Make the most out of every day; you are not going to get a do-over. When you look in the mirror, there is the CEO of your life. It’s not your boss, spouse, friends, and parents–it’s you. So ultimately we have no one to blame for our mistakes, failures, and shortcomings other than ourselves.
At some point, we all experience hardships and personal catastrophes. You can keep moving forward if you decide to do so.
Pick a career that centers on work you enjoy. Then it becomes play instead of work. On average you are going to work for 60 or 70 years, so do things that really excite you. You will then naturally use your innate talents to the fullest. Every endeavor and career has hard times and challenges. Learn to hang in there, persist, and be determined.
It’s useful to have goals that you write down, measure and revise over time. Segment your life into easily definable components like: family; career; education; professional development; religious activity; social; community service; financial; and physical activity. Make sure that you invest sufficient time and effort in each to make yourself a rounded person. The Greeks had it right: balance is the key to a good life.
Family is naturally the most important human relationship. Find a life partner who you connect with on multiple levels. I’ve been lucky to have such a relationship for three decades. Your spouse and a healthy relationship are the most important factors in raising children who become fully functioning adults. The goal there is to get them to adulthood as confident, competent, and independent adults who have roots and wings.
Sir Isaac Newton said, “I stand on the shoulders of giants.” Certainly I feel the same. My parents, siblings, friends, teachers, and business colleagues all have combined to encourage me to use may talents to the fullest. Early on, I decided that studying successful role models and trying to copy them for myself was vastly superior to going at it alone or studying failure. Ask yourself: Whose shoulders do I stand on? And, who stands on yours?
For me, the most positive, uplifting and realistic philosophy and approach to life is Christianity. Have you ever been to a funeral, looked at the grave, and felt the hopelessness and powerlessness of our human condition? I say make Blaise Pascal’s wager. It posits that there’s more to be gained from wagering on the existence of God than from choosing atheism, and that a rational person should live as though God exists, even though the truth of the matter cannot actually be known until you die.
In conclusion, your life can be an awesome experience, but bear in mind it’s a do-it-yourself project.