One of my readers recently replied this to one of my weekly newsletter emails:
“How are you so positive?”
I thought to myself, “Haven’t I written about this before?” I went through all my articles and the answer is no. I have written about the importance of having a positive mindset a lot.
But after 3,5 years of blogging, this was the first time I got that question. And it’s so on point. Sometimes we take things for granted. Even though I’ve experienced many challenges in life (like almost every other human being), I never gave up my positive mindset.
Exactly 5 years ago, I had a rough time during this time of the year. My career and life felt stuck. I had no idea what to do about it.
From the outside, it looked like I was doing well. I had my own business, a decent apartment, and a nice car. But I didn’t have any perspective. I still lived in my hometown and frankly, I was bored with my life.
Does that sound familiar? You have an okay life, and yet, it doesn’t feel right. It’s the ultimate challenge of the 21st century. Our lives are safer than ever, and yet, we feel empty.
By the end of 2013, my frustration was building up. I started blaming everything and everyone for my lack of growth.
What does it take to be successful? No matter what your definition of success is, you know that it’s not easy to achieve it.
Even a simple definition of success like “I want to live life on my own terms” requires hard work. Every sane person who aspires to live a good life understands that.
But when people start talking about the things you have to give up for success, I think they are going down a dark path. No matter what you’re trying to achieve in life; under no circumstances should you “sacrifice” anything.
“But what about all the hard work you’re talking about? I need to sacrifice all the other things I want to do.”
The answer to that question is simple. No one said it better than Tony Robbins:
One of the biggest mistakes we make is that we assume we always learn from our mistakes. I’ve met enough people who learned little from their own stupidity.
We all know these people. In fact, we probably are these people. You know why? It’s damned hard to learn from your mistakes. I’ve never met someone who actually enjoyed failing.
Let’s be honest, no one likes to make mistakes, and lose their time, energy, or money. So that’s why we need to make an effort to learn from the things that we wish we didn’t do. The father of functional philosophy and pragmatist philosophy, John Dewey, made that point obvious:
“The person who really thinks learns quite as much from his failures as from his successes.”
Learning from your mistakes does not happen automatically—it requires thinking and reflection. So here’s my reflection on the lessons I learned from the mistakes I made in my twenties. Here we go.
The dialogue about happiness has not changed much for the past 3000 years since ancient Greek and Roman times.
But people pretend that everything has changed and that more people are unhappy than ever. That’s supposed to be because we’re more connected than ever.
You read it all the time. “Technology makes people feel lonely and depressed!”
I agree that technology itself has changed. But human nature has not. People have been unhappy, lonely, miserable, and sad since the start of modern civilization. We still ask ourselves questions like:
One of the most important habits that I’ve formed in my life is daily writing.
Without question, writing every day has brought me many great things: A better career, fulfillment, self-improvement, and most importantly, the ability to share my ideas with you, the reader.
I wanted to be a writer for a decade before I became one. All it took was a decision. At some point, you have to look at yourself and say, “I’m a writer.” And then, start doing your job by writing every day.
I recommend that to everyone because of these 5 reasons:
Your character is defined by values. And your core values are the result of your behavior. Aristotle said it best:
“Men acquire a particular quality by constantly acting in a particular way.”
For example, when you always tell the truth, you become an honest person. It’s as simple as that. And yet, we collectively underestimate the importance of values.
We think our values have everything to do with how we are perceived. But that’s not why values matter.
Values have a great impact on our inner world. They define us. They form the foundation of our character.
And since you have to live with yourself, your values should be one of the most important things in your life.