I got this excellent article in my inbox and its worth sharing. Thanks James. I think the ten lessons should be part of the ten commandments.
#10 – For the most part, what others think doesn’t matter.
Ten years ago I was a 17 year old high school student who let the opinions of other people largely influence my choices. It was a dumb way to live, considering that ten years later, those people whose opinions I held in such high regard aren’t even a part of my life anymore!
The times when someone else’s opinion of you truly matters are few and far between. Think first
impressions, like meeting your significant other’s family, meeting a new client, or meeting a potential employer for a job interview.
Don’t let other people rent space in your head. What they think of you isn’t important. What matters most is how you feel about yourself.
#9 – Explore new hobbies and opportunities often.
When I cared about what other people might think about me, I never tried new things. I was afraid that if I sucked at something, I’d be embarrassed. To spare myself the embarrassment of being bad at something new, I would never explore opportunities to learn a new skill, or start a new hobby.
Looking back on it, I see it as lots of time lost!
Nowadays I’m always anxious to put myself out there and learn something new. I sing, I enter contests,even though I suck at all of them. I try new things as they come up, whether it’s a new restaurant, a new beer, or a new pastime. When you try new things, you discover more and more things that you enjoy.
#8 – Nobody knows what you’re thinking unless you tell them.
People can’t read your mind. This goes for your significant other, your employer, and that hot girl/man you’re too scared to talk to.
Ten years ago I was dating someone I no longer wanted to date. I knew that I was unhappy in the relationship, but she didn’t. Consequently, I waited and waited for things to improve, but they never did. I want to scream at my young self: Well no shit things didn’t improve. You never told her anything was wrong!
Relationships can’t improve unless you communicate. This applies to your relationship with your employer also — if you’re working hard at your job and believe that you deserve a raise, you probably won’t get it unless you ask for it.
Simply put, your supervisor doesn’t know what you want. Don’t wait for them to come to you, because your blood will boil over and you’ll end up quitting before it ever happens. Ask to meet privately and spell it out for them!
As for that hot girl/man, if you don’t say anything before she/he walks out that door, then she’s/he going to walk out of your life forever having never known you. Don’t let it happen. Learn to communicate so people can know you.
#7 – Talk to everyone in the Office/street/church etc.
Why? Networking. When employers look for a good match for a job opening, the first thing they do is ask the people they’re already working with if they know someone who would do well in the position. They tend to look through CV’s as a last resort.
College is the best opportunity you’ll ever have to build a complex, varied network of smart people. Use it to your advantage and get your name out there, because grades mean nothing in the real world.
Also, live it up, because college is awesome. Trust me when I tell you that after you’ve graduated, you’ll go through college withdrawal. There’s a reason why so many people say it’s the best four years of your life.
#6 – Leave every job on good terms.
No matter how good it might feel to tell your boss to suck it right before storming out of a dead-end job forever, it is never worth it. You will probably need another job someday, and you might just need some good references to get it.
Giving up all opportunities for future recommendations for one fleeting moment to tell your employer what you really think about them is a bad trade. Give the required notice, and say thanks for the opportunity to work with them — even if it’s bullshit.
#5 – Pay your dues.
Even though you may have been hot in college, or at your last job, it will not grant you the slightest amount of entitlement in a new position for a new employer. In many companies, you’re basically getting in line to wait your turn to move up the ladder, and it may take years to advance beyond positions of indentured servitude.
Stick to it. Hopping from company to company looking for something “better” may allow you to get ahead in the short-term, but in the long-term your CV will become a mishmash of temporary stints that makes you look like a quitter.
In the end, persistence creates an impression of dedication and relevant experience — and it will outshine any other attribute, every time.
So take a look around. If you’re absolutely certain you’re on the right career path, then stick to it. Pay your dues. Climb ladders. It will be your turn soon enough.
#4 – Invest in yourself.
When you invest in yourself you can never lose. This applies to everything:
Learn to cook. You’ll save thousands on food in your lifetime.
Learn a foreign language. You’ll expand your horizons and be easily employable.
Learn to spend less than you earn. You’ll never be broke.
#3 – You can’t change anything by just sitting back and looking at it.
Change requires two things: a conscious decision to accomplish something, and follow-through. If you want something accomplished, then do it now. If it can’t be done now, then do it today. If it can’t be done today, then start it today.
Change is tough, but the most difficult step is getting started. Of course once you’ve actually started, the most difficult step is following through. Change is tricky like that — but know that if you truly want it, you’ll find a way to create change in your life.
#2 – Expect people to be negative, especially if you’re carving your own path.
In all walks of life, you won’t see eye-to-eye with everyone. People will come out of the woodwork to tell you that you’ll fail, tell you that you suck, laugh at you, argue with you, call you names, write you messages laced with profanity, and be altogether unpleasant. As Tony Gazzo from Rocky put it, “Some guys, they just hate for no reason.”
The thing is, although it’s common to receive negativity from strangers, you’ll find that even the people you know and love can surprise you with negative attitudes. No matter who it is that’s trying to boo you off the stage, don’t let them succeed in doing so.
#1. Add yours here. Any word of advice. What have you learnt in this life?