In my last post, I shared the first 11 of 33 life lessons that I’ve learned in my 33 years of being alive. Here’s the next 11. Hope you find them as meaningful and powerful as I have.
12. Define your own rules for success
It’s a lot easier to rule your world than someone else’s world. In work and in business, when they need you more than you need them, you have succeeded. Become indispensable!
13. TV is a waste of time
I used to be a tv addict. Now I’m very selective with what I watch, which is mainly live sports and content which stimulates my mind in a good way. Other than that I’ve found that it doesn’t do me any good to just sit on the couch and vegetate in front of the tv. I’m so much more productive because of limiting my time in front of the tv.
14. Trust your gut
Follow you instincts. Sometimes we make decisions that go against our initial instincts and then we get that “something doesn’t feel right” feeling. I hate it! Personally, a lot of bad experiences could have been avoided if only I trusted my gut. Malcolm Gladwell wrote about this phenomenon in his excellent book entitled Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking.
15. Harness the two forces
Learning the pain/pleasure principle changed my life. Almost everything we do is based on these two forces. They are: 1) the need to avoid discomfort and pain, and 2) the desire to gain happiness or pleasure. These two forces are the drive behind all human behaviour. Happiness and Pleasure, or Discomfort and Pain is what is going to be most real to you. It is critical that you direct your focus as to what you link happiness and pleasure to, or discomfort and pain to.
16. Embrace change
It’s been said that the only constant in life is change. From countless experiences I completely agree with this. Fact is, change in life is inevitable. Life goes on, and we go on with it, whether we want to or not. It’s how we choose to deal with these changes that define us. A couple of years ago I read a fantastic book about change that gave me a fresh perspective on this subject. The book is called: Who Moved My Cheese? by Spencer Johnson.
17. Pain is ok, but not suffering
Pain shows us that something is wrong, it signifies we must change what we’re doing. Suffering, however, is a choice. We can choose to stop suffering, to learn a lesson from the pain and move on with our lives.
18. Define your own rules for success
It’s a lot easier to rule my world than someone else’s world. Success for me is relative. Many a time I have to stop looking and following what others are doing and just do my own thing, my way. In work and in business, when they need you more than you need them, you have succeeded. Become indispensable!
19. Do what you love
Find your passion and do what you love. Life is too short to do things you don’t like to do. Fill your life with work that you love and living on purpose will come naturally. I remember working in accounts, slaving away at my desk, pushing paper and crunching numbers the whole day. I hated it. Now I’m doing work which I love (gospel ministry). I get to connect and share with people, and the best part is that it doesn’t feel like work!
20. Question everything
My family tell me I ask too many questions. It’s the way I get information, which helps me make decisions. I ask questions, about everything! Meaningful questions lead to meaningful answers. Never assume something is true just because you hear it, investigate it for yourself, do your homework. Question everything!
21. It’s later than you think
Remember that you will not live forever. Don’t defer your dreams, this only leads to inactivity. Start now. Just start whatever it is that you’ve been procrastinating. Before you know it one year would have gone by, then three, then five, and you still would not have done anything. Imagine you are called away forever, today. Think about the flowers you will never smell again, the day out with your family you won’t be able to enjoy, the tasks you will never complete. Remember that it is always later than you think. Let that sink in.
22. Put God first
This is one of the most powerful life lessons I’ve learnt to date. When I put God first in everything I do, everything else just miraculously falls into place. Do I do it all the time? No! But it’s not long when I try to do things my way that I’m quickly reminded to realign myself and put God first. Matthew 6:33 tells us to “…seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” That is a promise worth remembering.
What life lessons have you learnt in your life so far? Please share!