As a teenager, I’ve been an avid reader, influenced by my mom, who never skipped her daily reading routine.
Yet when I started my studies in business administration, I lost my passion for reading because of the massive amount I had to read and study for my exams.
But when I first tapped into personal development at the age of 19, I rediscovered my former love for books.
During the past years, I read more than 50 books per year, soaked up every piece of information I found and realized that I was after one specific question: Which simple changes can help me make my life happier, better, and more fulfilled?
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Unfortunately, that’s contrary to what most non-fiction books deliver. The majority is packed with unrelatable stories, or even worse: studies and evidence without advice on how to apply all the advice in your daily life.
Yet, not all personal growth advice is bad.
After reading hundreds of books, consuming ridiculous amounts of audio and video content, and coaching several hundred young people, I learned how to separate the wheat from the chaff and find meaningful rules to live by.
Here are some of them:
You Don’t Need to Know All the Answers
In 1921, Einstein was asked about the speed of sound and replied that he didn’t know because he didn’t carry such information in his mind if it was readily available in textbooks.
The reality, however, is that most people hate uncertainty. We want to know all the answers and we want them now.
If I could, I’d always chose to be well prepared and know all the answers to anything in life. But that’s not how life works.
If we’d know all the answers up front, we wouldn’t grow, and life would be quite meaningless. Instead of trying to find all the answers, trust the process.
The universe always has your back, even if life sometimes feels messy.
“You Don’t Have to Know Everything. You Just Have to Know Where to Find It.”
— Albert Einstein
A Good Life Is Made Up of Small Steps
More than 2,500 years ago, Confucius stated that the man who moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stones.
Too often, we believe that we can only transform our lives when we make huge changes.
The truth, however, is that success is not made of one big step in the future but of many small steps you take right now.
It’s not the big moves that define your life but the small, steady ones.
If you practice good habits long enough, you’ll always experience change. Sudden, giant steps, however, barely lead to lasting improvements.
My life changed the moment I realized that life is all about the small steps.
For years, I believed there would be a perfect time or the ideal opportunity to do something big and make changes. Yet, this ideal time never arrives.
Life is not about waiting for opportunities but about creating your own opportunities by showing up and working on the small things.
Success Is a Numbers Game
The most successful people are those who don’t wait for the perfect opportunity. Instead, they choose courage over their fears and execute their ideas.
If you keep telling yourself to wait, you’ll always be outworked by those who start earlier and move quicker.
The truth is that you’ll never know if an idea is good or not without giving it a try. And the more you try, the better your chances for success.
Picasso created more than 50,000 works of art in his career.
Walt Disney was rejected more than 300 times before.
And J.K Rowlings Harry Potter was turned down by more than ten publishers.
But they all moved on and tried over and over again instead of waiting for a better time.
If you keep waiting for the perfect opportunity to work on your dreams, you might wait for a lifetime.
Go After Dreams, Not People
If you don’t have dreams and goals, you’ll likely end up working for those of someone else.
I believe that healthy relationships are an essential part of a fulfilled life. Yet, I also think that you need to stay true to yourself, even if you’re deeply in love.
If you know what you seek, you can distance yourself from those who block your way and build a community of supporters.
Visualizing your ideal life is the most simple yet powerful way to create a life you love.
Everything in life starts with a vision, an idea. And if you don’t have a vision yourself, you’ll be tempted to follow the path of someone else.
Show Yourself Some Love
I genuinely believe that you can’t have healthy, nourishing relationships if your relationship with yourself sucks.
If you’re not content with your inner world, you’ll always struggle to trust others and connect on a deeper level.
And if you don’t believe in yourself, it’s going to be really hard to convince someone else to believe in you.
You are the only person who will be by your side every single day of your life, so it makes sense to like yourself.
This doesn’t mean being ignorant towards others or self-centered. It rather means accepting yourself with all your mistakes and flaws and taking time to take care of yourself.
We all make mistakes, we all get hurt, and we all have flaws, so what?
No one will ever appreciate or pay you for being perfect or flawless. So stop blaming yourself for your mistakes and focus on your strengths.
Never Lose Your Sense of Wonder
“Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.”
— Roald Dahl
I’m not religious, but I believe there’s something way bigger and more powerful than each of us. And I genuinely believe that the universe always works in my favor.
By believing that anything is possible, you open yourself up for miracles and allow them to happen. And the great news is that you have nothing to lose by believing in yourself and the power of the universe.
If You Are Alive, Anything Is Possible
Quite often, we forget that we are the master of our own lives and that we can do anything we set to our minds.
Each of your days is a new opportunity to transform yourself and your life through tiny steps. And most of your limitations only exist in your mind, not in reality.
If you think that something isn’t possible for you, you’ll always hold yourself back from trying. If you, however, ignore the limitations in your head and go beyond your fears, you can achieve greatness and fulfill your wildest dreams.
People often ask themselves, “What if I fail?”, but I love the counter-question: “What if you fly?”.
What if it works out? What if you go after your dreams and achieve them Would it be worth going on despite your fears and taking the leap? If not, stop lying to yourself. But if you say hell yeah, it’s a good sign to work harder for your wildest dreams.
Never Compare Yourself to Others
Did you ever ask yourself why you’re feeling so miserable while other people seem to live the most remarkable lives? At least according to their Instagram stories?
Too often, we ignore the fact that the internet and social media, in particular, is just a polished representation of reality.
If you look at my Instagram profile, you only see what I show you.
You don’t see the hard work, you don’t see the failures, you don’t see the rejections. And the problem is that you compare yourself to that fake perception.
You barely see the struggles of others, but only the tip of the iceberg.
Stop comparing your own beginning to other people’s level of mastery. Everyone starts from the bottom, but some people just began earlier than you.
Great things always take effort, but they also take time. And you certainly shouldn’t compare your first day to someone who’s been in the game for many years.
The Quality of Your Life Is Determined by How Much Responsibility You Take
The most fulfilled and successful people are those who take over responsibility for everything they do.
By doing so, they ensure that they’re in the driver’s seat of their lives.
Whenever you pass the baton and look for excuses, you’re giving away the opportunity to shape your own life.
If you, however, accept your failures and mistakes as part of the journey, you’ll not only accelerate your personal growth but also have more fun in life.
Life didn’t come with an instruction manual, but that’s what makes it so exciting in the first place.
Every single day is a new opportunity for growth and unique experiences. And if you’re open to change, you’ll live a more fulfilled and exciting life.
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