Reflecting on my life, as one should from time to time, here are 10 lessons I’ve learned (in no particular order) which I hope others can benefit from:
1- Adele is bad for you. Try not to be emotional about the bad things, instead be very cerebral about them. Reserve your emotions for when good things happen. Emotions tend to make bad things worse and good things better.
2- Forgive yourself. You’ve made mistakes. Some larger than others. You know who else has? everybody. Chances are your decisions made sense when you made them and you’re disparaging your reasoning now that you know the outcome. Learn from your mistakes, move on and make sure you forgive yourself! Regret is a pointless emotion.
3- The next play. I remember watching a highly anticipated college football game years ago between Texas Tech and Texas. Before the game, a reporter asked the Texas Tech coach: “what’s going through your mind right now?”, his response was concise and profound: “the next play”. When life becomes overwhelming and your worries start to overwhelm you, just think: what’s the very next thing I need to do? and keep doing that until you’re out of the storm.
4- Don’t think you’re healthy just because you exercise and eat well. The worst thing for your body isn’t overeating or a lack of exercise. It’s stress. Granted, exercise and eating well help alleviate stress but they are not sufficient. You must remove people, routines, jobs, and cycles of thought that are stressing you out. If you don’t, it will eventually show up and you’ll lose one of the most important assets you have – your health.
5- Pick a purpose. Devote your life to a worthwhile purpose. Then become obsessed with achieving it. True happiness is a fleeting moment that visits at the end of a tiring day doing something that was worth doing.
6- Know when to be selfish. There are two instances where you should be ruthlessly selfish: choosing your career and choosing your romantic partner. Choose what makes you (and only you) happy.
7- Remember diamonds. In its most abundant form, carbon isn’t valued much. After intense pressure, it turns into one of the most sought-after gems on earth: Diamond. If you’re facing an especially difficult challenge and the pressure seems unbearable, think about how much better you’ll be once you overcome this challenge.
8- Sunk Costs. Don’t use past mistakes as justification to make new ones. Understand that the costs you’ve incurred in a certain path are unrecoverable so they should not influence whether or not you continue in that path. If you think you’re on the wrong path then change course immediately regardless of how much you may have spent on that path. And as I mentioned, don’t forget to forgive yourself!
9- Family & Friends. When it comes to your well-being, there is no substitute for having healthy and active relationships with family and friends. Make sure you are spending enough time to cultivate these relationships.
10- Have faith. Believe that God is choosing what is best for you whether you can discern His logic or not. Work hard and smart and don’t worry about the outcome. This is the most important of the 10 lessons.