I Wish I Knew These Years Back
Life is a learning curve, we learn new things and unlearn old obsolete things. When we stop learning, we stop growing and some have even argued that we stop being productive. As much as we learn on daily basis, some knowledge or information we have them a little too late; I am sure most of us are familiar with instances like that. Imagine if you had the information with certainty 1year ago what value of Bitcoin would be this year; you would be in thousands if not millions by now. That’s how precious having the right information at the right time can be.
You are wondering now, how far you could have gone too, right? If only you had known a thing or two earlier. Well, it could be really painful especially when you imagine the impact it could have had on your business, relationship, career, academics and so on.
So here are few things I wish I knew years back:
1. Irrespective of what I do, I will succeed
Success is a product of sustained hard work and sometimes a bit of fortune. I wish I knew this earlier in life, especially the part of “sustained hard work”. Over the years, I have made it an habit to work on a project for a while and once I stopped getting my desired result, I abandon it and start another. I don’t sustain anything, I tell myself I have lots of ideas why tie myself down to what is not working. But now I know better, whatever I do, I will succeed, I just have to sustain it long enough till success finds me. Be it white-collar job, self employment, entrepreneur, intrepreneur, talent use, skill use, artistic or instructive whichever it is so long as I can sustain it, I will succeed.
2. The only time money grows is when it is invested
Investment is key, I have heard people say this over a gazillion times, but me? Always scared, I rather have a safe Naira (Nigerian currency) than risk making it four by investing. I think the problem is I prefer certainty. However, recently, I realized that life itself is a risk, a safe Naira won’t grow in value nor volume, and to be fair what’s the use of idle cash that cannot grow. Investment is not just a word thrown around by bookies, it is a word I need to practice, if I truly want to make a fortune. Damn, I wish I realized this earlier.
3. I don’t need people’s approval
I have missed many breaks because I was too conscious of people’s reaction. People will talk alright and I know this, in fact I understand even when you do nothing they will still talk but one thing I have not been able to over come is what would friends and family say if they know I did this. The feeling was that of needing their approval before I can do something meaningful with my life. Oh, how I got that wrong all this while! I need nobody’s approval, my friends and family might find it difficult to accept what I have chosen to become, mostly out of love but in due time when they see how meaningful, it all turned out, they will celebrate me for love. You know what, approval is overrated amongst other things especially here in the west, thereby killing talents, ideas, innovations and all that big English words that stimulate success. Don’t say “really”, just go with your inspired thoughts.
4. Relationship is overrated at early 20s
20s is that age when love and sacrifice get a little too confusing. You can bet I had my own fair share of the confusion. Killing big ideas, ignoring lifetime opportunities and taking off course decisions just because I want to be around someone I was hoping to spend the rest of my life with unfortunately at the wrong age. Seriously, love is something way off control and has a way of taking the power to decide from our head and giving it to our heart, not that bad till the love expires and we start seeing things we have lost because of those bad calls (raise your hand if you can relate). To make matters worse, we find a new love and we make same wrong decisions all over again. Ooh 20s! Relationship should be adding value and enhancing personal growth. Not that because my goals would put distance between us then I should abandon them, rather we should find a way to still love in spite of the distance, that is if we truly love in the first place. 20s you just get fond of someone you are close to, when they are gone you miss them the get close to another and the cycle continues; this cycle is not worth giving up your dreams for.
5. Friends with purpose are scarce
We make friends at different stages of life; the good, the bad and the ugly. Some we wonder how we even met (someone’s name came to mind right?), while others we wonder why we had to let them go (that one person you so missed). What I have come to realize is that true friends may be scare but friends with purpose are even rarer. What friends can do in one’s life cannot be overemphasized, many great names became great because they met friends with purpose while some people can only sit back and watch friends they have lost mount podium of greatness. I have been a victim of the latter but now I am wiser, to know who to hold on to and which friend to keep at arm’s length.
6. Spiritual is as important as physical
Growing up, my mum would always say “whatever is manifesting in the physical (reality) already took place in the Spiritual realm”, how I wished I had harken to that Woman’s words. Not too long ago, I finally realized that before swinging of swords there must be lifting of hands, before I can take control of the physical, I must first ensure my Spiritual life is on the right track. I understand if you find it difficult to agree with this, I used to be like you but in due time, it will all make sense. You may want to argue that many successful people don’t really have a spiritual life but I will also have you know that there is a big difference between wealthy and successful. Read my article “I don’t want to be successful” for clarification.
7. Success is the best revenge
If you knew me way back then you will know how vengeful I can be, I once inserted pins into my sister’s covered shoes just to get back at her for reporting me. I keep malice and I used to believe in tit for tat (the Mosaic Rule). Now a wiser me knows better, when you think people have offended you, don’t spend your valuable time on plotting how to get even rather disappoint them by not stooping low to their level. Use your valuable time to work on yourself. If you are the type that gets very angry, convert that anger into hunger for success (energy may be beyond destruction but can be converted), let the humiliation that you feel propel you to the point that you just want to amount to something big in life. I have also come to understand that people who hate on you get shattered when you finally succeed, so why deny them that devastation when all you have to do is just succeed.
8. Start first then worry about the problems after
I am a perfectionist, I love to have everything well spelt out before I engage in anything. As much as I love this about me, I have also learned that it is less effective when it comes to being an entrepreneur. There are many dreams I have conceived and abandoned almost immediately because I can’t see pass the problems of starting, the thing is I worry far too much about everything. But now I know better, if it is a dream then I will go after it, end of story! I will start first and ask questions after, I will jump then figure out landing afterwards. I think success is a risk on its own and what fun is life if I expect everything to be perfect.
9. Suck up but don’t give up
Pride goes before a fall, is already a cliché. We were raised to be humble, respectful and honest. I think we were raised right but something was left out of all these. They forget to tell us mean people will most likely have what we desire and to get it we will have to suck up to them and endure all the insults and disappointments, till we have what we want from them. I wish I knew this earlier, I can only imagine how far I would have gone if I had endure some rude bosses, crazy customers, cocky intellects, dare devil idealists etc, these people had at one time or another held the key to what I seek and I could have taken it from them if I had just been a little good at sucking up.
10. No one really cares
I have been really shy to try some things over the years or do I say I have been critical of what people will think. Now I see people pulling off those ideas and being celebrated. Little did I know that no one really cares about how you made it, there might be tongues wagging while you are at it but the moment results starts flying in their account of you would start changing. Success changes view! No idea is below your standard, it is what you make of it that sets the standard. Really there are no new ideas just old ideas presented in new enticing forms. I for one can’t be discouraged with initial comments; colleagues may think I can do better than this, family may think I had more prospects than this, friends may think this is a new low for me but when the results starting rolling in my favour, they will to do their rethink.
11. It is okay to ask for help
Many times I need help but somehow I tell myself I can still manage. Maybe I was shy, maybe it was pride, maybe I was scared of people telling me “NO”, whatever my reasons were at the time, I don’t think they were worth not knowing what could have been. Now when I need help I will ask, when I need information I will probe, when I need guidance I will seek. The only way you see further is to stand on the shoulders of someone taller. I am tired of wondering what the response could have been.
So bring it on, life!
Now I know better, and I am ready to do things better, I am putting all my past experiences into good use. I deserve better and I know it. So I won’t just sit around and hope things will change, I will make them change. I won’t keep doing things the old way and expect a new result, I will change my ways. I earned my experience from my past mistakes and hideous believes now is time to prove that I have learned and I am willing to rise because I have paid the price. So do you!