7 Life Lessons I Learned After 27 Years on This Planet
I don’t come from much and didn’t have role models growing up. It was trial and error for most of my life.
I didn’t get to spend much time with my father because he served in the army and I’d only occasionally get to see him. My uncles and aunts and other elders in life rarely ever showed up. When they did they were more interested in talking about what their kids had going better.
My teachers never bothered to take a second look or send a few words of wisdom my way and when they did, I was far away in my own head imagining what I’ll be doing once that bell rings and I’m out of that prison called “school”.
Don’t take it the wrong way though. I’m not complaining. That’s because looking back I can understand how these were all the things that made me super independent and the way I am today.
But I’ve learned a thing or two in my years on this planet and I’d like to share that with you here today. All coming purely from my heart with nothing but a hope that it might ignite something in your head and help you improve in some way.
Don’t be stuck with a belief
I don’t like to repeat mistakes like most of us. This can be crucial in determining how far you’re gonna get in life. Or how much you’re going to struggle.
But that’s good, right? Unfortunately, not always.
Plenty of times we hold incorrect beliefs too close to the heart where we don’t have clarity or understanding of the whole picture. We mix experiences and mistakes and treat them the same.
You got your heart broken by someone where you invested your entire soul? The whole world sucks now and no one is worthy or deserving of your love.
You will never love or be loved again.
Or you bleed your eyeballs for days and nights to bring this idea to life. You do everything right. But it still tanks. Now the whole startup valley is not the same anymore. It is crumbling down and is biased against you or favors people who have X and X and so on.
You will never make it no matter how hard you push yourself.
Or you are hanging with your friends and dare to lick the frozen pole because you are so unafraid. You get your tongue stuck there, a couple of your funny videos circling around on Facebook, and a forever laughing story for your friends. Now you should never try it again.
See? There is a difference between a bad experience and foolishness. I had to learn how to distinguish between them and act accordingly.
Deal with it
It doesn’t matter how smart, careful, or protected you are. Things will happen that you can’t revert despite all your regrets, prayers, and desires. Things that you have zero control over.
It can be related to health, wealth, relationships, or simply your favorite TV show being canceled (Yeah, I’m staring at you Netflix 😡).
If there is anything you can do to change, by all means, go for it.
But if it is completely out of your hand then you must take a moment to absorb what just happened, accept it for what it is, feel bad about it if you have to but just for a moment and then move on.
You are always worth more
We are our own biggest critics. We are constantly pulling our towers down and providing harsh feedback to ourselves in a non-ending loop of self-loathing.
The constant circle of “oh, I’m not supposed to be here” or “how did I land this role? Maybe they made a mistake?” and so on. That is the leading culprit when we look at people who are stuck in miserable jobs that they hate. Jobs that treat human beings like usable machines and still shockingly underpay them.
I struggled with self-doubts way too much to finally realize that I’m actually worth a hell of a lot more than I give myself credit for. It all happened during a random chat with a colleague hanging around the coffee machine.
He was such a genuine human being and each word coming out of his mouth used to feel so pure and deeply from the heart. But that day, those words felt like mortars being dropped on my head. He was being honest about how much I work even though I’m rewarded so little and I had never looked at it that way.
That guy was so articulate in putting things in perspective that it changed my thinking forever.
Gratitude has a place and you should definitely be thankful for what you have. But don’t let that be the reason you continuously keep putting your gut feelings down and pushing through what your inner voice is constantly telling you to get away from.
Stop living inside your head
I don’t have the words to stress this enough.
I can’t count the times I skipped something before even trying. The times I plucked an idea by the root before it could blossom. The times I killed my dreams, as small as they may be, but still dreams.
All because I couldn’t believe that something good could happen to me. All because I let other people’s opinion and their impressions of me matter so much that it killed my voice. All because I lived so much in my own head.
But at the end of the day, all of that, for WHAT?
At some point, I learned this had to be stopped and what helped me the most with that was “The 5-second rule” and “get it done” mentality.
Don’t be a pushover
To build on top of my last point, learn to stand your ground. It won’t be easy. And if anyone is telling you that you’ll get used to it, I’m here to tell you that you won’t.
It might get slightly easier being who you are but it’ll always take a bit of courage and resistance against the world trying to water things down and paint you to be the way they want to see you.
I learned from my own experiences that if you stand your ground and continue believing what matters to you, then in time, your biggest critics might turn out to be your most devoted fans.
Find who you are. Figure out what you want. Decide your core values and then just be that. The world will adjust.
Our bodies are fragile
You are flying high. Money is pouring in. Your relationships are bliss. Dreams are coming true. And then all of sudden you are hit with reality.
The reality is that our bodies are fragile and the smallest things can hurt us to the point that our lives are never the same after. I’m not trying to discourage you. I’m not trying to convince you to shy from hard work.
No matter what the goal, no matter how big the dream, no matter how crazy the reward, always put your health first. You’re gonna need it to enjoy the journey and what comes after.
Be your number one fan
There are more than 7 billion people on this planet. You don’t matter to anyone except a few. The ones who don’t give a damn about you are massive in numbers and ready to tear you down. Why do it yourself?
Just be your biggest fan and put your head down to do what matters to you. That’ll make you feel better and you’ll last longer in the game.
I acknowledge that pretty much all things said above are a lot easier said than done. But I’ve seen it myself that they are worth putting in the effort for.
What is the point of living if you don’t ever really live?