Three decades of life behind me, and I couldn't be more excited. As I continue to grow as a person and businessman, the future has never been brighter. Throughout the last thirty years there have been some major struggles in my life. Unemployment, broken heart, relocation, disappointment and let downs to mention a few. There have been some fantastic and memorable moments as well, but it's the struggles in life that develop you into the person you are meant to be. A diamond is first a piece of coal that has had the pressures of the world beat upon it, before it becomes a beautiful and valuable jewel. It is because of that, I would not take the struggles back because it has help to mold me into the man I am today. So with that, on my 31st birthday, I would like to reflect on a few of the major life lessons I have taken away.
1. If Someone Shows You Who They Are, Believe Them
I have always been a very trustworthy person. I believe that people always deserve a second chance. However, one of the major lessons in life that I have learned, believe what people present to you. If you witness an individual mistreat another, what makes you think that they would not do the same to you? This can cause you a great amount of pain and stress in your life if you choose to ignore what is clearly presented to you. Vice versa. If a person proves to show themselves as a caring and trustworthy individual, they probably are. Always make it a point to surround yourself with people of character. No matter how long you have known someone, guard the amount of time you spend with them if they have proved to be untrustworthy.
2. Do Not Waste Your Time
Have a sense of urgency. We have all heard the phrase "you aren't getting any younger." Take it to heart. Is there something you have always wanted to do? What's holding you back? 10 years later, you will wish you had started it then. Do you have the habit of starting something and then quitting? Never, ever, EVER quit! Time is the most precious commodity we will ever posses. There is an unlimited supply of money. There will always be money for you to make. Make sure that you are spending your time wisely and not spending it doing something that does not add value to you as a person. Have you ever worked at a company with someone who was at or past retirement age? I have. Some fully enjoy their work. But I have crossed paths will several who didn't realize what happened. They hated where they were in life but remained where they were because they had bills. They always thought they would eventually move on. Decades later, they turn around and can't believe how much time passed. The time is now!
3. Don't Apologize For Who You Are
Be yourself, everyone else is taken. You are one of kind! I fully believe everyone has been sent here with one specific gift. It is up to you to utilize your gift. If you don't, there will never be another individual with the capability to complete that task or idea the way you could. As we move through life, we should always be striving to be a better version of ourselves. The only person you should be in competition with is the person you were yesterday. Be the best you can be, but don't apologize for who you are. Be willing to take constructive criticism and don't take it personally. Everyone loves to hear praise and admiration for what they do. But in the long run, how far does that get you? Don't tell me what I'm great at, tell me what I need improvement in. I say this with caution. This does not mean to take the advice from anyone. If you wouldn't be willing to trade places with that individual, then don't take their advice.
I can honestly say that this is the most important time in my life. I have made some major decisions and their is no turning back. I have learned to take people for who they are, not to waste time and I will not apologize for who I am or what I'm becoming.