I’m newly 24, still single to a stupor, no kids – which is a fantastic thing – and I don’t exactly have lots of dollars in the bank. Growing up, I always thought by 24, I’d be wealthy enough to settle down and start raising a family. Clearly, things didn’t pan out the exact way I wanted them – and I am completely okay with that. Like many others, I have long felt the pressure of achieving a certain calibre of life by a certain age. Now that I am 24 and don’t have the life I thought I “should,” I realise that these self-imposed pressures are pointless.
I’ve lived a beautiful life with beautiful memories that I’ve had the pleasure of experiencing – with equally beautiful people. Even though I haven’t attained certain milestones within the timeframe I envisioned, I’m still filled with so much gratitude because of all the life lessons I’ve picked up along the way. Looking back at the 18-year-old-me, I’d like to think he’d be extremely proud of the life I’ve created for myself – even without the hot wife or a brimful pocket he’d wished for.
23 was one of those years whose volume extended beyond what 365 days is due. It taught me, humbled me, aged me – My Jordan Year. Since being in a perpetual state of reflection this past month because of my birthday, I’ve been ruminating on how wildly unpredictable life can be. Instead of dwelling on what I think is lacking in my life, I’ve chosen to focus on all the knowledge acquired and share some of it. Twenty-four years is by no means a long time, and I am undoubtedly due for many more lessons.
It’s Okay To Feel Lost
I’ve started to embrace the feeling of being lost. Along this 24-year journey, I’ve realised it’s the first step to profound new beginnings. You’re feeling lost because you are evolving beyond what’s felt familiar in the past. The crazy part is you can no longer use the past as a reference point. Why? Because it doesn’t fit in the plans of where you’re heading. You by no means and at no point need to have it all figured out – No one does. Absolutely NO ONE!
Invest In Your Relationships
The people you surround yourself with have a significant influence on your life. So, make it a priority to invest in your relationships. It’s not about quantity here. Just a handful of awesome people can change your life forever. You’ve probably heard this a thousand times; “Your Network is your net worth”, or “Show me your friend, and I’d tell you who you are.” All these are facts. They’re not just words our forefathers used to say. Everything – EVERY SINGLE THING – I have achieved today is because of the people that have been in my life.
Learn, Learn and Learn
This is the time to be an information sponge. The more skills you learn, the more options you have later in life. Not only does this set you up for success later in life, but learning many different skills also helps to discover what you’re most passionate about – especially on a professional level. Another famous quote I’m sure you know; “a jack of all trades is a master of none”… But often, we stop here and ignore the concluding part of this statement; “… but oftentimes better than a master of one.”
Don’t Take Yourself Too Seriously.
Loosen up! When we take ourselves too seriously, we stop having fun – and life is way too short for that. Remember when you were a child and could find beauty and enjoyment in nearly anything? Tapping back into our child-like state opens up amusement, exploration, and change possibilities. Laugh a lot. Have some crazy fun with your friends; goof around – It’s the juice of life. It’s 100% okay to take life seriously; just don’t do it with yourself!
Not All Advice Is Good Advice
First things first, you have to be open to criticism – sometimes, that’s how we get better. However, being open to criticism is different from accepting and implementing all that’s said to you. Everyone like’s to give advice, and everyone likes to seem knowledgeable, usually about topics they have little to no experience about. Every time I receive or seek advice, I always look at the person’s past actions, results and most importantly, if their advice is based on fact or simply an opinion.
Sometimes people tell me that I should listen to them because there are older than me. Older doesn’t mean wiser. Experience and action make you wise – not how many times the Earth went around the Sun.
Work Place Mistakes Don’t Make You A Bad Person/Employee.
I probably still need to take my advice here. No matter your field of work, you will make mistakes. Painful, messy, frustrating mistakes – Trust me, I’m annoyed by them too. It’s inevitable, but we can sure handle it with grace. Keep your intentions pure, learn from where and how you messed up, and own up to it. Trying to cover it up only makes it worse. No one expects you to be perfect, so stop expecting yourself to be. Life goes on.
You Cannot Receive What You Do Not Give.
Whatever energy you give to the world, be sure that’s what you get back. This particular lesson took me quite some time to learn – I’m still learning, if I’m being completely honest. Switching from a mindset of scarcity to one of abundance has allowed me to stop dwelling on what I thought the people were withholding from me. Whether that be love, attention, time, or resources. I recently started to give that out without regard for what I was getting in return. Ultimately, those gifts came right back to me. Think and do positive things. The universe always rewards such.
Learn To Focus
Distractions are all around us – whether it’s our smartphone, social media, or instant messaging – there’s always some notification battling for our attention. And it’s becoming worse with each year. People work or study for hours daily, only to waste most of that time on distractions. It truly makes zero sense.
When you learn to focus, you get things done much faster; it saves you hours daily. Then, you can use this free time to do whatever you like. It makes more sense, right?
Listen More, Talk Less
If you ask anyone who knows me personally, I love to talk. I enjoy talking – I might have even made a couple hundred’s from talking. However, knowing when to keep shut and listen is a skill I’m thankful I developed – or still developing. Learning to talk less and listen more gives you space to develop your ideas and thoughts. In conversation, You have more time to formulate these thoughts into articulate sentences, and you’re less likely to say something that leaves you embarrassed or feeling stupid. It’s almost impossible to talk and truly listen at the same time. That leaves a herd of information flying over your head that could be useful. If you also don’t have anything noteworthy to say or add to an ongoing discussion, it’s always better to not say anything and absorb what you can.
You Can Say No!
Believe it or not, the ability to set healthy boundaries and say no to anything that doesn’t serve us directly connects to how we view and value ourselves. When we say yes to things we don’t honestly want to do in our hearts, we only betray ourselves. If you are anything like me and get hell-bent on trying to please everyone: start saying no today.
As a 20-year-old who was already working in the entertainment industry, I always hated to hear these words. Every time I complained to someone older that I wasn’t getting the flowers I thought I deserved for my work, they’d say, “just be patient.”
When I started working, I thought I would be rich by now. I had this vision of myself driving this badass Audi and living in a huge penthouse apartment in one of these highrises on Bourdilon road. The reality, however, is a bit different. About five years after starting my first job, it’s only now that my dream apartment (not the penthouse) is within reach. BIG, AMBITIOUS GOALS REQUIRE TIME – And I’m just getting started.
Yes, I know what I said earlier. You should be patient – Regardless, you should also be impatient. Where you should be patient with your results, you should be impatient with your actions. What does this mean? Get after your goals and dreams with speed and power. Don’t wait for it to magically appear on your doorstep. Don’t accept inaction. Don’t accept lousy excuses.
Exercise Is A Cheat Code For Happiness And Success
Before being devoted to exercising, I always heard working out would change my life. I found this to be completely and absolutely true. Exercise is one thing that grounds me, revitalises me, gives me energy, and inspires me. I’m mad about something? I exercise. I’m sad about something else? I exercise. Looking for new and fresh ideas? It comes to me in the middle of exercising or in the bathroom after a great workout session. It has also been incredibly helpful for stress management. For 24, I want to add higher-intensity workouts to my routine. Slowly I’m realising it takes my body being completely exhausted to suppress my inner restlessness. Move your body! The brain chemical payout you get instantaneously makes it more than worth it.
Everything In Life Is A Choice
Everything in our lives is a reflection of a choice we (or someone else) made at one point or another. The power to create the lives that we want lies within our hands. There are, of course, some events that are out of our control, but how we choose to react to these events is up to us. You always have a choice.
Don’t Waste Time Worrying About The Things You Can’t Control
Releasing control – especially for a control freak like me – can be very challenging. But, think about it this way: What do you gain from hammering on a situation you can’t do anything about? This is a lesson I may have to get tattooed across my forehead backwards so I can refer to it every time I look in the mirror.
It’s Okay To Fail
Our education and family system punishes failure. We grew up thinking we should avoid it at all costs – Failure is considered a negative thing.
However, in my short 24 years, I’ve realised that it’s completely okay to fail or make mistakes. They provide unique lessons, insights, and experiences you wouldn’t have gained otherwise.
I failed many times in my early years as an entrepreneur (and I still do often), but each failure helped me get closer to where I am today. If you haven’t failed at anything yet, you’re still stuck in your comfort zone. The interesting part is that the rest of your life happens outside that zone. Fail, fail again, fail forward, but don’t stop failing till you get it right – There’s a lesson somewhere in there for you.
There Are Two Sides To Every Situation
We tend to receive information only from one point of view. But it takes two to dance, and in social dynamics, we must understand both sides to have a complete picture. It’s already happened to me countless times – It has probably happened to you as well. Someone misinterprets another person or situation and then relays the wrong information. Once that happens, it’s easy to take sides and dismiss any information that goes against that initial intake. There are always two sides to a story. Look for the second one first before making conclusions.
Find Your Tribe
Not everyone will understand your lifestyle, dreams, or views – and that’s perfectly okay. You’re not made for everyone to like or understand you.
Instead, find your tribe. Connect with like-minded people who understand what you’re about and who key into your dreams and vision. Spend more time finding a positive support system and spend less time trying to convince people who might never get it.
No Such Thing As Luck
I used to think you had to be lucky to make it in life. That someone would magically discover you, and that would make you rich. I’ve come to understand that luck is a numbers game – it’s mostly about manually increasing probability. For example, if you write 200 articles, chances are much greater that one will go viral than when you write only 10. From the outside, this seems like you got lucky, but you know it was simply an inevitable result from increasing your output. Thomas Jefferson put it rightly; “I am a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it.”
You’re Asking Yourself The Wrong Question
From a young age, we’re bombarded with the question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Therefore, we tend to ask ourselves this question often throughout our lives as well. Yet, it’s the wrong question to ask. Instead, ask yourself, “What type of life do I want to live?” Life is not all about work. Therefore, the starting point should be to clarify within yourself the type of life you want to live. Then match your work according to this lifestyle. For example, if you want a life where you determine your schedule and can travel the world, starting an online business is likely a better idea than becoming an accountant.
Be The Light You Want To See In The World
I constantly tell myself this – especially on the days when I may not be in the best of moods. Of course, it is easier said than done, but can you imagine what the world would be if everyone actually followed the golden rule?
Comparison Will Only Rob You Of Joy
When we compare our lives to those of people, we know nothing about – or even those we do know – we distract ourselves from the beauty of our own. It’s much more productive to count your blessings. Furthermore, when you dig a little deeper into these lives, you realise they’re not as perfect. Nonetheless, the fault in someone else’s life shouldn’t be the reason you see the beauty in yours. You should be happy and content regardless of what your neighbour has or doesn’t. Of course, it’s not as easy – especially when you have people’s lives literally on your palm. But remember, people only share what they want you to see.
There Is Power In Being Vulnerable
For a long time, I thought that being vulnerable made you weak – Showing people your flaws made you less of a Man. This was until I fully grasped that vulnerability is what gives way to the deep connections we all crave. Being honest and open with others can seem unsettling initially, but the healing powers of vulnerability are entirely too meaningful to withhold. You never know who you can touch or inspire through your own vulnerability and vice versa.
The Learning Never Stops
So far, this year has been packed with so many lessons. So many beautiful moments of love and success. So many humbling and embarrassing failures. Yet as much as I’ve learned, I’ve barely even scratched the surface of all the experiences life will share with me. I definitely don’t know it all – Life will humble me again and again.
But, even with that in mind, I’m looking forward to the humbling, looking forward to the failure, looking forward to all of the lessons 24 will have in store. Time is a gift and getting older is a privilege. Here’s to the pursuit of living and learning!