I’m a pretty deep person as it is, I’m so awkward at small talk because I just want to talk about deep life topics in conversation. So this is my warning that I get deep into thought when I feel my perspective changing. These lessons hit home.
Have you ever wondered what it’d be like to hear from a doctor what your life expectancy timeline is? Maybe it happens to someone close to you or maybe it will soon– it’s a really, incredibly hard time. But Imagine you’re in a doctors office and the doctor says to you, “You have three years left, at most”. Well, I don’t know about you, but that terrifies the shit out of me, just thinking about it hypothetically. Not death– I don’t find that so scary. What terrifies me is that I’ll wake up one day and realize I didn’t do half the things I wanted too.
About three years ago, I was 24 and my state of mind just never considered the importance of living in the present moment.
-I never took action towards goals I really wanted because I cared too much what people would say.
-I mainly worried about petty things like how I needed new shoes, missed a friend’s get together or any topic that really wouldn’t matter in a few days.
Essentially I just didn’t think too deeply into the true purpose of my life.
I was on autopilot.
But over the last few years, a lot has changed. Today, I spend a lot of my time (I’ll be honest.. nearly all my free time) watching, listening and learning from people I consider to be role models and people that inspire me to do what it takes to live a fulfilling life. I am infatuated with the idea that you can change and grow, it’s been the journey of a lifetime diving deep into the meaning of life and so I constantly feel the need to keep learning and adopting skills that make me live authentically and with intention.
Below are the 5 lessons that I’ve heard over and over again. I think that’s because they happen to be the common theme in personal development; they’re considered to be the most important ways we can change our current mentality and behaviors to live the best life and become our best selves. No matter how different we all are, I’m sure we can agree that the last thing we want to do is look back and reflect on our life only to realize we missed out on so much.
So here are the 5 lessons that most people report they learned way too late in life:
DON’T SLEEPWALK THROUGH LIFE:
Start by imagining that you have to look for the job that you want, not because you needed one. Would it be the exact thing you’re doing today, tomorrow and probably for the foreseeable future? Sleepwalking through life is emphasizing all the time we spend not pursuing the things we want most. Some of us are spending 50+ hours somewhere unfulfilled & that means you’re not actually living. We sleepwalk through life when we say, “I’ll do this and I want to do that too, eventually.” Why are we waiting? We know that tomorrow isn’t promised. It’s wasting precious time when we could be taking action. Its wasting time hoping for something instead of taking the action to really be doing something. Something that what we love doing. Realistically, you’re not always going to love your first job, but that doesn’t mean we should give up and settle. Keep searching for the things that fulfill you with the precious time you’ve been given and don’t give up before you find it.
LIVE LIFE WITHOUT FEAR
Oh, Fear. The powerful emotion that stops us from living life and doing the things we want. Will Smith was the one who inspired me to take the right steps towards conquering fear and I’ll share what he said because I don’t think anyone has really put it into such a powerful perspective like he did. To conquer fear, you have to adopt one concept– confront fear, daily. You have to confront it daily because fear lies. It tells you things or makes you believe things that aren’t actually true. The problem with fear is that it lies. Fear tells you things that aren’t true and makes you believe things will happen that most likely won’t happen. He used the example of how in the dating world, it has this weird rule where “you can’t text back the person you start talking to too soon because they will think I like them too much, or they’ll think *fill in the blank with some other weird thing they’re most likely never thinking*. His analogy was such a perfect example of how Fear tells you dumb stuff like that. The daily confrontation with fear has to become a real practice. Because if it isn’t practiced than fear will grab ahold of you for days, throughout the night, all the way up until the moment you realize months and years later how much fear has held you back from things you can’t imagine you missed out on. We didn’t need to carry that fear around with us if it wasn’t serving a purpose. The lesson that many people learned later in life is that the best things in life are on the other side of terror; on the other side of fear. Like when people want to become a musician or try to run their own business but are so afraid of failing they never even tried. So instead of turning away from it, confront it.
What if I told you that today was the last Sunday of your life? Would you complain about your crap homework assignment that’s due? Would you complain about the co-worker you can’t stand? I’m so guilty of doing this not too long ago. But this lesson is a work in progress for me. If this was really our last Sunday– we go into a much higher & deeper level of thinking. If we remembered that there is opportunity everywhere we go, we’d hold our heads high with optimism and positivity. Instead, we get bogged down by the things we have to do– school, work, this, that– and we forget that there is so much life right here. It’s a beautiful time to be alive. So challenge yourself to take a step back and think about how awesome it actually is to be alive, in this era, right now, at this moment. Than recognize you can attack the world in a totally different way, a way that brings you enlightenment and happiness. Because the truth is that we should feel lucky just to be alive– let alone alive during one of the most wonderful eras in our history.
KNOW YOUR DESTINATION-
How many times have you made a simple problem so much more complicated than it needed to be? I know I have. That’s because we use our own creativity and problem-solving skills throughout the journey of life which end up distracting us from focusing on our destination. We get so fixated on the journey and get distracted where we are headed. For example, if someone told you to walk in a straight line to the chair across the room.. it’d be easy, right? But if someone placed a chair in the middle, you can’t just walk straight ahead, and everything comes to a grinding halt. You’ll analyze, think, make decisions, then change your mind. Maybe you’ll make a turn and end up going in a different direction…eventually never making it to the intended destination. This simple analogy is how so many of us deal with life and the obstacles that come our way. This is the problem I believe this lesson is trying to emphasize: what we do in life is we take a look at all the steps we are taking along the journey–and never look at our destination. A clear destination makes obstacles easy to overcome, but if we don’t know where we are going than those obstacles take us wherever we end up; not where we want to be. Life is full of obstacles, there isn’t an instruction book or a “straight line” we can follow. What we can do is stay focused on our destination and we’ll find it within ourselves the strength, courage, problem-solving skills, everything you’ll need to overcome the obstacles. It’s not at all about what you want to achieve, it’s about arriving at your destination, it’s about what you want to achieve. That’s how you become fulfilled. It’s not a straight line, but it’s one direction.
We’re all a work in progress and some of us learn these different skills and valuable lessons at different times. We aren’t born with all this wisdom, but through progress, we develop it. So let’s all begin a small challenge this week by taking a really close look at these lessons and trying to apply what we believe will bring value to our lives. One step at a time we become the best versions of ourselves.
Any tips missing from this list that you’ve learned? Please share below. Oh, and I finally set up a mailing list where I can connect more personally with people.
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