We are finally here. The last 10 lessons of my 40 Learned by 40 AND the end of 2020. What a year it's been for all of us. When our minds next meet, it will be 2021 so let me pause for a second and wish you a warm, serene, and settled close to the year.
We've all proven to ourselves that no matter what the world throws our way, we will survive and come our stronger and smarter, so let's bring that inner flame of confidence with us as we look ahead to everything we have planned for 2021 and beyond. Watch out world, here we come...
...And here come the last 10 lessons in my series!
31 – Release the guilt and own your decisions – There will always be conflicting pulls on our time, energy, and resources. But instead of torturing ourselves with guilt about where we use that time, energy, and resources, let’s be grown-ups about what we choose to do and own our decisions, consequences and all.
32 – Protect what you already have – It’s easier to keep what you’ve got than it is to get more. So value and take care of your time, your income, your relationships, your investments, your customers, your health, everything you already have before you go looking for more.
33 – ASK – If you don’t ask, you don’t get. The worst than can happen is you’ll get ignored or hear “no” so ask for what you want or need, and be specific. You won't always get it, but at least you tried.
34 – Don’t focus on the void – It’s important to keep our eyes to the future and the goals we want to achieve, but it’s equally important that we recognize how far we’ve already come and how much we already have.
35 – Set and enforce boundaries – You have to be your own strictest guardian otherwise the rest of the world will live your life for you.
36 – Batch, batch, batch – There is a simple power in doing like activities in batches (checking email, making phone calls, paying bills, etc) instead of frittering your time jumping from one discreet task to another task. Batching will keep you sane and make you more productive than you thought you could be.
37 – Pay yourself first – This means emotionally, physically, and financially. You can’t pour from an empty cup. Think of it as being self-full instead of selfish.
38 – Run your own race – Comparisonitis is a bastard and will keep you from making progress and doing the things that are important to you. Don’t live your life with your head on a swivel. Or as my dad would say “Live an absolute life, not a relative one.”
39 – Capture your year – There is nothing like keeping track of the lessons learned each year and crystalizing what went well, where things could have improved, and learning as much as you can from your experiences. If you don’t capture what you learn along the way, life can end up being a series of repeated mistakes and opportunities for growth lost.
40 – PERSIST and keep going – One of my favorite quotes captures this perfectly: “Never give up on a dream just because of the length of time it will take to accomplish it. The time will pass anyway.”
And one final bonus lesson that has been my personal mantra: Say yes to adventure! Accumulate great stories instead of great things. From performing in London 2012, to working at the CIA, to starting multiple businesses, to living on a farm in the middle-of-nowhere Costa Rica, I’ve never said no to an adventure, and I’ve never regretted it once.
We only get one shot at life. Make it count. And make it fun!