There is a tide in the affairs of men.
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
Omitted, all the voyage of their life
Is bound in shallows and in miseries.
On such a full sea are we now afloat,
And we must take the current when it serves,
Or lose our ventures.
Julius Caesar Act 4, scene 3, 218–224
“If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up the men to gather wood, divide the work, and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea.” ― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
1. Unfinished business: Free yourself from the past by identifying and cleaning up your unfinished business. Call an end to whatever you started – a project, a diet, a feud, a commitment – by dumping it, delegating it, or doing it.
2. Ignoring the Present: Today is a result of all the Today’s that came before it. A well lived present will naturally produce wonderful future. Save a dollar today, and you’ll have a dollar tomorrow. Eat 500 calories less today, and you’ll lose weight tomorrow. Only what you do TODAY can affect tomorrow.
3. No Priorities: Never trade what you want at the moment for what you want most. If you just react to the next thing that gets your attention, you’ll never have enough time for what is important. Don’t schedule your time around your priorities. Schedule your priorities around your time.
4. Betraying yourself: Telling lies to yourself is the most hurtful form of disrespect. Write out the ways in which you have been untruthful to yourself, and how you can change that. “I will no longer pretend that what I put into my mouth doesn’t matter.” “I will no longer pretend that overspending my budget is ok.”
5. People Pleasing: If you always say yes even when you want to say no, you will find yourself unhappily going through the motions of living, giving control of your time, energy, and spirit to anyone who asks for it. Free yourself by learning to quietly assert your boundaries.
6. Accepting Energy Drainers: Everyday crisis and problems ARE NOT “just the way it is”. Choose to put life on your schedule. Make a conscious choice to simplify your tasks, organize your environment, and set up your life to support how you want to live.
7. Complaining Instead Of Asking: You will only get as much as you ask for. Complaining is passive, not active. Choose to consciously educate people on what you need by making a request instead of complaining.
8. Low Reserves: Without reserves to back you up, you will make decisions based on your LACK…lack of money, lack of time, lack of energy. And that will cause you to make mistakes, and miss opportunities. Systematically eliminate things from your life until you have a built-in reserve of time and money; then build from there.
9. Hiding your weakness: Let your weakness help you be more truthful. Educate people. “I’m really impatient; please let me know if I skip over something you don’t understand.” “I’m not good with secrets; please don’t tell me anything that you don’t want me to repeat.”
10. Wishing Instead of Planning: START! Do something! If you just sit around *wishing* that things would be better, it’s not likely that they ever will be. As my mother used to say, “wish in one hand, pour peas in the other…see which fills up faster.” Create a plan, and get into action.
When I turned 25 a few months ago, I wrote down some of the things I’ve learned over my short time on earth. The last year has been a crazy roller-coaster ride which has enabled me to see certain things like never before.