What are the lessons people most often learn too late in life?
Oh boy, this one is harsh. And let me tell you that, you are not gonna like it.
Yesterday, I watched Sully. It is based on the real life story of Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger who lands the damaged plane on Hudson river, miraculously saving all the 155 lives on board. He is charged for not landing on LaGuardia or Teterboro and for ‘risking’ the lives of the passengers and damaging the airplane.
He says, “42 years of successful landings, and they would still judge me for those 208 seconds.”
Did you catch it, yet?
Imagine he worked 5 days a week, 1 flight every day, and exclude the Christmas holidays too.
Number of successful landings = (5/7)*42*365*(11/12) = 10,037 flights
Number of passengers landed = 150*10,037 = 15,05,625
Before he was acquitted, they blamed him for those 208 stressful seconds where his reaction time was 35 seconds, and nobody actually gave a damn about his past record of landing more than 1.5 Million people safely. Even though, after landing, all he cared for was the count of “155”.
And here you have a very very harsh lesson to learn.
You can do 99 things for someone and all they'll remember is the one thing you didn't do.
Most people forget all the good that you did, and in the end only judge you for the bad, or rather what they perceive to be bad. Nobody cares about the good intent behind your actions. All they see is the final output. Simply because it’s easy to overlook the good, and remember the bad.
After a while, most people don’t give a damn about how much you have helped them. They take you for granted, because hey, you were just performing your duty or friendship. Just one bad thing, and they are all against you.
In personal life, be helpful without expecting too much from anyone. It’ll hurt you less. And if you are compromising on your comfort for helping anyone who isn’t worth it, then it’s time to think through and make a wise choice before it’s too late.
Kindness: If you are giving back you've already taken too much.
I'm looking at those billionaires who hoard wealth their whole lives to 'philanthropically' give it away with their impending deaths.
Resources: Time is your most valuable resource, there are no refunds or second chances for the time you waste.
Experiences: Spending the 6 months prior to your death completing your bucket list is no way to live as everything you do will be done with a tinge or sadness and regret. Live your life as if you are terminal, you are, and do the things you want without a reason for doing so. Create memories and experience living or your time will expire.
Spend time doing the things you love with the people you care about most. You don't get extra marks for putting up with people you dislike
Ideas: Just because you think its a good idea, doesn't mean it is a good idea...
Words: Think before you speak. Words have the power to cause irreparable harm, always choose them carefully.
Actions: Think before you act. You can take a second to do something you haven't properly considered, that isn't a true reflection of your character, and it can undo a lifetime of kindness and generosity.
Alcohol: Alcohol impairs judgement and you don't need it to have a good time. If you do it's time to question the choices you are making.
Parental Advice: Your parents were more right about the things they said growing up than you will ever care to admit:
School really were the best days of your life.
If you worked hard at school you are reaping the benefits now.
Choose your friends carefully, you are the average of the 5 people you spend most time with.
Always give your best at everything you do, people are always watching.
Always treat people the way you want to be treated and you'll receive respect from almost everyone you meet.
Everyone is simultaneously different and the same. Regardless of someone's race, culture, gender and sexual orientation everyone is equal.
Hobbies: A hobby which you love, hopefully which keeps you fit, is the best investment you can make in your own longevity and prosperity.
Saving: Save a little money every week/month. Nothing gives you happiness like a financial buffer, believe it or not. 
Never stop learning: Whether that is reading a book, listening to a pod cast or completing a MOOC online. You need to continue to take responsibility for your own learning and actively pursue means to improve. Read for 1 hour every single day. By reading one hour a day, regardless of your perceived level of knowledge, you can become a world leading expert in any subject in 7 years. If you begin now, you could become a world leading expert in your chosen field in less than 10% of your lifetime. It obviously requires commitment and consistency but it’s incredibly easy to sit and read if you are literate. 42% of college graduates never read another book after college so think how far ahead that could get you.
Do something different: If you zig when others zag you will avoid being in the majority making it easier to rise to the top. It’s far easiest to be great in a smaller pool.
Unmercifully pursue your dreams: 10,000 of hours of dedication to something is what it takes for someone to be the world-class at something. With that being true I would advocate another route being inherently more useful as the world moves towards a more diverse future. Spend 1,000 hours on 10 different subjects. You won’t become the best in the world at any one thing but you will become a world leading generalist which will ensure you can benefit from most of this new exciting post-capitalist world. The benefits of being better at 10 things than 90% of the global population than better than 99% of the world population at one are monumental. The crossover between your skills will lead to new unimaginable opportunities.
Compete against people better than you. Go places where you know you will be at a disadvantage. Competing against superior performers will expose you to strategies which enable you to alter your own. You'll learn tricks and spot hints to improve your own performance you won't learn in years of competing against rookies.
Give yourself too little time: Purposefully give yourself less time than you know you need to achieve something. You'll surprise yourself or be forced to invent creative ways to improve your efficiency. It might help you spot trends from alternative industries/activities/sports you can utilize in a new way. In business it is often better to repackage an existing average idea and improve on it to achieve greatness.
Set goals: write them down. recording your goals will make you 100% more likely to achieve them. Write short, medium and long term goals and actively track your progress against them. It will give you a sense of achievement which will inspire you and spur you on.
Be more original: Following the status-quo may help you achieve short term academic success, it might assist in enabling you to pass exams and get into university, but ultimately it is going to detrimentally affect your creativity. Take risks, spot chances and dive in. Share your ideas and get feedback. Be brave.
Put yourself out there: Meet people, reach out and talk to people; never be afraid to ask advice. I never let somebody’s reputation scare me into submission. I'm a vehement believer in the adage that if you never ask you'll never know and find this particularly true of those people who have ascended to the highest heights. I've exchange correspondence with everyone from Arianna Huffington, Bob Keiller, Gareth Williams, Adam Grant to name but a few. It's worth remembering even the most successful among us are people too.
Travel: Broaden your horizons, open your mind and deepen your well of exposure. Understand the idiosyncrasies between cultures and experience living. Go to the places on the periphery and understand the countries you visit. A resort with a pool and a sandy beach could be anywhere. Go to places and distil their true meaning and gain enlightenment. By understanding how different cultures and communities operate our lives are enriched with understanding, compassion and appreciation for people unlike ourselves.
Constantly evolve: Make at least one improvement that makes you better at something every single day. It sounds daunting, but improvements don’t have to be huge, they can be really small which incrementally leads to huge change. Think improving just 1% each day and build upon that every single day. Doing so has a dramatic effect and will make us 37x better, not 365% (3.65x) better at the end of the year. Wake up every day and ask yourself what is the 1% improvement I can change to make myself better personally and professionally.
Imagine yourself making 1% changes every day that compounds and will make you 37x better by the end of the year. Imagine if everybody was doing the same. Imagine how much better you and the world will be next year.
Never wait for things. You need to fight to improve. Good things come to those who go out and get them, nobody achieved greatness waiting for it to find them.
Don't trust the wrong people: Aligning yourself with the wrong groups can set your career back years. Office politics are a thing and hitching your wagon to the right people can help you ascend dizzy heights quickly but be careful of the price you pay.
Find mentorship: Finding a relevant mentor who can advise you on the things you should concentrate on, the things you should do and the experiences you should seek.
Don't prioritize salary over learning: the most important thing early in your career is that you are in an environment which exposes you to and involves you in every element of the business enabling your education to prosper. It is this you will be compensated for later.
Don't specialize too soon: Generalize and give yourself an opportunity to serendipitously discover what you are best at.
Don't expect opportunities to come to you: Instead of exploring the self-generation of opportunity through building relationships or research I was happy to wait in expectation that my knowledge and expertise would gravitate people towards me. It didn't.
Write sooner: Give yourself every opportunity to establish yourself as a key person of influence in your industry. Write a little every day. Write a lot once a week. Try to write a book.
Learn a language: Learn something useful. Speaking one language is fine, particularly if it is English for obvious reasons. I've always found it a bit ignorant. It enables you to communicate and connect with people far easier and it has the added benefit of burning new cognitive pathways which make you smarter.
Don't work long hours to impress people: and fail to recognize the value of your free time.
Trust Yourself: My Biggest regret is not trusting myself to build something of value sooner.
Hustle is the antidote to fear -
When I was in high school, I wanted to ask out a girl to prom but was afraid of being rejected. So I bought a guitar, learned how to play "I Want to Grow Old With You" (Thanks Adam Sandler) and serenaded her in class. I changed the lyrics to "I want to go to prom with you." Guess what? She said yes.
When I wanted to start my motivational blog CEO Lifestyle, I had no idea how to build a nice website or how to build a community following. I was also pretty scared of failing again. What if I wrote for years and no one ended up going to my website? What if no one really cared about motivation? And then I realized, even if only 10 people signed up, I would still feel awesome about making a difference in 10 people's lives.
And that was enough to get me started. Ever since then, I've been hustling non stop. I've now written 109 Quora posts and have over 4.8 million views. Oh, and that blog? It has over 6,500 subscribers in just 7 months. #Hustle
Still need more encouragement to go out there and make it happen? Take note from this quote from Richard Branson - “If somebody offers you an amazing opportunity but you are not sure you can do it, say yes – then learn how to do it later!”
Stop fearing. Start doing.
Simple is good -
Life has so much clarity when you keep things simple. For example:
Want to better understand? Listen.
Miss a loved one? Call. (Or text, Facebook message, Snapchat)
Want to achieve? Hustle.
Want to laugh? Watch Youtube videos.
Love someone? Say it.
You can go fast alone, but you go further together - When you work alone, you can move really fast. There's no red tape. There's no management that you have to check in with. There's no team you have to collaborate with. So what does that mean? You can create and test with an incredible amount of speed. However, it's really hard to go far alone. For example, I love writing for my motivational blog. However, I can only write so much material every week (it's pretty intensive in terms of time invested). So I can continue doing this writing all by myself to build an audience or I could work smarter by working with others. For example, I've started working with a famous writer by being on his podcast. He has over 10,000 followers that he'll probably be sending that podcast to. I'm guessing almost all of those don't subscribe to my blog and this will expand my audience. Pretty safe to say that's a good idea. Just a hunch. #FurtherTogether
Sacrificing your health to pursue wealth isn't worth it - One of my best friends had cancer. Do you know how many times I heard him say, "Gosh, I really wish I made more money or worked more hours?" Not once. Take care of your body. Fruits and vegetables are your best friend. Work out regularly. Cardio, lifting weights or workout classes should be a big part of your life. Invest in your body today so that you'll have a brighter future tomorrow.
Worrying is not a good use of energy - I built a dating app once. I was worried our competitors would copy us and we would lose over the long term because we didn't have the marketing budget that they had. Guess what? It didn't matter. We got 13,000+ downloads but couldn't get our users to come back frequently enough to the app to make it an engaging experience. So I spent all that energy and time worrying over...nothing. Worrying is one of the biggest wastes of energy. Stop worrying. Start hustling. Noticing a recurring theme?
Work can be fun - You know that feeling you get when your alarm rings at 7 AM in the morning? That feeling of dread? Guess what? It doesn't have to be that way for the next 50 years of your life. Find work that you're passionate about. Find a mission that you want to get behind 100%. Find your calling. Do that and you will wake up with a renewed sense of energy.
Happiness is a state of mind, not a destination - Looking back on my life, the most unhappiest moments of my life occurred when I always thought I had to achieve a certain goal to be happy. That's not the way happiness works. You can be happy right now. Be happy that you're alive. You're breathing. You're here in this incredible moment that we call life. That gives you all the reasons you need to be happy.
Things that are worthwhile often take time - It feels like I see a new success story every week. "New technology startup raises $100M at a $1B valuation!" People see the overnight success. What they don't often see are the late nights at the office until 2 AM. Whether it's love, work or friendship, everything worthwhile takes time. So learn to be patient. And invest your time wisely.
Awesomeness is contagious - I try to surround myself with positive, upbeat people that want to make a difference in the world. Every time I do that, I walk away feeling energized and passionate about life. Find 3 people that you deeply admire and spend time with them. Seriously, ask them to coffee, lunch or yogurt. (I'm a fan of Yogurtland personally, and no, they did not pay me to write that.) Notice how you feel after you meet with them? You should be saying "I feel awesome." Combine that awesome feeling with a dose of yogurt - that's borderline life changing.
If you're lactose intolerant, I'm sorry. #GetInspired
You are the CEO of your life - You're responsible for your own life. Simple as that. Now go out there and build the life you've always dreamed of.
Never ask your close buddy to refer you at the job: You’re in need of a job. You apply to several companies. You don’t get any responses. You get frustrated. You see your buddies working in a top company. You text them and ask for a referral and somehow, they do. And, you know what it becomes now? A lifetime liability. How? Because at some point in time, he would see you as an inferior human and by the stroke of unluck, if there would be a bitter relationship between you and your friend, he/she will taunt you for the consideration done by him/her. The biggest hurt and regret in life is when someone points your credibility and capability. Take up a job with your own efforts and you have to never let yourself down.
Go for healthy choices rather than tasty ones: You eat Pizza and Burger every day because it is cheap and easily available. Years after, you feel a slight pain in your center of the chest which is termed as Angina. Your arteries are almost blocked and one day, you get a massive heart attack which takes your life. Every healthy choice coupled with extensive workout will keep your blood pressure and the heart, healthy and strong.
Don’t invest too much time in love If it is going nowhere: You love someone and put everything on a stake. You see yourself with that person. You make sacrifices. You develop feelings and emotions. One fine day, that person will leave you if something better strikes. The person moves on. You stay there with no credentials, no support, no love and broken. Years after, your success will attract people. Work on it.
Ask someone, How are you rather than What are you up to?: You know, the human being has become so much competitive, they lack emotions and care. The successful humans have all the crowd, the failure ones suffer. Ask everyone if they are fine and good before asking this stereotypical question. It feels much better. People learn this too late in life and the right time would be gone when someone will even respect you for who you are.
Break intelligence rather than breaking a vagina: Humans of today are too desperate to have sex out of any context. Human beings don’t invest in emotions. Just to add, if you have screwed, someone, you might or might not get her but if you have mind screwed someone, you will definitely get her.
Start spending time with family: We need to understand that as we grow up, our parents are growing old. We need to give them time because when you were not able to move and do anything, they taught you to grow and now, it's your turn to payback.
Emotions for all: Someone is rich, someone is poor and someone is middle class. There is a difference between class and living but what stays constant is emotions. Money, success, and a good life is a need. Love, Romance, and emotions are what we live for.
Stay away from people who will never appreciate you: You know, you need to stay away from people who thrive success by putting other down. They will never appreciate you no matter what. Move on and live a better and simple life with positive humans.
Reading rather than using social media: People get nothing using social media. Reading will add something. Reading will make your vision better and strong. Reading will teach you how to be humble. Reading will teach you, how much you need to learn. Watching a 6 pack abs and fine breast will add nothing.
Never hate a person who has destroyed you: Move on in life. Karma will teach them one day. Do wonders because the world is waiting for something better. Forgive but never forget.