25 lessons that I have learned the year of my 25

(Part 1)

When I woke up this morning, I was fill with happiness and enthusiasm. Few days ago, 2015 has just ended and today, it is the end of the year of my 25. Before I sit down to draft a set of resolutions for the year ahead I though it would be good to review the ending year which has been a very difficult, stressful, yet the most enriching year I’ve had since long and maybe for a long moment again.

Just to illustrate, I’ve been out of two car accident, I’ve quit my job and I almost went to prison, though the case is not yet closed so I won’t develop further.

As I am willing to be a better man than what I was yesterday, wherever I failed, I must come out of it having learn something and here, I’m willing to share with you 25 lessons I’ve learn from the last year.

I’m not sharing them with hopes that it will save you from facing the same difficulties as one can really learn only through he own mistakes not others’. I’m just hoping this can help you to acknowledge that behind every situation we face in life is a hidden message that we must deeply look for in other to see, it will often take time but the process is worth it. The sooner you start connecting the dots in your life, the better.

Here we go with our list of 25 lessons, life taught me in 2015.

1. First things First

Yes! The first lesson is as simple like that. First things first. Always make sure you know what are the first things in your life and do your best so they come first.

It is very easy nowadays to be lost in the mountain of things we have to do. With only 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 364 days a year, though it may seems a lot, time is the scarcest resources we have and the only one we cannot so easily get a supply of. So we should manage it well and make good use of it.

Since we cannot do everything we wish we could, we should always put first things first. Be it work, family, friends, Health, entertainment, sport, or anything else we cherish. Set priorities and watch yourself following them. They can change at different stages in your life so make sure you review and update them more often, that is ideally on a 2 or 3 years basis, but you can get to five years.

Looking for how to set priorities in your life, try this article by neoelemento.

2. You don’t always win your battles but you must be happy you’ve fought.

Nelson Mandela once said:

“I never lose, either I win or I learn something”.

Having such a state of mind is crucial, specially for young, ambitious, aspiring leaders and entrepreneurs like us.

This year, I finally learn Life was never made to be easy. It’s about solving problems one after another because there is always another one left waiting in a box. Once we acknowledge this, we should start celebrating each of our victories because they are the real signs showing that we are living and getting the best out of our life.

3. Know WHY

If you have ever read the book Start With Why by the author Simon Sinek, then you know about the celery test, that is about being authentic and consistent in your actions. Let’s have a look on the author’s illustration.

Imagine you are at a grocery store getting food for your health, could someone look at your groceries at the checkout line and immediately know what you are all about? If you’ve purchased soy milk, chocolate, pudding and celery, the person will clearly be confused as opposed to someone whose purchasing is only soy milk and the celery.

This is the kind of situation we should early in our lives try as much as possible to avoid in other to be able to quickly make professionals as well as personal decisions. So everything you will say or do have to be consistent and prove what you believe. It has prove your WHY. So know WHY you do things before you get to HOW to do them and finally WHAT to do.

Sure, it is easily said than done but remember life isn’t made to be easy.

4. It never get easier, we just get better and the better we get, the bigger should be the game.

The great Michael Jordan once said:

“I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. 
I’ve lost almost 300 games
26 times I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot … and missed. 
I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. That is why I succeed.”

This clearly illustrate how resilient and patient we have to be in other to succeed in life. It is the sum of all the efforts we put in the things we do over and over again that finally pays and people from the outside feel like by magic it has become so easier.

No it hasn’t, you just got better and now you are ready and you will have to go even further.

5. Keep your mind open and always educated

Once you close your mind to new ways of thinking, of doing things, you are saying “NO” to growth, so you are already dead, though you will be buried later.

Be it through formal or informal ways, you got to keep on learning.

Listen, Read, watch, teach, debate, do whatever things will challenge your thoughts and give you new insights on any particular subject in your field or not. You don’t have to agree or embrace any new things that comes you way but at least don’t close yourself. Let them come and see whether or not they can pass your own personal celery test assuming you now know your WHY.

6. Always make sure you’ve had a 360° look.

It is common while reviewing our failures to spot the errors and areas in which we think we weren’t enough prepared to deal with and assume they are the reasons for our failures. Most of the time those are things that we couldn’t even think of thinking about in the first place. And, this is due to the fact that we live in a highly specialized world with experts in various domains and none in all domains.

With many activities being crossed-domains, it is easier to miss important details. As a consequence of keeping your mind open, you will have the opportunity to be in contact with lot of information and knowledge enabling you to have a 360° look on problems coming your way. For sure you will miss something but still you first have to. So, it will later be easier to spot what you did wrong and correct it.


Call to Action

As I said earlier, 2015 has been a very difficult, stressful, yet the most enriching year I’ve had since long and maybe for a long moment again. So I will take a break for today, celebrate my 26th Birthday and will be back soon for the following lessons 2015 has taught me, including:

  • Don’t put all your eggs in one basket but quickly fill the first basket before you start with the next.
  • Leverage your strengths, build a network to cover your weaknesses.
  • Don’t be the lost goat.
  • There is no such thing like a universal or complete truth.
  • Get out of the building, there is nothing inside.

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Comment to discuss or share with us your own lessons of 2015.

Thanks for reading!

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