Thursday, 22 December 2011

Things I would Tell Myself If I was Younger

So, i was sitting in my office comfortably staring at my screen wondering how best to act busy (I kid...:))A mail came from one of my dearest friends and my first thought was. This is long! How am i supposed to read this? Why do people even bother to send mails this long? The moment i started reading it, i knew it was something i would never forget for the rest of my life. Instantly, i knew i was going to print it out and paste it on the wall of my room where i could wake up and see it every day. I sent a few copies to some of my friends and forced a few to read it but this is something i had to share. Please read carefully and learn from it.
Whether you are younger or older than 25, if you're not doing the things on this list it's never too late to start. The things you do today will make a difference to your tomorrow.

1) Read, Read and Read Some More
One of the biggest contributions to my personal growth has come from the books I've read in the last few years. Your parents, teachers and friends can only teach you so much when you're growing up. Through books you're able to expand your horizons, increase your opportunities and accelerate your growth.

The kind of books I recommend reading are books related to personal development, psychology, success studies, biographies of successful people and spiritual kind of books.

2) It's Not Important What People Think Of You
I used to care very much what others would think of me and as a result I held back on many things I should have done like take part in events where I would have to get up on stage or go to parties where I hardly knew anyone.

It really does not matter what other people think of you. Everyone will have an opinion about you, but this opinion is hardly ever based on who you really are because most people will never spend enough time with you to get to know you. Your goal shouldn't be to get people to like you. Whether someone thinks that you're an idiot or whether they think that you're awesome, that's their business, not yours.

Spend your life being the best person that you can be, follow your heart and do the things that make you happy. Don't hold back because you're afraid of what others may think of you.

3) Enjoy Every Moment of now
there is a very cliché but very true quote:

"Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery but today is a gift. That's why they call it the present."

  Time is the most precious and the most uncertain resource that we have in our lives. In my relatively short time on this earth I've seen and heard of many people pass away at very young ages. You never know how long you've got left to live and that is why you have to make the most of every moment that you're alive.

When I was younger I spend a lot of time wishing days away so that it could be weekend, or that I could be old enough to drive or party.

Don't wish your life away; don't wish that you were older. Enjoy the process of growth and enjoy the phase of your life that you are in right now.

4) Whether You Think You can or Cannot, You Are Right
this is the old wisdom from Henry Ford but it's oh so true. Don't limit yourself into thinking that you can't do something because what you believe to be true mostly tends to become true.

I see so many people who say they can't do something before they've even tried to do it. I've been guilty of this myself. There have been many occasions where someone's invited me to try something I've never done before and I just declined because it seemed way too difficult for me and I believed that there was no chance I could do it.

Before you decide that you cannot do something, try to do it first. Even then, don't believe that you cannot do something just because you failed at it in the first few attempts.

5) Start Your Own Business
Doing something with your own initiative and turning nothing into something profitable is one of the best ways to grow and discover yourself. It doesn't matter what it is that you do, as long as you attempt to do something that will earn you money.

You could shine shoes, sell lemonade on a hot day, start a blog, and sell things on eBay or whatever you're interested in. I never did this as a kid and I think this would have made a huge difference to being able to achieve financial success at an early age.

6) Don't Judge People by Their Appearance
One thing I've learned is that looks can be very deceiving. I've met incredible people who would be deemed trashy or outcasts by society based on their appearance and I've met people who you would think are high-value people but who turn out to be spineless and value-taking.

You cannot judge the character of a person based on their appearance alone. Some people don't care about impressing others with fashionable appearances and some people try too hard to impress people with their clothes and style.

Give yourself time to get to know someone before you judge them.

7) Talk To As Many New People As Possible
you can learn something from everyone, no matter how old they are or where they're from. I used to be very fearful of talking to strangers or people I hardly knew because

I had little confidence and was scared of rejection.

Over the last years I've really come to love talking to as many new people as possible. It doesn't matter who they are or where they're from, just grab every opportunity to talk to someone you don't know. You don't need to gain anything from the interaction; all you need to do is say hi and start a conversation. Most of the time the conversation will flow, sometimes it will be fantastic and sometimes it won't work at all.

I've met some of the most interesting people of my life in the most random places like on plane, on the street or simply at a club.

8 ) Don't Worry About Girls/boys And Dating
I was always shy when I was younger and I had no idea how to talk to girls but I always wanted to have a boyfriend or at least go on dates with handsome guys. Due to my lack of success in this area I couldn't wait to grow up so things would get better.

In hindsight I'd tell myself to just enjoy being young and not to worry about girls/boys and dating. There's plenty of time for that in your twenties.

9) Eat Healthy
When I was younger I loved junk food and sweet stuff. I did eat healthy meals 2-3 times per day, but I in between those meals I would always stuff myself with junk food.

Only recently have I switched to eating healthy meals 3 times a day and snacking on healthy food in-between. I've lost most of my cravings for junk food and overall I feel much more energetic and much healthier.

Eat healthy and it'll benefit you for many years to come.

10) Success Doesn't Come Easy
It takes many months and years of consistent hard work to become successful with anything. There is no instant gratification and it's not possible to spend a few weeks learning something and then expect to master it completely.

In my younger years I sincerely believed that I would have success at anything I did within a very short period of time and when I failed I was very disappointed with myself.

If you want to achieve success with anything you do, it's a long-term game. Be persistent, take action towards your goal every day and don't give up when you experience obstacles or setbacks.

11) Focus On the Positive
There are always two sides to everything and the side you choose to focus on will make the difference between happiness and sadness. Choose to focus your energy and attention on the positive side of everything, even when it may seem impossible to do so at times.

If you focus on the negative side of things, not only will you deprive yourself of the joy and happiness you could have but you will also take away joy and happiness from those around you. Focus on the positive side of things and you will find happiness and inspire happiness in those around you.

12) Learn to let go
hardly anything in life goes exactly as planned. Sometimes you have pleasant surprises but other times you can be faced with unwelcome turn of events. If you are too attached to a specific outcome then things can have a crippling effect on you when they don't turn out as you want them too.

Learning to let go is a very important skill to master. When good things in your life come to an end and it's not possible to change that, then the ability to let go will allow you to get back on your feet and find happiness or success again.

13) Stop worrying about the Future So Much
it’s literally impossible to predict the future, so why do we spend so much time trying to predict it? I used to spend hours worrying about all sorts of dangers and uncertainties while I should have just enjoyed the present moment.

It's good to plan for the future and work towards your goals but it's for your own good that you don't worry too much about the future. Have you plan, stick to it for as long as you can and if you need to adapt, adapt.

14) Money Is Important but It Is Not the End Goal
Money is an essential ingredient to freedom. Enough money allows you to live how you want to live and it allows you to spend your time doing what you love but money cannot buy you happiness.

You shouldn't set your main goal in life as acquiring a bit sum of money. Money should just be the means to allow you to do what you really want to do in life. When I was younger I just wanted to have millions of dollars in the bank, no matter what the cost.

Define the goals that you want to achieve in your life, determine how much money you would need to have for that and then take action based on that plan.

15) Stand Up For What You Believe in
There will always be negative people who tear down your hopes and dreams. There are always people who tell you how to live your live and people who tell you what you cannot do.

If you believe in something, don't let others talk you out of it. Avoid negative people and nay-Sayers but if you have to, stand up for what you believe in. Be prepared to fight for it.

16) All You Need In Life Is A Few Good Friends
When I was younger I thought that I needed to have

dozens of friends in my life because it would ensure fun, good times and status. I've come to realize that you only need a few really good friends in your life and that will give you all the fun you need. If you have a relationship and a job then there simply isn't enough time to spend with more than just a few close friends anyway.

Choose quality over quantity when it comes to your friends. 3 Close friends who would do anything for you are better than 30 fair-weather friends.

17) The People Make the Place
I always used to have great trouble deciding where I would want to live when I was older. I've come to realize that it's not so much the place that matters; it's the people you know in that place. Whether you want to live in South Africa, Asia, Australia or Europe, they can all be fantastic places if you have

good friends or someone you truly care about there with you.

18) When Things Are Difficult See It as A Test
Life isn't all roses and sunshine, sometimes there's a couple of storms that come your way too. There are times when you'll be faced with setbacks, obstacles and failure.

When things get difficult I like to see them as a test of some sort. It may be a test of patience, a test of belief or faith or a test of determination. This allows you to rationalize the difficulties you're facing so that you can stop worry and focus all your energy on getting through the test as best you can.

19) Don't Carry Hate or Anger with You
one of the biggest negative influences on your happiness and enjoyment of life is if your heart is filled with hatred and anger. I used to be very quick to be angry at someone or to hate them if they did something bad to me. Sometimes I was just jealous of someone who was always better than me and I would carry that hatred with me every day and it really poisoned my happiness.

There is nothing wrong with getting angry, there's only something wrong with staying angry and allowing that anger to turn into hate. When you hate someone, the person it affects the most is you. Learn to resolve your anger and hatred so that you don't carry it with you. Keep your heart stainless.

20) You Don't Always Need To Prove Yourself
People around you will always challenge you to prove yourself. This may be because they are insecure, jealous or simply because they want to see you make a fool out of yourself.

One thing I've learned is that it's good to not always react to these challenges because it doesn't matter what people think. If you feel that you're not going to gain anything from proving yourself to someone other than validation, then why do it? Let the haters hate and just do your thing.

21) Respect Is Everything
I'd say that respect is the single most important guideline for life and without it you'll very likely end up in big trouble. Respect is not just something that you have for an older person; respect is almost like a religion. You need to have respect for everything and anything in life: people, feelings, nature, animals, machinery and anything else you come into contact with.

Show respect and there's a good chance that all areas of life will respect you back.

22) Don't Take Anything For Granted
Life is a gift. It's very easy to become so complacent with what you have that it's easy to forget how lucky you are to have it.

Simple things like having a roof over your head, the freedom to travel or walk around your city without being shot or arrested, food on the table, loving friends and family etc. are what you should be grateful for every day.

23) Create a Vision Board and Imagine Your Dreams Every Day
knowing what you want to achieve and getting your subconscious to focus on your goals play a big role in the success you achieve. I highly recommend that you create your own kind of vision board with pictures of your goals. Put this vision board in a place where you'll see it every night before you go to sleep and every morning when you wake up.

Not only does this program your subconscious mind with the goals that you want to achieve but it also reminds you on a daily basis of what it is that you really want from life.

24) Don't Believe Anyone Unless You Verify It First
there are way too many people in this world who want to take advantage of you or use you for their own gains. People will lie to you, trick you and abuse your honesty if you let them.

It's of course crazy to be paranoid that everyone is out to get you but it's always good to be cautious of the intentions of others. When it comes to the important things and a lot is at stake, always do your own research to verify that what someone is telling you is indeed the truth.

25) Never Forget who you are
as life goes on you are subjected to many different influences. Sometimes you take a wrong turn or end up on the wrong path which causes you to lose track of who you are.

Always remember who you are and where you came from. If your current life path is putting you in situations that you're not happy with, make drastic changes and get back to the person who you are.

These are 25 things that I would love to tell my younger self but since that's impossible, I've told you instead. I hope you can use some of these points to improve your life, starting today.