By Lilian Wamaitha
We live in a world where we are surrounded by people who seem to have it all and the media has done a good job of keeping us on our toes.
This is why it is understandable that you want to be like the Phyllis Wakiaga or the James Mworias of today.
We are all chasing success at the end of the day but one thing that we never understand is that the path to success is never easy.
You will not just wake up one day and all you dreams have come true. That multimillion business you aspire to have will not happen just because you wished it.
It takes a lot of sacrifice to get to where you want to be but most of all it will take failure and constantly rising up above that if you are to ever succeed.
That said here are 7 pieces of advice I like giving anyone who is looking to achieve success before they are 40.
1. Never beat yourself up over a mistake you made
Remember that time when you felt frustrated and hated yourself because you couldn’t get that job you were hoping for? Or that time when you had to cover up a mistake you had done by doing something irrational that you ended up regretting?
Well, you need to realize that mistakes happen. As human beings we were not conditioned to be perfect. Ask those who you think have it all figured out and you will be surprised at the number of mistakes they had to make along the way.
If you keep dwelling on every mistake you make, you will never live long enough to see your dreams finally come to fulfillment.
Instead, smile and acknowledge that every set back you encounter is just a way of nature telling you that you are made of more. You have so much potential and you will only get better if you learn from your mistakes.
2. Never burn bridges in your professional life
Most of us especially in our 20s believe that we have all the time in the world and we have a right to leave if an employer does not live up to our expectations.
We don’t care to move on to the next job and the next one after that. Trust me, it gets tiring and you can’t keep running all your life.
At some point you will realize that you need to settle and most probably it will be too late because you will already have burned too many bridges to salvage.
Learn to water the grass right where you are. I believe that we all have the potential of being happy at our jobs as long as we see the bigger picture.
Imagine for a second if James Mworia had thought “I deserve better that doing files for these low lifes”. He probably would not be one of the highest paid CEOs in Kenya today.
All you need is a little patience, perspective and knowing where you are headed in life.
3. Advocate for yourself both at work and personal life always
One thing I have realized is that, you can only care for yourself. The rest of the world does not care whether you are happy at your job or are following your dreams.
After all, each one of us has a unique life as well as purpose and we are all trying to be better versions of ourselves in future.
So don’t wait for anybody to advocate for you. Put yourself out there and let others see your potential instead of hiding in cocoon and expecting magic to happen that will take you to that place you desire.
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4. Some of the people you meet in the world are just parasites
As I said the journey to success is never easy. And with that comes the realization that not every one wants you to be happy.
The worst being those who just want to suck you dry and use you to achieve their dreams.
Be very vigilant and choose wisely who you want to let in to your life.
Learn to identify anyone who is not adding any value to your life and get it over with.
At the end of the day, to succeed in life, you need to surround yourself with people who have the same vision.
5. It doesn’t matter if you’re not currently where you want to be
The media everyday portrays a distorted image of what success looks like. You read stories of these young people some of them your own age who seem to be living their dreams. Some are even recognized globally and instantly you think that there is something you are doing wrong in life.
You may work hard, be on the right path but as long as you keep following that illusion of a perfect life, you will never be happy.
You were born with a purpose just like I was born with mine. Your life and mine will never be the same and no matter how hard I try to chase after what you have, in the end it will just lead to frustrations.
Because it doesn’t matter if you’re not currently where you want to be in your life, all that matters is that you’re actively trying to achieve your goals rather than getting defeated.
So quit comparing yourself to others and just start loving your life and knowing what your goals are.
6. Appreciate what it means to be young as much as you can
It has been said that youths are often too young to appreciate what they have, and I agree with it. That mind and body you have will not remain youthful forever, so learn to enjoy it while you can before responsibilities come knocking.
Yes you are young now but you will not always be 20, 22 or even 30. Soon enough you will be clocking the big 40 and at that time to can either look back at how well you spent this time you have or you can say “I wish I could go back and do it differently,”
This is the time to take risks and make mistakes. Get to experience life as it is because only then can you discover your potential.
7. Nobody wins at life by just moving forward
Sometimes, it is okay to take a step back and look back and position yourself for success.
What I have realized about life is that, sometimes when you are feeling like you keep running from one dead end to another, it’s simply a sign that you are not on the right path.
Maybe along the way you were meant to take a left turn and you took a right.
What life teaches us most of the time is that U turns are allowed. So stop holding on to the idea that moving forward is the only way to get to where you are supposed to go.
Life is all about knowing where you are headed and working towards that. It’s not about a pain free experience. So learn to embrace all the pains and struggles that it brings. Get up everyday appreciating everything in your life and not taking it for granted because every day is a gift and you should never treat those moments casually. Above everything else, appreciate your youth and make the most of it. Don’t chase after some fantasy but live your life knowing that you are working towards something not what someone else has.
Lilian is a Communication Officer at Career Point Kenya and has a passion of improving other people’s lives through everyday inspiration. Leave a comment below if you agree with this article.