10 Reflections From My 26th Year
As my 27th birthday passed me by last week it served not only as an excuse to eat cake and drink too much but also as an opportunity for reflection.
Like all humans I’m a continual work in progress and hope to steadily improve the version of “me” that I present to the world. As I reflected on my experiences from the previous year I realized that the value in the lessons that I learned could be deepened if I shared them with all of you.
Here are the top 10 pieces of wisdom I gleaned over the course of my 26th year.
1). You only have today. Your control doesn’t extend beyond the day you are in the midst of. Whatever has passed you by is gone; there is no sense in lamenting about it. Alternatively, whatever lies ahead is still out of reach and anxiety about the future only makes for a miserable present. The best lives are lived 24 hours at a time.
2). Be good to everyone. Even to those who deliberately injure you. Rather than express anger and be jarred by circumstances choose to understand and help others right their behavior.
3). Move everyday, even if only for 10 minutes. Focus on consistency and let the intensity vary as it may. After birth, our cells steadily degenerate until we die, how physically active we are will partly determine how quickly this happens.
4). Don’t fear failure. The paralysis caused by the fear of failing is what keeps many people from achieving their dreams. It’s better to fail miserably and learn then to never try at all because the pain of missed opportunity burns much longer than the embarrassment of failure.
5). Find the value in everyone around you. No matter how learned you may think you are and how insignificant someone else may seem, be assured you are not and they are not. Everyone is somebody’s teacher. Talk less, listen more and keep your mind open.
6). DO IT NOW! If there is something that must be done, do it. Procrastination will add weight to any task, big or small. Don’t risk leaving things undone because there is no promise you will be around tomorrow to complete what you’ve been putting off.
7). Say “I Love You” more. To everyone.
8). Be a positive energy provider. There are plenty of negative energy providers in this world so inject some positivity where you can. When you run into someone who is sullen or out of sorts do something small to pick them up. Often all it takes is a smile or a friendly comment to change someone’s day.
9). Create boundaries between work time and personal time. When you are working, work intensely and with focus. Block out all of your distractions. When you are enjoying personal time with friends and family, unplug, shut off your e-mail and enjoy the present. Creating boundaries allows for refreshment and improves the quality of both your work and personal time.
10). Learn to say “No”. You cannot be everything, for everybody all the time. Even with the best intentions, committing too liberally to the requests of other people will spread you thin leaving your efforts short of both your standards and theirs. You can double the satisfaction of all parties if you simply do less and do it better.