Life is a continuous learning experience
Valuable lessons I learned early in life
“Life’s tragedy is that we get old too soon and wise too late.”
— Benjamin Franklin
There are things you learn late in life. And you regret not knowing about them earlier when you had the time to apply them in your life.
But sometimes, you’re plain lucky. Some things you catch at the right time, either through other people sharing their wisdom, from your own experience or just by reading about them. Whatever the mode, the good part is that gaining insights early on can prevent you from making mistakes, avoid detours, and help you fast-track your success.
Read also: 4 secrets to a happy life
Here are eight valuable lessons I gathered at a young age.
1. If you desire something, go after it
Many spend their entire life dreaming, wishing, and yearning for things they want. But the truth of life is that you are never granted anything without working hard for it. People who realize this early in life succeed in achieving their goals and fulfilling their dreams.
If you want something and want it bad enough, stop living your life on autopilot and become proactive. Know clearly what you want to accomplish, create a mental picture of how you’ll go about it, prepare an action plan and embark on your success journey.
“Success requires trading off an easy life for hard-working life, making sacrifices, and doing what needs to be done when it is to be done.”
Chase your goals with heat and soul, do everything possible to make things happen, and leave no stone unturned. Consistent efforts and perseverance will help you what you aspire to achieve.
2. Say ‘no’ as often as you want to
It’s difficult to say no. Refusing someone is an unpleasant feeling, knowing that the other person might get hurt or feel let down.
However, if you make ‘yes’ your default mode, people will keep pushing you for their interest, waste your precious time, or take undue advantage of you. Besides, if you are not comfortable doing something, agreeing to do that task will make you feel miserable.
Also, if you devote all your time to others and their needs, you’ll spread yourself too thin and neglect your own welfare.
Sooner or later, you have to learn to put yourself first, focus on your priorities and learn to say no without feeling guilty. People will get offended, and they might feel disappointed, but gradually, they’ll learn how you operate and adjust themselves and their demands accordingly.
3. If you want to be better than others, work harder
We’re living in highly competitive times. If you aspire to reach the top and stay ahead of the pack, you must be better than others.
Empower yourself for success by building yourself up and investing in personal development. Be in a healthy competition with others and vie for becoming better than the rest.
“Preparing for success in any field is challenging. You have to rise up to it and put in the requisite efforts.”
It is wise to realize early on that there’s only a limited time in a day, and you have so much work to do. You can either choose to entertain yourself and enjoy life or put in the hard work and improve yourself on all fronts.
To level up, find chunks of time where you can devote time to personal growth. Begin by getting rid of distractions and time-wasting activities. Use your time purposefully to increase knowledge, improve your expertise, learn new skills, gain more experience in your chosen field, keeping abreast with the latest.
Success is not a one-time thing. You have to constantly reinvent yourself, realize your full potential, and become your superior version.
Read also: How to stay consistent on your goal
4. Willpower doesn’t always work, create habits and systems
It’s not possible to complete all your tasks or accomplish every life goal by relying only on willpower. In fact, willpower is highly overrated. It takes a lot of work to bring willpower into action and get things done.
On the other hand, if you develop empowering habits and put systems in place, it takes half the effort to get there, and the results are long-lasting.
For instance, controlling desire and beating distractions is difficult when shiny objects are constantly around you. Your willpower can only do so much for you.
However, if you manage to get the temptations out of sight, it becomes easier for you to focus on essential things and follow through with a plan or action.
5. Don’t depend on others
Your success and happiness are your responsibility. Don’t depend on others to handhold you and lead you by the little finger.
“To make yourself worthy of success, you must first be confident that you can make things happen.”
It is essential to realize that the earlier you start doing things on your own, the more independent you will become.
Your life’s decisions decide the trajectory of your life. Don’t depend on others to make choices on your behalf. You are the best person to know yourself fully and understand your dreams and aspirations. If you allow others to step in, they’ll see things from their perspective and push you to set goals that might not resonate with you or your true calling.
The more self-reliant you become, the more empowered you will feel and the bigger the goals you can set for yourself.
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6. You decide your standards
In life, you always get what you deserve. You cannot maintain mediocre work standards and expect massive success and accomplishment to come your way.
“If you want more from your life, you must raise your standards. This holds for all areas of your life. Your attitude, mindset, goals, willingness to work, and people in your life all have a bearing on your success and happiness.”
To change your standards from the existing ones, begin by changing your inner narrative. Raise the level of inner self-talk and use it to deepen self-belief. Next, change the way you work. Develop a positive attitude, work with greater commitment, and don’t stop till you finish what you set out to do.
Make changes in your lifestyle and inculcate good habits. Set realistic goals you think you can achieve and go full-throttle chasing them. Let go of the negativity in your life, including limiting beliefs, bad habits, and toxic people around you. Small tweaks can help you raise your standards and make a lasting impact on your life.
7. Your happiness is your responsibility
Everyone wants to be happy in life. But many look up to others for their happiness.
Your happiness starts with you, and it is of your own making. If you keep waiting for the perfect job, life partner, a good bank balance, or material things, you’ll wait forever to experience happiness.
Happiness is not something to be chased; it is a state of mind. Happiness comes as a byproduct when you do something meaningful, pursue your life purpose, create value, follow your heart, prove yourself, achieve something big, tap into your full potential and build your self-worth.
“Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn, or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace, and gratitude.”
— Dennis Waitley
Living life becomes easy when you realize early on that it is futile to seek happiness. You have to take ownership of your life in your hands and create your happiness.
Read also: Daily challenges to improve your mental strength
8. Don’t stop living your life because you’re chasing your goals
We’ve all been there. Chasing our goals with passion and single-minded dedication is all-consuming. There’s a tendency to go overboard with work and push your personal life to the back burner.
It’s critical to realize early in life that too much work can lead to burnout.
Your aspirations and dreams are important to you but don’t sacrifice yourself on the altar of your ambition.
“You have only one life. Losing yourself in the process of achieving goals is not worth it. Pursuing success is meaningful and worthwhile when you enjoy the journey as much as you’re excited to reach the destination.”
Managing your work and personal life is a balancing act, and with continuous practice, it can be achieved. No matter how busy you are, make it a point to carve out family time and be with those who matter the most in your life.
CONTRIBUTED BY Dr. Roopleen
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