Was thinking recently about whether there are certain guiding principles that have brought me to where I am today. And took me a while to summarise them into this list. Here are my Top 10!
1) Treat your loved ones like it may be the last time you’ll see them
Most people will leave this world unexpectedly or with very little warning. Be kind to your loved ones, don’t assume you will have time to tell them you love them. And don’t live with regret only when it’s too late to do anything about it.
2) Only spend time with people you like
Life’s too short to be socially polite. And stay away from those who like complaining. They are sucking energy from you to keep themselves going.
3) Think with your head, act with your heart
In modern society, sometimes being emotional is portrayed as a weakness, but realise it is a great driver of action. Nothing is more formidable than someone who can make decisions using their mind, but is obsessed and driven by their heart.
4) Realise that you’re wrong about many things, especially about yourself
Self-awareness is a gift, and even those that remind themselves to be self-aware know so little about their biases and own personality. Understanding this helps you listen to others better, develop empathy, and opens up your mind to have a deeper understanding of yourself.
5) If you want to grow, don’t get offended when someone criticizes you
“When a student is ready, the teacher will appear”.
Too often I see those that get easily offended or defensive when others criticise them or their work, and at the same time, start complaining that others do not want to mentor them. We need to respond to feedback well, in order to encourage others to continuously want to help you grow.
6) Remind yourself that the world owes you nothing
Do not fall into the entitlement trap. You’re not a victim. And life is not fair. While you envy others, realise that there are those that envy you too. This understanding helps you live life happier, with more gratitude, and encourages everyone to work hard to pursue what they want.
7) Speak less, ask more
It’s always better to learn what someone else knows rather than trying to impress them with what you know.
8) Don’t try to fit in and be normal
Normal usually means average. Be extraordinary.
9) Know that it’s a privilege to have the responsibility to tackle big problems
The bigger the problem, the bigger the hero. If you feel overwhelmed by your problems, remember that it’s a privilege to have the responsibility to take on big problems. Who is in a bigger position, the Prime Minister of a country who is facing problems that will affect the lives of millions of people, or a university student whose biggest problem is trying to hand in their homework on time?
So don’t feel overwhelmed. Take on your problems knowing that you’re lucky to be facing it because you’re doing something important.
10) Be as curious as a toddler
Look at new ideas like how a toddler looks at a new toy. With intense curiosity and excitement, and be willing to experiment. A closed mind will lead to a life of stagnation.