How many times have you heard someone say, "Hindsight is always 20/20"? If you are like me, you hear it a lot and think it a lot more. Last year Jay wrote an article listing things he wished he'd known earlier. It got me thinking that the most crucial lessons in life and success aren't taught in books or written on blogs, but they are found by living life itself.
Sure, there may be nuggets of wisdom that we pick up from Dumb Little Man, Zen Habits, or Life Remix, but it is up to us individually to act upon them and learn the lessons. If it takes a failure for us to learn something important, so be it.
Here are 20 things that I personally came to understand and believe in. Your 20 could be totally different. Perhaps you only have 5, it doesn't matter. The key is that you learn from your life, your failures and your successes. Neglect any one of those and you are taking a rocky road to learning and personal development.
- You must create and look for opportunities: Opportunities rarely ever come knocking on the door of someone who's not seeking them. You have to create and seek opportunities for yourself. You have to take the initiative to get the ball rolling and the doors opening.
- Negativity will only bring more of it: When you focus only on negativity, obviously that's all you will see. You will not seek out positivity, and even when positivity comes into your life, you'll look for the negative part of it.
- Where you are does not determine where you can go: It doesn't matter if you're homeless or living in a mansion, poor or rich, or if you have a 4.0 grade point average or "failing", it won't make any difference in the future. There are countless rags to riches stories to back this point up. If you have the drive and talents, you can go anywhere. You create your own limitations and horizon.
- If you can't help others, you can't help yourself: Even if it's just to hold the door for someone or some other simple gesture, it will do wonders for your life. You'll feel great and you'll eventually be returned the favor sometime during your life, whether you realize it or not. If you don't want to help others, then others won't want to help you, and nor should they.
- Follow your passion, money will follow: If you have passion and have fun doing your job, then I wouldn't consider it a job. You can focus on creating even more passion for that subject and money will eventually follow you. If you focus only on the money, it won't come because you're focused on the quantity of your work and not the quality.
- Enjoy yourself: Have fun as much as possible, don't take everything so seriously. Push your worries aside and bring enjoyment closer.
- If it were easy everyone would do it: This is why get rich quick schemes will never be true. If it was so quick and easy then everyone would be millionaires. Making money and accomplishing tasks is hard work, but well worth it.
- Planning is good but so is being spontaneous: Planning ahead in business and in life is important but so is being able to quickly change that plan. Various people and events will get in the way of your plans, so you have to be able to modify or forget your plans at times. Be spontaneous once and awhile, it makes life interesting.
- You have many talents: You may be a talented athlete or musician but you probably have ten more talents you don't even know about. When people find something they're good at, they only focus on that instead of seeing what else they can do.
- Don't work hard without rewards: What's the point of working hard to follow your dreams if you aren't going to treat yourself along the way. Each little or big goal you accomplish should be rewarded with a proportionate treat, maybe a day off or a big slice of cake.
- Money does bring happiness: As I said, you shouldn't be chasing money but when you do earn it, you know you've been accomplishing something. It feels great and brings you happiness because you know you'll have more freedom and time to do what you want.
- Someone always has it worse: At times you may be having a bad day, but stop yourself and think about it; there has to be millions of other people are having a worse day than you.
- You'll need others: Make as many friends as you possibly can and never burn bridges. You will need others for your success.
- Being open-minded is the key to more knowledge: If you want to know more about the world you have to be open-minded. Give everything a chance.
- Failure is great: One of the most important, if not the most important steps to success is failure. You have to fail at least once, but it's better if you've failed multiple times. You can learn so much more from your failures than you could any other way. And when you finally achieve success, you'll appreciate it so much more.
- Most people are actually nice: This is something I've only recently realized. Most people are nice, but not usually to strangers. Once they get to know you and you get to know them, they will most likely seem like very nice people.
- Words and thoughts control everything: What you say and think will ultimately become reality. If you say you're going to fail, then you will because you'll find a way to make it happen. If you say you're going to succeed, the same will happen, you'll find a way.
- Your view is the reality: How you see an event or situation is how it exists. If you see something as tragic and negative then that's what it means to you. If you see something as exciting and positive, then that's what it is.
- Inspiration and motivation are everywhere: I don't care where you are, there is something there that can motivate and inspire you. You can be at war is some far away country, in horrible conditions, but there will be something there to keep you going and strive for something better. You just have to recognize it and keep it with you.
- You can change the world: Every single person has the ability to change the world whether directly or indirectly. When you change your life and the lives of those around you, you've changed the world. Small things that you do can make a huge impact on the world.