One of my biggest heroes, Muhammad Ali, once said: “A man who views the world at 50 the same as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” We must strive to improve, to grow, to evolve.
As I turn 36 this month, it seems like a good time to take stock of my life experiences over the last three-and-a-half decades. To examine what I’ve done well, what I’ve done poorly and how I can use all of it to become a better me, tomorrow.
A natural tendency is to think about “what could have been”; all the things that “could have worked out better.” But as I’ve gotten older, I tend to look back less with regret and more with gratitude.
We are a sum of our experiences. Every experience, good or bad, has contributed to making us who we are.
There is good even within the bad. It’s a beautiful concept that should be embraced. So in an effort to inspire you to look back on your life, and find ways to be better than the younger version of yourself, I’m sharing how I looked at certain things in my 20s versus my 30s.
20s: Whenever I failed or suffered a loss, whether it was on the tennis court, with a business deal or in a personal matter, I used to take it as a hit to my armor. It would affect my confidence in who I was, my ability to execute, my mood and my work ethic. It made for a roller coaster of emotions, which is never easy to handle.
30s: I now look at failure as an opportunity to learn. If you’re able to keep a cool head and analyze why something didn’t work out the way you wanted, you’ll be able to implement that knowledge and get a better result the next time. This means that even if you’ve failed and learned from it, you’re still progressing.
IMPLEMENTATION: Embrace failure. Every success is a result of several past failures that someone learned from.
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