Written by @ChrisSoll
There’s a lot of valuable stuff that you’re taught in school. There’s also stuff that, let’s face it, we’ll probably never use (whaddup Pythagoras) and a lot of stuff that we probably should have been taught, but weren’t.
So here are some of the things I wish I’d been taught in school.
1. Nobody is perfect.
Unlike the seemingly perfect facade of life we encounter on social media, real life exists in an imperfect world, filled with imperfect people, where mistakes are common, frequent and totally normal.
Making mistakes is an important part of progress …
How else can you ever get ahead? There’s no such thing as failure, there is only feedback, so keep going no matter how many setbacks you encounter.
2. Don’t let your main motivation be other people’s opinions.
Nobody really cares. Almost everyone is an over-thinker these days, so why let your self-esteem be at the mercy of the scatterbrained masses.
As Seneca the great Roman Philosopher once said, “Your merits should not be outward facing”. If you live for other people’s praise, you will die by other people’s criticisms.
Carve your own path.
You don’t have to be doing what everyone else is doing. Make this life yours and make it meaningful in a way that is meaningful to you.
3. Everyone is fighting a silent battle that you know nothing about.
Don’t be fooled: we all have our demons that we hide behind smiles and banter. So be kind and realise that we are all extended members of one and the same big family.
4. Don’t be afraid.
We are living in what is statistically the safest time there has ever been on this planet. Yet, if you believe our media, you’d think the world is a terrible place to live and there are many things to be afraid of. Sharks, earthquakes, murderers, all this designed to keep you afraid and thinking small and safe. Take comfort in statistics. You’re more likely to die from choking on a hot dog or constipation than a shark or a terrorist. What we send out comes back to us. So if you’re always focusing on the negative, then guess what you’re attracting back into your life. Yep.
5. “Do what you love” isn’t always the most practical advice.
What we love today may not be what we love tomorrow. And what we love may not be a viable career option at the moment. So instead, concentrate on doing something of value for others. This way you’re carving a career for yourself and helping the world in your own way.
Whatever that is, make sure you do it exceptionally well.
But irrespective of what direction you choose to take your career in, rest safe in the knowledge that if you do it well then opportunities will always follow.
There is so much essential knowledge out there, already condensed into a format that’s easy for you to understand. Within just a few hours you can absorb what took someone a whole lifetime to figure out. Do you know the difference between a wealthy person’s house and a poor person’s house?
The wealthy house always has a library.
If you hate reading get onto audiobooks and podcasts!
7. Expect to get lucky.
Every day, every second, ‘who we are’ is changing. Take advantage of that.
You are whoever you pretend to be, so fake it ’til you make it.
We all get imposter syndrome, get over it and claim your greatness.
And don’t worry if faking it makes you feel like, well, a fake. That’s totally normal. As the great Jerry Weintraub once said: “Just do it and expect to get lucky.”
Ps: You’re not actually faking it as much as you think.
8. The present moment is all there ever is.
What happened in the past is now over; done and dusted. It’s concrete and unchangable. I think there is far too little forgetting in our society. And the future, that so many of us try to meticulously plan, hardly ever turns out the way we predict. So why spend so much time absent-minded in these mental worlds, when all of life’s greatest experiences will only ever happen to you in this moment, right here right now.
This moment, that you are reading this article, is the present moment, which is really an eternity. To practise being more present, keep your awareness focused on what you are doing in every moment that you care to experience more fully. When your mind wanders, reconnect with the sensations and sounds and awareness of what you are doing right now. Notice that it will make food taste better, conversations more meaningful and your day more fulfilling. Practice makes perfect.
9. What you focus on expands.
Your intention shapes your reality. Focusing on something is a way of sending energy towards those things. What you think about most of the time is most likely to show up in your life. So to bring more of the good stuff into your life, focus on the good stuff.
If you find your mind is badly behaved and you just can’t break through the constant negativity and fidgeting, then it’s time for you to learn how to still your mind.
10. Time is your most valuable resource.
Not money, not cool gadgets, not clothes. Time. There are no refunds on time; you can’t get any more of it and every minute counts.
Imagine you had only $50,000 to spend for the rest of your life. What would your spending habits be like? Probably quite frugal and tight. You wouldn’t just throw money away without second guessing how you’re spending it, would you?
Now think about time from the exact same perspective and ask yourself: how can you make the most out of your day, keeping the value of your time in mind?
Hint: The best experiences of your life will not happen while you’re staring at a computer screen, a phone or a TV (but some may).
So carpe diem and consciously create your life!
Please share this out if it resonated with you. x