NOTE: The following is a guest post written by my brother, Bryan, and I am grateful for his support in this endeavor and more proud of him, his family and his business than he realizes. Enjoy his post below! ~Brooke
Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to give your younger self some well-earned advice? I find it a habit to do self-reflection daily. Daily in my prayer, meditation, and journaling. It is so important to me and my personal health. As the gray in my hair and beard take over … I reflect on personal lessons I have learned and how I can leverage them in my future.
What would you tell that early version of you, knowing what you know now?
Well, here’s a summary of lessons learned for me. I hope you’ll find them beneficial for you.
- Wisdom Matters. While you may very well be as smart as you think you are, your intelligence will only be marginally useful in the real world. As time goes on, you’ll come to rely less and less on your brains and more and more on the wisdom, self-confidence, and strength that comes from your experience and the gray-haired wisdom of others. Lean in to others who are wise. Listen closely … wisdom is speaking.
- Get Over Yourself. The sooner you get over yourself, the better. The sooner you grow up and stop thinking you’re special … the sooner you realize that you’re just another guy trying to carve his own path in the world … the sooner you fall down, get up, dust yourself off, and realize that wasn’t so bad … the better. Most times, the person thinking about you the most … is you.
- Take BIG Risks! The older we get … the more “risk adverse” we become. It gets much harder as you get older and begin to acquire and achieve things you don’t want to risk losing. If Sam Walton started his first Wal-Mart at 44 years old … you can certainly take some risks … right NOW! Don’t wait. Qualify the risk/opportunity … then say “yes” and figure it out as you go.
- Leadership … What?! Leadership is often lonely. Leadership is not about telling everyone else what to do. It’s about casting vision and serving others. Don’t let fancy business magazines fool you … leadership is not all gum-drops and lollipops. There’s a significant cost to be a leader. Leadership is a stewardship … you are accountable for the leadership entrusted to you.
- Find Your Passion. If you don’t think you’ve found it yet … then you haven’t. You’ll know when you have. When you find your passion … increasing opportunity, responsibility, and accountability will naturally come to you. Passion will make your senses come alive!
- Fail Fast. You’ll achieve confidence from success … and wisdom from failure. Failure builds a strong foundation. When you know you will fail … fail fast … remember how you got there and don’t do it again. Learn from your failure … it’s a great teacher.
- Be Generous. Give your money, your time, your experience, and your influence. Give a bunch of you away to others. No one … and I mean no one … owes you anything to prohibit you from giving yourself away.
- Sweat Every Day. Find a way to break a sweat each and every day. Do it for the future you. Prepare your body for its future.
- Forgive. Life is too short to let others pin you to the ground with their actions and decisions. Give yourself the life-giving gift of forgiveness. Forgive for them … but also for you. There’s no greater model on this topic but Jesus.
These are nine lessons I have learned to share. I’ve learned many more … and most are captured in my journals since my college days.
The future you is begging you to do things that benefit you. I’d encourage you to consider that a life lived with intention is a rich life lived. Be about the things your future you is telling you. It’s a gift. If only I had listened when I was younger …
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