Today, I’ve been blessed to be on this planet for 30 years.
I can’t tell where to but the time flies.
Y’all know I’m big into reflection, mindfulness and evaluated experience. So as I sit here self-assessing and reflecting on all my life experience, I can’t help but think about all the lesson I’ve learned along the way.
So I thought it would be both useful and therapeutic (for me at least) to share a few of the many lessons that have helped me live to see 30.
- Life is meaningless and empty. We don’t always get to choose what happens to us, but we get to choose how respond. We have the power to choose. We get to take responsibility for it’s occurrence and assign it a meaning that serves, positive or negative.
- Be grateful for having gratitude. If you’re reading this, I need you to understand that there is someone in the world who has it much worst than you. Especially if you live in America. There’s a person right now that would give everything they have to have the cards you’ve been dealt. The mere fact that you have breathe in your lungs is a gift. Act like it.
- Be a giver. It’s so easy to be a taker, to selfish and only think about yourself. There are very few times when being a taker is valid. For everything else, giving is the way. I remember being around 15 years old, and my mother was on the phone with someone who was asking her to make a cake from something they had going on. My mother held it down the best she could, but we struggled as a family financially. I recall angrily whispering to her while she was on the phone, “Ma, you’re not in a position to just be giving stuff way for people. You jump through hoops for everyone else and don’t have anything for yourself when it’s all said and done.” And I will remember what happened next for the rest of my life. She told the person on the phone to hold on, then rested it on her shoulder. She looked me dead in my eyes and said, “I wouldn’t be where I am today if somebody didn’t think enough of me to help me. So if you’re ever in a position help someone son, give.”
- Life is about love and legacy. When your light dims and you leave this Earth, how do you want to be remembered? What do you want your life to stand for? What kind of value or equity do you want attached to your name? You can’t take the money or the fame with you, but you can leave a legacy can change the world. Right now, the only was to leave a legacy like this is to lead with love. Love yourself. Love your family. Love your neighbor. Love your craft. Love your service. When you lead with love you change lives. That’s a legacy worth sharing for generations to come.
- Consistency breed success. If you can do it consistently, don’t do it at all. I’ve learned this lesson the hard way. I love a challenge, but once I crack the code I’m on to the next thing. Not only that, but because of the way my heart is set up, I’m a habitual over-committer. This usually results in me spreading myself too thin, which leads to less than phenomenal results. If you want to create the life of your dreams you’re going to need to focus on master one or two things. That only comes through consistent, deliberate practice.
- Information changes situations. There’s no way to choose to do something you aren’t aware of. Having the information gives you an opportunity to win. And it’s not so much what you know, but what you do with what you know.
- Awareness breeds choice. As I mentioned in the previous point, you can’t change something you aren’t aware of. Becoming aware empowers us to take the necessary steps to create meaningful change. But awareness is the first step.
- Choice breeds success. Once, we become aware we have a responsibility to make a decision. Success is ultimately achieved once choice at a time. Not choosing is an exercised choice too. Choose wisely.
- Relationships first, business second. Life is a marathon, not a sprint. If you treat everything like a transaction you’ll likely never develop the connection that’s part of every fruitful, long-lasting relationship.
- Strategy drives structure. Your strategy is the philosophy, the framework behind every move you make. You wouldn’t start building your house without a blueprint.
- Infrastructure supports outcomes. In order to accomplish your goals, you’re going to need resources to pull it off. That could be manpower, systems and processes, or some other piece to the puzzle. My point is you’ll need all the “must-haves” in place in order to make it happen.
- If you want to change behavior, first change beliefs. Your beliefs turn into thoughts. Your thoughts turn into words. Your words turn into actions. It’s all connected. If you want to create permanent change focus on the root of the problem and not the symptom.
- Trust is the most precious form of currency. It’s one of the few things in life that can never truly be repaired. Think of it like breaking glass. You may be able to glue it back together but it’s never be the way it was before the break.
- Take risks. Life rewards those live boldly. Jump out there and live the life you’ve always dreamed of. I’ll end this with one of my favorite Jay-Z lines, “One life to live notice you get no sequel, so I truly got to live this like my last movie.”
- Stand for something. Live is meant to be lived on purpose. In order to be fully expressed, you need to decide what matters to you. What will you stand for? Everyone should have something they believe in so deeply that they are willing to risk their own life to preserve it.
- You matter. The entire world could be choosing you, wanting the very best for you. If you don’t choose yourself, none of those other votes matter. When you truly understand that you matter, you have a responsibility to pay it forward and give someone else the gift of mattering.
- We all need to contribute to something greater than ourselves.
- Working smarter > Working harder. Too many of us wear being a workaholic like a badge of honor and it’s backwards. It’s better to find efficient ways to get things done. How can you maximize result with the least amount of effort? Remember, the goal is to have a fulfilling life.
- Hard work beats talent 100% of the time. You can only live off potential for so long. The victory will ultimately goes to the purpose who puts more into the process. You can’t cheat the grind.
- Traveling is the greatest gift you can give yourself. Go get a passport. Explore the world. Experience nature and the wonders of the world. It’ll expand your worldview and open up paradigms you didn’t know existed.
- Honesty is a very expensive gift. I’ve learned that accountability is one of the pillars of success. So I’ve looked to increase my level of accountability through mentors, my mastermind group and myself.
- Material desires are an illusion. Don’t believe the hype. All the money, cars, clothes and accolades are a façade. The only thing that’s really real is love.
- Karma is real. What goes around comes around. If you do good, you get good. If you do bad, you get bad. If experienced this so much in my life that I honor at all costs.
- We all have a responsibility to inspire. Everything in life is connected. We’re all here to inspire each other to create something that will inspire those that are coming behind us. That’s how the cycle goes. Open the door of possibility for those coming in behind you.
- Evaluated experience is the best teacher. Don’t let your life experiences go in vain. Take sometime to reflect on your life. Identify the lessons and apply them to you life. Recycle your experiences and turn them into your dream life.
- Your gift will make room for you. We all have that one thing we do best with the least amount of effort. If you focus on that one thing, it will take you to place you would’ve never dreamed of. It’s your superpower, your cheat code in life. The world needs to see your gift fully expressed.
- Your word and your relationships are your most valuable assets. If you lost all your material possession right now, how much would you be worth? Invest in those things you can’t put a price on. Your word and your relationships are invaluable. Make sure you’re impeccable with your word and you create mutual relationships.
- Teach everything you know (even your best stuff). It’s the best way to build an audience. It’s also the best way to learn and stay sharp. Teaching is one of the most fundamental relationships in a person’s life. What an honor and privilege it is to hold such a position.
- Love is the most powerful force in the universe. I’ve yet to encounter a situation that love can’t cure. No amount of hate can withstand consistent, unconditional love.
- Broken crayons still color. You’ve likely experience some hardships in lifetime. You may be walking through life feeling broken, like you’re trying to pick up the pieces. That’s ok, to some degree we all are. But that doesn’t mean we can’t do amazing things and live a fulfilling life. Keep choosing to life boldly despite your brokenness. You’re whole and complete exactly the way you are.
Which one of these lessons resonate with you the most?