I remember a conversation with an older cousin in my teenage years about what it’s like being an adult. He informed me that life gets a lot better — at least it felt that way for him. I had no idea what he meant and his response felt as if he was trying to sell adulthood. In my twenties things were good, but in my thirties, life got even better. Life would have been a lot easier and enjoyable if I knew these things before. I’m going to share with the things that changed my life’s trajectory for the best.
Being prideful gets you nowhere
I never thought of myself as a prideful person, but looking back at my earlier years, I know for sure I was because my idea of being a man meant being able to do things on my own. Therefore, I suffered quietly and painfully until I either failed or someone noticed and lent me a helping hand. Now, I’ve realized that asking for help usually gets you further than being prideful and working your way through things alone.
My pridefulness almost caused me to fail a class during my sophomore year in college. However, seeking help got me through it.
I have no problem asking for help and I do so gladly. — Me
Don’t take things so personal
People said and did things to me that felt personal, but on many occasions, after approaching them I found out they weren’t meant to be. Friends, coworkers, and even family members come and go. People will turn you down, belittle you, overlook you for that promotion or the raise you so rightfully deserve. You will get angry, frustrated or even feel betrayed at times.
I found out sometimes there’s nothing you can do or could have done differently to change the outcome. People just have their problems to deal with and you’re not always on top of their priority list.
People will hurt you no matter how cautious you are in life and there’s nothing you can do about it. However, you are in control of the people you associate yourself with. At some point, you have to let a selective group of people in your circle.
Don’t be afraid of failure
I was so afraid of failing that it kept me from trying things that would have changed the trajectory of my life.
I had good business ideas, places I wanted to travel to and people I wanted to connect with that would have been great mentors to me. I didn’t do most of these things because of my fear of being rejected or failing.
As I got older, I realized some of the most important lessons in life are learned from failure.
My parents never exposed me to their failure and that unintentionally instilled this sentiment in me, which ultimately deprived me of the chance of learning from their mistakes. I grew up with a strong mentality of staying-away-from-failure.
I learned later that failure is an essential part of growing up. Nobody starts out knowing everything and all the now successful people or businesses had their fair share of failures. Society only promotes the final end-result instead of the journey leading to that result. Failing and overcoming failure is valued so much that we compensate people for it. We just call it EXPERIENCE.
Enjoy the little things
My definition of fun was doing something new every time I went out, hang out with friends or visit a new place. I was bored easily and lost interest in things that I should’ve been interested in longer. I was always rushing to get to the next level. This served me well but also lessened my patience and understanding of others.
Now that I have a family, I do many things repetitively and find them enjoying most of the time. I can do the simplest things with my family and find it extremely enjoyable and fulfilling. Such as going to the park with my son, cleaning the beach with friends and coworkers, or spending time with my family talking about nothing.
I always used to hear older people say life is short but didn’t quite understand what they meant. From my teenage years to my late twenties it felt like time was moving so slow. As I got older and had more things to fill up my days, time seems to be zooming by so quickly. But I still make sure I make time for the people and things that matter most to me. If I only get so much of it, I’m choosing to spend it wisely and enjoy every second.
You Are worth so much more than you think
People have told many of us that we are special. Some of us believe it and some don’t. When I was a teenager, my dad always used to say I was special. I just figured he was saying that because he’s my father. But then I realized something that changed my life after a conversation with a stranger. Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. My loved ones preciously beheld me.
No matter how bad things are in your life, or how messed up you are as a person, someone thinks of you as their world whether you choose to believe it or not.
There is someone out there who looks up to you and wants to be like you. You have something unique that only you can bring to the table. Has someone told you that you mean more to them than you can ever imagine or they see more potential in you than you see in yourself? Sometimes, it’s not even worth trying to figure out the reasons behind those words. You can touch the lives of others more than you think or intend to.
People can relate to you wherever you are in life now. Pain, suffering, failure, success, happiness, sadness, loss and so many other things connect people in ways that most of us will never understand.
People see you the way you project yourself
We think highly of people who make complex tasks look easy. I attended many conferences with backstage to find out what it takes to be a great speaker. It was very enlightening to find out there isn’t any. Sure, there are some tricks to self-motivate and calming the nerves, but mostly being a good speaker requires practice and having so much confidence that it sometimes comes across as cockiness. But what was shocking to learn is that some of them still got nervous right before they went onstage. Their trick was to not let people see that.
Fake it till you make it doesn’t apply to every aspect of life, but there are times where it is the only thing left to do.
If you are a shy person, confidence may be something you’re lacking. This is one of those times where faking having confidence over and over until you start believing it yourself is a good thing. It will become second nature and eventually you won’t have to pretend anymore. I learned that being shy is just to be self-conscious about things people barely noticed or only noticed once I mentioned them.
If you don’t believe in yourself, fake it because other people already do. Do it until it manifests itself into reality.
The only obstacle between you and living the best version of yourself is you. Get out of your way and let yourself shine. I’ve had the chance to speak with classrooms full of kids, teenagers, university students and each of these times I was terrified. I knew to be courageous meant doing what needs to be done despite being petrified, but I mustered the courage and did what needed to be done. You are your worst critique, if you can convince yourself of something, you will have no issue convincing others.