Personal growth is all about improving yourself to create the life that you want. The purpose of these lessons is to empower you to create that life.
The lessons will focus on personal growth, but they will also cover all areas of life, including relationships, health, finances and happiness.
Not all the lessons will be relevant or useful to you. My suggestion is to take the ones you find useful and to read them in order, as they build on one another.
Over time, the lessons will be improved and updated, and you will always be able to download the latest version here.
My goal is for these lessons to become the best 100 lessons to help anyone.
If you have feedback, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Lastly, feel free to share these lessons with anyone.
The information in these lessons is for informational purposes only. All the lessons are opinion and are not meant to be professional advice. You are reading them at your own risk and you are fully responsible for your own life.
Lesson 1: Know who you are
Who are you?
You are the awareness that notices and rules over both your mind and body. Better put, your mind and body are the vehicles that your awareness drives. Your mind and body are part of you, but are not you; you are the driver.
To know that you are the driver of your mind and body is to have true free will. It is to drive your thoughts, words and actions as you choose; not as your mind or body demand. It is to rule over yourself, and to not be ruled by your-self.
To identify with your mind or body as who you are is to be driven by your vehicles; to be on autopilot. To identify with externals like your job or titles is to be driven by life; to be on life’s autopilot.
To know who you are is to have the power of choice.
To know who you are is to know that you are your own creator—the God within.
“Be still, and know that I am God.” ― Psalm 46:10 (KJV)
“Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.” ― Carl Jung
“We seldom realize, for example, that our most private thoughts and emotions are not actually our own. For we think in terms of languages and images which we did not invent, but which were given to us by our society.” ― Alan W. Watts, The Book: On the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are
Lesson 2: Know yourself
To know your-self means to become aware of your current self; the persona or ego you have created so far; your story.
To become aware of current self you have to describe your-self. You have to find out what your current self wants, doesn’t want, believes; you have to know about its past, its present, its future; know about its body, its stuff, and so on.
To know yourself is a never-ending process and there is always more to learn. But the more you know your-self, the more you can consciously choose the thoughts, words and actions of the person you want to be.
The more you know yourself, the more you can re-create yourself at will.
“Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.” ― Aristotle
Lesson 3: Cultivate a healthy ego
Your ego is the story you have created about yourself.
The ego is not “good” or “bad” or something you can destroy or avoid, it’s just the tool we use to understand and navigate the world.
The ego is only an issue when you’re unaware of it; when you identify with your mind (thoughts, beliefs, emotions), your body and even externals like your job, your car and your money. To identify with the ego is to be driven by it; to let ego decide life for you; to have no true free will.
To cultivate a healthy ego you have to become aware of it, by realizing that you are the awareness that notices and rules over it. To become aware of your ego is to drive your ego; to tell your ego what your life is about; to have true free will.
Rather than “fighting” your ego, become aware of it and create the best version of it by cultivating better thoughts, better words and better actions.
Your ego is the door to awareness—the door to your awakening.
Your ego is not your enemy, it is your friend.
“When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.” ― Lao Tzu
“What you resist not only persists, but grows in size.” ― Carl Jung
“The first and best victory is to conquer self. To be conquered by self is, of all things, the most shameful and vile.” ― Plato
“Never belong to a crowd; Never belong to a nation; Never belong to a religion; Never belong to a race. Belong to the whole existence. Why limit yourself to small things? When the whole is available.” ― Osho
“The ego is a tool. You don’t separate it. It’s a tool for the spirit.” ― Ram Dass
Lesson 4: Live in the present
There is the past-present, the now-present and the future-present. Everything passes through the present, and it is here and now where you have all the power to create the life that you want.
The past can be useful for lessons, the future for decisions and planning, but it is in the present where you decide what to make of the past and what to create for the future.
To live in the present is to live now; to feel your mind, to feel your body, to feel your environment; to engage in present thoughts, words and actions.
Everything happens in the present and everything eventually comes to an end. What’s important is not how long things last, but how meaningful they are while they do.
“We are living in a culture entirely hypnotized by the illusion of time, in which the so-called present moment is felt as nothing but an infintesimal hairline between an all-powerfully causative past and an absorbingly important future. We have no present. Our consciousness is almost completely preoccupied with memory and expectation. We do not realize that there never was, is, nor will be any other experience than present experience. We are therefore out of touch with reality. We confuse the world as talked about, described, and measured with the world which actually is. We are sick with a fascination for the useful tools of names and numbers, of symbols, signs, conceptions and ideas.” ― Alan W. Watts
“For there is never anything but the present, and if one cannot live there, one cannot live anywhere.” ― Alan W. Watts, The Way of Zen
“You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment.” ― Henry David Thoreau
Lesson 5: Master yourself
To master yourself means to direct your thoughts, words and actions at will. To do what needs to be done even when your mind or body don’t feel like it.
To master yourself means to take full responsibility for your life: your relationships, your health, your finances, your happiness. To know that the world owes you nothing; to know that no one is coming to save you; and to know that whatever you want has to be earned.
To master yourself means to discipline yourself; to not be a slave to your mind or body. It means to be truly free.
“Through discipline comes freedom.” ― Aristotle
“With self-discipline most anything is possible.” ― Theodore Roosevelt
Lesson 6: Focus on yourself first
The biggest impact you can have in the lives of others is through your own life. The more you improve yourself, the more you can improve the lives of others; both through your work and through your own example.
People will change when they want to change or when they’re forced to change. Allow people to be, and allow the universe to teach everyone at their own pace.
Whatever your goals are, you will always be most effective by focusing on what you do control—yourself and your direct environment.
And even if the world does go to pieces, allow it, for your power is always within.
“Let your credo be this: Let the lie come into the world, let it even triumph. But not through me.” ― Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; the courage to change the things that I can; and the wisdom to know the difference.” ― Reinhold Niebuhr, The Serenity Prayer
Lesson 7: Love yourself
To love yourself means to be whole; to be content with yourself.
To love yourself means to be by your side; to never give up on yourself.
To love yourself means to improve yourself; to become your best self.
To love yourself means to be able to give and receive love.
“The man who does not value himself, cannot value anything or anyone.” ― Ayn Rand, The Virtue of Selfishness
Lesson 8: Be yourself
To be yourself means to be your purest self. It means to be in alignment with your truest thoughts, words and actions. It means to celebrate yourself unapologetically. It means to express the knowing and loving of yourself.
“If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music he hears, however measured or far away.” ― Henry David Thoreau
“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.” ― Bernard M. Baruch
Lesson 9: Be humble
To be humble means to be teachable. It doesn’t mean to think low of yourself, but rather to know yourself better—to be wiser. To wisely know that beyond yourself you know little and you control little.
Humility is what personal growth is built on. It is to acknowledge that there is always room for growth and that you will never know it all.
People who lack humility see themselves above learning and growing. As a result, they stop improving themselves and they continue making the same mistakes over and over, until life teaches them better.
To be humble is to be able to learn from anyone and anything, at any stage and at any age.
“A true genius admits that he knows nothing.” ― Albert Einstein
Lesson 10: Be grateful
To be grateful means to love life. It is to see the good, the bad, and everything as the same Divine Love; a Divine Love that is there to teach us what we need in order to grow.
If you notice, it is usually over time that we realize how good the “bad” was for us—it made us better. If we’re grateful from the start, we can move forward with our lives and we can make the most out of every moment.
“Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.” ― Melody Beattie
“Brothers, have no fear of men’s sin. Love a man even in his sin, for that is the semblance of Divine Love and is the highest love on earth. Love all of God’s creation, the whole and every grain of sand in it. Love every leaf, every ray of God’s light. Love the animals, love the plants, love everything. If you love everything, you will perceive the divine mystery in things. Once you perceive it, you will begin to comprehend it better every day. And you will come at last to love the whole world with an all-embracing love.” ― Fyodor Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov
Lesson 11: Trust the universe
Trust the unknown.
Trust that everything is happening to make you better, and trust that you’ll be able to overcome whatever life throws at you. Embrace change, embrace chaos, embrace it all. Focus on improving yourself—the only constant.
Listen to the universe.
Is that relationship really the right one? Have you noticed any red flags, or signals sent your way? What’s your intuition telling you? Does something not feel right about this business deal? Why proceed? Trust.
Your faith in a higher power like the universe will allow you to overcome any obstacles, make the right choices, and face life unafraid.
Without faith in a higher power, you’ll have a hard time overcoming obstacles, making the right choices, and seeing the full range of possibilities, as they will all be clouded by your own limited understanding.
“If a man will begin with certainties, he shall end in doubts; but if he will be content to begin with doubts, he shall end in certainties.” ― Francis Bacon, The Advancement of Learning
“Faith is the highest passion in a human being. Many in every generation may not come that far, but none comes further.” ― Søren Kierkegaard
“Faith sees the invisible, believes the unbelievable, and receives the impossible.” ― Corrie ten Boom
“For with God nothing shall be impossible.” ― Luke 1:37 (KJV)
Lesson 12: Remember that you’re going to die
Life is short and it could end at any moment.
Remembering how short and fragile your life truly is, is one of the best ways to make the most out of every moment, and be truly alive.
In the face of death, only what matters the most survives. All obstacles transform into mere steps and time becomes your most precious asset.
Knowing how short your life is will allow you to make better choices in the present and live a more meaningful life.
“It is not death that a man should fear, but he should fear never beginning to live.” ― Marcus Aurelius, Meditations
“Let your every deed, word and thought be those of one who might depart from this life this very moment.” ― Marcus Aurelius, Meditations
Lesson 13: Tell the truth
Honesty will naturally attract what you need and repel what you don’t need. It will filter out the wrong people and the wrong situations by your mere expression of it.
If a person rejects you for telling the truth, it is truth that will be rejecting them out of your life. For had they stuck around, they would have been the exact same person who would have hurt you. Had you lied, you would have gotten exactly what you deserved.
Truth is what’s going to help you avoid the biggest mistakes in your life. And it’s also what’s going to give you the best that life has to offer. For truth is verbal karma; it is to make contracts with the universe.
Tell the truth and keep your word and the truth will get you what you want out of life.
“Honesty is the first chapter of the book wisdom.” ― Thomas Jefferson
“Speak truth long enough and your word shall become universal law.” ― Hindu saying
Lesson 14: Be kind
To be kind means to give without expectations; to give from the heart.
To contrast, to give with expectations is to take in disguise; it is to sacrifice. And it will often lead to resentments and revenge, if the expectations are not met.
Always give from the heart to yourself and to others. It always makes a difference. We’re all human and we’re all in this together.
“No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.” ― Aesop
“Kindness is a language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.” ― Mark Twain
Lesson 15: Find your purpose
Purpose means the reason why something exists.
To find your purpose means to find out what you were born to do.
To find out what you were born to do, you have to find out what you love doing that gives you the most meaning. Once you find out what that is, you will have found your purpose.
Once you find your purpose, you will then be able to organize your life around it, develop it, and live a more meaningful life.
For example, I love helping people grow and it is what gives me the most meaningful experience. Therefore, my purpose in life is to help people grow. So I organize my life to maximize my purpose and live my most meaningful life.
“The purpose of life is to discover your gift. The work of life is to develop it. The meaning of life is to give it away.” ― David Viscott, Finding Your Strength in Difficult Times
Lesson 16: Find out what you want and don’t want out of life
As Tony Robbins says, clarity is power. The clearer you are about what you want out of life, the easier it will be to look after it and get it.
For example, if I already know that I want to date someone that’s 10 feet tall, then why even consider someone shorter? It’s simply not a good use of my limited time and resources.
To know what you want and don’t want is to know your values, the things you believe will bring you the most happiness.
To find out what your values are, you have to reflect on all the areas of your life: your relationships, your health, your finances. And you can do this by writing what you want and don’t want for each area.
The more you know what your values are, the easier it will be to look after them and maximize your limited resources to create the life that you want.
It’s okay to not know exactly what your values are now. Over time and with experience you’ll get more clarity. What’s important is to know what you can, and to align your life with it. Otherwise, you will be left at the mercy of chance.
“Lack of direction, not lack of time, is the problem. We all have 24-hour days.” ― Zig Ziglar
“There are three types of people in this world: those who make things happen, those who watch things happen, and those who wonder what happened.” ― Mary Kay Ash
Lesson 17: Aim high
The lower you aim, the lower you get.
I can’t stress enough how important it is for you to aim high; to believe that you can do anything. It is only when you believe that you can do anything that you’re able to do it, or to get very close to it.
The higher you aim, the higher you’ll get. Aim high in your relationships, aim high in your health, aim high in your finances. Always aim high.
“Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.” ― Norman Vincent Peale
“Fortune sides with those who dare.” ― Virgil
Lesson 18: Follow your heart
As long as you’re still alive in one piece, what’s there to lose? You’re still you.
Traveling a safe road is an illusion, for your life could change at any moment.
No one is born learned; we all fall before we can walk. The people who succeed the most in life tend to be those who fail the most. Why? Because every failure taught them a better way of doing things; the more they failed, the more they learned. As long as they never gave up on themselves, success was inevitable.
Always strive to win and see all your failures as learning opportunities.
If you truly want something, you’ll always find a way to get it.
Life is short, why not follow a path with heart?
“I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life and that is why I succeed.” ― Michael Jordan
“Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” ― Steve Jobs
“Having responded to his own call, and continuing to follow courageously as the consequences unfold, the hero finds all the forces of the unconscious at his side.” ― Joseph Campbell, The Hero with a Thousand Faces
Lesson 19: Develop your strengths and weaknesses
Your strengths are what you’re currently good at; your weaknesses are what you’re currently not good at.
Both your strengths and weaknesses have developed through practice. Your strengths have probably developed through the challenges you have faced, while your weaknesses have lagged behind due to lack of practice.
Anything you want to do can be broken down into strengths or skills to learn. If your current strengths align with your purpose and goals, then focusing on those already developed strengths will be the most effective way to succeed.
However, if you don’t have a particular strength or if your strengths don’t align with your current goals, you can always build new strengths through practice.
Find out what it is that you want to do, break it down into strengths or skills to learn, and practice them until you can actually do it. Also remember that you don’t have to develop all the skills yourself; you can always delegate to others.
Finally, you should also develop your weaknesses up to a point where you can get their main benefits. For example, if one of your weaknesses is introducing yourself to others, then you should practice it until you’re able to do it and get its main benefits, such as leaving a good first impression.
Develop your strengths and weaknesses, but definitely play on your strengths.
“Repetition is the mother of skill.” ― Tony Robbins
“I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.” ― Bruce Lee
Lesson 20: Pay whatever the price is
There is always a price to pay to get you what you want out of life. Anything you get for “free” will always cost you one way or another—as you can only get what you deserve.
The robber pays with anxiety, prison, death; the gold-digger pays with guilt, insignificance, life-time; the cheater pays with disease, unwanted pregnancies, baggage. Even making a line for “free” junk food will cost you time and health; even winning the lottery can kill you if it gets you into drugs and alcohol.
Anything you don’t deserve you will pay for; and anything you do deserve you will get. Find out what the price for the life you want is and pay for it.
Is it working on yourself? Is it eating right? Is it working on your business? Is it ending a relationship? How much is your current life costing you? How much is the life you want worth paying for? Pay whatever the price is.
“The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it.” ― Henry David Thoreau, Walden
“People pay for what they do, and still more for what they have allowed themselves to become. And they pay for it very simply; by the lives they lead.” ― James Baldwin
“For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.” ― Newton’s Third Law of Motion
“We cannot start over, but we can begin now, and make a new ending.” ― Zig Ziglar
Lesson 21: Use anything and everything to fuel your growth
Everything is energy, and energy flows where attention goes. If you think of the color red, you notice the color red in life. Whatever you focus on expands.
When your girlfriend breaks your heart, she throws you a ball of energy. You can either let it control you by moving further down in escapes like alcohol and risky sex with girls you don’t like. Or you can choose to use it to become the best version of yourself.
Whatever life throws at you, it is always your choice to decide what to do with it. Instead of letting life get the best out of you, turn the tables and get the best out of life.
If you’re angry, use anger; if you’re jealous, use jealously; if you’re sad, use sadness. All is energy and you’re the awareness that chooses what to do with it.
Use anything and everything to fuel your growth. Love whatever fate brings and welcome it with open arms. The “negative” side of life is always full of wisdom.
Your job is to turn everything into gold without hurting anyone, including those who hurt you. For if you hurt them, you become like them, and you pay for it.
Trust the universe to pay its debts, be grateful for everything that happens in your life, and trust in your ability to re-create anything at will.
“I am not what happened to me, I am what I choose to become.” ― Carl Jung
“Everything you see has its roots in the unseen world. The forms may change, yet the essence remains the same.” ― Rūmī
“It was only after the illness that I understood how important it is to affirm one’s own destiny. In this way we forge an ego that does not break down when incomprehensible things happen; an ego that endures, that endures the truth, and that is capable of coping with the world and with fate. Then, to experience defeat is also to experience victory. Nothing is disturbed neither inwardly nor outwardly, for one’s own continuity has withstood the current of life and of time.” ― Carl Jung, Memories, Dreams, Reflections
Lesson 22: Create the right beliefs
Beliefs make you or break you. Whatever you believe in becomes your reality.
What’s most interesting about beliefs is that they don’t have to be the ultimate truth to have power—all that matters is how much you believe in them.
If you believe that you’re a victim, then you become a victim. If you believe that you’re in charge of your life, then you become in charge of your life.
Beliefs are always a choice. You’re always the one who chooses whether to disempower yourself or to empower yourself through your beliefs.
Beliefs are simply the vehicles we think will bring us the most happiness; whether that happiness comes by disempowering yourself as a victim (it’s not my fault), or by empowering yourself as a creator (it’s up to me).
What separates successful people from the rest comes down to their beliefs. While successful people see no limits, everyone else is still stuck in a prison of their own making—a prison of limited beliefs.
Always strive to create the most empowering beliefs possible without hurting yourself or others. Sometimes, even conscious delusion can help.
For example, if you divorce, reality might suck. But you can choose to believe that it will be an easy process and that you’re better off focusing on your next steps. This will allow you to take the process with ease and continue moving forward with your life.
Your beliefs will determine how you interact with the world, which in turn will determine how the world interacts with you. The more you believe in something, the more you’ll make it a reality, for you are a creator.
With all that said, always allow space between you and your beliefs, so as to remain open to all possibilities of improvement, and so as to not take anything personally. In the end, we’re all human and no one knows the ultimate truth.
Finally, be aware of people who look to disempower you. A common example of this is politicians who make everyone a victim by telling them how their life sucks and it’s not their fault—all to get votes and push an agenda.
It is you who decides what your life is all about—no one else.
“Whether you think you can, or think you can’t… you’re right.” ― Henry Ford
“It is not inequality which is the real misfortune, it is dependence.” ― Voltaire
“We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorns have roses.” ― Alphonse Karr, A Tour Round My Garden
“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” ― Thomas Edison
Lesson 23: Believe in yourself
People often complain that others don’t believe in them. But how can others believe in you if you don’t believe in yourself either? Or how can others believe in you if they don’t believe in themselves either?
The reality is that you have to believe in yourself even if no one else believes in you. After all, it is not up to others to make your dreams a reality, it is up to you.
If you can only move forward with the support of others, then others will determine how far you’ll go. And it won’t be very far, for it’s not their life.
You either believe in yourself and build your dreams, or you allow others to determine how far you go and end up building someone else’s dreams.
“The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.” ― Steve Jobs
Lesson 24: Create the right environment
You can shape your environment as much as it shapes you. Despite not having full control over it, the more aware you are, the more you can shape it.
You should strive to create the best environment possible for your growth. An environment that aligns with your goals, so that you can reach them faster.
But to create this environment you must first know what your goals are; your goals for your relationships, your health, your finances; find out what those are.
Once you know what your goals are, you then have to remove everything that doesn’t move you closer to them; ideally, only keeping what you love and need. Keeping only what you love and need will create an environment of the right things, the right activities, and the right people.
From here, you can then optimize your environment by delegating, automating, and systemizing as much as possible.
Finally, if your environment continues to be challenging, you can always try imagining a different one. For example, in the past while I worked on projects and my environment sucked, I used to imagine myself working alongside top performers; it motivated me to perform at my best, even if it was all in my head.
Time is limited, make the best with what you have.
“I must create a system, or be enslaved by another man’s.” ― William Blake
Lesson 25: See into the future
In everything that you do, you always want to know how your actions today will reflect on the future, as all actions create a ripple of consequences.
If you’re considering a partner, for example, it is important to visualize that person into the future. Are they the right person for your kids? Are you going to be able to love them? If you already know the answers are no, then why continue taking risks with them? As soon as you make a mistake, you’ll wish it had never started. You’ll be paying for what you could see from the start.
Live in the present, but look well into the future to make the right choices today.
“The best way to predict your future is to create it.” ― Abraham Lincoln
“Leap of faith – yes, but only after reflection.” ― Søren Kierkegaard
Lesson 26: Learn to say No
The world has unlimited demands from you. Saying No is the best way to protect your time and resources, and focus on what truly matters.
It’s okay to disappoint others and the world. You’re either saying No to them, or you’re saying No to yourself. If people insist, or if it’s in your best interests but you can’t at the moment, then you can always provide them with alternatives.
Never lie or make excuses, if you have to explain, do so honestly. The quicker you conclude things honestly, the faster everyone can get on with their lives and the more time and resources you have to do what’s most important to you.
Only say Yes to what truly matters and keep your word.
“Focusing is about saying No.” ― Steve Jobs
“The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say No to almost everything.” ― Warren Buffett
Lesson 27: Learn to ask
To get what you want, sometimes all you have to do is ask.
If you’re at the gym and need help with your form, just ask. If you need to find out what motivates your buyer, just ask. If you see someone you want to meet, just ask.
You would be surprised by how far you can get if you just ask. People are rich with resources and opportunities. And if your intentions are true, people will be happy to help you. Or at the very least you’ll learn something new.
You can also use asking for your own self-discovery. What do I want? What do I not want? What’s truly important to me? What’s not important to me? Where am I going with my life? Is this the right decision? What happens if I do this or that?
Learn to ask and you’ll open a lot of new opportunities in your life.
“Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.” ― Matthew 7:7 (KJV)
“It is not that we don’t know the right answers, it is just that we don’t ask the right questions.” ― Tony Robbins
“If I had an hour to solve a problem and my life depended on the solution, I would spend the first 55 minutes determining the proper question to ask, for once I know the proper question, I could solve the problem in less than five minutes.” ― Albert Einstein
Lesson 28: Don’t be busy
Life will give you the opportunities to reach your dreams. But if you’re too busy you’ll probably be unprepared to take advantage of them, or you won’t even notice them.
If you’re in the wrong business, you might be unprepared when the right one shows up. If you’re with the wrong partner, the right one might just pass you by.
Rather than occupying space with good, open space for greatness in your life.
Even if you’re busy working on your purpose and aspirations, you should still strive to create as much free time as possible. Free time to recover and to improve yourself in preparation for new opportunities and possibilities, such as meeting your soulmate or finding better ways of doing your work.
In order to create more free time, you’ll want to remove the biggest distractors and time wasters in your life, and protect your time as much as possible.
You’ll have to disengage from the wrong people and the wrong things; things like the media, social media, and everything that’s not essential to your goals. Every extra 10 minutes a day you save is an extra 5 hours per month.
“It is not enough to be busy; so are the ants. The question is: What are you busy about?” ― Henry David Thoreau
“Learn to say No to the good so you can say Yes to the best.” ― John C. Maxwell
Lesson 29: Spend time in solitude and silence
We live in a world of endless distractions and numbing escapes from our solitude and silence. But it is in solitude and silence where you cultivate the awareness to create the life that you want.
Rather than filling every single spare moment with distractions and escapes like social media, the web, TV, drugs and alcohol, get in touch with yourself by practicing solitude and silence once in a while.
Take yourself on a date, go out for a walk, get in touch with nature. Slow down for a bit. Do nothing. Feel your heart beat. Take a breath. Feel the warmth of the Sun, feel the weight of your body, watch your thoughts come and go.
Cultivate some peace within and you’ll be able to do anything from there.
“The quieter you become, the more you can hear.” ― Ram Dass
“The first lesson of love is to learn how to be alone.” ― Osho
“Be alone, that is the secret of invention; be alone, that is when ideas are born.” ― Nikola Tesla
Lesson 30: Only rely on yourself
When you only rely on yourself you’re able to account for the unknown. Externals can come and go at any moment, but you always have yourself.
In practical terms, you should do what you set out to do no matter what. No matter if your best friend cancels on you, if your girlfriend dumps you, or if the sky starts to fall. You always want to be that unrelenting force that moves forward no matter what.
Only relying on yourself, so as to account for the unknown, will allow you to appreciate people and the environment more (when they’re reliable), and not be disappointed or take things personally when things don’t go your way (when they’re unreliable), as it was all accounted for.
With all this said, you should always strive to build the most reliable relationships and environment possible, so as to make the most out of life.
“The man who has anticipated the coming of troubles takes away their power when they arrive.” ― Seneca
Lesson 31: Give yourself the approval
We tend to look to others to prove our value.
We compare ourselves to others, to prove that we’re better. We change ourselves for others, to prove that we’re part of the group. We try to change others, to prove that we’re right.
The problem here is that your value is always dependent on others. On proving your “superiority,” your “belongingness,” or your “righteousness.” When your attempts to prove your value fail, you feel diminished.
Any time you look to others to prove your value, you give them power over you; they get to decide what your value is.
The reality is that you have nothing to prove. Your opinion is the only opinion that matters when it comes to your life—for you know yourself best. And this is probably one of the main reasons why you should strive for a virtuous life; because in the end, it doesn’t matter what others think of you, but what you think of yourself—your conscience always knows the truth.
The truth is that people don’t care that much about you; they too have their own problems to deal with, and they too are trying to prove themselves to others. And even if they do care, they will still think whatever they want to think regardless of what you do.
Give yourself the approval. Whether others approve of you or not is their problem, not yours. You don’t need anyone’s approval to move forward with your life.
“Someone’s opinion of you does not have to become your reality.” ― Les Brown
“A creative man is motivated by the desire to achieve, not by the desire to beat others.” ― Ayn Rand
“It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for what you are not.” ― André Gide, Autumn Leaves
“Self-esteem is the reputation we acquire with ourselves.” ― Nathaniel Branden, The Six Pillars of Self Esteem
Lesson 32: Become a man of value
Albert Einstein said, “Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value.” In other words, aim to become a better person, rather than a person who has more. Why? Because externals can come and go at any moment, but you always have yourself.
The more you improve yourself, the more you’ll be able to have.
“Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.” ― Seneca
Lesson 33: Love learning
You can learn from anything and everything. The good, the bad, the neutral. Even the air can teach you about your connection to others and the planet.
While the possibilities to learning are limitless, I have found writing, teaching and doing to be the best ways I learn. But before being able to write, teach and do, I have found reading, watching, and listening to work best for me.
In more practical terms, I read books, listen to audiobooks, take video courses, experience life, and then I reflect, write, teach and do—all in order to learn as best as I can.
I strive to learn from the best, to model and improve after them; to learn from diverse disciplines, to see the world in different ways; to learn from opposing views, to reach better conclusions; to learn from all types of feedback, to improve on my blind spots; to learn from experiences, to do things better next time; to learn from anything and everything really. Everyone’s got their own style and my examples are just to spark ideas.
With all this said, it is always good to keep in mind that your time is limited and that you won’t be able to learn everything that there is to know. Eventually, you’ll want to focus on a few mentors you can model after, and create something of your own.
Love learning and never stop learning.
“Once you stop learning, you start dying.” ― Albert Einstein
“Many people die at twenty five and aren’t buried until they are seventy five.” ― Benjamin Franklin
“Improve yourself by other men’s writings thus attaining effortlessly what they acquired through great difficulty.” ― Socrates
“If I have seen further it is because I have stood on the shoulders of giants.” ― Isaac Newton
Lesson 34: Cultivate simple sustainable habits
Habits are what you repeatedly do; actions that become routine.
The habits you choose to practice either make you better or worse over time.
The key to building good habits comes down to simplicity and consistency. Your goal is to make your habits so simple that you know you can do them consistently for months and years from the start. Why? Because consistency is what matters the most when building habits; the complexity and difficult can always be increased over time.
To stick to habits, there are a few more things you can do:
- You can improve your environment to make practicing your habits as easy as possible. For example, by having a gym bag always ready in your car.
- You can create multiple versions of the habit. For example, a long version could be a morning routine of 20 push-ups and 20 squats, followed by 20 minutes of meditation; and the short version just 10 minutes of meditation.
- Finally, you can create a set of core habits; habits that you never compromise. Ideally, the ones giving you the most benefits. These will be the habits that you can always go back to when life gets difficult.
I personally like doing a morning routine of just meditation; an evening routine of reflection and planning (in writing); and basic habits like waking up at the same time, good nutrition and yoga. I know I can do them consistently anywhere and at any time, and I can always increase the difficulty if I choose. These habits keep me at my best, accumulate, and make me better over time.
Notice the habits that you engage in and find the habits that work best for you.
“We first make our habits, then our habits make us.” ― John Dryden
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” ― Aristotle
“Sow a thought and you reap an act; sow an act and you reap a habit; sow a habit and you reap a character; sow a character and you reap a destiny.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson
Lesson 35: Stay sharp
Don’t let success destroy you.
I have seen many people lose themselves once they find a partner or make some money. They get too comfortable, they start letting go of what made them successful, and then they lose it all.
Like the saying goes: “…nothing fails like success…”
It is at the time of success where you need to be the most careful. It is here where you need to double check your steps, and double down on your growth. Otherwise, success will weaken you and you will start to lose your edge.
For example, for your relationships, you could look for ways to deepen them; for your health you could start working out harder and eating better; for your finances, you could take your job or business to the next level.
Success should be seen as a platform where you can achieve more from.
Always stay sharp.
“The task must be made difficult, for only the difficult inspires the noble-hearted.” ― Søren Kierkegaard
“The greatest hazard of all, that of losing one’s self, can occur very quietly in the world, as if it were nothing at all. No other loss can occur so quietly; any other loss – an arm, a leg, five dollars, a spouse, etc. – is sure to be noticed.” ― Søren Kierkegaard, The Sickness Unto Death
Lesson 36: Use the 80/20 rule in everything
The 80/20 rule, also known as the Pareto principle, basically states that 80% of the results are produced by 20% of the actions.
In a business, for example, 80% of the money comes from 20% of the customers. Knowing this, the owner should always focus his limited resources on that 20% of customers and put the remaining resources into acquiring similar customers and expanding the business.
In everything that you do, there is always that 20% of things that give you 80% of the results. Find out what those things are in your relationships, in your health, in your finances, and focus on them.
For your relationships it could be sex and quality time; for your health it could be exercise and nutrition; for your finances it could be taking action.
The remaining 80% of things should be eliminated, automated, and delegated as much as possible.
For your relationships it could be delegating house work to someone else; for your health it could be eliminating junk food; for your finances it could be automating your bills.
Apply the 80/20 rule in everything that you do to make the most out of your life.
“Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least.” ― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
“You have to decide what your highest priorities are and have the courage—pleasantly, smilingly, unapologetically, to say No to other things. And the way you do that is by having a bigger Yes burning inside.” ― Stephen R. Covey
Lesson 37: Eliminate, automate and delegate
Always strive to eliminate, automate, and delegate as much as possible. If you can’t eliminate things, see if you can automate them, if not, see if you can delegate them, if not again, then it’s time to get them done yourself. And you do.
Luckily, we live in a technological world where there are plenty of options to eliminate, automate and delegate. Think relationships, health, finances.
For your relationships you could remove the wrong people out of your life; for your health you could have your food or meals delivered; for your finances you could outsource unwanted work to someone else. Seek and you will find.
The goal with eliminating, automating, and delegating as much as possible, is to leverage your time and resources to make the most out of life.
“Give me a lever long enough and a point of support on which to place it, and I shall move the world.” ― Archimedes
Lesson 38: Work smart first, hard second
It is not those who work the hardest who succeed the most; it’s those who work smart first and hard second who succeed the most.
To work smart you have to be working on the right things. So you have to start with a plan; a plan to define what it is that you’re trying to accomplish.
After planning, besides focusing on your strengths, practicing the 80/20 rule, eliminating, delegating, and automating as much as possible, and focusing on one thing at a time, there are a few more things you can do:
- You can always work with urgency by remembering that your time is very limited; remembering that you are going to die.
- You can work on Airplane Mode or with your devices turned off, so that nothing interrupts your work. Simply let people know your schedule.
- You can break your work into small pieces that you can tackle easily day by day, instead of being overwhelmed by the whole thing at once.
- You can get the ball rolling and just do what you can at the time; over time your work will suddenly be done.
- You can work in batches, doing similar tasks all at once. For example, one day you might work on all the images of your project. Batching will also give you the continuous practice you need to sharpen your skills.
- You can work on the hardest tasks in the hours where your willpower is the highest, and on the easiest tasks when your willpower is the lowest.
- You can force yourself into an environment where there is nothing else to do, but work, or an environment that inspires your best work.
- You can play a looped song while you work. For this method I use instrumentals and avoid songs that trigger memories and old patterns.
- You can tap into your current emotional state. If you’re feeling depressed, try tapping into that energy and transform it into work.
- You can work in time intervals using the Pomodoro Technique, where you focus for 25 minutes, take a 5 minutes break, and then do as many sets as you need; there are many Pomodoro apps and add-ons available.
- Lastly, be aware of Parkinson’s Law, which states that “work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.” In other words, if you have a week to do something, you’ll probably take the whole week to do it. Be aware of it and fight against it by working with focus and with urgency.
Work smart by planning well, by working effectively, and by working hard.
“Well begun is half done.” ― Aristotle
“Plan your work and work your plan.” ― Napoleon Hill
Lesson 39: Expect highs and lows
Highs and lows are inevitable and they all happen for a reason.
In a breakup, for example, your new loneliness can help you develop your focus and charisma; qualities that proved crucial that one day you met your soulmate.
Here we could say that the reason you had to go through that breakup (the low) was in order to prepare you to meet your soulmate (the reason). If you knew… it wouldn’t have been a low point at all, but one of the highest points in your life.
Always welcome the highs and the lows as part of the same growth. At the very least, the lows will provide the contrast to appreciate your highs even more.
There will be highs and lows and you won’t be at your best every day. What’s important is to simply to be aware that the highs are followed by the lows, and the lows by the highs; they both come in cycles. So when you’re going through a low point, expect a new high to be reached. And when you’re going through a high point, do your best to not go too low, and to recover quickly.
As you work on yourself and your environment, the lows will be easier to handle, and it’ll be easier to stay on a continuous upward trend.
“No tree, it is said, can grow to heaven unless its roots reach down to hell.” ― Carl Jung, Aion
“Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.” ― Søren Kierkegaard
Lesson 40: Take time to slow down and to recover
Slowing down and recovering are just as important as working hard. A fresh mind and body are more effective in producing results.
It is up to you how you choose to slow down and recover, what works for some might not work for others, but for the sake of these lessons I’ll suggest doing activities that further your growth. Activities like walking, swimming, meditating, reading, writing, power-napping, spending time with your loved ones, and so on.
You can also consciously engage in activities that have no purpose at all. Just letting go of everything for a bit.
You can do hourly, daily, weekly, monthly, and annual recovery activities. Whatever you need to keep you growing.
Do your best work, take time to slow down and recover, and repeat.
“Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.” ― Lao Tzu
“It does not matter how slowly you go, so long as you do not stop.” ― Confucius
“Slow down and enjoy life. It’s not only the scenery you miss by going too fast – you also miss the sense of where you are going and why.” ― Eddie Cantor
Lesson 41: Enjoy the journey
It is the memories, the people you meet and the person you become along the way that matters the most in the end.
Having goals is great, but even your goals depend on your ability to live in the present to work your hardest. And to work your hardest you have to enjoy the journey—you have to love what you do.
Rather than sacrificing the present, live in the moment and find a path that you love, so that you enjoy both the work and the journey as part of the same continuum along the way.
“The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle.” ― Steve Jobs
“Life is not measured by the number of breaths you take but by the moments that take your breath away.” ― Anonymous, Carleton Cards
Lesson 42: Live in abundance
The world is full of people who would love to be a part of your life. It is full of healthy activities and vitality. It is full of business opportunities. It is full of abundance. In fact, it has never been so abundant.
Yet, a lot of people still live in scarcity; mental scarcity. They seek to win over others, they never have enough, and they take as much as they can. And so they get more and more scarcity in their lives; they get what they deserve.
But life will be whatever you focus on; for you are the creator. If you focus on scarcity, you’ll get scarcity; if you focus on abundance, you’ll get abundance. Whatever you focus on expands.
Align your thoughts, words and actions with abundance and you will create an abundant life.
“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” ― Albert Einstein
“For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath.” ― Matthew 13:12 (KJV)
Lesson 43: Want less
You can greatly increase your happiness by simply wanting less. The less you want, the easier it is to achieve your goals and the less you need from the world.
To want less isn’t so much about toning down your dreams, but rather about focusing only on what truly matters. It is to reject what the world portrays as success and to replace it with your own definition of success.
“It is not the man who has too little, but the man who craves more, that is poor.” ― Seneca
Lesson 44: Have less
The less attached to externals you are (your car, your job, your money), the happier you’ll be. Externals are fragile and can come and go at any moment.
Instead, live your life as if you were traveling the world. This will help you get rid of the stuff you don’t love or need, provide you with maximum flexibility and simplicity, and help you clear your mind to focus on what truly matters.
Additionally, living as if you were traveling is an exciting way to discover the world anew every day. And who knows, you might then actually travel the world.
Want less and have less to live a happier life.
“Man is held by everything he holds.” ― Mikha’il Na’ima, The Book of Mirdad
“Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.” ― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, Airman’s Odyssey
Lesson 45: Know when to quit, but never quit on yourself
While you should put your best effort in everything that you do, you should also know when to cut your losses, as your time and resources are limited.
If your relationship with your 10-year spouse hasn’t been working for the last 3 years despite your efforts, why continue another 3 or 10? Just because you have invested so much doesn’t mean that you should waste the rest of your life in it. How much is it costing you? What’s the life you want worth paying for?
This also applies to smaller stuff.
For example, if you paid for a 6-month program and on week 2 you’re already hating it, why continue? Just because you spent money doesn’t mean that you should waste your time too. Cut your losses and move onto something better.
We even do it with the smallest stuff, like junk food.
We start X and then we feel guilty because we know that X is bad for us, so we promise to never buy X again “but only” after we finish this last package. But by the time we finish this last package, we have forgotten our promise and we have even bought Y and Z. Rather than repeating this process over and over again, if you have decided to cut out X then trash it, even if it’s full. Let the price you paid and lost serve as a reminder the next time you do groceries.
If a relationship isn’t working, if a program isn’t working, if a business isn’t working, find out what your alternatives are, find out what the prices to pay are, prepare accordingly, and pay them.
You either pay the price of action or you pay the price of inaction.
Trust the facts, trust your intuition and trust the universe to work everything out.
“I am not discouraged, because every wrong attempt discarded is another step forward.” ― Thomas Edison
“Our greatest glory is not in never falling but in rising every time we fall.” ― Confucius
Lesson 46: Everyone is human too
There is no one beyond human.
Celebrities, presidents, athletes, scientists, experts; they all poop. But even more human than that, they can all be corrupt, be corrupted or be threatened.
We’re all human.
Everyone has health problems, financial problems, relationship problems, happiness problems. We’re all bounded by the same 24 hours, no one knows the future, and we’re all born with nothing and we all leave with nothing.
Even the “experts” have to deal with the same 24 hours, a 9 to 5, their health, their finances, their relationships, their echo chamber, their “expertise’s” demands, their personal demons and struggles, their own agendas, their backers, all in order to produce a result. But how trustworthy can their results be?
The point here is that even “authority” is human and ought to always be questioned, and that anything that others can do, you can do better.
People on the spotlight are just like you and I. The same goes for your crush and everyone you’ll ever meet. We’re all human with the same human potential.
It is only when you see others as human beings that you’re able to see the world as it is and appreciate the humanity in all. It is here where you discover your own potential and the potential in everyone around you.
“Everything around you that you call life, was made up by people that were no smarter than you.” ― Steve Jobs
“Everyone should be respected as an individual, but no one idolized.” ― Albert Einstein
Lesson 47: Everyone is unique
Everyone is a unique blend of experiences, perspectives and backgrounds. Everyone has a unique story and gift to share.
Seeing the uniqueness in every person will allow you to develop a deep sense of empathy and curiosity for anyone that you meet.
Rather than putting everyone into groups and stereotypes, seeing the uniqueness in every person will allow you to drop all expectations and accept people fully for who they are. This will allow you to respect everyone’s opinions and decisions, and it will also allow you to look for the right people for you; the people who already are where you want them to be; who need no changing.
Seeing the uniqueness in everyone will help you in all your relationships, personal and business; for honoring people for who they are is the best way to serve them and respect them.
“Nobody is superior, nobody is inferior, but nobody is equal either. People are simply unique, incomparable. You are you, I am I. I have to contribute my potential to life; you have to contribute your potential to life. I have to discover my own being; you have to discover your own being.” ― Osho
Lesson 48: Everyone is selfish
In anything that you do, you’re always seeking your own happiness. Whether that happiness comes by helping others or not.
Just because someone does something generous for others doesn’t mean that they are not being selfish. Assuming they’re giving from the heart, their acts are exactly what brings them happiness; what furthers their selfish goals.
With that said, there are two types of selfish.
One that comes from the heart, and one that expects something back; one that comes from abundance, and one that comes from lack; one that gives to people, and one that uses people.
The person who gives from the heart is happy with the act in itself; the person who gives to get something back, builds resentments and expectations, which if not met turn into revenge. The first one gives from the heart, the second one takes in the giving. The first one is healthy, the second one is toxic.
To practice personal growth might at first seem “selfish” in a negative light. But as you improve yourself, you improve the lives of those around you; you lift everyone up with you. You give to others through your work and through your own example. You use no one and it all comes from your abundance.
To contrast, charity work might at first seem selfless. But if you do it to get an award for it, then you’re not doing it to give at all. The whole selfless scheme is just to use others for your own gain. And when you find out that there is no award for it, then you’ll probably become resentful and retaliate as revenge.
Everyone is selfish, but not in the same way. One gives and the other takes.
“Selfishness does not mean only to do things for one’s self. One may do things, affecting others, for his own pleasure and benefit. This is not immoral, but the highest of morality.” ― Ayn Rand, Journals of Ayn Rand
Lesson 49: Stop sacrificing and compromising
Meet people where you want them to be; people who need no changing. Sacrifices and compromises lead to resentments, expectations, and revenge.
If you have to sacrifice and compromise it’s probably because your values are different, or because you’re not aiming for win-win solutions.
Sacrifices are win-lose; compromises are lose-lose; what you want is win-win.
In a sacrifice, one person gets 70% and the other 30%. In a compromise, both persons get 40% and the other 20% is wasted. In a win-win, one person gets 100% and the other person gets another 100%.
In a sacrifice or compromise you hold back once your share is done, keeping track of the scoreboards. In a win-win, you both give it your unconditional 100% with no scoreboards.
Find the people who already are where you want them to be, and give 100% to all your relationships, and not just your share. Whatever you put into anything will be what you get out of it.
“Whenever we manage to love without expectations, calculations, negotiations, we are indeed in heaven.” ― Rūmī
“If you love a person, you accept the total person. With all the defects. Because those defects are a part of the person. Never try to change a person you love, because the very effort to change says that you love half, and the other half of the person is not accepted. When you love, you simply love.” ― Osho
Lesson 50: Realize that sacrifices and compromises don’t exist
In the end, we’re always doing what we believe will bring us the most happiness. Even when you “sacrifice” or “compromise” you’re still doing it because it brings you the most happiness compared to alternatives.
We simply call them sacrifices and compromises because we don’t take full responsibility for them. We don’t acknowledge that we’re doing it because it is what ultimately brings us the most happiness compared to alternatives.
Your parents raised you because it brought them the most happiness compared to alternatives. No sacrifice; it was in their best interest to do so. And it was the same thing their parents did for them; no need to guilt-trip their children about it.
If you chose to do 70% of the relationship work, it was because it was preferable to the alternatives, otherwise you wouldn’t have done it. No sacrifice.
Instead of keeping scoreboards with everyone, take full responsibility for your choices and acknowledge that everything that you do, you do it because it is the best choice compared to alternatives.
If you’re looking for someone to blame, there is no one to blame but yourself. If you feel things are unfair, you can always change them. You chose to be a parent and you also chose your partner. Own your choices and give it 100%.
“Man is nothing else but what he makes of himself.” ― Jean-Paul Sartre, Existentialism and Human Emotions
“Most people do not really want freedom, because freedom involves responsibility, and most people are frightened of responsibility.” ― Sigmund Freud, Civilization and Its Discontents
Lesson 51: Realize that there is no such thing as privilege
Do you think rich people have it easy?
Rich people have to deal with bad press, paparazzi’s, stalkers, death threats, fake friends, fake lovers, and a life of comfort to make them fragile.
Everyone has problems, and there is no such thing as privilege. Everything comes with a price, and life is what you make of it.
In fact, it is the underprivileged the ones who have nothing to lose when reaching after their dreams. It is the underprivileged who truly know what matters and what doesn’t matter in life. It is the underprivileged who get to know the system from the bottom up.
It is the underprivileged who have the most leverage for success in all areas of life; relationships, health, finances, and happiness.
To feel like a victim is to buy into someone else’s narrative who wishes to disempower you, keep you dependent, and use you to build their dreams.
Both the “privileged” and the “underprivileged” life come with a price. Neither is better or worse; it’s all about what you make of it.
“It is lack of faith that makes people afraid of meeting challenges, and I believed in myself.” ― Muhammad Ali
“How much time he gains who does not look to see what his neighbor says or does or thinks, but only at what he does himself, to make it just and holy.” ― Marcus Aurelius, Meditations
Lesson 52: Surround yourself with the right people
You become the people you spend the most time with. Whether those people are physical and alive (in person); or digital and dead (in books, courses, etc.).
If you want success, you need to surround yourself with successful people, or leave that space open for successful people to come in.
The reason I use a lot of relationship examples throughout the lessons is because relationships have the biggest impact in our lives. They can bring us a lot of happiness, but they can also ruin our lives if we’re not careful.
It is always better to be alone than to be surrounded with the wrong people.
And so, to find the right people you should first know what you’re looking for; describe what you’re looking for in a partner, a friend, family, and so on.
Once you know what it is that you’re looking for, you should then reflect on your current relationships, and you should also play an active role in forming new relationships; actively going out of your way to meet new people. An easy way to break the ice when meeting new people is to assume you already know them.
Finally, to be able to connect with the right people you need to be yourself. Otherwise, you won’t be able to connect with them or they might miss you.
Always surround yourself with the right people and help them to succeed, because who they become will greatly impact who you become.
“The key is to keep company only with people who uplift you, whose presence calls forth your best.” ― Epictetus
Lesson 53: Always assume people don’t change
Always assume that people are going to be the same way forever. Don’t expect them to change or try to change them. Allow people to be who they are and only surround yourself with the people who already are where you want them to be.
The reality is that without a tragedy or a strong purpose, change is almost impossible. It takes a lot of work and most people are not willing to do it. Even if they try, at the first obstacle most people will revert back to old patterns.
For example, if a person lies to you, no amount of talk is going to suddenly make them honest, as being dishonest is part of who they are. The person has to go through a tragedy or a deep transformation before they can truly change. Even if they really want to, defeating their old patterns will be very difficult to do. You’re better off using your limited time and resources somewhere else. In fact, you leaving might be exactly the tragedy they need in order to change.
It is always much more efficient to assume that people don’t change and that you can’t change anyone. Rather, see the world as it is, and meet the people who have already changed; people who already are where you want them to be.
Change should only be pursued with people who have a high level of awareness, who take full responsibility for their lives, who have a track record of changing, who are willing to change, and who you still want in your life.
“Be like a tree and let the dead leaves drop.” ― Rūmī
“The world is won by those who let it go. But when you try and try, the world is beyond the winning.” ― Lao Tzu
Lesson 54: Judge people by their actions and by their habits
Talk is cheap, and the world is full of talkers. Judge people not by their words, but by their actions and by their habits. Their actions because it tells you who they really are; and their habits because it tells you where they’re really going.
Only trust words when they have built a track record of keeping their word.
“Talk is cheap… It is the way we organize and use our lives every day that tells what we believe in.” ― Cesar Chavez
“Learn to listen with your eyes. Actions do speak louder than words. Watch what a person does more than what he says.” ― Robert Kiyosaki
Lesson 55: Treat others as you would want to be treated
Also known as the Golden Rule, treating others as you would want to be treated will naturally let people know how to treat you. And in doing so, you will naturally repel the wrong people, and attract the right people into your life.
Many other people advocate to treat others as they would want to be treated, but you can only do this once they have told you how they want to be treated, otherwise it opens the door for people pleasing and manipulation.
With that said, as you filter out the wrong people and attract the right people into your life, you will naturally incorporate others’ values as part of your own. Since it will now be in your best interest to do so. And so, you will still be treating others as you would want to be treated, but you will also account for the way they want to be treated.
You should still continue treating others as you would want to be treated even when they hurt you, so as to avoid becoming like them, and, if the relationship is still worth pursuing, to show them a better way and make amends.
Keep in mind that this lesson assumes that you’re on a path of personal growth. So when I say to treat others as you would want to be treated it will mean for you to treat them with your highest standards, and even lift them up by doing so. For if you don’t treat yourself well, then the Golden Rule won’t work for you.
“Treat people as if they were what they ought to be and you’ll help them become what they are capable of being.” ― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Lesson 56: Rejection is always a good sign
If you’re being rejected by the wrong people, it is a blessing, for they just saved you time and resources that you can use somewhere else. If you’re being rejected by the right people, it is also a blessing, for it helps you to improve and do better next time. Never be afraid of rejection as it’s always good for you.
Rejection is also life’s way of letting you know to not force things. It is a sign that the person is not good for you and that you should stay away from them. Force things and you’ll pay for it. Trust the universe and let go.
Both in your personal and business life, rejection allows you to maximize your resources, improve yourself, and surround yourself with the right people.
The reality is that you’re not going to connect well with most people, as most people are striving for average. And if you’re striving for excellence, which is rare, you won’t be able to relate with them either.
In the end, you will naturally attract who you are without having to force a thing. They’ll want to be a part of your life as much as you want to be a part of theirs.
Always leave space open for the right people to come in and let go of the rest.
“Don’t hold on to someone who’s leaving, otherwise you won’t meet the one who’s coming.” ― Carl Jung
“There are no real successes without rejection. The more rejection you get, the better you are, the more you’ve learned, the closer you are to your outcome… If you can handle rejection, you’ll learn to get everything you want.” ― Tony Robbins
Lesson 57: Never take anything personally
Whatever others say or do is a reflection of who they are, and it’s not under your control. What you do control is how you choose to take things; you’re the one who chooses whether to take things personally or not.
In the end, no one knows you better than yourself, and you always have the choice to engage with them or not.
“When another person makes you suffer, it is because they suffer deeply within themselves, and their suffering is spilling over. They don’t need punishment; they need help. And that is the message that they’re sending.” ― Thich Nhat Hanh
Lesson 58: Never chase after anyone
People who make you chase are simply not good for you. Chasing after them is forcing things to happen, and it never leads to good places.
People who make you chase are usually people with low self-esteem, who don’t know who they are or what they want. And they will typically use you until they find someone to take more from, as they have nothing to give.
Rather than chasing, realize that there are plenty of people out there who value you for who you are, and who would love to be a part of your life.
The right people would never make you chase, for it would be a natural match.
With that said, you shouldn’t just make others chase after you or passively wait for them to show up either. Rather, you should still go out of your way to meet the right people whenever you see an opportunity. Your goal is to always increase your chances.
“Love should be treated like a business deal, but every business deal has its own terms and its own currency. And in love, the currency is virtue. You love people not for what you do for them or what they do for you. You love them for the values, the virtues, which they have achieved in their own character.” ― Ayn Rand
Lesson 59: Respect yourself and respect others
To respect means to value.
To respect yourself and to respect others is to acknowledge the basic humanity in all of us. It is to acknowledge our common bond and the unique expression in each of us.
Respect is key to building healthy relationships, for to lack respect is to see others not as human beings, but as objects to be used for an end.
To respect yourself means to live your values. To respect others is to treat them as human beings and to take into account their values.
Those who lack respect for others, lack respect for themselves. Respect yourself and you’ll learn to respect others.
“Give to every other human being every right that you claim for yourself.” ― Thomas Paine
“He who loves others is constantly loved by them. He who respects others is constantly respected by them.” ― Mencius
Lesson 60: Be the most engaged and the most detached
In anything that you do, you always want to be giving it your best effort, and you also want to be able to let go with ease. This is what faith in the universe looks like; you do your best and you allow the universe to show you the way.
For example, if you give it your best to your relationship, and yet your partner treats you poorly for it, then your partner, and the universe, will have told you that they’re not right for you. And so you trust what they’re telling you and you let go; fully knowing that you gave it your best and they weren’t the right person.
Giving it your best allows you to experience life to the fullest, fully trusting the universe to show you the way. If a person rejects you, you thank the universe and let go. If a person accepts you, you thank the universe and see where it goes. Over time, you’ll make better choices as your intuition develops.
Lastly, giving it your best can sometimes be tricky, as many people perceive it as being needy; the wrong people. But this is exactly what you should be aiming for; to repel the wrong people and attract the right people by being fully yourself.
Strive to be the most engaged and the most detached person in all your relationships, and allow the universe and people to show you the way.
“Satisfaction lies in the effort, not in the attainment. Full effort is full victory.” ― Mahatma Gandhi
“Faith is the radar that sees through the fog.” ― Corrie ten Boom
Lesson 61: Don’t be afraid to get your heart broken
To experience love you must have an open heart; you must be willing to get your heart broken. It is only here where you can give and receive any love.
To keep an open heart is to live your life to the fullest. It is to put the best version of yourself on the line; it is to be unafraid and unfazed by life.
It is those who close their hearts who live mediocre lives. They’ve given up on themselves and their fear hurts them far more than an open heart ever could.
Always keep your heart open, fully knowing that on the other side of a broken heart there is always unlimited wisdom and growth.
“You have to keep breaking your heart until it opens.” ― Rūmī
“Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.” ― Alfred Tennyson, In Memoriam
“What is hell? I maintain that it is the suffering of being unable to love.” ― Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Brothers Karamazov
Lesson 62: Take calculated risks
Relationships can ruin your life. To succeed you need to protect yourself.
There are diseases, unwanted pregnancies, emotional baggage, unstable people, people with agendas, and so on. Mistakes here will cost you dearly.
And so it is important to always screen people, to always take your time, and to rush absolutely nothing. Here, you do have all the time in the world.
Start off all your relationships as friendships; get to know the person first. And as you get to know them, make sure that you’re being the fullest expression of yourself, so as to quickly filter out the wrong people. Ask them the most daring questions that you genuinely want to know about them. Don’t be afraid to talk politics, religion, and all of society’s taboos; get to the point of things. You want to get to know the person as quickly as possible; not to rush things, but so as to know who you’re dealing with, and so as to maximize your time and resources. After figuring out the person, you can then slow down.
If the person is a potential partner and you like each other, get tested before sex, agree on a type of birth control you can trust; if you’re getting married, write a pre-nup; if you’re married, write a post-nup; do anything and everything to protect yourself, protect your partner, and if you have kids, protect your kids. Don’t leave things up to chance or up to the government. If your partner objects to any of these, then they’re probably not good for you.
You always have all the time in the world to build the right relationships.
Protect yourself, plan ahead of time, don’t rush anything, chase after no one, let go easily, leave space open, and only surround yourself with the right people.
And to the right people, give them your open heart.
“It is only by being bold that you get anywhere. If you are a risk-taker, then the art is to protect the downside.” ― Richard Branson, Losing My Virginity
“Calculated risks of abuse are taken in order to preserve higher values.” ― Warren E. Burger
Lesson 63: Don’t settle
Your choice of partner is one of the most important choices in your life. After all, you’ll be spending thousands of hours, days, and experiences with this person.
Rather than occupying your time with the wrong person who can ruin your life, you should leave the space open for the right person to come in.
But just because you’re leaving the space open doesn’t mean that you should just be passive about things. You could start by describing your partner so you know who you’re looking for, and from there take some action to find them.
It might take months or years to find your partner (soulmate material), but in the meantime you should continue making new friends and continue improving yourself in all areas of life. The more you improve yourself, the more deserving you’ll be.
Don’t strive for number of conquests; it’s a waste of time and it’s very risky. It’s a losing strategy that society promotes because it sells; it’s very profitable for many industries and institutions. But in reality it’s meaningless and it ruins lives.
True happiness comes with true love. When your partner shows up, you’ll know.
“If you love life, don’t waste time, for time is what life is made up of.” ― Bruce Lee
“It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.” ― Jiddu Krishnamurti
“People destined to meet will do so, apparently by chance, at precisely the right moment.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson
Lesson 64: Never take your loved ones for granted
It’s puzzling, but sometimes the people we love the most are the people we treat the worst. And it’s probably because we think that they’ll live forever.
But reality teaches us otherwise. Our loved ones will die, and we will die.
Never take your loved ones for granted. Instead, always treat them as if they were close to death, because in reality, death could come at any moment.
Treating your loved ones as if they were close to death will allow you to make every moment that you spend with them a moment to remember.
And when your loved ones do pass away, you will have known that you gave them your best while they were still living.
“Do not act as if you were going to live ten thousand years. Death hangs over you. While you live, while it is in your power, be good.” ― Marcus Aurelius, Meditations
“We should keep the dead before our eyes, and honor them as though still living.” ― Confucius
“While I thought that I was learning how to live, I have been learning how to die.” ― Leonardo da Vinci
Lesson 65: Help others, but avoid codependency
Lift others through your work and through your own example, and be open to helping those who ask for help, while avoiding codependency. In other words, help others, but avoid doing for them what they can do for themselves.
The more you do for others what they can do for themselves, the more you disempower them from learning, and the more dependent they become on you.
Always strive to empower others to do things on their own. And do it by sharing with them your knowledge and your awareness—teach them. Empower others to become their own creators; don’t make them dependent on you, don’t make them your followers, make them leaders, make them creators.
“Leaders don’t create followers, they create more leaders.” ― Tom Peters
“My job is not to be easy on people. My job is to make them better.” ― Steve Jobs
Lesson 66: Continuously improve your relationships
If you continuously improve your relationships, then they can only get better. But first you’ll have to find the right people who also want to improve themselves. Otherwise, the wrong people will see it as nagging, drama and work. But with the right people, improving your relationships will be one of the most fulfilling things you can do. It will make them grow as much as it will make you grow.
Besides your work and your own example, you can also improve your relationships through awareness and by helping others achieve their dreams.
To improve your relationships through awareness means to express the unexpressed. And to do this, you open your heart and life to others, and you help others to open their hearts and lives to you.
The more you know others, the more you can help them achieve their dreams. And the better they become, the better you’ll become, for they’ll be the people who you surround yourself with.
“We work on ourselves in order to help others, but also we help others in order to work on ourselves.” ― Pema Chödrön
Lesson 67: Give space
Give others the space they need to go about their lives. Remember that you can only control yourself and no one else. Allow everyone to live their lives as they want to live them and only meet them where you share interests.
Don’t be afraid of people doing you wrong. In the end, if they want to do you wrong, they’ll always find a way to do it whether you give them space or not.
You’re always better off giving people all the space that they need, while focusing on yourself and on your growth. If they use the space to hurt you, you thank them and you thank the universe for saving you more time and resources, and you use the person’s wrongdoings as more fuel for your growth.
“Freedom is the only worthy goal in life. It is won by disregarding things that lie beyond our control.” ― Epictetus
Lesson 68: Communicate honestly
Anything that you hold back, holds back your relationships.
Honesty repels the wrong people and attracts the right people into your life.
The more you hold back, the more you keep the wrong people around and the more you push the right people away. Anything that you hold back builds resentments and destroys your relationships.
To the wrong people, honest communication will feel like drama, while to the right people, honest communication will be the best way to improve the relationship.
If you don’t like something, say so. Without honesty there can be no trust, and without trust, there can be no relationship worth having.
“No legacy is so rich as honesty.” ― William Shakespeare
“Honesty is to live your life in freedom, in sincerity, naked; never to be false and never to pretend – that is honesty. Whatsoever the consequences, whether you are hated or loved, whether you are respected or disrespected, it doesn’t matter. An honest person is one who lives in his utter nakedness as existence has created him. He respects himself so much that he is ready to risk everything for it.” ― Osho, Philosophia Perennis, Vol. 1
Lesson 69: Build trust and never break it
To build trust you must give trust and be honest with your words and actions. It is only when people lie or do wrong that trust is broken.
Be careful of the people who lie or do wrong in “small” ways; if they fail on the smaller stuff, they will fail where it matters the most.
For example, if they lie to others, you can be sure that they lie to you too. If they do wrong to others, you can be sure that they’ll do wrong to you too.
Everything a person does is a reflection of who they are. If trust is broken, you’re better off letting go of the person, as it will be almost impossible to recover trust, much less change who they are.
“I’m not upset that you lied to me, I’m upset that from now on I can’t believe you.” ― Friedrich Nietzsche
“Whoever is careless with the truth in small matters cannot be trusted with important matters.” ― Albert Einstein
Lesson 70: Forgive and make better choices
To forgive is to let go of hurt and to be grateful in advance for it. It is to acknowledge that everyone plays a role in your life, and it is to thank the universe for the opportunity to turn that hurt into growth. It is the equivalent of thanking the weights at the gym for providing the pain you need to grow.
And in the same way that you lift heavier weights, you also make better choices. The sooner you let go of hurt, the faster you can get into your personal growth.
Forgive everyone for being human. Forgive those who hurt you, and learn your lessons. They played their role, they brought their gift, now you must grow.
Even if you feel the person deserves punishment, allow the universe to decide. If they’re truly bad, then they’ll pay by the life they lead and the debt they owe.
Never stay stuck in hurt or seek revenge, or you’ll hurt yourself and become like them. Take responsibility for the roles you played, forgive yourself, forgive others, and be grateful for it all.
“To understand is to forgive.” ― Blaise Pascal
“Holding a grudge does not hurt the person against whom the grudge is held, it hurts the one who holds it.” ― Booker T. Washington
“If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, “thank you,” that would suffice.” ― Meister Eckhart
“Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all the others.” ― Cicero
Lesson 71: Inspire others through your own example
The best way to influence others is through your own example. It is your own example what will inspire the people in your life to improve themselves.
People naturally gravitate towards whoever has the strongest reality. In other words, the person who believes the most in their beliefs will be the one everyone will be most influenced by.
For example, if you eat healthy and you stick to healthy no matter what, the people around you who eat junk food will naturally start eating healthier, as your example will inspire them to improve their eating. But if your reality is weaker and you give into their example, then you will all end up eating more junk food.
And so, if you want to positively impact the lives of those around you, you must set in stone a good example that everyone can look up to.
“Example is not the main thing in influencing others. It is the only thing.” ― Albert Schweitzer
“A leader leads by example not by force.” ― Sun Tzu, The Art of War
Lesson 72: Never let go of your health
Your health is the easiest and most important area to take care of. The easiest because you can do it every day, multiple times a day; and the most important because everything depends on it—without health everything suffers.
Regardless of what you’re doing, never let go of your health. Health is the area that you have most control over, and is the area that leads to better relationships, better finances and a happier life.
Treat your body like a billion-dollar temple that you inhabit.
Learn about health, eat healthy, hydrate healthy, exercise healthy, keep good hygiene, sleep well, cultivate healthy habits, and make it easy to stay healthy.
You probably already know all of this; but knowing is not enough, you must do.
The first area I mastered was my health. It was the easiest to take care of, the one that provided me with the greatest benefits and fastest results, and the one that helped me cultivate the discipline to master the other areas in my life.
Health is the foundation you can always go back to and build anything from.
Never let go of it.
“In health there is freedom. Health is the first of all liberties.” ― Henri-Frédéric Amiel
Lesson 73: Make it easy to be healthy
We have a million “reasons” why we’re not on top of our health. And so we need to make it as easy as possible to counter these “reasons.”
For starters, remove everything that’s unhealthy from your home, just trash it. Feel how much it cost you so that you remember the next time doing groceries. Only keep healthy food at home, so that you’re forced to eat healthy. You can even get your food or meals delivered home to save time. Home, check.
What about work? You can easily bring food from home or order healthy from the menu. Even fast food places have salads and healthy options. Work, check.
What about exercise? Do body weight exercises at home for when “reasons” show up; get a power tower; build your own gym; live close to the gym; have a gym bag ready; and so on. Make your habits easy to keep. Exercise, check.
Create an environment where being healthy is the easiest thing to do. Over time as you live the benefits, it will become the only way to live.
“Health is the greatest possession.” ― Lao Tzu
“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” ― Hippocrates
“No man has the right to be an amateur in the matter of physical training. It is a shame for a man to grow old without seeing the beauty and strength of which his body is capable.” ― Socrates
Lesson 74: Quit bad habits
Bad habits are born in stress, anxiety, depression and so on. To quit you need to replace them with good habits that provide a similar relief, and you need to change your environment so that you’re forced to disengage from old patterns.
Denying bad habits is one of the best ways to grow your willpower; especially if you deny them in front of those who continue to engage in them. The more you deny bad habits, the stronger your willpower becomes. And the stronger your willpower becomes, the more you can do anything in life.
For example, if you drink soda every day at work, you can easily replace soda with sparkling water, which will provide a similar relief. You can also change your environment by trashing all the soda at home and by bringing your own sparkling water to work, so that you don’t depend on its availability anywhere. And over time, you can even replace it with water, which is always available.
As you continue denying your old patterns, your willpower will continue to grow, and you’ll feel more empowered to continue improving all areas of your life.
Lastly, if you slip up on your good habits, instead of being hard on yourself, use that energy to re-focus and continue moving forward. If you beat yourself up for it, things will only get worse, as you will start excusing yourself towards more bad habits. Whatever you focus on expands, so always focus on moving forward.
“Habit is either the best of servants or the worst of masters.” ― Nathaniel Emmons
“You’ll never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine.” ― John C. Maxwell
Lesson 75: Have good posture
Good posture says a lot of good about you. It reflects a healthy body, a healthy mind, and it’s great for your overall health and your relationships.
Good posture allows you to feel and look better; it’s what body language is all about. It makes you feel and look healthy, confident, and attractive, while bad posture makes you feel and look unhealthy, insecure, and unattractive.
Work on your posture and your posture will work for you.
“A good stance and posture reflect a proper state of mind.” ― Morihei Ueshiba
Lesson 76: Cultivate a healthy mind
Everything has an effect on your mind, and your mind has an effect on everything.
For example, if you want to feel happy, you can smile and you’ll start to feel happy. Or you can feel happy and then you’ll start to smile.
If you want to feel organized, you can organize your home, which will organize your mind. Or you can organize your mind, which will help organize your home.
To cultivate a healthy mind, therefore, you also want to be cultivating a healthy body and a healthy environment.
To cultivate a healthy mind you should embrace your emotions, be grateful for everything, and cultivate awareness. To cultivate a healthy mind with your body you could breathe deeply, smile, and give yourself a hug. To cultivate a healthy mind with your environment you could take a walk, end those bad relationships, and do work that you love.
Everything connects back to your mind and your mind connects back to everything. Be aware of this, act accordingly, and you will live a happier life.
“Learn how to see. Realize that everything connects to everything else.” ― Leonardo da Vinci
“You are not a drop in the ocean. You are the entire ocean, in a drop.” ― Rūmī
Lesson 77: Sleep well and wake up early
Sleep is a third of your life and it’s key to making the most out of life.
There are many things that you can do to improve your sleep: going to sleep and waking up at the same times, sleeping 6 to 8 hours, turning off screens an hour before sleep, avoiding eating an hour before sleep, blocking all lights and sounds, avoiding caffeine or similar after 2 PM, avoiding power naps longer than 30 minutes, writing your thoughts on paper before sleep, focusing on your breathing as you go to sleep, waking up with the first alarm, and so on.
Even if you easily go to sleep, you should still work on improving the quality of your sleep, so that you wake up refreshed and ready to go about your day.
Sleep well and wake up early and you’ll make the most out of your life.
“No one who rises before dawn 360 days a year fails to make his family rich.” ― Chinese proverb
“As a well-spent day brings happy sleep, so a life well spent brings happy death.” ― Leonardo da Vinci
Lesson 78: Find out what works for you
Everyone’s body is different. And what works for me might not work for you, but I will share my approach to health as of writing this, so as to spark further ideas.
My guiding mindsets for my nutrition and workouts are the following:
For my nutrition, I eat to be healthy, and not for taste. For my workouts, I exercise to be healthy, and not for muscles. While both taste and muscles are things I want, they’re always secondary and I wouldn’t sacrifice health for either.
For my nutrition, I’ve been eating as a vegan for 8 months now (soy- and gluten-free as well). My health has never been better, I haven’t gotten sick, I’m accomplishing my goals, including gaining muscle, and I also get to practice my willpower more often, as it’s a harder way to eat. Basically I eat grains, nuts, vegetables, fruits, oils and green superfoods.
For my workouts, I mostly do yoga and sometimes weight lifting. Yoga is great for your mind and body. As for weight lifting, I do high intensity interval training (HIIT), which means that my workouts and breaks are short and intense.
Besides my nutrition and workouts, I also do intermittent fasting, which basically means that I skip breakfast and start eating around 1 PM. But if my workouts are in the morning, I will exercise on an empty stomach and then eat right after.
Intermittent fasting has many benefits based on my research, but I also like it because I’m able to do about 7 hours of work in the morning with a clear mind.
If you don’t eat healthy, however, intermittent fasting can probably be worse for you, since it slows down your metabolism and your digestion of sugars. So it could possibly lead to obesity, diabetes and other health problems.
With all this said, always seek professional advice, as everyone is different and these are just things that are working for me. Find out what works for you.
“Health is the greatest gift, contentment the greatest wealth, a trusted friend the best relative, a liberated mind the greatest bliss.” ― Buddha
Lesson 79: Money isn’t everything
As we have seen throughout the lessons, money is just one aspect of life. A good life consists not only in money, but also in good relationships and good health.
In fact, relationships are probably going to have the biggest impact in your life. And after relationships, your health is going to be what your money and your relationships will depend on. Money will no doubt be useful throughout your life, but it won’t be worth sacrificing your relationships or health over it.
Ask yourself, what’s my end goal with all the money? What can’t I do now that the money will allow me to do? Chances are that you can already do most of the things that you’re hoping money will help you do.
The main problem seems to be that society trains us to never cease to want more; to consume incessantly. And when you consume incessantly, no amount of money will ever be enough. You will continue sacrificing your life-time, your relationships, and your health, all for wants that you’ll never actually fulfill, as the carrot on the stick will continue to get further and further away from your reach.
It all comes down to what you make with what you have. Once your basic needs are met and you stop pursuing consumerism, money can provide you with plenty of time and resources to improve yourself and go after your dreams.
Find out what’s most important to you and the role that money plays in it.
“No man is rich enough to buy back his past.” ― Oscar Wilde
“In a consumer society there are inevitably two kinds of slaves: the prisoners of addiction and the prisoners of envy.” ― Ivan Illich
Lesson 80: Respect money
Money takes a lot of effort to be earned and it’s not something to be wasted. To waste it is to lack respect for your effort or the effort of whoever had to earn it.
For most of us money equals time; time we’ve exchanged for it and time money allow us to have for ourselves. To waste money, therefore, is to waste time; time that would allow us to do the most important things with our lives.
Respect money and you will make the most out of life.
“People who don’t respect money don’t have any.” ― J. Paul Getty
“Wealth consists not in having great possessions, but in having few wants.” ― Epictetus
“Rule No. 1: Never lose money. Rule No. 2: Never forget Rule No. 1.” ― Warren Buffett
Lesson 81: Work on your business or job, not for it
As you work on your business or job, you want to be creating systems that do the work for you; systems that operate without you, so that you can do more with your limited time and resources.
In practical terms, in a business you want to be creating the manuals for the employees, the roles, the structure, and so on. You want to be working on building the business, and not as an employee of the business.
If you have a job, you also want to be creating systems that make your job as easy as possible. In many instances, the work that you do is highly repetitive; look for ways to systemize it, automate it, delegate it, and so on. Eventually you might even be able to work remotely, start side projects, and do much more.
You always want to be creating systems that you can build on top of.
“If you’re not working to get your business or investing operation to operate without you, you’re thinking too small. Think team and systems.” ― Robert Kiyosaki
Lesson 82: Grow multiple streams of income
You never want to depend on a single stream of income. As you build one, you want to build the others, so that you always have something to support you.
You want to build streams of income that don’t depend on your time; things like products, businesses, and physical and digital investments.
Ideally, you also want to diversify the types of income that you create, so that one stream failing doesn’t affect them all. You want the streams to balance each other out.
You’ll be financially independent once the streams that don’t depend on your time cover your monthly expenses.
“A wealthy person is simply someone who has learned how to make money when they’re not working.” ― Robert Kiyosaki
Lesson 83: Life is not black and white
Life is full of layers and unknown things. There are infinite perspectives to everything and the consequences of our actions stretch to eternity.
Being right or wrong, or succeeding or failing, are all part of the same forward motion of the universe. We never truly know where things lead.
Being right could lead to failure, being wrong could lead to success. Failure could show us the purpose of our lives, success could make us lose ourselves.
Life is probably best lived by simply doing your best and embracing whatever comes. Instead of fighting things, assume they all serve a purpose, and make the most out of them. If life throws you bricks, build a castle.
Life is not black and white, it is gray, and you get to color it as you wish—for you are the artist and creator.
“Color is descriptive. Black and white is interpretive.” ― Elliott Erwitt
“I dream my painting and I paint my dream.” ― Vincent van Gogh
Lesson 84: It’s all about what you make with what you have
It’s not where you’re starting from or what you have that matters, it’s what you do with what you have that matters.
If you want to do something, it has never been easier to do. We live in the most abundant times, with unlimited access to information and possibilities.
Your past and the stories you tell yourself only have power because you choose to give them power. You can always focus on the present and create a better future.
Find out what you want, organize your life around it, and get it done.
“I am the greatest, I said that even before I knew I was.” ― Muhammad Ali
“Of all sad words of tongue or pen, the saddest are these, ‘It might have been.” ― John Greenleaf Whittier, Maud Muller
“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson
Lesson 85: Learn to use your free time
Using your free time well is one of the hardest things to do. You have to be able to do the right things, with no boss, no escapes, and no distractions.
And it’s just something that we’re not used to; something that goes against the narrative. The narrative is that we’re raised in a busy 9 to 5 society, where we escape reality on the weekends, and where retirement is when we “finally” get to do what we want.
And we’re so used to this narrative that the only thing free time brings is a crushing anxiety that we’ll do anything to get rid of. And so we engage in endless escapes and distractions to appease it.
But as the Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard once remarked, “Anxiety is the dizziness of freedom.”
It is in anxiety where we ought to thrive. It is here, in the present, that we ought to do the right things for ourselves; the things that make us our greatest selves. And the more we practice doing the right things with our free time, the more our free time will automatically lead to doing the right things.
“Distraction is the only thing that consoles us for miseries and yet it is itself the greatest of our miseries.” ― Blaise Pascal
“To venture causes anxiety, but not to venture is to lose one’s self… And to venture in the highest is precisely to be conscious of one’s self.” ― Søren Kierkegaard
Lesson 86: Make every day count
Every day of your life matters. What you do in days like today is what determines the course of your life. If you master your today, you will master your life.
To make every day count, you want to be doing your best and you want to be engaging in the right things. Otherwise, you will be cheating yourself of who you’re capable of being.
Put all your focus on today, as it is today where your life happens. It is today where you’re always creating your life.
“Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift of God, which is why we call it the present.” ― Bil Keane
Lesson 87: Keep everything as simple as possible
The simpler your life is, the more you can understand and do.
Simplicity happens when you strip everything down to its core essence; when you focus on the most important things; when you focus on what truly matters.
Keep your life as simple as possible and you’ll make the most out of it.
“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” ― Leonardo da Vinci
“In character, in manner, in style, in all the things, the supreme excellence is simplicity.” ― Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
“That’s been one of my mantras—focus and simplicity. Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.” ― Steve Jobs
Lesson 88: Live on the edge
Life gives everyone the obstacles they need to move into higher levels. It is in the obstacles where the growth required for the higher levels is. Those who take the offer and overcome life’s obstacles are the ones who get to rise.
And so to get the most out of life, you need to continuously overcome life’s obstacles. You need to stay uncomfortable and always be looking for new obstacles to overcome. Not necessarily because you need anything, but more because you want to express the fullest version of yourself—to be fully alive.
Find your comfort and protection in pain and in being uncomfortable.
“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” ― Neale Donald Walsch
“I want to stand as close to the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge you see all kinds of things you can’t see from the center.” ― Kurt Vonnegut, Player Piano
Lesson 89: Keep reminding yourself of who you are
Many ancient teachings teach that we’re here to remember who we are. To remember that we are Gods and creators. Not in the genie-wish sense, but in the sense that we create and give life through our thoughts, words and actions.
Every day and at every moment we are all creating life together. Our collective thoughts, words, actions, and the unknown are what shape our reality. It is the God in all of us and outside of us that defines each moment.
It is when you remember and acknowledge your powers that you’re able to create the mind, the body, and the reality that you want.
“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.” ― Genesis 1:27 (KJV)
Lesson 90: Don’t play the game
Don’t play the game, create one of your own.
There is no predisposed way to live your life. The game we’re all born into is a game with leaders and followers; a hierarchy. It is a farm of slave owners and slaves; where people who are no superior on any degree slave others. It is a game stacked where most are kept asleep in order to be controllable. The only way to win the game is to be them, or to create your own game.
And so, instead of playing the game the way “it’s supposed to be played,” play it your way; create your own game, be your own leader and your own creator. The game we’re all born into is as much an illusion as is whatever game you create. Less people will agree to play your way, sure, but your goal is to find the players who play like you do; not to play with the sleeping masses.
This doesn’t mean that you don’t acknowledge society’s main slavery game. Rather, it means that you play it from your own independent reality; not as a subject, but as an spectator and an awakener. You place your illusion above society’s delusion.
The cards might seem stacked against you, but the more stacked they seem, the greater the opportunity for growth and success.
Creating your own game is about empowering yourself, the most powerful person in your world, and disempowering society’s game; the game of slavery.
“I prefer dangerous freedom over peaceful slavery.” ― Thomas Jefferson
“The only way to deal with an unfree world is to become so absolutely free that your very existence is an act of rebellion.” ― Albert Camus
Lesson 91: Free your mind
Empty your mind and open it to new possibilities. The world has unlimited wisdom for you. Don’t just put your mind in a pre-made box or imprison it. Let it be free; free to break all the “rules” and create new ones; free to turn your world upside down and make it your playground.
The world is richer than described and limited by words; the world is experienced through your own uniqueness.
Don’t let others, much less yourself, bound you to a fixed reality. Everything around you is an illusion created and maintained by our collective belief. This is why if you control the narrative, the media, you control the collective mind and the collective creation. The world can only change once you free your mind.
Be adaptable, flexible, malleable, creative. Acknowledge the illusion, and turn it to your advantage by realizing the amount of power that you have over it.
“Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change.” ― Stephen Hawking
“Empty your mind, be formless. Shapeless, like water. If you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup. You put water into a bottle and it becomes the bottle. You put it in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Now, water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend.” ― Bruce Lee
Lesson 92: Live and let live
Live your life and allow other people live theirs. Whatever others do with their lives is their problem and beyond your control. Even if a person is physically blocking your path, you can always go around them and not waste your energy.
Don’t rally, don’t organize, don’t protest. If change is what you want then there is no more effective way to do it than through yourself; through your work and through your own example. The way you live your life is how you change the world. If your change is so good then people will naturally be drawn to it.
People will change when they want to change. Society will change when it’s ready to change. Forcing others to change through things like government is one of the most ineffective ways to create change. You need to rally people, you need to rely on politicians, and if you “win,” you then have to defend the change, and if you lose, you stay stuck “fighting” for change. But why force anyone? If your change is so good then live it, be the first one to enjoy its benefits, lead the way so we can all realize our mistakes. If you need to force others to change so you can “finally” live your life, then perhaps your change isn’t that great; chances are that you’re not even living it and that you’re just being a hypocrite.
To change you only need yourself. You can always figure out a way to live your life without the need to change others. There is no need to rally or to rely on anyone; there is no law to fight for or against; you only need yourself. All other paths are avoidance and wasteful, unless your true calling is to run for office.
There is no more effective way to live your life than to live it and to let live.
“Instead of killing and dying in order to produce the being that we are not, we have to live and let live in order to create what we are.” ― Albert Camus
“Be the change that you wish to see in the world.” ― Mahatma Gandhi
Lesson 93: Make a dent in the universe
The higher you aim, the higher you’ll achieve. As Napoleon Hill said, “Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.”
Were you born just to survive? To accumulate things? To consume endlessly? To retire? Who created this narrative that most live by and what is their goal? Why not strive for greatness? For human evolution and for higher things? Is it really all about the sex and the money, and whoever can get the most of it? Is it about the one who visits the most places, or the one who has the most experiences? Those sound more like marketing and sales, than anything meaningful. What are all these things without a rich inner life to color them and without a strong purpose?
Everyone is capable of aiming higher; everyone is capable of creating their life as they wish; and everyone is capable of making a dent in their universe.
Never set limits as to how high you can go; there are no limits to your life.
“Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they’ve been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It’s an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It’s a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing.” ― Muhammad Ali
“If you always put limits on what you can do, physical or anything else, it’ll spread over into the rest of your life. It’ll spread into your work, into your morality, into your entire being. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, but you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.” ― Bruce Lee
Lesson 94: Just do it
To get anywhere in life you have to take massive action. Everything you want is a series of thousands of small steps. Little by little, day by day, through your thoughts, words and actions is how you create your reality.
And while knowledge is great and all, you must apply what you know. You must live your values. You must focus on the important and remove the unimportant. You have to take massive action towards the life that you want.
And you have to just do it. Learn enough, plan enough, and then do it. Put all your energy towards the life that you want.
“The most effective way to do it is to do it.” ― Amelia Earhart
“Knowing is not enough, we must apply. Willing is not enough, we must do.” ― Bruce Lee
Lesson 95: Never stop dreaming
Never stop dreaming and never let others kill your dreams.
It is when you kill your dreams that you die. You lose your vision, you lose your creativity, you lose your will to become the best version of yourself.
There are many people out there who died right after school. They stopped learning, they stopped growing and they got their dreams crushed. And because they got their dreams crushed, they started crushing other people’s dreams. Because they couldn’t do it, they started imposing their own limitations on others.
Your dreams are always possible regardless of where you’re starting from. Never let anyone kill your dreams.
“It’s a longshot, ladies and gentlemen, from Liberty City, an abandoned building, on a floor, never knowing my mother or father. It’s a longshot. Being here with you today in this dome in Atlanta, it’s a longshot. No college training, labeled educable mentally retarded but I kept running toward my dream!” ― Les Brown, Georgia Dome 1996
Lesson 96: Fill your life with love
Love every moment of your life. Surround yourself with the stuff you love, the activities you love, and most importantly, the people you love.
Don’t forget to smile, laugh, dance, share, and be happy. As Aristotle said, “Happiness depends upon ourselves.” It is up to you to live a loving happy life.
Strip down your life to what matters the most. Focus on what brings true lasting happiness in your life. Let go of the rest.
“Love your life, perfect your life, beautify all things in your life. Seek to make your life long and its purpose in the service of your people.” ― Tecumseh
Lesson 97: Never stop improving
Improve your life and never stop improving it. The earlier you start, the greater the impact it will have throughout in your life.
Personal growth is a life-long journey of continuous growth. It is all about becoming the best version of yourself and living your life to the fullest.
Like habits, personal growth accumulates and compounds over time. Just a year of continuous improvement can change your life forever.
“Good and evil both increase at compound interest. That is why the little decisions you and I make every day are of such infinite importance. The smallest good act today is the capture of a strategic point from which, a few months later, you may be able to go on to victories you never dreamed of. An apparently trivial indulgence in lust or anger today is the loss of a ridge or railway line or bridgehead from which the enemy may launch an attack otherwise impossible.” ― C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity
“Compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world. He who understands it, earns it… he who doesn’t… pays it.” ― Albert Einstein
Lesson 98: Help as many people as you can
Improve yourself and improve the lives of those around you. Every life you touch makes a difference. Help one person and that person could help millions.
Don’t make others dependent on you; don’t make them victims either. Empower others to become dependent on themselves; empower them to empower others.
It is said that we’re only six degrees of separation from any other human being. What one person does during their lifetime can change everyone’s lives forever.
During your lifetime, help as many people as you can. And not just help them, but empower them to help themselves and help others.
Empower yourself and empower others and you will radically change the world.
“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” ― Chinese proverb
Lesson 99: Give your gift to the world
Don’t pass through life without giving your gift to the world.
Everyone has a gift to give. Your gift is your unique expression of life; your purpose and everything that makes you you.
Giving away your gift is one of the most fulfilling things you can do during your lifetime.
Give the world your gift, your work and your example. Leave the world better than you found it.
“For it is in the giving that we receive.” ― Francis of Assisi
Lesson 100: Make your own conclusions
In all learning, take what you find useful and let go of the rest. Always look for the gold nuggets that call your spirit, and then form your own conclusions.
My conclusions will differ from yours, as we all have lived different lives. These lessons are all to spark ideas and to empower you as much as I can.
Like personal growth, this project will continue to get improved and updated over time with clearer ideas, better lessons and much more.
Make your own conclusions and create the life that you want.
“Blind belief in authority is the greatest enemy of truth.” ― Albert Einstein
“Truth, like gold, is to be obtained not by its growth, but by washing away from it all that is not gold.” ― Leo Tolstoy