This is the fourth and final sequel for this series. Before I continue I’d like to thank you if you’re a returning viewer and welcome if you’re a first timer. Your continuous support has contributed immensely to the growth of my blog. Sending love your way.
Also, I’d link the first three in the series at the end of the blog post. Well, let’s get right into the blog post.
16. Learn to laugh at yourself
If there’s one thing I’ve learned from attending mocktail parties, it is that if you want to be successful and make friends you need to be able to laugh at yourself. In Ghana it is coined as “you can’t shame the shameless”, in Australia they call it “taking the piss out of yourself” and in the United States they might say that you’re being “self deprecating”.
When I was younger I took myself too seriously. Looking back now I realise I was actually scared of failure and I wonder why I put so much pressure on myself at such a young age. I’d be lying if I said a part of me doesn’t recognise with that person anymore but with each passing day, I make a conscious effort to let loose because frankly, it’s exhausting and draining.
If someone cracked a joke at my expense, I’d take it personally. But I learned that when you laugh at your yourself, you disarm everyone around you. It shows that you’re self aware, confident and you have a good sense of humour which comes in handy for everything from the professional environment to dating to getting along with colleagues.
17. It’s better to be an hour early than a minute late
For as long as I can remember I’ve always hated being late to events. I want to believe it’s inherent in me because growing up my dad would always hint on me to respect my time especially during my elementary school days when he would drive me to school. I honoured that principle though I didn’t understand its importance. As the years passed, as my responsibilities and contributions to society increased and my daily itinerary was starved of leisure, the importance of owning my time became apparent.
The etiquette of being punctual speaks to your integrity and dependability as an individual and that’s to say the least. The problem is that when you’re late, it sends a message that you don’t respect people’s time, that you’re unreliable, and you generally don’t have your stuff together and in a professional setting that limits your potential. In a perfect setting, it’s just plain rude.
It’s really not that difficult to show up on time. The solution is to plan for buffer time and double the amount of time you think it’ll take to get to your appointments. And if you have to get there a little bit early. Well, that’s better than being a minute late.
I might as well throw this in there. Myself, my biggest irk is a chaotic morning. Rushed situations don’t bring out the best in me. I have a mellow tempo and so I like to take things a minute at a time. Knowing this I can’t afford to sleep in and if I can’t afford to sleep in it means I can’t afford to go to bed late. There a certain adjustments I’ve had to make to my routine to prevent the unwanted early morning rat races. If I have to be somewhere at 2:00 pm and google maps says it’s a 15 minute journey by car best believe I’d leave for the place at 1:20 pm because my analysis factors in the time it’d take to get to the car, the traffic along the way, finding parking, walking from the car, and all the small unexpected things that sometimes interrupt my day.
Finally, I just feel too embarrassed when I arrive late. My self confidence doesn’t need that blow.
18. Give yourself a three year timeline to reach goals
Let’s call this the three year rule. We often don’t work on our dreams because we’re afraid. We are afraid people will talk behind our back, that we will fail publicly or that we just aren’t good enough. So instead of taking action we do nothing. We don’t switch careers, we don’t invest in our passion project, we don’t start that YouTube channel or learn a vocational skill. However, by following this rule you are giving yourself permission to fail for three years. It is essentially meant to encourage risk taking and lessen the weight of failure. It makes falling on your face a little bit more palatable and it gives you the confidence to find your footing. If over the course of three years you don’t make any significant gains despite working your butt off you have permission to throw in the towel but I have a hunch that you’ll find some progress. Even if you aren’t in the top 1% in your field you’ll be surprised at how much growth you can achieve in three years by taking small steps each day.
I started my blog in 2019 and I promised myself the consistency and discipline despite my audience and reviews. Fast forward, a few years down the line I received an email recognising my effort as a mental health advocate. I couldn’t be happier.
19. If it won’t matter in five years, don’t spend more than five minutes worrying about it
Humans are wired to worry. On average, people spend one hour and fifty minutes worrying each day, I kid you not. And a lot of this worrying is about the most insignificant things. Lemme say this even before I proceed. I am a big time worrier and it has cost me so many happy moments. I am what some would call an ‘emotional sponge’ or an ‘empath’. I worry about anything and everything. But what I have learnt from worrying so much about stuff is that there is always going to be something to worry about. Happiness becomes extinct in your life when you live this way. You miss out on all the good moments life has to offer and while I wouldn’t say I’ve stopped worrying about stuff completely I have decided to detach from some situations.
“Was I too harsh on Kennedy? Did I forget to text Clinton? I hope I wouldn’t be a nuisance to the back row seaters if I leave to use the lavatory? Am I going to get home in time to work on the article for my blog? “
This is where the five by five rule by James Altucher comes in. This is the philosophy that if something won’t matter in five years you shouldn’t spend more than five minutes worrying about it. It’s a simple yet effective guideline for letting go of things that aren’t important because let’s face it, there are few things that will actually matter in five years. And even for those things you might ask yourself, “is worrying helping?” It’s usually not.
20. Assume the best in people
I believe this rule goes a long way to draw the line between the different types of people. There would always be scenarios where our pessimistic self is more opportune to take over our thoughts. Well, I’m here to remind you that assumption is the mother of all evil and so we’d have to be deliberate in our thought patterns.
The truth is you never really know what others are going through and so you should give grace freely and openly. Who knows, maybe that person that cut you off might be rushing to the hospital. Or the person that flaked on you might have had a family emergency. Or the friend that turned down your invitation might be struggling with anxiety.
Why assume the worst in someone when you could assume the best?Unknown
This doesn’t mean you should let people take advantage of you or that you should be completely naive to the world around you but creating a positive snap judgement will really help to improve your relationships. And if someone was actually cutting you off, at least you didn’t let their behaviour ruin your day.
Candidly, this list could go on and on but I’d save the rest for another blog post. Albeit I have created cognisance of these in my life there are still times where I fall short. Times when I see myself slack and I have had to revise these tips repeatedly.
Typically, I am a cold heart realist. There are certain hard truths that I have had to come to terms with but I’ve surmounted that hurdle. I’m stern about what I choose to make a priority in my life and I don’t compromise. This hasn’t always been the case and I believe my teenagers years would’ve been much easier if I developed this sentiment sooner. Regardless, there are no regrets on this side.
Today’s takeaway: Be deliberate about your growth. Do not leave things to chance. Plan and execute – for you miss all the shots you don’t take.
And it’s a wrap for the fourth and final sequel. 🎆🎊🎉
I made sure to make this as short as possible and I hope you enjoyed this blog post. Thank you so much if you made it all the way here. It means the world to me!🫂. I’d link the first three in the series below for interested viewers, check it out. You’d love it!
If you found this blog post helpful please be sure to hit the like button, leave a comment and share it with others who need to hear this. Have a lovely week ahead!❤️