Life is moving along, even when you’re not. Are you taking advantage of every opportunity? Here are a few business and social tips for living a fulfilling life to get you started.
1. Don’t get stuck. Be willing to change or adjust as the direction of your interests and experiences grow. Don’t be tied to one outcome; allow your natural path to unfold as you continue to grow. Just because you start out in one career, doesn’t mean you will never pursue an alternate path. Always reserve the right to change your mind.
2. Find a mentor. Identify someone you admire professionally. Watch what they do and ask questions. Learning from someone with more experience and insight is an invaluable resource. Pay it forward. When the time is right, be available to do the same for someone else. If you’re just beginning your career, refer to my Making the Most of My First Job pointers (via Huffington Post).
3. Be persistent. Success isn’t something that falls only to the most naturally gifted or the smartest. Success comes to those who show up and put in the work. Everyone experiences setbacks or outright failures. What matters is your willingness to jump back in the game, and find new ways to accomplish your goals.
4. Treat everyone with equal respect. From the intern to the company president, everyone has something valuable to offer. If you look and listen, you will find something valuable in each person you encounter. Don’t forget your manners!
5. Get out of the past. “Should haves” and “if onlys” are a waste of time. There is a reason you didn’t land that job or marry that guy; if you didn’t do it, it wasn’t meant to be. Focus on making the best of where you are now and more importantly, on where you want to be. Every door that is slammed shut makes room for a crack in a window of possibility.
6. Stop blaming your parents. In nearly all cases, they did the best they could with what they had. If something traumatic occurred, giving those events the power to cloud your present happiness only makes things more tragic. Find resources that can help you move beyond the hurt and anger, making sure to learn from your past experiences. Use your opportunity to be a better parent, partner and overall well rounded human being.
7. Get rid of the drama. Seek out and study the habits of those who have the kind of mental outlook and lifestyle you admire. Avoid people who are negative, create drama and otherwise bring you down.
8. Look for the good. You magnify what you focus on. If you focus on problems, they can be blinding to the good things around you. Actively tune into what is going right in your life, your work and your world. Develop an attitude of appreciation and look for the positives rather than the negatives.
9. Don’t overlook the importance of a personal life. Invest time in yourself, your family and in cultivating quality friendships. Your kids will remember the volleyball games and tennis tournaments you attended long after you breeze through your bonus checks. At the end of the day, or the end of your life, your expensive car and outdated client list won’t mean as much as leaving a lasting legacy.