Wow, 29 years old. Depending on what your age is when reading this, that might seem young or that might seem old. I want to take this opportunity to reflect back on the past 28 years, since next year when I turn 30 I want to be looking ahead to the next decade of my life.
If you would have asked me in high school or even in college where I would be at 29 years old I would have probably said, wife, 2-3 kids, 9-5 job, and a house. Well as of writing this I have none of those. It is interesting how our perceptions of the future can be so far off from what actually happens.
One of the biggest lessons that I have learned this decade is that it is impossible to know what the future will hold and although it is good to plan for the future, it is important to leave a lot of room for opportunities that might arise.
One of the biggest blessings for me, was that I found my calling in life after my freshmen year of college. I had initially entered the University of Wisconsin to pursue a degree in meteorology, but after the first year my calling towards fitness was so loud it couldn’t be silenced anymore. I made the big decision to switch majors and switch career paths.
This brings me to another lesson. Don’t be afraid to change your mind and switch gears if you feel your heart and your gut telling you to do so. Many times we put so much time, energy, and money into a project only to realize it wasn’t a project worth doing or something we weren’t proud of… by then we have invested so much that we plow on, wasting even more time, money and energy.
The role my business has played in my life has been bigger then I could have ever imagined. The old saying, “find something to do that you love and it doesn’t seem like work,” is very true for me at least 80% of the time. My social life is morphed with my business life, they sometimes feel one and the same. This may or may not be a good thing, but it is what it is right now for me. My lesson from this, is do something that makes you happy, for me that was finding something that I could do that would positively change lives on a regular basis.
Another lesson that I have learned and try to live by is do the opposite of what most people are doing.
When you find yourself in the majority, it is probably time to switch things up. I am by no means perfect in this area, but I have done things that some might say aren’t what American’s or humans should do. A couple things that come to my mind is my zero alcohol policy I have put on myself, still never drank any alcohol. I have yet to find a situation where alcohol was necessary or good.
I have still not bought a house, even though I can afford one. I have never bought a car that is less than 6 years old, because cars in my opinion are an awful investment. I spend obscene amounts of money hiring the best coaches in the world to teach me all they know, in order to give me the ability to cut my learning curve to a fraction of what it could be, while being a penny pincher in nearly every other area of my life.
I skipped the high paying jobs of the corporate world to venture into start my own business, something I had no idea about.
Tied into these is my opinion that life is complicated and fast paced enough as it is. When you can find things in your life to simplify, do it right away.
Do you really need to have 3 homes? Or can you just have one and rent the other vacation homes? Do you need 3 cars when one would suffice?
Another lesson I have had to learn the hard way is the art of respectfully saying NO. Whether this is to a business opportunity, a charity asking for money, or a girl trying to date me. NO is a word that is really hard for us to say, because we are afraid of letting someone down or hurting their feelings. I would rather respectfully say no, then to say yes and resent or regret it.
When given a choice or opportunity, one must weigh it out based on their long term desires and mission. It is easy to get side tracked by bright shiny objects, but what really matters is if what you are doing lines up with who you want to become and where you want to go in life.
Your support group means everything. This one continues to hold true again and again. I have found the fitter the people I am around, then fitter I become. The wealthier the people I hang around, the wealthier I get. The more positive the people I hang around, the more positive I get. The more cultured and interesting the people I hang around, the more cultured and hopefully interesting I become… still working on this one.
We are capable of justifying anything we do, in the book How To Win Friends and Influence People, it talks about some of the meanest and brutal criminals that have ever walked this earth. They all had their stories and reasons why what they did was ok and justified. Do your best to realize this and then ask yourself if you are justifying a decision rightly or not. How many times in a row can you justify drinking that soda, eating that cookie, or sleeping in instead of working out before it becomes part of who you are and becomes a bad habit?
Life is too short to stress about the little things. Does it really matter if someone cut you off on the road? Does it really matter which way the toilet paper is put on the roll? Does it really matter if your spouse occasionally leaves the clothes on the floor?
Life is stressful enough as it is. Focus that energy on more useful things like finding your destiny, feeling amazing, being a great example for your family and friends and so on…
Watch less TV and move more. Isn’t it crazy how much our society has changed over the past 100 years? We have traded conversations with family and friends for TV watching, video games, phones, and computers. Get outside, be active and interact more with people.
Giving back is the best anti-depressant (maybe besides exercise). In times when I am feeling down, or feeling bad for myself, I like to find ways to give back, whether that is volunteering or donating my money or expertise. We have all been given certain skills and resources and I believe it is our responsibility to use those to help others.
I have tons more lessons, but I am going to stop with those. One last thing I want to challenge you to which is to create a bucket list of things you want to do, places you want to see, and who you want to become. Click here to check out mine for some ideas. (scroll down to the bottom)
Here is a great quote that sums all this up from one of my favorite mentors Anthony Robbins..
“Live life fully while you’re here. Experience everything. Take care of yourself and your friends. Have fun, be crazy, be weird. Go out and screw up! You’re going to anyway, so you might as well enjoy the process. Take the opportunity to learn from your mistakes: find the cause of your problem and eliminate it. Don’t try to be perfect; just be an excellent example of being human.”
Now it is your turn… Write in the comment box below what lessons you have learned.