Today is my 26th birthday and this past year has been an interesting one.
Despite this rollercoaster of a year, I tried to make the most of it and had learned some lessons along the way.
I thought it would be helpful to share some of those lessons I’ve learned this year:
Lesson 1: Make time for yourself
‘You can’t give yourself to everything and everyone. You need to make time for yourself.’
I’ve always struggled with this. I would always be asked to handle something for my family and friends or something that comes up with Hidden Link or other social responsibilities.
The reality is that my time was taken by someone else. And it’s my own fault.
I’m slowly learning how to say ‘no’ to things that aren’t aligned with my goals or just things I simply do not want to do.
I’m also slowly working on setting aside ‘Me’ time. I’ve missed it and felt that life was spiraling out of control since I couldn’t control the things that I wanted to do.
Learn to take care of yourself, so you can take care of others.
Lesson 2: Take care of your body
At the beginning of 2020, I made a stupid decision.
I decided to sacrifice working out and going to the gym, so I can use that time to focus on building Hidden Link.
When I made this decision, I was struggling to get my footing with the agency and had just lost our two biggest clients.
I also was in debt and interest payments were burning through my bank account.
After a few months of constant stress, I started to feel the consequences. I felt my energy levels plummeting and my mental focus was complete shit.
I took away my stress reliever and never replaced it. Unfortunately, this wasn’t a one-time occurrence.
COVID made us shut down gyms in Las Vegas and the summer heat can get pretty brutal. So I didn’t want to work out.
Again, this was a dumb decision.
I’ve realized how important it is to take care of my body, so my mind can work at peak performance.
Lesson 3: Enjoy life.
Most days, I’m cooped up in front of my computer for hours on end. I’ve realized that my 20s have been mostly spent behind a computer working. I’ve always had that ‘When X happens, I’ll be able to Y’ mentality.
I know this is not ideal and it’s not the best way to live.
I took for granted the simple pleasures in life.
I never celebrated any of my wins this year.
As you can probably imagine, this also took a toll on my mental health and caused me to have a darker outlook on life.
But I’ve realized, there’s no reset in life. Yes, I know this is obvious. But for some reason, I’ve always wanted more and forgot about what I already have.
This is the only one I’m getting and I need to enjoy it.
Lesson 4: Slow down and take a break.
One of my biggest flaws is having the constant urge to work.
I know most hustle porn says work your ass off in your 20s so you can enjoy your 30s. I fell victim to this.
This caused me to try everything…. At once.
I would try to learn how to program, design, build an agency, side projects, write, take photos, take online courses, learn investing, and so much more.
There’s nothing wrong with trying things but take your time and be patient. I don’t have to do everything at once, I still have a shit ton of time.
The second part of this lesson is taking breaks. This kind of feeds off of Lesson 1, but taking a break and disconnecting is the best productivity tip that I’ve come across.
It sounds counterintuitive, I know. But as humans, we physically and mentally have to take breaks to function.
Take a break, disconnect, and do something you’ve been itching to do.
I wish I took breaks more seriously. It also made me quit building Hidden Link.
Lesson 5: Trust in yourself.
I’ve battled self-doubt, imposter syndrome, borderline depression, anxiety, and numerous other internal emotions throughout this year.
Somewhere along the way, I lost trust in myself and my own abilities.
I didn’t think I had it what it takes. I would see others and compare myself to them. I would see all the success they had.
I only saw the result I wanted but didn’t embrace the process.
But as I got more into Stoicism, it helped me realize I’m in control and I need to trust things are the way they are. I am in control of myself.
In stoicism, tranquility is defined by: “believing in yourself and trusting that you are on the right path, and not being in doubt by following myriad footpaths of those wandering in every direction.”