The Art Of Life
Life is a crazy ride.
Another year of my life has passed and another birthday has arrived. With each birthday, life becomes clearer. My mission becomes clearer.
Every passionate person faces the challenge of finding a ‘purpose’ in life. At least this year I know why I was put on this planet. I have been blessed with some major highs that have shown me just what is possible if I believe in myself. Now, it’s not just me that believes. That belief has reached well beyond anything I could have ever imagined.
It wouldn’t be honest of me to only state the highs since my last birthday. Truth be told, I’ve had the biggest year of lows in my entire adult life. These lows have defined my comeback.
I’m no longer going to hide from what I really think. This last year has taught me many lessons.
1. We can’t be inspirational all the time
People fail to realize that every succesful person is human afterall. I’m not an optimist 24/7. The truth is some days I don’t feel like being inspiring, and that’s okay. You can’t always be on. Some days you will be off. You’ll hate yourself, you’ll be lonely, you’ll be unmotivated and that’s okay. But the key is to not stop trying.
2. Love yourself
You can’t give all of your talents to the world and never leave anything for yourself. Sometimes you need to give yourself the following:
– Forgiveness. Messing up is guaranteed. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Be critical, but accept your flaws.
– Time. Low points in your life take time to get over them. Give yourself that time.
– Knowledge. Break the mould once in a while and learn a new skill. Do something that scares the hell out of you. When’s the last time you tried something new?
3. Make new friends
One thing that has always helped me develop is that I’ve always tried to surround myself with people who think the same as me, have similar interests but have a completely different perspective of how to live life.
My definition of success always looked a certain way until I met people who had a totally different view of success. Our lives are often made up of ideas and goals we borrowed from other people. The more people you have around you that are positive, the more ideas you can borrow.
4. Be yourself
I believe you should wear your heart on your sleeve. Say what you think and communicate how you feel. You’ll be surprised how many people appreciate this compared to the fakery that goes on day to day. If you keep trying to please everyone, people will like you but they won’t admire you. Don’t be a people pleaser. Just be yourself.
5. Success is seriously messed up
I met a lot of people this year that were obsessed with success. Normally I would love this, but I’ve realized that this so-called phenomenon has gone wrong for many people. Success is not about achieving all the time. It’s not about being selfishly all about yourself.
As you mature, you realize that we have to go beyond ourselves. We have to care for other people. We have to contribute something meaningful to the world. After a while, being obsessed with a pursuit such as business can become overwhelmingly unfulfilling.
“Being successful is about having people who care about you, having someone to love and being dedicated to a mission that is far greater than you. All the money, sexual partners, fancy parties, degrees and nice clothes can’t do this for you”
Contentment with reality is developmental suicide. Don’t be complacent. Invest in yourself. You are capable of a lot more than you can imagine.
7. It’s okay not to be okay
There are going to be times in your life where it feels like you are walking through Antarctica in your freaking undies. You are going to have times when you are not okay even if you are mega successful. It’s okay to not be okay.
Nobody is on cloud nine all the time even though we are often tricked into comparing our lives to others.
8. The people you admire can often be in a dark place
I’ve been lucky enough to lift the curtain on some of the people I admire. What I learned this year is that many of them are not as they seem. Many of them have either come from a dark place or are in a dark place right now. As humans, we’re fantastic actors.
We act out what we want others to believe about us because to be vulnerable and asking for help hurts our ego. Robin Williams made us all laugh for so many years. You’d have never known that he was actually in a very dark place.
Focus on spending your time living your life and growing each day. Forget about comparing yourself to everyone else because chances are many of those people you think you admire are not who you think they are. People live in dark places all the time and you’ll never truly know who they really are.
At the same time, ensure you don’t go to that dark place yourself. Step into the light even in the darkest of times. Try to make sense of the events that happen to you which hurt like hell.
“Know that there is an empowering meaning for everything even if you can’t see it right now”
9. Your happiness starts with you
We’re all chasing the happy drug (even me). What I’ve learned over the last year is that happiness starts with me. I have to stop having so many rules and expectations that make it impossible for me to be happy.
Think about your own happiness. Are you trying to reach some crazy definition of happiness that can’t possibly be fulfilled? Strip away the layers just like an onion. Try and simplify what you define as happiness. You’re in control of the ship and you can be happy if you just let yourself.
10. Focus is the winning formula
Our attention is being bought and sold every second. The moment we try and do anything, chances are, we have to use a device connected to the internet. As soon as we turn to our phone or tablet, there are a hundred distractions right in front of us.
By watching successful people, I’ve seen that focusing on one thing is the winning formula. Our lives are already complicated enough and if you can’t find a way to divert your attention into the handful of things that matter to you, it’s highly unlikely that you’ll ever do anything that can be defined as success.
11. Ideas come from the weirdest places
To fuel your life, you need ideas. Ideas can come from everywhere and so you have to be consistently do the following:
– Read. Read. Read.
– Listen to podcasts
– Watch documentaries
– Be curious
– Discover new places
– Attend events
Some of my best ideas have come from these well-known activities. Open your mind, go out there and do stuff. If you don’t know what you want to do with your life or what your mission is, the answer is you need ideas. Then, you obviously need to take action on a few of them.
12. Try not to judge
I find myself judging people without even knowing it. Not because I’m judgemental, but because people around me are and that influences me to do the same. Rather than judging people, try helping them. While judging people may make you feel superior and help you escape your own issues, it’s not an act that is going to help you live an inspired life.
13. Don’t let success overpower you
Once you’ve had a bit of success, it’s easy to become obsessed with how good you are. Lighten up a bit and put your ego to the side. It’s nice that you can achieve some cool stuff, but don’t let it consume you.
Every other person you meet knows something you don’t and that’s reason enough to appreciate and accept people just as they are. You’re another human being just like me and while you are special in your own way, we’re all kind of the same in the end.