13 Shocking Small Life Lessons Learned to Achieve Really Big Things
As another year closes and another one in my precious life, the mind draws naturally to lessons picked up and new life-changing knowledge and insights gained throughout this year. Personally this year was quite eventful, but more importantly I learnt a lot and I really wanted to share some of those lessons with you.
Here are some of my best 2021 epiphanies:
Tech is beautiful but it speeds up time massively
There are plenty of opportunities for novelty and so many useful and constructive ways the internet can be used. From social media to virtual reality and Netflix, we can spend days on there without realizing it. It thereby becomes so easy for us to become sucked in are we subconsciously believe we have more time, when we actually don't. It the exact opposite actually.
But what our we becoming sucked out of? What occasions do we miss out on? What life moments are we foolishly wasting away pretending like they will always be available?
As wonderful as technology and the internet can be, the best and complex technology is ourselves. The novelties will always be there are we’re going through life daily and can’t turn back the clock.
We need to take time to appreciate the key moments, even the mundane ones because they help define and sculpt who we are and also add lots of real meaning to the world.
No matter what you see or hear from others, the only person who has your back in life is you
In life we have to partner with others, be it professional, business ventures or a romantic relationship. Despite such alliances potentially doing lots of good, you must never forget that it will only get as good as your partner benefits.
We have a love of pretending that all decisions are 50-50. They’re not. Disagreement, covert selfishness and outright refusal to compromise at some point is inevitable.
Therefore we need to know that the only people who have our backs is ourselves, and must be prepared to leave a partnership of any kind when the need arises and it’s no longer suitable for you.
Most of our fears are bullshit
We all have insecurities. I don’t care how hard you try to hide it. The simple truth is, as special as we all think we are, those insecurities are all unfounded. The fears we hold onto dearly actually severely limit our potential and the results we get out of life.
You want a quick way to found that out? Look at someone who had harsher life circumstances than you. Look at someone who went through many adversities and are even lucky to even be alive to tell their story. Look at David Goggins Then you tell me your fears are real.
And I know a lot of you won’t because you believe you’re special and your life is 100% unique. Looking at those who have achieved success despite many obstacles, you wouldn’t even fathom how they lived to tell their stories.
Such examples are the ultimate excuse killers but most rather complain and bitch about their situation rather than do such. There is opportunity for everyone and although some discrimination does still exist, it shouldn’t be your focus because you will end up attracting it.
Control your time (all of it).. Control your life
Technological trends, new gadgets, gossip, loser friends, news will suck your life dry of any quality. You simply cannot aimlessly go about your day bouncing randomly from activity to activity like most people do. Your days are limited and as morbid as it is, you’re dying slowly everyday.
You need to be proactive about where you attention and focus goes. You need to make time for yourself and for those who are most important to you. You need to have goals with detailed plans and use that as a map to navigate life and to have the discipline to say no to distractions.
We should be living lives for ourselves rather than being constantly tuned into the external pleasures around us. Those we do so are remarkably successful. It your choice!
Your life is short if you make it so
I’ve touched on this somewhat already but your life is yours to experience and only you can make the most of it. Your desired career, ideal spouse, desired lifestyle is all on you.
Seneca, an ancient philosopher, speaks on this a lot and we need to remember that our realities are most important not someone else’s and we should selfishly aim to maximize what we get out of every bit of it.
Be selfish about pursuing your goals because everyone is selfish about theirs
The previous point is a great segue-way into this one because no one can go life’s complete journey with you. When having to partner with others, you will then realize that despite niceties that people operate solely out of self-interest and really don’t give a damn about you to the extent that it doesn’t benefit them.
You have to learn to recognize this in others and make decisions that benefit you. Again nothing in life is 50-50 someone always compromises and it’s your responsibility to make sure you’re getting the best deal or one you’re very satisfied with. People are ruthless and are not as moral as they may try to make you believe.
For example, a friend or co-worker may lie and wrongly implicate you just to save their job whether they were guilty of an offence or not. You may help someone extensively even financially, and they will show absolutely no loyalty or appreciation.
Ofcourse this isn’t the case with all people, but it is very common and i’m sure you’ve seen some variant of it. Leave one of your experiences in the comments below.
Even those who are married, someone will die first and the other will have to adapt and move on.
This point doesn’t mean you should have a negative outlook on life, but one of realism. You should also selfishly take the time for self care as well.
Love people who do, not those who say
Promises are as common as light bulbs. We all know someone who have grandiose visions for their lives or gives you their word and don’t live up to it. But the real question is whether you’re one of them.
It’s nice and easy to speak, but when crunch time comes it is the person who shows up and delivers who really matters. Actions bring results, not speech. You should vet people that way as well. Conversely people mistake others who are harsh with their words or even a tad abrasive in their demeanor, as bad and untrustworthy people. That is not so!
You need to value people who are progressive, get things done, keep promises and actually help you become better.
Think about people who only talk about politics or just run-of the-mill small talk. While we all have our interests, these are not the people who have interesting lives. If they did, most would be doing otherwise with their time.
You need to be someone people can depend on and expect the same from others who you choose to keep close.
Most people die with their full potential left in them, unexpressed. Hence the adage “The richest place on the planet is in the graveyard”. We all have a unique story and message to deliver to the world and it is our absolute duty to find it.
Most people numb themselves with life’s pleasure to avoid this fact and the sad thing is that they don’t even realize that. The root of unhappiness in many is in unfulfilled desired, not being on and living our their purpose.
People rather subconsciously bitch about their circumstances and look for comfort in others doing the same. They should be looking for how to go past their insecurities to get what they truly want out of life.
Despite our best efforts, life will always be messy, we need to learn to move forward even when we don’t feel up to it
We all want the very best. If we’re not striving for progress, we operate at the very best we believe we can get in our “perfect little worlds”. Needless to say you should be always looking to do and be even better. But even we in that process although we strive for perfection, life is and will be messy and we need to come to grips with that.
The media does a wonderful job or portraying successful individuals and companies as perfect creations who almost never faulted but that just isn’t so. Things will be messy. All successful people went through tribulation and no one completely has their act together at all time.
And you shouldn’t impose that standard on yourself either. Figure out what the best actions and habits of those with at the pinnacles of their professions lived by and take those daily. It doesn’t have to be perfect because no one is.
The loftier your life ambitions, the lonelier life gets.. And you should be fine with that
Few are at the very top for a reason. It takes a lot of hard work, dedication and savvy to get there. By having such ambitions, you are at the top 10% of individuals. What we don’t see is that most people aren’t like us and people will try to alienate you because of it.
You’ll hear things like “you’re weird, don’t you have a life, or that something is wrong with you and not them”.
You must accept that the people you use to hang out with and even look to for advice don’t care about your dreams and will do more harm than good. You must watch your environment closely and know that it does get lonely especially when you encounter major stumbling blocks when working toward your goals.
The key here is not to be boxed socially, change your environment if you have to and focus on quality friends and relationships and not quantity. Speak to people who will actually listen and give feedback constructively and will lift you up when you’re down. Sometimes it could just be one person. And be open to being of help to others.
Life purpose first, even if it costs you key relationships
No one can do the work for you but it’s either they’re being helpful and supportive of your major goals or not. There’s no in-between.
Your life mission must always come become before your partner as important as they are. People come and go and nothing is permanent. Don’t leave your life to chance.
Even in the case of family. While I wouldn’t suggest alienating your family totally, if they’re not supportive of your goals spend less time around.
In life you regret what you didn’t do, not what you didn’t do well enough
Life is for the living. A life well lived is one where you achieved your major goals and milestones. Even if you didn’t achieve every single one of your objectives but you know you gave it your all and be at peace with that.
It doesn’t matter what materials we amass, the things we didn’t do always gnaws at us. The ideal partner, children, marriage, and even professional success will not change that.
We shouldn’t live carelessly but must strive to live a life without regret. A life where we’re rational but don’t let fear control all our decisions. A life where we aim to surpass and be our best selves. A life where we valued key relationships and nurtured them and as we go through life’s stages we’re at peace with what we did and accomplished and what we didn’t.
Even if we fail or don’t succeed on our first attempt, we know we gave our best shot and that more often that not is actually good enough.
Taking massive action towards the things we really desire and not letting fear control us is where we achieve true fulfillment.
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