We know that taking the road less travelled is not easy, and yet many of us are too afraid of failure to even try and reach for the top.
My personal road to ‘success’ if you can call it that, has been full of struggle, obstacles and challenges, many of which were completely outside of my control. One of the most difficult things for me to process in my 20’s was learning to let go of elements I had no control over. In particular, letting go of any expectations I had for other people, and in turn putting that responsibility onto myself, because at the end of the day we are only in complete control of our own actions. Aware of this as I constantly impart nuggets of ‘wisdom’ to my eight teenage and adult kids at this stage in my life, I would like to leave you with a few pieces of knowledge that would have made things easier for me, had I known them earlier on:
Everything I needed (to be successful), I already had. The day I realized that I was comfortable with who I am, that I actually liked myself, it was the day I felt free. I do not harbour negative thoughts about people, I strategically choose to not be around people that make me uncomfortable. When it comes to the odd person you are buying a cup of coffee from who may say something negative, I just try to smile – then don’t go back. Success, to me, is being happy, and I am truly happy as long as I fill my heart with good. I also realize that my brain, my body as a tool, has the ability to create anything I put my mind to – it is powerful.
Family is the community we should live in. Why do so many of us fail and the few that squeak through are considered anomalies? The answer is quite simple, so seriously simple that the process (if it should be taken seriously) will create and possibly solve poverty, issues with mankind and peace in the world. By twenty years old, we should be looking to work with (not get away from our parents) but to work with their transition to be elderly, live with them in a cohesive relationship while all family members contribute to the home/food/expenses and conserves. Basic good: What is good for the world, is good for our family. Reset the mind from “have to move into my own house – a sinkhole of repairs, debts and the inability to ever get out from under”. By working within a community of a cohesive family, united under one roof, we can support each other, enjoy economies of scale and ‘as a team” contribute to great changes in this world.
I wish I knew the price of gold at twenty years in. Everyone has their own version of what is a ‘gold mine’ to them. If I had narrowly defined what success truly looked like for me, I think it would have been easier to chase, and to chart out a correct path to reach. It isn’t really “gold” per say, it is understanding the concept of keeping personal expenses low while taking what excess income you have an investing in safe stocks (real estate) that I wish I had known. If I swing back to #2, and had lived with my parents and invested a nest egg – I would be farther ahead. Once I realized I could invest outside of my core business, the possibilities to make money were limitless.
When tomorrow comes, yesterday wasn’t so hard to get through. In that moment of dread for a specific circumstance, it can be really hard to focus on the big picture and remember that you’ll always have another chance, and there is always tomorrow. When I was in my twenties I was recently divorced with two children, I was completely broke, and I had less than $20 in my bank account. Wherever you are, whatever you are doing, it’s never too late and there is always a tomorrow. I have also had moments where I have lost someone, my heart does not repair, I do not forget them, but in connection to that memory morphs into a gift. I can remember them, feel them, feel their encouragement and love, and I want to carry on a bit of their good work with me.
The greatest gift is time. Before 30 it felt like I had all the time in the world. With a broader sense of perspective, and after having lost both my mom and sisters, I wish I had known how imperative it is to take time with the people who truly mean the world to you. I did do my best and though I can look back and say I was there, it just never seems like enough time when they are gone.
The big, big layered hairstyle would follow me in perpetuity in every photograph taken. Fashion and trends have always been huge passions of mine, but let’s just say it might have been beneficial to adopt a more ‘timeless’ look early on?! I kid – I’m all about doing what feels right in the moment, and looking back, I wouldn’t change a thing, as it all got me to where I needed to be. Sometimes we can benefit from being slightly less analytical about every step of the process, and just sitting back to enjoy the ride.