Time flies even when you’re not having fun.
As we age, our perception of time changes - it seems as if time is speeding up or that our lives are passing us by. We experience this phenomenon when we’re purging old photos on our phones, sharing our Facebook memories, celebrating birthdays and anniversaries, raising children, etc. These moments trigger deep, powerful, and sobering emotions, stopping us dead in our tracks asking ourselves, “Where has the time gone?”
Today, I celebrate my 30th birthday. Now, I understand that if God blesses me with a full life in the grand scheme of things, I’m only 1/3 of the way there. I do not consider 30 to be old by any stretch. In fact, I often joke with Ash that I haven’t even reached my peak. Physically, I feel amazing; mentally and emotionally, I’m moving in the right direction; and in regards to maturity, well…I still feel like an 18-year-old kid. I don’t think it’s psychologically possible for men to fully mature; at least, I hope that I never do. Who doesn’t want to stay young at heart?
Throughout my life, I’ve been blessed with an incredible family, amazing friendships, remarkable mentors, and in recent years, the most gracious, loving, and selfless fiancé (I’m 100% marrying up – she is way out of my league). Through those relationships and experiences, I’ve developed and refined the characteristics and attributes necessary to live, love, and lead in ways that better reflect the image of Christ, bringing glory to the grace, love, and peace that only He can offer. Now, I’m not perfect, not in the slightest. Over the past 30 years, I’ve made considerable progress, but I’ve still got a long way to go. However, at this point, with 1/3 of my journey complete, I’ve learned a few lessons that I believe have the power to transform your mindset, perspective, and even your life.
I’m not claiming to have wisdom beyond my years, and I’m not pretending to have it all figured out. I’m simply sharing concepts that took me 30 years to fully comprehend and appreciate in hopes that you can take advantage of this knowledge and apply it to your journey.
These are the 30 lessons that I’ve learned in my 30 years:
Jesus is the subject.
Faith, or even spirituality, is the foundation of life. It is the belief in something greater than you that there’s a higher purpose.
1 Timothy 4:8
“Physical training is good, but training for godliness is much better, promising benefits in this life and the life to come.” In other words, take care of your body and soul.
Other people’s opinions don’t matter.
We spend entirely too much time worrying about what other people think. Fear of judgment and criticism hinders our ability to lead a joyful, happy, and fulfilling life.
Time is the most precious commodity.
It’s the only thing we cannot buy more of or buy back.
“The scariest thing in the world is regret.” – Gary Vaynerchuk
Take risks and blaze your own path.
Play the long game.
Life is a marathon, not a sprint. Settle in, find your pace, and enjoy the journey.
Live with zero expectations.
Expectations are the catalyst to entitlement and disappointment.
Self-awareness is the foundation.
Understand, appreciate, and double-down on your strengths; identify and accept your weaknesses; be authentic and true to yourself 100% of the time.
“Be so busy improving yourself that you have no time to criticize others” – Chetan Bhagat
Judgment and criticism are toxic.
Patience and empathy are non-negotiable.
It’s impossible to cultivate and maintain relationships without patience and empathy.
Positivity and optimism always win.
Fuck negativity. It’s infectious, exhausting, and provides no benefit to anyone.
Gratitude, gratitude, gratitude.
Give thanks for your blessings.
Communication is king.
Communication is the cornerstone of relationships and interactions.
Relationships are essential to happiness.
We are social creatures that need accountability, guidance, support, love, and laughter.
Love hard. Play hard.
The secret to a long, healthy, and fruitful relationship with your spouse or significant other.
“There no reason to do shit you hate.” – Gary Vaynerchuk
This is your one and only opportunity to create a life that you’re proud to live and share with your loved ones. Stop doing shit that compromises your happiness.
You’re 100% in control of your life.
You have the power to make decisions and take action. You have the ability to change your life in an instant – it’s not complicated, it’s just scary.
“Love the process more than the prize.” – Eric Thomas
The prize is a fleeting moment in time. We spend the majority of our lives in the process. You’ve got to embrace the process. You’ve got to fall in love with the process.
“Skills and cheap. Passion is priceless” – Gary Vaynerchuk
You don’t have to be the most talented. You don’t have to be the smartest, strongest, or fastest. All you need is passion. Passion fuels effort. Passion is what enables you to outwork, outgrind, and outlast the competition.
The learning never stops.
The pursuit of better has no finish line.
You need to wander.
Leave town. Get lost. Venture out into the world. Embrace the unknown and experience the grandeur of this world.
99% of shit doesn’t matter.
Stop worrying about shit that’s out of your control.
“Everybody wants to be a beast until it’s time to do what beasts do.” – Eric Thomas
It’s easy to talk about the grind and the hustle, but very few people are willing to do what it takes to be in the 1%. Everyone wants the prize, but no one is willing to embrace the process. Beasts live for the process – they love the process.
You’re not the only one that wants what you want.
There are thousands, if not tens of thousands, of people who have the exact same dream as you. In order to be successful, you’ve got to be willing to outwork everyone who wants what you want.
“Dreams are like milk. They’ve got an expiration date.” – Eric Thomas
Stop making excuses and take advantage of the opportunities with which you’ve been blessed.
Don’t aim for perfection.
Done is better than perfect.
Execution is the game.
Ideas are worthless. In order to turn dreams into reality, you must take action.
Work-life balance doesn’t exist.
First, you need to straighten out your priorities. Second, you need to reassess your values. Third, you need to understand that integration, not balance is the solution to your problem.
Attention is the ultimate currency.
Attention provides the platform to communicate and disseminate our beliefs, values, and mission to the world around us.
There’s a difference between folks being in your circle vs. your corner.
“We will meet three types of friends in life: those for a reason, those for a season, and those for a lifetime” – anonymous
The people in your “corner” will take action. They will reach out, follow-up, share your content, buy your product, and/or refer people to your service. The people in your “corner” will be your biggest cheerleaders, but they will also challenge you and hold you accountable. They will follow your journey, they will do everything in their power to help you succeed, and they will make you better.
What are the lessons that you’ve learned along the way? What do you wish you had discovered sooner on your journey? What knowledge and wisdom do you want to share with the world?