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I’ve recently been invited to make a speech for the PETFI annual dinner and I was wondering what I can talk about. Since most of my listeners are students (scholars) and parents, I’ve decided to teach them some of the things that I write about here on YourWealthyMind.com! Things that can help improve people’s lives! These are five life lessons to live by that can and likely will help you in your career.
Five Life Lessons to Live By (That Can Help Your Career)
1. Believe you can, take a chance, and LEARN!
If you see a job offer (or a business opportunity) that you like, you might as well send an application anyway! Don’t forget that if you try, even though there’s a chance you will fail, the more important matter is the chance that you’ll SUCCEED. If you DON’T try, then it’s a CERTAIN failure. This is what Wayne Gretzky meant when he said that you miss 100% of every shot you don’t take.
I’m a psychology graduate and I thought I’d go into corporate as a human resource employee. Then I saw a job I like… in computers and community care. When I started, I had no idea what I would do. Fortunately, my supervisors taught me what I needed to do and I was able to do my job well for the next six years. Then I quit and started writing a book, and then a blog. Then for my blog I needed to learn how to write good blog posts, marketing, social media, time management, and more. Fortunately, if I run into any problems, I can just search the internet for answers. It hasn’t failed so far, even though there’s a lot more that I still have to learn and do.
Don’t forget: If you find an excellent opportunity, you just have to try it and learn how to do it!
2. Be lazy. Find ways to make things easier.
I often used MS Excel in my office work so I have a lot of experience with it. When you get data and you want to arrange them alphabetically, you can copy and paste them manually one by one and, depending on how much data you’re arranging, it can take HOURS… or you can just click the “sort and filter” button on the toolbar and spend a couple of seconds max. In my previous job I remember so many people creating excel files with colorful data sheets with so much formatting, and when you want to USE the data, the sheet gives an error all because of that “beautiful formatting.” Don’t do that. Keep things simple, LEARN the shortcuts, and create ways to make things easier.
If you want to save time on just about everything, you need to remember the Pareto principle: only 20% of what you do bring 80% of your results. That also mean that 80% of your activities are useless, like browsing facebook for gossip, etc. For example, at work or at school, only about 20% of what you do will generate good results, create money, or make you smarter and improve your grades. Finish those first! What I did at work was I did all of the important work like reports, events, etc. from 8am in the morning. By 11am, I was done with my workday and I was free to do what I wanted until 5pm. So what did I do with that spare time? Instead of wasting it (that’s the 80% useless activities), I started writing a book and blog.
There’s a difference between being busy, and being EFFECTIVE. You need to be EFFECTIVE.
3. Be good.
We had C.A.T. (Citizen Army Training) back in high school and one of the most important lessons I’ve learned there are these words: “We, the cadets, do not lie, cheat, steal, nor tolerate among us those who do so.”
That’s not just for cadets—that’s for EVERYONE.
Let me ask you this: Say you know two employees. One is lazy and doesn’t do any work, they fake sick leaves, and they lie to you all the time. They also spread rumors about other coworkers (and most likely, rumors against you) and they make fake promises in order to try to get a good position in the company. The other employee on the other hand works diligently, tells the truth (even if you don’t like it—e.g. Sales are down and it’s our team’s fault, etc.), and is overall a good person. WHO WILL YOU PROMOTE? Who will move ahead in life? Who will lose and stay in low level positions?
Now here’s another question: One store sells fake, cheap, and defective goods at high prices and they cheat their customers all the time in order to make money. Another store sells good products at reasonable prices to make profit. Where will you buy? Where will everyone buy? Which business will survive?
Sure, some cheaters and liars may prosper, get promotions and positions, and make lots of money for a while, and that may be a long while, but remember this… destiny will NOT be kind to cheaters and liars. That’s the law of karma right there.
4. There will ALWAYS be someone better.
For all of the students at the PETFI dinner, I know most of them are scholars. Best grades, top of the class, and even top of the school! There’s one thing they need to remember. Something that WE all need to remember: there will ALWAYS be someone better than us. Someone smarter, wiser, more intelligent, better looking, taller, stronger, richer, and more successful. For some of us, the natural reaction would be to criticize them and downplay their abilities and achievements to make ourselves look good and stroke our ego.
Do not forget this: no matter how much you pull people down, it’s not going to make you a better person. Pull people down to the mud with you, you’re not getting out—you just get dirtier.
What’s the best thing to do? Simple. LEARN from them. I can tell you, Guy Kawasaki is a better and richer entrepreneur than I am… so I’m reading his book, “The Art of the Start 2.0.” Josh Kaufman knows more about businesses than me, so I’m reading his book, “The Personal MBA.” Olivia Fox Cabane is an executive coach to several Fortune 500 companies, so I’ve read her book, “The Charisma Myth.” Guro Christophe Verdot knows more about Pekiti Tirsia Kali, yoga, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and several other fighting styles than I do, so I learn from him in his class in BGC.
There will always be people who are better, more experienced, and more SUCCESSFUL than you are at something. Instead of criticizing them out of envy, why don’t you study what they’ve done and use what you can so that YOU can be successful too?
Finally, there’s this one very important lesson that I want you to learn.
5. If you’re not successful, it means you haven’t learned what you need.
This was from T. Harv Eker’s “The Secrets of the Millionaire Mind.” The author was in his twenties and he started multiple businesses… but they were all failures. He had a lot of potential, just like all of us here, and he worked hard, like most of us, but he just kept failing somehow. One day a wealthy family friend of his father came to visit and he happened to see that Harv needed help. That’s why he taught him this:
“If you’re not as successful as you like, it means there’s something you don’t know.”
I’ve written about this so many times before because this lesson is just so important. If you want to improve your life, you have to LEARN something new! And I don’t mean things that won’t directly help you either—you need to learn something USEFUL. For most of the students listening to my speech, they’ll likely only have enough knowledge and skills for an entry level position. I hope they don’t stay at that level for the rest of their lives. Here’s the thing: If you don’t learn anything more like, say, leadership skills and experience or expertise in your field, then you’re never gonna get ahead. If you don’t learn proper marketing for your business, how to handle your particular customers and suppliers, and how to improve your product or business system, then your brand new MBA diploma won’t help you.
This is true for the rest of us who have already started working. What do you need to move up in life? What do you need to get promoted? What do you need to expand your business? What do you need to earn more money? What do you need to stop yourself from losing money or getting into debt and finally buy a house and a car? Do you need to learn leadership and time management skills? Do you need to learn better social media marketing techniques? Do you need to learn personal finance, how to pay debts efficiently, and how to invest properly in order to generate good returns?
If you ask me, trigonometry is hard. Fluid dynamics is hard. Law is hard. Medicine is hard. But there are engineers, lawyers, and doctors here, right? And they know those things because they’ve taken the time to study them. You know the difficult and complicated things on your field because you’ve studied them. It’s the same with leadership and management, personal finance, and investing. It’s the same with almost everything else in life. Things sound difficult if you don’t know what to do, but once you’ve studied them and you’ve spent a few years practicing, then they’ll be easy. That’s true for just about anything you want to learn.
One of the greatest mistakes you can ever make is thinking that education stops after graduation. Life is a permanent process of growth and learning. Again, if you want to improve your life, then you have to remember this lesson: You have to learn more to EARN MORE.
Believe that you can do what you want to do.
Use your head and find ways to make your life easier.
Learn from those who are more successful than you are.
Never stop learning and improving.
Oh, and one more thing. Don’t forget to thank those who’ve helped you along the way. For the parents who will listen to my speech (and those of you reading my article), even though you won’t hear it much, your children DO appreciate what you do. We’re all just too shy to say thank you and “I love you.”