Author Frank Sonnenberg has famously said, “Lessons in life will be repeated until they are learned.”
Indeed, you can go years, even a lifetime repeating the same simple lessons. However, this experience we call life is about personal evolution. It’s about learning from your mistakes and becoming someone better.
If you’re always a student to life, you’ll never stop progressing. So, here are the simple lessons that costed me in business and life, hopefully you can learn from them.
1. Taking Advice from People Who Don’t Know How to Live the Life I Want
“Once you know what you want, you can stop taking advice from just anyone. You can filter out the endless noise and hone in on your truth.” -Benjamin P. Hardy
In 2015 — my first year at university, I went to a talk given by a businessman who had achieved a lot and made a lot of money. He was by all rights “successful.”
However, there was one piece of advice he gave that truly stuck out to me. It was this:
“If you want to be successful, you’ve got to get used to having very little sleep.”
I was young and desperate for success, so I took that advice and ran with it. I started studying till two in the morning. I stopped looking after my health and relationships in the pursuit of my goals.
And the result? Not success but burnout. Thomas S. Monson once said,
“Never let a problem to be solved, become more important than a person to be loved.”
Indeed, that man’s definition of success was clearly different from mine. Maybe he didn’t mind battling exhaustion and losing relationships in exchange for money. Although, that’s not what I wanted for myself!
So, never again would I take such advice because when you know what you want, you can stop taking advice from just anyone. As Darren Hardy writes in his book, The Compound Effect,
“Never ask advice of someone with whom you wouldn’t want to trade places.”
2. Saying Yes to The Wrong Opportunities
“A ‘once-in-a-lifetime opportunity’ is irrelevant if it is the wrong opportunity.” -Jim Collins
Early in my business journey, I foolishly said yes to opportunities that would pull me away from my purpose. I’d chase money at the expense of my values and desires.
And every time, those “opportunities” would only take me backwards. Dan Sullivan had said,
‘What looks like a little compromise when you’re staring at a big payoff can seem like a much bigger sacrifice later when you have to live with all the results of your decision.’
Indeed, nothing happens in isolation. With every decision comes a consequence. To compromise one area of your life is to compromise the whole. So, don’t lower your goals or expectations.
Don’t give in and say yes because you can’t handle the stress of the moment. Instead, simply say no for now, and let the yes compound.
As James Altucher wrote, “When you start just saying no to the bad things, the yes compounds every day.”
3. Being Afraid to Follow up
“Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.” -Thomas A. Edison
In the past, I made the mistake of expecting everything to come to me — I wouldn’t follow up.
If someone said, “We want to bring you in for a job interview. Expect a call for us next week.” But then one week, two weeks go by and I still haven’t heard anything. What do I do?
I leave it. I think the problem’s with me. I think the opportunity’s gone or I’m not good enough.
Although, the reality is, you never truly know what’s going on in someone else’s life.
So, every time I now shoot the message or get on the phone: “Hey, we spoke last week about me having an interview for the content writer position. I hadn’t heard anything, so I’m just checking in to see if that was still a go-ahead?”
Of course, they might not always reply on the first follow-up. So, shoot another! Don’t be afraid of looking silly — you just want a response. After-all, they’re the one not considerate enough to reply to you.
These lessons are stupidly simple but not following them costed me in business and life. Hence, Jim Rohn has brilliantly said, “What’s simple to do is also simple not to do.”
In order to progress in life, you need to take what the world throws at you and adapt to become someone better.
So, what lessons in life are repeating?
How can you learn from them and go to the next level?
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