25 Lessons at 25 Years

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Woot woot! I pay attention to kids and I see how proud they are of saying their age. Sometimes you don’t have to ask and they are more than happy to say:”I’m 5!”. The irony is as we get older, we want to tuck in those numbers or alter them. Let me share this with you: If you are celebrating another year, it means that you are ALIVE. So be grateful for the gift of life. Be grateful for who and what you have. And live each day focusing on the blessings. I am choosing to celebrate 25 years with 25 lessons I have learned about life.

  1.  Perfection is non-existent

You can always work on getting better at the things you do. I noticed that I have a habit of excluding myself from opportunities, both personal and professional because I didn’t have all the check marks. And now I see myself as a lifelong student. My strategy is throwing myself at it, giving it my all and learning by doing.

  1. Success nor failure is an event

I used to put so much pressure on the outcome. The reality is that your life is a product of your habits. So if you want to change your life, you must change the things you are doing.

  1. Mindset is everything

It is easy to complain about the economy and downsizing, but let’s change the perspective. See it as the standard of living is getting high, so the requirements to win has changed. Gone are the days that you can live off the same job for 20 years. Now, the standard of living demands you to have multiple sources of income. And this is how you should structure your finances. Have multiple skills and multiple streams, because nothing is permanent.

  1. You are a product of your environment

Be intentional with the thoughts you focus on and the people you surround yourself with. Be intentional about the relationships you build and be present in the moments you spend with people. Remember that your network is your net worth.

  1. It is possible

With the world cup games, for all the soccer/football fans, this quote is shouting louder than ever. Pour all of yourself, commit and have faith in what you are working towards.

  1. Immerse yourself

Whatever career you are pursuing, you have to immerse yourself in reading, listening, and attending events in that field. Find people that are successful in that area and study what they are doing. Success leaves trails.

  1. Happiness in life comes from growth and progress

Most people dislike their lives because they feel “stuck”. They can’t see beyond their present circumstances. You have to recognize that everything happening in your life is a choice. Have a clear goal in mind and work towards that. Because when you see yourself grow, you start to believe in your potential and not a quota.

  1. Gratitude is everything

We have heard this all before. Part of my mourning routine is saying 10 things that I am thankful for. It is so easy to slip into comparison and focusing on how your situation is bad. You can practice gratitude multiple times in a day.

  1. You only get freedom when you have discipline

It took me a while to learn this. After the stress of post-secondary, you just want to do whatever you feel like. But we often forget that our actions breed consequences. Remember to choose your habits wisely to get the results that you want.

When I started waking up earlier,  I noticed that I can optimize my day. After eating healthier, I noticed that I had more energy.

  1. Business rewards leadership

I always had the entrepreneurial spirit because I  noticed that I was picky about jobs and I wanted the option of designing a lifestyle that I desired. I thought it would be better to just create work that I believe matters and help people in that way. So I started to learn about leadership. And how to influence others through inspiration. 

A successful strategy for leadership is outlining the goals of the organization and making your team understand how they contribute to a greater purpose. For those starting business without any prior experience in the industry, I always advise starting part-time and committing at least 3 years. 

  1. Be Organized

Still working on this. Starting off in entrepreneurship, I had the belief of being my own boss. Yes, I had freedom of choices. But in reality, my calendar is my boss. And the wealthiest people work towards increasing the value of their TIME. That is one resource you can’t multiply. Once it’s gone, it’s gone.

  1. As women, we are taught to be perfect.

You are not rewarded for perfection. You are rewarded for being courageous. HR statistics show that men apply for positions that they meet only 60% of the requirements, but most women, apply only if they meet 100% of the requirements. That’s why women are underrepresented in leadership. So get your hands dirty and don’t be afraid of uncertainty. All you need is unshakable faith in your abilities and be open-minded to learning new things. Remember that failure is not a feedback on who you are, it’s a feedback on what you’ve done.

  1. You don’t choose your future. You decide your habits, and your habits decide your future

A lot of people set goals, and they begin wondering why they never meet their goals. And what I can relay is that, in order to achieve your goals, you must hone the discipline to take the actions to move you one step closer to your goals. Those little decisions you make every day is the momentum to become unstoppable.

  1. You are never too old to learn, you are never too young to teach

As we get one year older, some people stop revealing their age. As if there is a stigma with those numbers. It is important to celebrate life, not everyone that existed yesterday is still here today. Also with age, people adopt a closed mindset. They believe that they know everything there is out there. The reality is that the universe is continuously changing, be an open book.

The other end of the spectrum is hearing “you are too young”. I don’t know when the perfect age is going to be to start anything. And our society is progressive (at least that’s my reality) for younger people to take leadership positions. Because leadership is not about age, it’s all about common sense. The market doesn’t care about age, it only cares if you can create value and deliver. 

  1. Learn to reward yourself

I remember when Rihanna’s “work” song came out, people were proud of their anthem. We are worshipping this idea of constant hustling and wrestling throughout life. Not saying that work is bad, but take out downtime to avoid burnout. I rather take out a downtime one day in a week and still be productive, than to work endlessly, sit in front of a computer and not be able to accomplish anything. Additionally, take vacations. Even if it’s a three-hour drive, take it. You deserve to reward yourself after working.

  1. When you feel stuck, seek help

When people feel stuck, the most common statement is “I’ve tried everything.” WRONG. You’ve only tried what you know. The truth is that you don’t know what you don’t know. There are so many other options to solve your problems, you are just not AWARE of them.

The next time you feel like there is nothing working out, look for help. It could be speaking to a different person, it could be reading a book, watching a video, listening to a podcast to give you ideas. Just be open-minded to do things differently.

  1. Self-care is vital

You must take care of yourself, pamper yourself, and rejuvenate. Self-care is important because it is the fuel to restructure and reduce stress. It is the fuel to find purpose in your work. It is the fuel to give room for yourself. Get you some me-time. And lastly, you can yield ideas from being in your company.

  1. Be financial literate

Money, money, money. There is a quote that what you measure more of grows. So always be aware of your finances and check your cash flow at least once a week. You must be considering new ways to constantly improve and grow your cash flow. That is one habit of rich people.

There is a quote that says, if you are born poor, it is not your fault, but if you die poor, it is your fault. Although your family is not wealthy, or have no clue about saving, you don’t have to live that way. There are tons of resources that talk about money management. Make money your responsibility and learn how to grow, invest and save it.

  1. “Love what you do and the money will follow” is a myth

I can say that growing up naive, I was looking for a career that would light up my world. And that was ignorant. Yes, it is good to find a job that you are engaged in, but it is horrible to think that money will fall on your lap simply because you like the work. This goes out to most creative careers. Yes, there are dancers that make money, but they are not big names because they danced when they feel like. You have to do what it takes to succeed. Successful dancers practice, market, network, research opportunities, etc. The first step is to be clear on your goals, then commit to them, and lastly, show up all the time, whether you feel like it or not and hit those goals. Additionally, aim to be better, and aim to grow.

  1. Failure is NOT feedback on your abilities, it is feedback on your activities

I see this habits mostly with females. When we fail at something, we start questioning if we are smart, or if we can actually make things happen. And with that, you see low self-esteem. Following that you see paralysis, where you are barely taking any action.

The next time you experience a setback, look at your strategy and structure and see if there are things you can do differently. Focus on things that are within your control, and constantly seek improvements

  1. Yes, keep your options open, but COMMIT to something

This state of mind comes where there is a lack of clarity. You can’t “try and see what happens”. Half-assing things in life don’t lead you anywhere. Another reason that you are not fully committing to something is your fear of failure. Maybe you hit a major disappointment in your life and you can’t see yourself succeeding elsewhere.

Understand that it is better to commit to a career short-term and give your 100%. Than to commit long-term and you work as hard enough so that you don’t get fired. Aim for MASTERY, not mediocrity.

  1. Health is wealth

I didn’t start taking this seriously till tragedy hit home. People can actually die of diabetes. So I began eliminating sugar in my food, going to the gym, making better meal choices, and setting fitness goals. Know that when you are changing a habit, be patient. It takes some people up to 6 months to change their habits. And anytime you see yourself going back to your old habits, don’t beat yourself up. Dust yourself up and keep your eyes on the prize.

  1. Journal

“You don’t know what you are thinking till you write it on paper.” This quote goes home and it is so true. Journalling helps you to carve out ideas, figure out the root of your ideas, and help you with making decisions. Also, journalling is an outlet without pressure nor judgement, allows a flow of thoughts. It’s a place where you can be transparent and be yourself.

  1. Invest in yourself

When was the last time you took a course to improve your knowledge and/or skills? When was the last time you paid for a mentor or coach? Every time we shop, we pay other people. But have you taught about investing to improve yourself in some way?

  1. Be a student and leader

The most influential people and top earners in the world have two things in common – they are students, which means, there are constantly learning. And the second thing is they are leaders. Meaning they inspire people to take actions. They inspire people to take it upon themselves to be better. They inspire people to contribute to their communities. 

God didn’t create anyone that can’t contribute. No matter your age, income, gender, etc. You can find ways to support a cause and help people. Leaders practice inspiration and service daily.

  1. For those people in your jobs – you are not paid for your worth. You are paid for the work you do.

Got an extra one for my loyal peeps; grateful to the people following my blog. You are priceless. There’s no amount of zero that can replace you. You are a unique being blessed with infinite possibilities.

Your salary is a reflection of the skills you are offering and it often has a cap. If you feel underemployed, reconsider your productivity on the job. Are you showing up on time? Are you fully engaged in the work? Are you able to work with most of your team? How is the work environment?

After considering all these factors, look at your performance and see if you can improve it. As mentioned, a job has a cap on salary. This implies that in order to increase the wage, you can change what you do in terms of work or find another job.

I covered the most important points to me. What addition lessons would you like to include? Share in the comments below!

 

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Hi, I’m Kimberly Ihekwoaba and I am a multimedia storyteller. I entertain, educate, and empower people around the world through the power of storytelling. Check out my blog for my latest posts. When I am away from my imaginative world, I help people to have a better quality of life. I support you in improving your health and income.  My background in teaching and academia strengthened transferable skills in coaching and training. Connect with me to schedule a consultation and learn more. 

Image credit  Unsplash/Nastya Maxymova

Copyright ©2018 Kihek Creations

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