8 Things I Learned From 8 Highly Respected People

8 Things I Learned From 8 Highly Respected People

Most people waste their lives trying to reinvent the wheel.

I do the contrary: I steal the strategies of those who already achieved what I want to achieve.

During the past four years, I built a life and business I love. And I did so by learning from people way ahead of me.

I had mentors and coaches, read hundreds of books, completed dozens of online courses, and went to seminars all over the country.

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As a result, I probably saved a decade of trial and error, built a 6-figure online business at the age of 23, and now spend each of my days doing what I genuinely love.

Here are some of my heroes and their priceless lessons:

Always Lead by Example

“Fight for the things that you care about, but do it in a way that will lead others to join you.”

— Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Ruth Bader Ginsburg was a jurist and served as the justice of the Supreme Court of the United States for more than 25 years.

She was particularly known and appreciated because of her commitment to gender equality. She preached that women belong in all places where decisions are made and she took a stand for women across the U.S.

And she always led by example. She didn’t belittle anyone. Instead, she tried to educate in a genuine, respectful way, which helped her to gain the trust of millions of people.

You can’t tell others to do A when all you do is B. You have two choices whenever you fight for something important:

  • You can be stubborn and walk the path on your own.
  • Or you can share your ideas in a way that others can relate to them.

Quite often, the former might look like the quicker path. But if you want to go far, going with others is the better decision.

Never Stop Learning

“The greatest investment a young person can make is in their own education, in their own mind. Because money comes and goes. Relationships come and go. But what you learn once stays with you forever.”

Warren Buffett

I went through school and university with ease because I enjoyed studying.

Yet, at the age of 20, I realized that formal education didn’t teach me any of the life-changing skills I’d need to create a remarkable life.

That’s how I stepped into personal development, started reading books, and visiting seminars. And I didn’t stop ever since.

Most people waste their lives by saying, “I already know that”, not realizing that they know nothing unless they do it.

Stay Flexible

“You can be stubborn and successful or you can give it up a bit and change things around. For me, it’s important to have a bit of both.”

— Roger Federer

Federer is a Swiss tennis player and ranked one of the top five male players for many years. Tennis fans across the globe appreciate his genuine, honest, and respectful character.

Most people never achieve their goals because they’re either too stubborn or they give up easily.

But the truth is that there’s a golden spot between both.

Success always requires hard work, dedication, and discipline, but sometimes, you just need to let go and start again.

Holding on to stuff that doesn’t seem to work can be painful and a waste of time. You need to find a balance between discipline and flexibility. That’s where the magic happens.

Be Reflective

“Success is commonly defined as money and power, but increasingly, that’s not enough. It’s almost like a two-legged stool where you fall over if that’s all you measure your life by.”

— Arianna Huffington

I’m a firm believer that self-reflection is the holy grail of personal development.

Think of a GPS: Once you type your destination, the GPS shows you how to get there. But it only works when you know where you’re right now.

If you want to go to Egypt, you first need to know whether you’re in the U.S., in Europe, or somewhere in Africa.

You can’t draw a path without knowing where you start. That’s the power of being reflective.

You need to ask yourself where you are and where you want to go. Only then can you find out how to get there.

And in the best case, you also ask yourself why you want to get there. Otherwise, you might live your life to achieve the goals of others instead of working on your own dreams.

Don’t Settle for the Average

“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.”

— Steve Jobs

So many people settle for average jobs and average lives because they don’t believe there could be more.

The truth, however, is that there is so much more.

  • You were not born to pay the bills.
  • You were not born to satisfy your parents or your partner.
  • And you surely weren’t born to spend your life in a concrete tube for 40 hours a week for 40 years doing something you hate.

There is so much more. You just need to be brave enough to take the leap and trust your gut feeling.

Embrace Your Challenges

“You should never view your challenges as a disadvantage. Instead, it’s important for you to understand that your experience facing and overcoming adversity is actually one of your biggest advantages.”

— Michelle Obama

Your biggest challenges can one day turn into your most significant strengths.

When I was 12 years old, I went through a surgery on my hips.

In the following eight years, I underwent four more surgeries.

Each time, I spent months using crutches, missed many school trips and social activities, and found it pretty unfair that I had to spend my summer vacations in a hospital while my schoolmates enjoyed their holidays.

For six years, I had to silently watch my mates during sports classes because I wasn’t allowed to join.

This whole journey just made me stronger and more aware of the importance of my health.

Today, I’m grateful for being pain-free and for my ability to walk. I’m thankful for things that most people take for granted because I spent years being in pain.

Too often, we take the most crucial things for granted and get angry because of the challenges we face.

But if you deal with them appropriately, those can become your most significant strengths.

Be Hungry

“For me life is continuously being hungry. The meaning of life is not simply to exist, to survive, but to move ahead, to go up, to achieve, to conquer.”

Arnold Schwarzenegger

As a teenager, Arnold Schwarzenegger had the worst conditions to become a professional bodybuilder, not to talk about a Hollywood star or the Governor of California. He grew up in a small town in Austria and his social circle didn’t support his dreams.

But he was hungry. Hungrier than anyone else who was on the same path.

Two years ago, I went to a 2-day seminar to see Schwarzenegger on stage for 20 minutes. Admittedly, I went there with my boyfriend and four other male friends who are crazy about Arnie.

But after his speech, I became a fan too.

You can’t be lazy or unmotivated after listening to Arnold Schwarzenegger for a few minutes. Give it a try.

Choose to Dance

“What I know for sure is that every day brings a chance for you to draw in a breath, kick off your shoes, and step out and dance — to live free of regret and filled with as much joy, fun, and laughter as you can stand.”


If you only read one more book this year, read Oprah’s What I Know For Sure.

Every single day, you have a choice: You can choose the average, or you can choose to beat mediocrity and live an extraordinary life.

The former is easier, but the latter is more fun.

And on your last day, you won’t regret the risks you took, but the opportunities you didn’t make use of. So choose wisely.

Bottom Line

You can accelerate the quality of your life and your personal growth by learning from those who are way ahead of you.

And you don’t even need to know them in person.

Most of the greatest minds shared their wisdom through books, speeches, and interviews. All you need to do is following their rules:

Lead by Example

Never Stop Learning

Stay Flexible

Be Reflective

Don’t Settle for the Average

Embrace Your Challenges

Be Hungry

Choose to Dance

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