There are dozens of lessons we learn as we continue to live and experience life. These are a few I wish I learned before I was 25.
1. Heartbreak is inevitable but it isn’t the end of the world. Besides, it builds character. But make sure that you respond positively to your heartbreak and not recklessly. Here’s what I mean… Break-ups are hard on both men and women, how you respond to it is detrimental to your health and wellness. Don’t just jump back into a relationship either. Take some time to reevaluate yourself and what you can do to be a better you. Realize what went wrong in that relationship, learn from it and do whatever it takes not to repeat it in the next relationship. P.S. Don’t fall to the peer pressure of getting married too soon just because everyone around you is. Real love is hard to find but once you find it, the experience is worth the wait.
2. Read more books. Read every book you can get your hands on, especially if it’s in a subject that interests you. I believe that you awaken new parts of your brain when you read because you are forced to use your imagination as opposed to watching a movie where it’s seen through that particular Directors point of view and captures their imagination.
3. College isn’t for everyone but it’s a GREAT PLAN B! I wasn’t even supposed to go to college. No really, I wasn’t. Neither of my parents graduated high school so the expectation was to get a high school diploma which I did. My friends were applying to colleges all across the country and I didn’t know what I was going to do next so I decided to apply as well. I took both the ACT and SAT late because I didn’t know what my future looked like and didn’t do well on either. I guess I did well enough to get accepted into several Universities including Florida State which I eventually graduated from. I’m glad I went, and if you are reading this and contemplating whether you should go or not, GO! You won’t regret it.
4. Save your money for a rainy day – You’ll have more rainy days than sunny ones, trust me. Don’t spend your money on depreciating assets. Your friends may call you cheap and that may hurt your feelings but in a few years they’ll also call you rich. Don’t just save your money, invest it. There’s this legalized gambling thing called Trading Stocks, learn about it. Take a class on it if you have to but learn this system like your life depends on it. While your money earns interest in a savings account, you can earn so much more playing the stock market. Yes there are risks associated with it but no risk, no reward. The greater the risk, the greater the reward. Learn as much as you can about money and how to amass wealth. PS. I know you grew up poor and you always wanted a pair of brand new Air Jordans. If you don’t buy your first pair of Air Jordan’s by now, don’t worry, he has a new shoe coming out every year for the rest of your life.
5. Learn to play an instrument. If you are as ambitious as I think you are, learn to play two. I am one of those people who say they can play the piano by ear; whatever that means. I wish I learned how to play an instrument. The good news is that it’s never too late to learn to play an instrument. Bucket list includes Spanish guitar and piano. By the way, women dig it. I mean they really, really dig it.
6. Follow your heart; it will never lead you down the wrong path. In life, when you inevitably reach a fork in the road and are forced to make a decision, ALWAYS do the right thing. The right thing may not be the most popular but it will help you sleep at night. Never make a decision that compromises your morals, personal ethics or values. In the end, you will only regret the chances you didn’t take, the moves you didn’t make and the opportunities you didn’t pursue. Everyone is equipped with intuition, trust yours.
7. Learn the art of self-motivation. Find a reason to succeed. Whether it’s a promise you made to your mother as a child or disproving a teacher who said you will never amount to anything, use whatever you can to be the fuel that fires your will to succeed. If you want something, you have to go and get it. There is no such thing as a free lunch or something for nothing. Everything you have you will have to work hard for it and even harder to keep it. P.S. Do not be motivated by the accumulation of material things.
8. Give more and take less. To whom much is given, so much more is required. It’s not just a biblical principle; it’s a way of life. Here’s what is awesome about giving, the more you give, the more you receive. But beware; your heart has to be in the right place when you give. You can’t give just because you expect to get back. Your gifts should always come from the heart. Giving doesn’t start nor stop at financial gifts. Give love.
9. In the end, love is all that will matter. Don’t get caught up in the daily grind where you lose your real reason for living. Trophies will eventually tarnish, the ink on all of those degrees and certificates will eventually wear off and money runs out. All of that “stuff” really doesn’t matter. You won’t be spending your last days wishing you had worked more hours, trust me. In the end, you’ll be left with the ones you love and the ones who love you.
10. Don’t ever lose your child-like curiosity; explore. The world is much smaller than you think. There is nothing more satisfying than reading something in a book or a magazine and experiencing it in real life. You’d be surprised how enriching your life would be if you dared to see the world.
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