Initially, I think I did subconsciously have a good idea of what was right for me. Over time though, the outside advice I got from my parents, teachers, and other authority figures and shaped my view.
When it was time to enter the working world, I was so lost. My inner desires were in conflict with a lot of the advice I was given. I knew what I wanted, but I just had no idea how to get there.
Since the advice I was given didn’t exactly make sense, I added my own flare to it and dove in head first. I sold pretty much all my belongings (save my books and a few choice pieces of furniture), I moved to NYC with barely enough rent, and was determine to fulfill the dream of finding a job.
I started working at a company that constantly encouraged business and personal development. And by encouraged I mean very strongly suggested that in order to grow within the company I should really focus on this.
Turns out, I really like personal development books. They just have to be written by someone that knows what they’re talking about (as compared to the high school pamphlet type ones that I was first introduced to).
Now, I read them all the time for any topic I want to improve. Things like business, relationships, sales, personal growth, spirituality, etc. I even go to the seminars to see what knowledge these highly successful people might drop on an unsuspecting crowd.
And no matter who the author is, they all consistently offer these 5 Rules to Rock Life (my name, not theirs!).
1. Know Yourself.
Absolutely the most important of any rule. It’s great to know that going to the gym is a health benefit, but if it doesn’t suit your personality, it might as well be a message in a bottle lost at sea. Personally I hate the gym, but I love taking a dance, martial arts, or yoga class.
So take some time to figure out who you are:
- What makes you happy?
- What makes you upset?
- What your goals are?
- What you love to do?
- What you hate to do?
- Who you like to spend time with?
2. Do the Things You’re Great At!
I don’t know a kid who instantly thought it was a good idea to study math when they struggled with it. Of course it’s important and good to have an all-around core knowledge; I’m not saying that you shouldn’t know the basics.
But to be successful in life, you need to take your gifts and run with them. The things that come easily to us, and we are naturally good at, are the things that the world needs. They are what make you unique, and are the reason you are here.
It’s unfortunate that these are often the gifts people least value about themselves. We’re taught that for something to have value we have to work at it; but if you naturally have an amazing voice, then that’s probably something you should focus on.
3. Hire Someone To Do the Rest.
Don’t pour your energy into the things you will struggle with. They just aren’t for you. But I bet there is someone who’s unique talents make them the perfect yin to your yang.
The key to success is finding the right people to surround yourself with. Personally, I’m terrible at things like rules and taxes – I just have so much trouble wrapping my head around the fact that half of my income is taken away to pay for people who have too many kids to work.
So, I work with a fantastic accountant that just tells me if what I’m planning is right or not. There’s a huge level of trust between us for me to listen without knowing myself, but that’s the point. You need to find the people who can do the things you can’t at an unreal level, and then trust them to do what’s right.
4. Trust Yourself.
Even having grown up with a very strong internal sense of what was right and wrong, outside influences still got to me. When I first entered the work force, I thought money would be the solution to all my desires. And really, it’s a little like air – if you don’t have enough people do tend to suffocate.
What I didn’t know was that the idea of happiness in my head didn’t completely resonate with the advice I was being given. Part of it did, or I wouldn’t have followed it at all.
When I quite that first company, Everyone told me to wait until I had another job lined up. But that wasn’t for me – I needed some time to recoup and recover. After an extended vacation, I found a job within a few weeks.
5. Write Your Story.
It’s imperative that you take responsibility for your life. The decisions and choices you make should be conscious, and based on your own thought. No excuses, no one to blame. And if it doesn’t work out the way you want, that’s OK, because you have a chance to learn something.
Trusting my instincts, even when they didn’t necessarily make sense to anyone else, has always moved me further along than blindly following the advice someone else gave me.
You know Yourself, so make the decisions that feel best to you. To make the first move, if you could do one things to make your life better in any aspect, where would you start?