I remember my last conversation with my mother like it was yesterday. We were on Skype with the cameras turned on, and I was bickering about everything that I don’t have and can’t do because I was on Virgin Gorda. We had just moved to this 8-mile long island in the middle of the Caribbean, and it was not what I imagined. There were no jobs, no friends, and other than going to the beach, nothing to do.
As I was complaining about everything in my life, I was also finding comfort in the motherly, kind, and judgment-free expression on her face. She was listening to me carefully, with compassion and love. When I finished, she leaned toward the camera to get closer to my face and said in a very calm and caring tone:
“You are still so young. Thirties are hard. You are figuring out who you are. Wait until you are 40. It is when the fun starts. Because that is when you start enjoying who you are. ”
I was 34 years old on that day and had no idea that it was our last conversation. Today, I turned 40.
Since this is a new chapter in my life, I will do something different, and instead of sharing a recipe, I will share some life wisdom gained in my time on Earth.
If you like Oprah as I do, you know about her “What I Know For Sure” series. The following is my version of what I know for sure at 40. Also, below you will read about three books that changed my life.
True lottery in life is having parents (or parent figures) who love and support you:
I was no different than any teenager. We fought every day. I wanted to leave the house as long as I remember. It didn’t matter where I went. I wanted to GO.
Then one day I did. And that was when I learned how I was only able to do whatever I was doing because they were behind me, always ready to support me. My parents were my superpower.
What I know for sure is that what makes me who I am today is because of the parental guidance and love I received. I am very fortunate to have won the great parent lottery.
My talented videographer friend, Kristen of Border Free Travels helped me put together a video of my story and how and why I started Foolproof Living. She shot and edited the video below. If you have a few minutes to learn more about how the parent lottery I won brought me to who I am today, feel free to give it a watch.
The Power of Giving – If you want to get something you need to be a giver:
In the book “The Go-Giver” the authors, Bob Burg and John David Mann, discuss the power of giving. Before reading their book, I didn’t understand the importance of the giving and sharing. The way they told the story created an entirely different perspective for me.
The story is about an ambitious businessman, introduced to the idea of being a giver. He wants to succeed in meeting his business goals, but does so in a selfish way of caring only about his success. As he gets involved with the “giver,” his understanding expands. In the end, we learn the outcomes he experiences once he genuinely applies a giver mindset.
I don’t want to spoil it for you, in case if you read the book, but after finishing the book I know for sure I am a happier person when I give. I also know the more I give the more I get in return.
And most of the time, the question is not how it is that I can get. Rather it is, how I can give more?
The Third Law of Physics – For Every Action There is an Equal and Opposite Reaction:
Life is hard, unfair, ugly, and challenging in one way or another for everyone at one time or another. Everybody we see around us has some pain or sorrow in their hearts. That is why I believe being kind is more important than being right. Approaching people with a loving and caring heart full of compassion is how I live my life and view my interactions every day.
You may ask, “what if they take advantage of you and your kindness?” I struggled with that question myself for a long time, but then I learned the concept of surrendering.
Now, I surrender because I know for sure that (1) whatever happens has nothing to do with me and (2) the third law of physics – For Every Action There is an Equal and Opposite Reaction – always works.
The Wealth of The Mind is The Only True Wealth
It was five years ago when I read in a magazine that by reading 25 pages a day, you can finish 10-12 books a year. At the time, I was one of those people who always complained about never having enough time to read. But after reading that article, I learned that all I had to do was to commit to only 25 pages a day and do it every day at the same time. Since then, I read every morning (first thing when I wake up) for 30 minutes and in the last five years, I’ve read more books than in my whole lifetime before that.
I am not telling you this to brag – though I think it is brag-worthy – but rather to let you know that by taking small steps, or in my case 25 pages a day, you can finish more books that you can imagine.
What I know for sure is that true wealth comes from the things that you can take with you anywhere and use anytime you need. Your physical health is important, but the health of your mind is as important, and you have 100% control over nurturing that. In my case, the best way I found is to learn as much as I can and to do so daily.
Small little things you do everyday make up the big things in life:
The other book that changed my life is Jeff Olson’s “The Slight Edge” This goes hand in hand with reading every day.
Prior to reading “The Slight Edge,” I struggled with tackling big projects and found myself regularly lost in tasks that required learning new skills.
The reality is that in this day and age, we are all in the same boat. Things are changing so fast, and it is hard to keep up with all that is happening around us. It is so easy to feel intimidated and think less of yourself.
In my case, I was trying to do too many things at the same time and felt I wasn’t good enough. I felt like a failure not being able to keep up with it all.
After I read “The Slight Edge,” I realized that I don’t need to do it all. Instead, the success I was looking for came from doing small tasks consistently.
Do you want to learn a new software? Start small. Study 15 minutes a day.
And then you know what? By the end of a week, you will end up with almost 2 hours of studying under your belt on that very subject that you found intimidating a week ago.
Today, I know for sure that if I break big projects into small actionable chunks and work consistently, there is nothing I cannot tackle. And the best part is the satisfaction and feeling of success from those accomplishments.
Our Most Valuable Asset is Our Intuition:
I recently finished reading Gary Zukav’s, “The Seat of the Soul” It is rare that I get to find answers to a lot of questions all in one book.
I don’t intend to go into the details of the book here. Though if you are in need of some life-changing perspective as to why we are here and where are we going, I recommend giving it a read.
One of the many things I learned in the book is how our intuition is our strongest asset. Our instincts are there to guide us through life. However, the key to making it work is to know how to listen to them.
I now know for sure that my intuition is guiding me through my journey and that I have to rely on it more. Today, as I turn 40, my new goal in life is to become a better listener to not only my intuition but everything and everyone around me.
If you have read this far, you might think that I had it all figured out. Nothing can be far from the truth. Yes, I might be happier and tiny bit wiser, but I don’t know if life will ever grant me with that. However, I am surely excited to find out what is in store for me as I continue my journey in this world.