What I’ve learned in 39 years.
Today is my birthday. I’m writing this in Greece. I am lucky. Lucky to be here and extremely grateful.
I want to share the most important things I have learnt so far in my life.
I am not an enlightened being but I have learnt some thing on my journey that may be useful to someone much younger than me.
Things I wish I knew and acted upon ten years ago.
1) Time is the only real asset we have. Everything else can be replaced or recovered. Time cannot. As you become older your energy wanes and so does your desire to go after big things. Don’t waste your youthful energy on crap. Build momentum when you’re young. I am writing this realising how many times I herd these exact words and paid them no heed at all.
2) The quicker you take complete responsibility for who you are the better. Accountability accountability accountability. If not you then who? Doing the right thing is usually the hard thing. Being totally responsible for your actions, deeds and outcomes is the hallmark of an adult. You’ll fail many times at this but as long as you hold this as a value and try to keep to it as much as you can you will reap self respect.
3) Learning to accept yourself unconditionally is the greatest gift you can give to yourself. Again this is not automatic and it’s far from easy but deciding to accept yourself unconditionally, your faults and failings is a very powerful way to banish shame and guilt and other useless states. Swear to yourself you will make it your mission in life to accept yourself fully. To see yourself as worthy of life and happiness regardless of your achievements or past behaviours. Let no one tell you they’re better than you and if they do, know in your heart they are misguided. I’ve written about this before but the best way to do this is read whatever you can by Dr Albert Ellis. He will show you that your shame and guilt are concepts that serve no purpose and that nobody is better than you for any reason whatsoever. As soon as you see the truth of this, the way you see your place in the world will change.
The absolute determination to use your time wisely. Ideally in the service of your future self. Taking total and utter responsibility for your life. Learning unconditional self acceptance. I have learnt the value of these three things the hard and slow way. I sincerely hope you take on those three things voluntarily and early. Taking them seriously will help to make your life a better one.
Start today. Start right now.