Happy Birthday to me
Normally I'd be keeping my birthday quiet. However, this month on the 25th May I turn 50.
Here are 5 things I've learnt about myself, other people and business in my first 50 years. One for each decade.
- Nothing is more important than who you choose to spend your time with. The world is full of amazing people and just a few ordinary ones. Find the great people and spend lots of time with them. Hang around with people who energise you, encourage you, make you laugh and can and will challenge your thinking. Surround yourself with great people. Limit your time with people who drain you or make you feel bad about yourself. In business, work with the clients and the people who see the value you provide.
- Keep working on your persistence and determination. If you can't stick with things your chances of being successful at anything are limited. Despite what the Twitter generation believe and the contestants on Masterchef think, success at anything takes time. I have seen so many talented people over the years who if they had more tenacity would have achieved a great deal more success. Conversely there are a lot of people who have become very successful because they are determined. I love the quote "A quitter never wins and a winner never quits". Doing the right things regularly and consistently will assist you more than anything else to be successful. Cutting corners and looking for quick wins, rarely works in the long run.
- Become better at making decisions. As the years roll by you have to make a lot of decisions. There is no magic formula for decision making. If you can develop the confidence to make more decisions more often, you will become a better decision maker. Every decision you make gives you the opportunity to learn something. There are very few people I know that regret making too many decisions. In my own case, what I do regret, is often taking too long to make some decisions. In certain cases I have even avoided making the decision altogether. This is fraught with danger.
- Be tolerant. Almost everyone you know will have a different background to you. Because they have a different background to you, they have different values and beliefs. They will move at a different pace to you. Judging other people is fraught with danger. As I approach 50 I have had to work harder and harder on becoming more tolerant. Seriously some people just drive me nuts. However that is my issue not theirs. I continue to work on becoming more tolerant. I can assure you, this is very difficult. Be inquisitive. What is shaping their thoughts and their actions. You can learn a lot about other people by just being inquisitive. Last time I checked, humans were a pretty interesting species.
- Embrace change. Nothing stays the same. Being stuck in the past with old thoughts and old ideas is very dangerous. At best, it might get you a job as a talk back radio host on certain radio stations. Always be open minded to fresh ideas. You don’t have to take them all on board, but be open minded. You never know where the next really good idea might come from. Read widely and listen to new music. Travel to new places. Watch new TV shows, except for Masterchef, The Voice, I'm a celebrity get me out of here or the Bachelorette. Remember, if you change nothing, nothing changes.