Spend a day on the internet and report back to me. What did you find?
Same ole bullsh*t.
Seriously. I don’t mean to be over critical but it is very tough to find authentic and genuine inspiration on the web nowadays. It is hidden behind click-bait, viral articles that do nothing more than massage our egos, tell us what we want to hear and reinforce preexisting assumptions about the world.
If you truly want to grow, you have to seek out things that make you uncomfortable and that offer you perspective.
More importantly, you have find perspectives that are derived from people who have lived them, experienced them and have taken the time to express them.
Uncomfortable truths are a catalyst for growth and for change. So take theses life truths that I have personally learned, am in the process of learning or am hoping to fully learn.
Here are 8 truths about life that can help you progress with your own journey.
1. Nobody owes you anything.
Nobody! Not your mother. Not your father. Not your teacher. Not your boss.
Like many people, I sometimes fall into the cyclical trap of self-doubt and depressed feelings when I stumble or fail. Maybe you started a business, lost money and failed. Maybe you wanted to be a great hockey player but it ultimately didn’t pan out. Maybe you thought you found the perfect partner in life but it wasn’t meant to be.
You feel like you didn’t get what you deserved. You didn’t get anything in return for your hard work and commitment.
While you might not have received your ideal ROI, you got something just as valuable – experience. Now you know what doesn’t work. You know how to scrap and commit. You have a unique perspective that the sideline critics don’t have.
This is something you should absolutely crave! Crave knowledge, perspective and experience because nobody owes you anything and you will continue to mess up and fail. That is life. It is uncomfortable and unfair at times but you often can’t control it.
With this perspective. you can quickly move on from failure to failure.
2. It’s OK to ask for help.
At the same time, while I believe that nobody owes you anything, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t turn to others for help. Far from it, in fact.
Trust me when I say that you will not progress in life or business by going it ALONE. Growth will not happen and despite your desire to be your own person and be completely devoid of responsibility to others, your growth will be minimal if not completely stagnant without the help of others.
It comes down to this… if you don’t ask, you’ll never receive.
Suck it up and have the confidence to ask for guidance when you need it. Find a mentor, ask for advice from those who have been there or are doing it. Whatever it is, never be too proud to ask. But, there’s a big caveat here and it is called the law of reciprocity.
If you want guidance, you have to first offer value. If you need help, lead with what you can do for the other individual first… not the other way around. Why should someone help you? Offer first and ask second.
3. You can’t give what you don’t have.
How many times have you heard this phrase?
How can I love someone else if I had not learned to love myself?
How can I trust others if I struggle with trusting myself?
How can I inspire others if I myself am not inspired?
How can I lead others if I don’t know what leadership means?
While this is a bit of a cliche, I have found it to be particularly true. For example, I have discussed dreams and aspirations with a lot of people lately and one of the trends that popped up is that many people want to “inspire others.” That is great (I do too) and I respect that goal! However, if this is the case, you have to first be inspired yourself. Want to become an “online influencer?” Well, you have to have value and influence to project!
It is the same in the professional world. If you want to advise others on their finances, you first have to educate yourself on how to manage finances… duh!
If you want to impact the world, you first have to find the impetus in yourself… otherwise, how can you expect to have the perspective, skill set or capacity to do so?
When I was young I told my mother that I wanted to be a great writer. She encouraged this but always said that I first need life experiences. Life experiences to fill the pages of my future books. This is so true and applies to any effort in life!
Find perspectives that inspire yourself first before trying to instill them in others.
4. Nobody cares about your faults.
While you stay up at night replaying all the embarrassing things you’ve done, no one else even remembers it. If you are more concerned with what others think about you then you need to go back to #3 and let that resonate with you.
It is easy to remember all the silly things you’ve done over the years. Try to remember the same for your friends and coworkers and you will notice that they do not come as easy. That’s because we don’t really dwell on the stumbles of others. They come and pass.
Instead of dwelling on these moments in your life, do like you do for others and move on!
5. Worrying is like a rocking chair. It gives you something to do, but it doesn’t get you anywhere.
#4 is easier said than done and it certainly doesn’t mean that you won’t ever worry or continue to think about your biggest failures or blunders. If you need even more reason to not dwell on those past moments or potential moments in the future, remember this gem.
Worrying truly gets you nowhere. Truly.
It is a waste of your mental capacity and does nothing from an execution standpoint. Instead of giving mental energy to something you don’t want to happen, give it to actions that will get you to where you want to be.
6. Don’t be afraid of growing old. Not everyone gets the chance.
You know what I’ve been concerned with lately? – that I just turned 28 and have yet to accomplish my life’s big goals. It is a fear of lost time and lost opportunity – that growing old means growing further from potential accomplishment.
I have come to learn that this is such a worthless worry and a selfish one at that. Think of those who are nearing the end of their lives or those who have had opportunity snatched from them because of unfortunate scenarios- they would do anything to get time back!
It is never too late to start a new dream or execute on an old one. I have realized this personally and with my circle. It doesn’t matter if you are 20, 30 or 40. If you let the calendar dictate your dreams and execution towards them, you won’t get far. There is no expiration date on your ability to set and execute against goals.
7. “You shouldn’t be a 50% looking for another 50% to make you whole. Be 100% looking for another 100% to make you 200%”
Along the same lines of worrying about the passing of time in relation to your potential and purpose, millennials seem to be obsessed with finding the right partner to make our lives complete. This often comes at the expense of not fully realizing our own potential.
If you feel like something is missing in your life, first look at yourself… then at others. While it is definitely true that others can help bring out the missing pieces in yourself, too often I see people committing to relationships just because it is a puzzle piece they want to find in their life. They then leave themselves incomplete.
8. Treat people with respect even when they don’t deserve it.
In my position in the corporate world as well as my entrepreneurial endeavors, I have learned one universal truth – that the truest reflection of your character is how you treat others. How you treat those who don’t deserve your respect. How you treat those who can do nothing for you. How you treat those who are new in their journey or are less fortunate.
Ask Tony Robbins about this and you can see the tangible effects that this attitude towards life can have. I recall him speaking about his life journey and the way he gave to others when he had nothing to give and they didn’t even deserve his attention. What goes around truly comes around in all senses of the cliche.
I have learned this first hand. While it is not always clear the effect that giving first and asking later will have, if you have this mindset of respect, gratitude and help, I am confident that it will bestow great things in your life.
I’d love to hear about some truths you have discovered in your life. Email me… email@example.com!
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No fluff or "pie in the sky inspiration." Just real stories.
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