Mike McGinley

Life Lessons:
Mike McGinley

Don’t let Mike have all the fun. We’d love to see what Life Lessons you’d like to share with GEM Nation. Click here to email us for the questions. Now take it away, Mike.

Are you happy at the moment?

Yes. I’ve said that in the past two years Life Lessons, but here’s why this year: I’ve come to more of a work-life balance than in the past. I used to think a job and career defined who you were. Now I’ve come to realize it’s only a part of who you are. We’re all much more than what we earn a living from.

If you could go back and say anything to your 16-year-old self now – what would it be?

Not everyone is going to like you – and that’s okay!  Don’t waste your time worrying about people who don’t matter.  All you can do is treat each person you encounter with respect.  If you don’t get it back, that’s their problem. Keep on going!

What’s the most important thing you’ve learned this year?

It’s good to wear multiple hats, learn new things, make new friends, and explore.  Keep moving, because the moment you slow down is the moment you become weary with life.

What do you most want to achieve in the next 12 months?

To get my blog back up and running with regular updates, like it used to be!

What’s your secret to happiness?

Give more than you get.  I stand by that 100%.  I think, and hope, my friends would attest to it, too.  That I’m always offering help, advice, solutions, etc.  If you expect others to be good to you, you have to be good to them – so do it first!

What one ritual or practice keeps you grounded?

Wine nights with my best friend, my mom.  Honestly, we are so similar in so many facets of life – from the way we talk, to the TV shows we like, to the values we hold close. I can have a really bad day, but then spend an evening with my mom and magically everything is back on track.

What’s your biggest regret?

I’ve said this before, but I’ll say it again: not going away to college.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m thrilled with the school I went to and the friends/experiences I took away from it, but I think getting out of my comfort zone would have been good for me.  I always tell school-age kids when I talk to them that if I had to do it again, I’d have gone to school in NYC, interned in some other big city for the summer, and see how those experiences affected me. Hey, maybe in my next life, right?

What’s the most important lesson you’ve taught your kid(s)?

Unless something has changed I didn’t know about, I don’t have any of those meandering around, BUT one of the most important lessons I’d impart on them would be that they should always be themselves.  Life is hard enough as it is; don’t spend your time living someone else’s life or way.

What bad habit would you most like to change about yourself?

Patience. I know it’s a virtue, but it’s one I don’t have. Wait, didn’t I say that in 2012?!

Aside from motherhood/fatherhood and marriage what are you most proud of in your life?

Having an impact. Whatever I do, whether for work or for fun, I try to have a positive impact. Whether it was a piece I wrote as a journalist about a group in need, a fundraising event I stood behind to garner support for, or a special something I did for a family member; I’m always trying to make situations positive. Now, of course, they don’t always turn out that way due to bevies of uncontrollable circumstances, but hey, I try!

When were you happiest?

Right now. I’m at a point where I’m grounded, confident and comfortable in my own skin. I probably couldn’t say that a few years ago.

What ten words best describe you?

Honest, interested, engaged, thankful, fun-loving, curious, thoughtful, giving, accepting, determined.


Mike McGinley is a twenty-something online marketing professional and former newspaper journalist from Northeastern Pennsylvania who has covered lifestyle trends, entertainment, arts & leisure home and garden, dining, and political stories. Follow him on Twitter at @Mike_McGinley.