You are about to make a simple mistake about what to do first in the new year.
Before you put pen to paper to write another New Year resolution, look back to 2018.
What will you do differently in the coming year?
To make 2019 fruitful, we have to look back briefly before looking forward.
It’s like stopping a car for an assessment before you hit the road again.
I will take the lead here and I hope you do.
It started some years back.
When I was twenty years old, on a day in December like this one, I wrote all the lessons I have learned in my life.
These are meant for my eyes alone. But reading them again touches a chord and I feel like sharing the lessons with my readers.
The lessons are still fresh and necessary in my life now. Because I’m older and still a student, I’ve added to the lessons I learnt at twenty.
So if you find something useful out of it, take it, please. (I’m not going to charge.)
1. Choose Close Friends wisely, but have many
Having few friends won’t work for you in this kind of world we have today. You might have heard the importance of building a network at a young age. It’s important.
And here is the reason. If you want a job, it is likely you are going to get one in a place where you have acquaintances than where you don’t. You are more likely to move to a town where you have relatives. That’s the importance of network.
Moving on, friends can make or mar you. For instance, it’s difficult to be lazy when those around you are workaholics or stay celibate while your friends are womanizers. This means you have to be strict with those you keep around. But have a lot of acquaintances.
At twenty, I have few friends and today I regretted it. I should have moved with some people and my perception about life would have changed.
Out of a lot of acquaintances, choose your friends wisely. I will choose three friends: a good thinker, a good communicator and a-bold-as-David friend. Why?
It’s simple: I want to be some percentage of the three.
I’m introverted and I don’t like meeting people.
Let me share a story that brings this lesson.
This year I needed votes to win a contest. My best friend is an outgoing person; he has lots of friends who he could talk to. When he sent the message, the turnout wasn’t encouraging. In fact, they ignored it. Later, when I got to meet some of his friends and he introduced me, people were regretful for not voting. You want to know why they didn’t vote?
They didn’t know me personally.
2. Making mistake is making you
It’s not fine to make mistakes. It hurts as if you dip a finger in fire.
Mistakes are inevitable anyway. You will try hard and mess things up that your room will be the comfort to shed some tears. It has to happen.
When I make a huge mistake, I reap the reward in two ways. The painful one: I miss some great things like payment for a job or a response to my proposal.
The sweet part: I try not to make the same mistakes again. When I try the same thing again, I go out of my way and surprise myself.
The rejection letters are making you become a better writer. The negative response is developing you emotionally. In fact, at the end of it all, when you have arrived, you will have a story to tell and it will be worth hearing.
3. Results make a genius
I have to learn this too late at twenty. Now that I’ve grown older I have stuck this to my mind.
Results make a genius.
If you are a writer, write a good book and show it to the world. If you are a painter, produce a great painting for the world to see. The same goes for everyone in this life.
You are a genius if you have something to show for it. You create something great. The world sees it. Then you can be considered a genius.
But if the world doesn’t see it, for instance, you create a great car and you lock it up in your garage, then forget it. You aren’t a genius.
Apply this idea to your creativity and business and change your perspective. You will get more clients if you have results to show for it. More accolades will come if you have produced something great for the world to see.
4. Learn How to Relate With Others Especially Opposite Sex
Being good with people (irrespective of gender) is a skill.
Meet girls if you are a boy. Meet boys on your own if you are a girl. This goes to the first lesson in this list. Many acquaintances will help you get to where you are going to faster.
Don’t make it a job though. You are building your network at this stage of your life. You are learning how to relate to people according to their gender. And trust me; you will need it some years from now. Meet and know people genuinely now, not until later when things are getting busy for you.
5. You are not so special
If that hurts, it is the truth.
Many of us think we are special. We are the best, we are great, sexy, handsome… priding on the little things we’ve achieved.
Now look around you, there is someone special than you. And they too feel the same.
Are you a millionaire at twenty? A kid at Toy Reviews is a millionaire (in dollars) at seven. Before you start grinding, think about a million kids that are coming and you will become worthless.
You use your first Android at 16. My sister is 7; she could find her way to games and stories App on an android. Have you noticed how smart kids are getting these days? It means these kids will be smarter than you at your age.
So you are handsome and that has gotten you to where you are. Perhaps you need to on the television and see boys that are handsome, talented singers, role models and making big money.
This is not to make you feel sad. It helps to keep your ego in check, that when things are getting good for you, you don’t stop and grease your elbow with the thought of being special.
Improve. Make impact. Keep your ego in check and help others.
6. The world is not all straight line
The thing about life is that it is sweet and bitter. You have to navigate bends, jump obstacles and fall flat on your face. Of course, you are going to enjoy a smooth ride for most of the time if you are optimistic and hard working.
When things are tough, maybe because of your mistakes, or a tragedy or an accident, remember that’s how life works. Story writers have adopted this thought so much that they create compelling art.
Enjoy your life when it’s pleasant; keep pushing when it’s hard — because it is how life works.
7. Focus on three things and you will be happy
To some extent, if you focus on your relationship with others, your source of income and your health, you will get a certain level of happiness.
If you are healthy, you have money and your relationship (with important people in your life) is good, you are almost there if not completely happy.
You might want to achieve other goals. But take away your source of income and health and people that love you then you will be wishing for death than to be alive. In contrast, you have money and you are healthy, and you don’t have issues with your family, parent, girlfriend, friends, people around you, your level of happiness will be higher than average.
So every day, remind yourself to build your relationships, improve your source of income, and stay healthy.
8. Some understanding comes with age and experience
Would I have written something like this when I was eighteen? I doubt it.
If someone tells me exactly what I have written now, would I have understood as I do now? That’s impossible.
Now I have some experience which have come with age and I can see things differently.
Tell a reckless boy why he needs to save money and he might look you in the eyes and smile.
As you grow, you will see some perspective clearly. They might not be new to you. You are just seeing things like an adult.
This, I’ve learned when parent are advising their children and the young girls or boys won’t listen.
With age, they will understand.
9. We all are going to die
Awolowo, Mandela, Jackson — great people — they are dead.
And we will all get there, but before then, make the best of your chances.
Remember that results make a genius.
No one would remember how great is the idea in your head unless you put it to test.
No one would thank you later if you fold your hands and think about something remarkable.
Make things happen.
It can be too late.