It took me two years to learn to drive a stick shift. I fought it until I was paying $30 a day for Uber. There never came a moment when I felt ready to drive – I just trusted myself and did it. I wish I had the guts to ‘take the wheel’ sooner.
With instant access to food, clean water, and healthcare, it’s hard not to take things for granted. Have you ever noticed how a domesticated animal no longer has the urge to hunt? It begs for food and depends on the system that’s domesticating it – never fully reaching its potential. Much like domesticated animals, our lives are too comfortable.
Comfort slows progress. If we live like tomorrow is guaranteed, we’ll struggle to overcome even the slightest adversity. Most people spend their entire lives caught in a loop that began during childhood. Why not take the proverbial ‘wheel’ and start making progress now?
Here are five lessons in life you should avoid learning too late.
5 Lessons in Life To Start Learning Today
1. Read more books.
I wish I became a reader sooner. Growing up, I thought memorization was more important than application. I dreaded reading – and ‘cool’ kids didn’t read. I wasn’t cool, but I wanted to be; and book nerds never won Prom Queen.
As I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned reading is one of the only ways to introduce the mind to ideas and circumstances it’s never encountered. Reading expands our awareness and helps us to see from different perspectives. Rather than watching TV, try reading a few non-fiction books (especially Robert Greene books).
2. You do not think like who you want to become.
In that state of mind, would you respond to people or circumstances like you do now? Do you dress the same? Do you have the same daily routine? Do you tolerate the same treatment? You must let go of ego and become childlike in your thinking. Assume you know nothing.
3. Don’t try to change your environment – change your environment.
I saw a survey by Crazy Egg that said 30 percent of people find more happiness in spending time with friends and family than anything else. However, our friends and family can be our biggest weight when making lifestyle changes.
Imagine how challenging it is to get an entire group of people to question their beliefs, than it is to move to an environment where the people are like-minded. This is one of the most difficult lessons in life to acknowledge early on.
4. Don’t spend time, invest it.
We spend so much time thinking and planning. We don’t spend enough time taking action. Everyone seems to have the next great idea but rarely sees it through to fruition. We waste hours gossiping on the phone and drinking at the bar.
We have pointless meetings with people we’ll never see again, and build ‘collaborative’ friendships just to avoid having to do the hardest work on our own. We’re rewarded for being lazy. As a result, we waste A LOT of time.
Imagine if we treated time like money. Every second of it could be invested and multiplied in the long run. We could invest 4 or 5 years in our 20s and enjoy 20+ years of financial freedom later in life. A crazy night partying could set you back 18+ years.
It’s just like how a productive summer could allow you to graduate early. Time is far more important than we realize. There is no such thing as a week-END, or ‘time off’. When we come to this realization, we begin to progress in life. Spend (or invest) time wisely.
5. Don’t talk badly about others.
Gossiping is one of humanities’ favorite pastimes. Who doesn’t like ‘people watching’? I find observing people and animals to be one of the most interesting experiences. But it can become overwhelmingly negative if you’re ‘people watching’ with the wrong people.
All the time spent being judgemental could be spent being productive. Obsessing over Kimye, or talking about whether Kevin Hart cheated on his pregnant wife or not, isn’t getting you any closer to your dreams. If anything it’s getting you further away from it.
That’s because deep inside, you know that Kevin Hart is a successful man that’s added a lot of value to the world – regardless of what the tabloids say.
The only thing worse than learning something too late is being too stubborn to learn at all. Make the decision today to change your habits. Take note of these important lessons in life. You’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain.
Jump, and you’ll develop wings in flight.