It’s been a long journey for me to realize what life is about and how to be happy.
After surviving a physically and emotionally abusive stepfather, I became a rebellious teenager. I took things to the extreme. I was deeply involved in drugs and the wrong group of friends.
As a result, it took me 6 years to graduate from college. I was arrested more times than I can count and spent time in drug rehab.
Eventually, I managed to graduate. After that, I studied law and passed the bar.
Now, I own two businesses. I am an advocate of ultra-running, a healthy lifestyle, and inspiring others.
So, how did I turn myself around?
The answer is in these 12 important life lessons.
1Everyone Deserves a Second Chance
If it wasn’t for the 2nd, 3rd, or even 4th chances that I have received from others, I would not be where I am today. Sometimes, it takes a few times to catch on so don’t deny others when they ask for a second chance.
2Say sorry even if it may not be your fault
Although some disagree with this lesson, I find it is always soothing to both parties. If someone is blaming you for something, tell them you’re sorry. That’s all they usually want to hear.
Even if it’s not your fault, you’ll be making the other person feel better when you apologize right away. This can make the world a lot better.
Be grateful for who you are and what you have. Realize how lucky you are and enjoy everything and everyone in your life.
4Keep an open mind
The world isn’t black and white and easily labeled. Keep an open mind to expand your experiences and enhance your life. Always be open to change because it’s the key to self-improvement.
5Chase your fear
This is easier said than done.
If you’re scared to do something or think you won’t be good at it, it’s a sure sign you should be doing it. I learned this with public speaking, quitting my corporate job, and following my heart.
Getting out of your comfort zone is the only way to receive new experiences and reach fulfillment.
6The past does not predict the future
If you looked at where I was when I was 17, you could never predict how “well” I would turn out. I was labeled a low-life loser and my life didn’t seem to be getting any better.
However, it slowly started to turn around when I looked inside myself and asked what I wanted and believed I could do.
7Take 100% responsibility for your life
Don’t make any excuses for why things aren’t working out for you or why you aren’t where you want to be. You are the only person who is in charge of your life.
Don’t waste a moment blaming others as that’s just a waste of time. If you want to change your life, it’s up to you and no one else.
We are on this earth for a very short time so enjoy it. Laugh and smile as much as possible. It’s the best feeling in the world.
Personally, I wish I could feel uncontrollable laughter constantly. When I’m in that state, nothing else matters.
9Keep positive people around you
I can’t stress this enough.
Only people who want the best for you should be in your “group”. If someone is not enhancing your life, drop them immediately. It doesn’t matter if you have known them for 20 years. If they are not bringing you up, they are dragging you down.
Get them out of your life and watch how far you rise. You are better off alone than with a negative person.
10Believe in yourself
If you don’t believe in who you are and what you’re capable of, no one else will. Know that you are exactly where you are supposed to be in life. Learn from the situation and know that there is a plan for you and you can do anything you wish. Don’t ever let anyone else tell you otherwise.
11Get up early and make your bed
There is so much positive energy in the morning. It consumes me and sets the tone for the day. It’s crazy how I can get so much done before noon.
Don’t forget to make your bed, too. It’s a great feeling to slip into a nicely made bed after a tiring day at work.
12Above all, love yourself and be kind to others
We all have a choice in how we treat others. That choice should always be to remain calm in all situation. Be love and kind and watch your world transform.