Top 40 Life And Business Lessons Learned By 40 – Part 2

Last week I shared some of my top lessons from a life of four decades, and I’m back for the next 10. Hope you enjoy!

11 – Never stop learning – I know you don’t need the reminder, but when you stop learning, you stop growing. Whether about yourself, about business, or about any topic that interests you, keep learning and expanding your mind. You are your biggest asset.

12 – Commit to the process, not the outcome – Results come LAST. Get comfortable with repetition, tedium, trade-offs, and doing the right thing consistently, and the results will take care of themselves.

13 – Take some of the pressure off – Setting goals and deadlines is important, but remember goals and deadlines are also arbitrary. As long as you keep moving forward, it’s okay if things take a little longer or come out a little differently than you expected. 

14 – There is time… – Everything doesn’t have to happen this year, and you don’t have to do all the things. Choose a few things you care about and commit to them. There is time for everything.

15 – …But don’t wait too long – Finding the balance between urgency and contentment is a life-long practice, so practice until you find what works for you.

16 – Put yourself “out there” – When you shine, you give others permission to do the same, so don’t hide your light under a bushel or minimize yourself to make others feel better. No one is served by you playing small.

17 – Anything is possible – You can retire by 38, do push ups while 8 months pregnant, have successful careers in widely different fields, make a lot of money and not turn into a jerk, live your dream lifestyle, and so much more… I know because I’ve done all of that, and if I can, you can. If one person can do anything then another person can. The trick is to learn how, find role models, coaches, supporters, communities where what you want to achieve is the norm. And if you can’t find a role model “out there”, then…

18 – Be your own role model – Prove to yourself what you are capable of. Be the first person to do what you do. Roger Bannister didn’t let a lack of role models stop him from becoming the first person to run a 4-minute mile, Madam CJ Walker didn’t let a lack of examples keep her from becoming the first woman (and first black woman) millionaire in America in the early 1900s. You don’t need to “see it to be it”; sometimes you have to be it so others can see it.

19 – Work smarter, not harder – Better to do 1 hour of “smart” work than 100 hours of “hard” work. Think of ways to do things faster, easier, and with less input from you instead of punishing yourself with more, more, and more.

20 – Focus on what you can control – Don’t get mired in hand-wringing, worrying, or wallowing when problems arise; take a breath, vent if you need to, then focus on what you CAN do about whatever plagues you and keep moving.

Till next week.

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About Me
Rupal Patel logo
The daughter of Indian immigrants, Rupal is a born-and-bred New Yorker now living near London. Her high-octane career as a CIA officer turned serial entrepreneur has taken her from military briefing rooms in jungles and war zones to corporate boardrooms and international stages.

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