Have you experienced it yet? The mid-life crisis? What about the “thirty-something” crisis? Actually this raises another important question, at what age are we considered to be mid-life these days, when you have the likes of a 60 plus year old Madonna parading around in her undies?
The point is, at some stage along our respective journeys, in fact at various milestone moments along the way, we have flashes of insight…at which point we usually ‘realise’ that for the last ten years we’ve been doing it all wrong!
These turning points offer up lessons, with the idea that we will grow from past experience – whether we perceive those experiences as good, bad or indifferent – and better ourselves, thereby contributing something of value to the overall good of humankind.
‘Why am I suddenly getting all philosophical and what has this possibly got to do with property investment?’ I hear you ask. Well, the simple fact is, what you decide to do with these life lessons will largely determine where you end up at the next milestone of your journey.
For some, these moments continue to be full of regrets and ‘what ifs’, but for those who succeed on their chosen life’s path, these moments represent important reflections on how far they have come and how much more growing they have to enjoy.
Looking back on my own life so far (and it’s been a blessed one! Don’t get me wrong!), these are perhaps the top 16 life lessons I wish I fully understood and took on board when I was a lot younger! It would have saved many headaches and heartaches!
1. Follow your dreams.
Never let anyone else tell you who you are or what you should be doing with your life. These things are for you to learn in your own time and once you know, then it’s up to you to follow the beat of your own drum accordingly.
2. Be happy
You won’t be happy living someone else’s idea of what’s right for you. You also won’t be happy if you have too much expectation – expectation unmet is a happiness killer…that’s why it’s called ‘bitter’ disappointment. Which leads me to my next little pearl of wisdom…
3. Hope for the best, but expect the worst
Well, maybe you don’t have to take it to those extremes, but my point is that when you learn to let go of how your life ‘should be’ and accept how it is, you will feel a lot less stressed! Further, you will have learnt to count your blessings and…
4. Live in the moment!
All too often we look back and wish we had spent more quality time with family and friends, or really appreciated those precious moments when our children wrapped their arms around us and declared their undying love. Planning is essential to success, but if all you do is plan your life, you’ll never actually live it. This goes hand in hand with…
5. Follow through!
Sure, on occasion life gets in the way and we simply can’t accomplish whatever we set out to do that day. But generally speaking, those who live a happy and successful life (in that they accomplish their goals and feel good about themselves) make plans and most importantly, execute them in a meaningful way. If you’re not ‘doing’, chances are you’re making excuses, and excuses prevent you from living life to the full.
6. Don’t be afraid to fail.
Failure is necessary for personal growth, it’s that simple. Failures are lessons for future successes. But when you refuse to acknowledge and move on from your failures with that newfound lesson under your belt, your failures threaten to become lifelong regrets.
7. Be nice, but don’t be a whipping boy.
This is a difficult balance to find in life. Often people are either seen as a target because they’re ‘too nice’ and generally very trusting, or a complete jerk who’d stab their grandmother in the back if it meant ‘getting ahead of the game’. Find your happy medium by being true to yourself and following the basic philosophy – treat others how you would like to be treated.
8. You get out what you put in.
The world doesn’t owe you; you’re not born with any type of guaranteed entitlement unless you happen to be the Queen or a Kardashian. If you want something in life, you have to be prepared to go out and get it.
9. Make the best use of your time…always.
It’s funny how we often worry about ‘wasting’ money, but most of us give little thought to the amount of time we waste every day. There’s always more money to be made, but we cannot manufacture time, it’s a finite resource. Don’t waste yours on people, places or things that don’t add to your personal growth or happiness on some level.
10. It’s all in the planning.
This aligns with the above point. A lot of people waste time because they don’t really know what to do with it. They fail to think about their short, medium and long-term objectives and as such, never really know where they’re going or how they might get there. Plans are never ironclad in life because circumstances change, but they will save you from getting distracted on your journey.
11. Not everyone will like you
…and that’s perfectly okay. Everyone is different and as such, some of us connect and some of us repel one another like opposing magnetic forces. The law of attraction is that we all don’t have to be best buddies, as long as we learn how to get along without judging others for their differences.
12. Your health is the most valuable asset you possess.
All the money in the world means nothing if you’re too sick to enjoy your life, so never sacrifice your health for wealth and…
13. Don’t take anything for granted.
Your physical wellbeing is one of those things that can be gone in a second. Life is precious and so is your time on this planet with the people in it. Make every moment count, even if you’re just inhaling and exhaling.
14. Learn to laugh at yourself.
A sense of humour goes a long way when it comes to learning how to let go of things that won’t further your cause and how to get back up when you get knocked down.
15. Be confident in who you are.
When it comes to moving forward in life successfully, the more confident you are in your own skin, the more capable you will be at advocating for your own needs. The most powerful business people and negotiators among us are those who embrace who they are, without question and without any apologies.
16. Take responsibility.
Confident people are generally also responsible people. They know how their actions influence the world and others around them and so act accordingly, with awareness and understanding of themselves and others. Own your mistakes along with your successes, but never apologize for being you.