It was my birthday last month.
As I get another year closer to death, here are the seven most important lessons from my life (so far):
Prioritise getting your own life in order first, before you try to help anyone else
This is a philosophy I carry out on a day to day basis, following a system called the Priority Levels – this has enable me to focus on building the foundations first (i.e. myself) before I even considered getting involved in problems at a wider level (family, community, nation, world).
I recommend this approach to anyone you try something similar, read my post The Priority Levels.
It doesn’t matter what someone else has or hasn’t done – focus on your own achievements
Although looking at highly successful people, is a useful approach to inspire you to do better, your day to day life shouldn’t be consumed looking at what others have achieve, against what you haven’t.
Set your own goals, establish your own criteria of what success is and keep working on it every day.
Decide what your motivation in life is and find every opportunity possible to do this
It can be hard knowing what you want in life, which is why it’s important to take a reflective look at yourself and establish your values.
When you understand what matters to you, you can focus on spending as much as your day doing activities that align to you.
It helps if you write down a personal mission and vision statement.
Read my newsletter article Dare to Visualise for advice to start you off.
Ensure you keep yourself mentally and physically stimulated everyday
Life isn’t one massive highlight reel, in fact it can become pretty monotonous and routine, therefore ensure to keep doing something to keep your mind sharp and body fit – such as reading, writing, the gym, yoga and challenging goals.
Wherever you are in life, tailor this to your capabilities and values.
Always aim higher
If I could highlight one of my biggest mistakes in life, it’s my lack of faith in my skills to push myself harder. This has resulted missing out on some big opportunities because of the lack of confidence in my own abilities.
Since I started reading about Imposter Syndrome, I know I’m not the only one.
Read my post Aim higher here for thoughts on pushing your limiting beliefs.
No matter your ambitions, always make time for family and love ones
My values heavily orientated towards family.
Sure it’s great spending free time working on a range of interests, and as a father I think it’s an important example to set your children, you should have a drive to do more than working a job and watching TV.
But no matter what personal goals I have, this does not mean pushing my loved ones away and I’ll always dedicate time to them.
Spending time with my children will only last a limited period of time, whereas work will always be there.
Don’t be a person so dedicated to working, this priceless opportunity slips away.
If you have child, prioritise them over working more.
Having time with your children doesn’t last long, whereas work, will always be there.
— James (@jameslanepm) April 25, 2020
Learn from your mistakes, accept the past and move on
It is a productive exercise to learn from your failures – reflect on why things went wrong and what you would do better next time.
However, there is no point dwelling on short comings and living in the past.
Recognise you have no control over what has already happened, but the future has much to offer you.
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(And if you have just started blogging then you can get some great tips from my post Six years a writer, lessons from a persistent journeyman blogger)