The Three Most Important Lessons I Have Learned in My Life
Lesson One - Face Your Fear
One of the most important lessons that I have learned in life is to "face your fears." Fears can hold us back from experiencing everything that life has to offer. When we give into fear we limit ourselves. We think we can do only this—go only that far—but no more.
My fear was a fear of failure. I was so afraid that I would fail that I failed to take action. This was a self-fulfilling cycle that kept me from achieving goals that I had in my business and personal life. I was so paralyzed by fear that I did nothing. I would get excited to do something, and get ready to do it—and then the fear would take over and I would quit.
How did I overcome this fear? Phil Keogan, host of the popular TV show, "The Amazing Race," states in his book, No Opportunity Wasted, that "to attack this fear you must first ask yourself a simple question: how do I define success and failure?"
When we define or goals in absolute terms, all-or-nothing, winner-takes-all, it can be overwhelming. I had a fear of failure in launching an online business. My goal was to make $10,000 a month—that is an unrealistic goal for someone just starting out.
I redefined success as being able to generate $300 a month. This was an attainable goal. Once I hit this goal, I aimed higher. The great thing was I was no longer afraid to try. My defining success in realitic terms I was able to take that first step. The saying is true - the first step is the hardest!
By facing my fear of failure through redefining success I was able to grow in my persoanlly life. This growth has enabled me to overcome my fear of spiders and I am working on my fear of heights. Will I go sky-diving this summer? No I am defining success over fear of heights as climbing my ladder and cleaning my gutters. I can do it! Then perhaps I will work up to sky diving!
Lesson Two - Treat Other People As You Want To Be Treated
The second most important life lesson that I learned is to treat people like you want to be treated. This is the "Golden Rule." It is a Biblical principle to "Love your neighbor as yourself."
I wish I could asy that I have always followed this principle but I haven't. I was a "me" person - What's in it for me? What can you do for me? I didn't mean to be, I just was.
I'm not sure when I changed but I know that I did. I no longer get impatient with people. I help where I can. I smile at people. I like people so much more now and you know what? They seem to like me more to.
This principle applies in business to. I enjoy reading the works on Ken Evoy. He stresses a principle that comes from the movie "Pay It Forward" (which is a great movie starring Kevin Spacey and Helen Hunt). Basically, it is that if someone has helped you out, return the favor and help someone else out. Do to others as you would want them to do to you.
When I was starting my online business career money was tight. I couldn't afford some of the books and products that I needed to get my career started. Ken did something tremendous. He gave his knowledge away free! I was able to download his best selling ebook, "Make Your Site Sell" for free! This one act of kindness on his part helped to launch my online career. I would like to "pay it forward" to you.
Treating other people like you want to be treated will change your whole outlook on life. You will enjoy it more and have less stress. It is a lesson worth learning at any age.
Lesson Three - Take Chances
I remember seeing my future wife for the first time. She was beautiful! She was funny, intelligent with a smile that made me melt. I enjoyed every moment with her and she was all I thought about. After a period of dating the thought of marriage started to cross my mind. I loved her but I had just come through a bitter divorce and didn't want to risk being hurt again.
I'm glad that I took the chance and asked her to marry me. Fourteen years and two wonderful daughters later I am a blessed man for taking the chance.
There is a program that my young daughter's watch called "iCarly". The theme song has a lyric that rings so true: "There's no chance unless you take one". I like that because it is true in life and in business. You have no chance of succeeding, no chance of reaching your goals and being all you can be unless you take a chance and take action.
I took a chance when I started working online. I was living paycheck to paycheck and was ready to make a change. I had read all about starting a business online and was ready to go. I had saved a few dollars to buy a website, which contained everything I needed to get started. I knew I wanted to do it but the little voice in my ear told me that I should use the money to pay some bills, take my wife on a much deserved and needed date, that this business was a gamble and I could be wasting much needed money.
Well I took the chance and I have never looked back. I'm on my way to living my dream of working from home part time while earning a full time income. I could never have reached this level of success if I hadn't taken a chance. Indeed, "There's no chance (of success) unless you take one (a chance)."
These three lessons changed my outlook on life—and they can change yours, too.