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The Most Valuable Lessons I’ve Learned in 35 Years

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I’ve been here for 35 years now, and thankfully, I’ve learned a few things.

Thankfully, again, it seems like with each passing year I learn more and discover how incredibly little I actually know.

That’s good.

Life isn’t a climb with a peak where you rest and pat yourself on the back at all you’ve learned and achieved.

It’s a series of mountains, with peaks and valleys, struggles, tribulation, and wonder, and it never really ends.

Take what you like from the article. Though there’s nothing original here, maybe it’ll be explained in a way that’ll stick with you.

On some level we all know certain truths, but when someone sticks with us it can dramatically change the course of our lives for the better.

The Most Valuable Lessons I’ve Learned in 35 Years.

1. If it is not making you happier, healthier, wealthier, wiser, or stronger, you can get rid of it, discard it, remove it from your life. Or, give no attention to anything that doesn’t make you better.

2. Discipline brings freedom. The more discipline you have the more freedom from regret you’ll enjoy. You’ll be leaner, stronger, more effective. You’ll have freedom from financial woes and the freedom to live the life you want to live.

3. There is no point in regretting anything. Hold the pain of regret for a moment, and then let it go. If you hold onto it for too long it becomes cancerous, eating away at the host (you), preventing forward motion, acting like a ball and chain.

4. There’s an abundance of money out there in the world, and no shortage of opportunity to earn a chunk of it. Call it an abundance mindset, but it really is true. There are 328 million people in America, for example, and 18.6 million millionaires. Statistically, you have a 1 in 17 chance of being a millionaire, and wealth in America lasts 1 generation on average, meaning the vast majority of these millionaires are first-time millionaires, not inherited millionaires. Simply by being smart, persistent, and disciplined, over time you make it likely that you’ll join those ranks.

5. Humans need struggle. Sure, life is a struggle, but the more struggle you bring onto yourself in the form of physical exertion, training, working out, and reaching for bigger goals, the tougher, more resilient, and even more peaceful you become.

6. Fear should always be questioned. Often it should identify what you should head toward, rarely is fear in the modern world a constructive thing. Question it, always.

7. Whatever it is that you want to do/achieve, you have to understand that you can, fundamentally, do it. The more wildly successful people you meet the more you’ll see that they vary very little from you. They are not more intelligent or talented, they may simply work harder and actually believe they can do it – two things that you can do as well.

8. The wiser you get, the calmer and quieter you become.

9. Not risking is a greater risk – or at least a guarantee that you will not improve your life as you want.

10. Expect success, but don’t expect it to happen how you want it to happen or by the date you want it to come. It’s a long process, filled with failure and triumph, doubt and persistence. But, the only way you won’t get it is if you give up.

11. Watching the news is a waste of time. The idea that every single day we have enough news to fill an entire paper or 24-hour news cycle is stupid. Days are different. Some days there’s very little that’s newsworthy, while other days there’s a lot. Watching the news simply adds stress, fear, and it does very little to actually keep you informed.

12. Great men read and read often.

13. You really do get to choose who you are. And who you are dictates what you get in life and the kind of life you live. Who you are is everything, and that’s completely under your control. Want to be a victim? You will. You’re hard-working, disciplined, positive? You’ll win in life. You’re envious, greedy, weak? You’ll lose in life.

14. Never never never never never pity yourself, your life, or anything about your situation. Find something to be grateful for every single day. Gratitude truly is a superpower. It hedges your downside and inevitably increases your upside.

15. Who you spend your time with really is important. You have to be around winners. And if they’re not yet available (they always are), make sure you’re spending time with good books, that counts, too.

16. Choosing safety at the destruction of freedom is not a good decision.

17. Don’t give an inch. Bad habits, bad things, heck, governments, they grow like a cancer, and we allow it to happen by thinking one inch of growth won’t matter all that much. But over time, we’re able to see that that initial concession was a grave mistake.

18. Of all of these lessons, the idea that it’s never too late is as important as any of them. It’s never too late to get in great shape, to curb spending habits, to start a business, to improve and evolve. To that extent, there are not real, valid excuses for not improving or become who you know you ought to become.

19. Potential. Because you have it, it’s your duty to maximize it. Every human that’s ever lived on the planet has, essentially, fallen short of their potential. One aspect is not having enough discipline, while the other aspect to reaching one’s potential is having belief in what it is. And belief is simply an idea, imagination. Think about who you want to be in 10 years in the grandest terms possible, and that’s an idea of where you should head. And, getting there is a duty, using your time and energy is a duty, not so much a nice choice you can make.

20. Discovering the difference between what you can and can’t control is a must if you’re to achieve some semblance of wisdom.

21. If you think you need someone other than what you have to feel happy, confident, or content, you’re wrong. Take any big purchase, one you thought you had to have, they all lose their luster.

22. You’re not stuck, relegated to who you’ve been. You can do a complete 180 in life. You can go from liberal to conservative, poor to rich or rich to poor, disciplined to undisciplined and vice versa. You can find new interests, make new friends, start new businesses. This idea that you have to be who you’ve always been to be ‘true to yourself’ is stupid. Be better.

23. Kill off whatever holds you back. Whatever habits, addictions, beliefs, that hold you back, that prevent you from improving, can be killed. And they must be killed to free yourself to become someone better.

24. Every man should study decision-making and wisdom.

25. Be suspicious of pleasure. Today we’re told that a desire is natural, and therefore good. They’re not. You may desire the doughnut, but that doesn’t make it good. Be suspicious of these desires that pop into your head. Quite often they’re exactly what you should avoid, not what you should pursue.

Finally…

26. The little things matter.

There are many more lessons I could add here, each of which is about improvement because humans need improvement to feel happy, to have pride, to be confident and content. We need wisdom and achievement and growth to feel like we’re here for a reason.

Lost in many ‘life lessons’ is the fact that this moment really does matter. Who you are right now, what you’re doing right now, how well you perform today is massively important.

Yesterday is gone, dead, non-existent, and tomorrow isn’t guaranteed. You have to win this moment, make the right decision right now, and over time these moments add up to something pretty damn impressive.

Momentum is a curious thing. It takes years to create. It can be undone in a moment. And one day you wake up realizing that you are who you wanted to be, but it happened so slowly, over so many days, that you didn’t really notice this evolution.

Today matters.

This moment is important.

Make the best with what you have and where you are and you will live a great life.

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Chad Howse

Chad’s mission is to get you in the arena, ‘marred by the dust and sweat and blood’, to help you set and achieve audacious goals in the face of fear, and not only build your ideal body, but the life you were meant to live.

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