12 Lessons For Life in 2019
How was your 2019? I hope it went very well for you. My 2019 was quite an eventful year as I’m sure it was for you too. I’ve had time to reflect on the lessons I’ve learned this year. Some of them are quite harsh lessons in my opinion, but not the worst things that could have happened. Others were very helpful and happy lessons that no one should ever do without. So without further ado, I’ll share 12 lessons for life that I learned in 2019.
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1. Not everyone is going to like you.
I’m kind of embarrassed to say this, but I found that throughout my whole life I’ve always tried to please others. I’ve always sought recognition whether I had done something good or nothing at all. It seems so childish to say this now, even though I am 35 years old.
So this is a message to all of you out there who always seem to want people to like you. Maybe you’ve caught yourself doing something just because you think someone else is going to like you for it. This is not the case all the time. Most of the time you will be wasting your energy when you could have been spending it on something even more useful like your family.
There are plenty of people who really do care about you and what you do or say. But there is an equal amount of people that could care less about you. We all can be a bit selfish. Just please don’t be bothered by the type of people who just, for some reason find something they don’t like about you. You can’t control that.
The only person you can control is yourself. You don’t even have to prove anything to other people. Just be you, hold the people who truly like you for who you are close and enjoy life.
2. You don’t have to say yes or please everyone.
This is similar to the first lesson. Your actions do not have to be based on what other people want from you. People are always going to want something from you. Sometimes you just have to say no. You have to look out for yourself and your family first. So if you have to say no to someone and you feel like it’s going to displease them it’s not your fault. You don’t have to be an ass about it if you want to keep a good relationship with the other person.
Another gage you can use to tell whether the other people’s request is something you should say yes or no to is how long, and how much energy the task will take. You have a finite amount of time each day so you have to choose how you spend it wisely. If the request matches your energy and duration standards then accept, if not then say no.
If the time does come to please someone, go ahead and do it, especially if it’s someone like your boyfriend or girlfriend, husband or wife. Show your gratitude where it’s due and sometimes even where it isn’t.
I was sounding quite pessimistic in the previous few paragraphs because this year I’ve realized how finite our time on Earth is and the fact that every action you make affects your future. But don’t worry, I’ve designed this post to get all the pessimistic ramble out in the beginning.
3. Follow through with the promises you make to yourself and others.
Holding yourself accountable to the words that you speak to yourself and others is the one thing that can either help you to succeed or fail. No one wants to be around a person that is unreliable, not even the person him or herself. When you say you are going to do something, do it!
4. Lessons For Life: Persistence is key.
When you persist you will eventually get what you want. Persistence is one of the key factors of every entrepreneur’s success. Heck, you don’t even have to be involved in a business in order to persist with anything that you are doing. Persistence is Key.
As a great example, I have been working on BookMattic for 4 years now. Although part of my journey has been extremely difficult, my persistence and passion for helping people to get the most out of what they read has kept me going. I know there are so many more things that I need to accomplish, but what I have accomplished so far in the last 4 years is extremely rewarding.
Another example other than myself is JK Rowling. Do you know how many times she tried to publish Harry Potter? 12 times! She was rejected 12 times before she got accepted by a publisher. Do you know how that must have felt for her?
But she didn’t let it get her down, she just kept on going because she knew that her book was amazing! And obviously it is because now it’s one of the most well-known books ever.
Seriously, if you’ve got something you know is great, and others have proved to you that it’s great then why stop there. Even if you don’t see anyone approving of your work it doesn’t mean that you should stop. Your work may not be perfect, because no one’s work ever is. So even if you fail the first time, get back up and try again. Even if you fail the tenth time keep on going. Be like JK Rowling. Be like me and never give up on what you believe is right.
5. Lessons For Life: Hold your loved ones close.
Have you ever lost a loved one? It will happen. I actually didn’t lose a loved one in 2019 but I still think about the ones I have lost, including close friends.
Therefore, be kind and loving to the people around you especially your parents, husband or wife and children. Friends may come and go, but ideally, hopefully, stay true to you, but family is almost always with you. This is one of the most important lessons for life.
6. Lessons For Life: Reading nonfiction books do matter, with action.
Reading nonfiction books has now been part of my life for four solid years. Each year I seem to be getting better at reading and most importantly, applying what I read. Taking action is the most important ingredient for a nonfiction reader. I realize more and more how much of an advantage a nonfiction reader has over the majority who read very little, let alone unskilled, or don’t read at all.
For those of you who don’t read nonfiction books on a regular basis, or at all, I want you to pay very close attention to the words I’m typing on the screen. In the end, you have to decide what your priorities are, but I guarantee that if you take up the habit of reading nonfiction and applying the takeaways you will not regret it.
For those of you reading this now who are readers of nonfiction, I want to tell you how grateful you should be about the tools you have been granted to become the best person you can be through reading and taking action on the lessons you learn through nonfiction books.
7. Lessons For Life: Have healthy habits for the long run.
Eat more greens. Cut down on calories. Eat less meat. Eat less in general.
Whatever you’re putting into your body now will affect your future. Eating healthily is the key ingredient to living longer and healthier. Yes, unhealthy food tastes good and is hard to resist but it’s unhealthy for a reason and will destroy your future.
Don’t ever take sleeping for granted. Although I haven’t read Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker yet, I have been experimenting with sleeping a lot earlier to make sure that I get seven to eight hours of sleep every single night.
You’ve got 24 hours in one day. Seven to eight of those hours should be spent getting a good night’s rest. If you do not get enough sleep your work and your mood will not be as good. You will find that it’s much harder to concentrate for longer periods of time and if you really didn’t get enough sleep you will just want to sleep rather than being productive or spending time with family.
The last thing that I have to say is sleeping enough will help you to be much healthier and have a lot more energy for everything in your life.
Although I have not done it consistently enough this year, when I did do it I noticed a drastic difference in my energy and mood. Of course, this also affects your health in a positive way.
I know a lot of people dread exercising but if you really think about it it’s helping you to live a longer healthier and happier life.
You can also use exercising as an excuse to meet more people if you get involved in a community that focuses on the specific exercise that you want to do such as running. The easier you make it on yourself the easier it will be to exercise.
8. Lessons For Life: Focus on ONE thing you’re good at.
Focus on one thing that you are really good at. If you don’t know what that is yet then experiment with it. For example, for me, I’ve been focusing on helping people to get the most out of what they read. It took me a while to figure out what my one thing is but now that I know exactly what I should be focusing on my life has become so much easier.
It really can for you too if you find that one thing.
This does not mean that you cannot learn how to do other things or improve on other skills. It just means that your priorities will be focused more on that one thing than anything else. Your time will not be divided out equally for everything that you are working on. Your one thing will get more of the focus that it deserves still leaving enough time for other projects.
9. Lessons For Life: Find balance between work, play, and family.
Finding balance is probably one of the most difficult things you can possibly 100% accomplish. Yes, you could live your life going to work, coming home and just playing around and spending time with family. That is definitely the relaxing life and for some people, it is what their balance is. But for others, like myself, who are both working a day job and building up a side hustle, finding balance is much much more difficult.
My solution: divide my time into blocks where I spend time with family and relax for 3 hours, and work on my side hustle for 3 hours. It may not be the most ideal schedule, but it is what I have to do in order to be able to spend time with my family and accomplish what I need to accomplish.
I also realized that being more flexible to changes in my schedule has allowed me to feel more relaxed knowing where and when my time is being spent. Schedules are meant to be flexible enough to where you can move things around a bit to make sure you’re focusing on the things that are the most important to you.
10. Lessons For Life: Just do your best, don’t stress.
The Four Agreements by don Miguel Ruiz offered me one of the best takeaways from one of the most practical books I read in 2019. It states that you should ‘Always do your best’ nothing more, nothing less.
If you are doing less than you know you are capable of then it’ll make you feel bad, worthless and lazy. You know deep down that you can do better. So why not do so?
If you are doing more than what you can handle it’ll make you feel overwhelmed, stressed, and burned out. There’s no sense in burning yourself out because it defeats the purpose of hustling. If you burn yourself out it’ll take you days or even weeks to recover. That’s lost time you could have had just doing your best.
If you are doing your best and you truly know it, it’ll make you feel motivated, accomplished, and balanced. Doing your best doesn’t mean that you aren’t pushing yourself. Quite the opposite, you can still grow and accomplish so much more if you always do your best.
11. Lessons For Life: Accept that death is part of life.
Sorry to bring this up but I honestly believe that death should not be a feared topic. None of us want to die, yet it is a natural part of life. It’s one of the topmost taboo topics in most cultures around the world. My suggestion to you is to use death as a motivator to live a healthier, happier, and more productive life.
If you are so afraid of death then why not change your lifestyle so your time on Earth is that much better? You know your time is finite so don’t waste it by worrying about when you will die, rather live your life to the fullest and make the biggest impact you can. Love your family, your parents, your friends, neighbors, and even strangers. Love the Earth and all it has to offer you. Love your enemies because you never know when they may lend their hand.
Death is not to be feared but to be embraced by life.
12. Lessons For Life: Always find things to be grateful about, and show it.
Grateful. It’s such a strong word, isn’t it? Close your eyes and say the word. How did it make you feel?
I bet you it sent a nice chill down your spine and a sudden feeling of warmth and, well, gratefulness for all the people and things around you.
Being grateful is one of the best feelings you can have and show to other people. The more grateful you are, the happier you’ll be not only for yourself but because other people will appreciate you more. Other people will give back to you because of your gratefulness.
I leave you with this last lesson of gratefulness because it is the most powerful tool you have. I also leave you with this to show that I am grateful to you.
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