All posts tagged Lessons

  • Head Down

    There’s a point in your life when you realise exactly what matters to you. It doesn’t have to be a poetic Fight Club moment. It could be a slow-moving process where you get so caught up in your life’s inertia that you stop to take stock, and notice everything that you’ve left behind.

    I’ve lived the latter of the two. I’m not quite running lean, but I’ve been subconsciously drifting in that direction.

    The things and people that don’t matter just fade into the background, into the distance as you keep moving. They’re far behind, now, and still caught up in their incessant bickering about endless trivialities. Caught up in the minutiae of life.

    Glenn‘s eighteenth birthday post made me stop and smile. Such optimism and enthusiasm for what’s ahead.

    I can’t pretend that any of the things that concerned me when I turned eighteen were anywhere near as important as the concepts and possibilities that Glenn is currently juggling. I was writing, sure, but without a purpose or an audience.

    Girls. Drinking. The opinions of my peers. These are the things that concerned me at age eighteen. As much as I wish that I’d been grappling with notions of personal accountability or building self-value – I wasn’t.

    Realising that you’ve got to put your head down and just go for it – that’s an important point to reach.

    Stating that ‘nothing else matters’ is over-simplifying a little, but hell, you’re in control. It’s the difference between crawling, or choosing to stand up and walk.

  • What I’ve Learned

    Accept personal accountability for every action that you take. Realise that you alone control your actions. To let any external factor dictate what you say or do is to cede control.

    Stasis is a dangerous state of being – a thousand times moreso for the young and unestablished. Be wary of those who are comfortable at a standstill. Adapt, adapt, adapt.

    Disdain what you cannot have. Greene wrote that ignoring these things is the best revenge. Look to the past: not to remember past hurts or bear grudges, but to examine and learn from the mistakes you have made. Do not dwell on those who have passed you by. Treat their choice as an opportunity to improve yourself for the next candidate.

    Create value. Build a new media presence.

    W.C. Fields advised to never trust a man who doesn’t drink. Conversely, be wary of those who regularly drink to excess without concern for the consequences of their actions, both personal and interpersonal. The regular abuse of alcohol is nothing more than a mechanism for ceding control of one’s accountability. Recognise that their choice is indicative of greater inner issues, and walk away.

    Create dialogues. It’s easy to contact almost anyone online. Use this to your advantage.

    Read. There is no new problem you can have that someone hasn’t already solved and wrote about in a book. Furthermore, the web has allowed an incredible amount of voices to emerge. Once you’ve sifted through the garbage, follow those whose voices speak to you.

    Write. If only for yourself. Keep a private blog and aim to write in it most days. If you haven’t already discovered the manner in which transcribing your thoughts allows you to view an issue with renewed clarity, you’ll be amazed. I can’t wait to look back at my private journal in ten years’ time. Hell, Ryan wrote that in six months’ time I’ll have discarded most of what I claim is important now. Through reading my archives, I’ve found that two months has been a consistent timeframe in which I’ve noticed enormous shifts in personal values.

    Listen. Don’t just wait for your turn to speak. Don’t interrupt. If most people are happy to fill a conversation with their words, indulge them.

    Communication is key. In a knowledge economy, income disparity exists primarily between those who can and cannot communicate. Read. Write. Learn to express your ideas clearly and succinctly. Communication is key.