In Part 1 we talked about the 3 foundational pillars of success. In Part 2, we dive deeper into the next 3 pillars that are simple but powerful steps towards success. And in this Part 3, we discuss the steps to take your success to the next level.
“You can’t choose how long you live but you can choose how well you live. Live a good life.”
7. Be a Lifelong Learner
I’ve been on record before saying please please please please please please pretty please do not become an expert at anything. Always know that there is room for improvement, room for growth, room for transformation. Even if you’re at the peak of whatever space you are in, just know that peak becomes the base of another peak.
The greatest people in the world, and I’m not talking about greatness related to finances – I don’t think that way – I don’t care that way. The greatest people in the world, the people that are most fulfilled in the world, are on a constant quest of becoming their own best version of themselves, like there is no version of themselves they get to and say, “Ah, I’ve arrived,” When you achieve something and accomplish something and succeed at something, please pause for a bit, acknowledge your growth, take a view, soak in the view, take a couple deep breaths and say, “Man, this is beautiful, we made it, I made it, we did it,” but what you do after that – you get climbing again. Because there’s another you, there’s another milestone that’s going to be even sweeter. And the beauty of this is that ladder up has no limits, has no end, the only limit or end that it has is the limitation that you place upon yourself and place upon your life. I truly believe in that.
8. Power of Communication
This one’s important because a majority of people that come to this world, this world of someone who is firsthand or secondhand has been negatively impacted as a result of mental illness, addictions, trauma, grief and loss. When they come to this world they have difficulties and challenges with communicating and it’s not because they’re not good communicators – they might be at work, they might be excellent at what they do, but when it comes to communicating your thoughts and feelings it’s really emotionally charged. A lot of people freeze, a lot of people were never exposed to the proper role modeling, or education in their upbringing, to be able to have those psychological, emotional muscles develop. So they struggle with communication – it’s not a fault, it’s not a bad thing, but it’s something that if you identify with, that you struggle with communication, you got to start working on it.
Communication is one of those things that just doesn’t get better on its own. I’ve never met somebody in life that was terrible at communicating and all of a sudden one day they just became very efficient at communication, they became a master communicator, they were able to identify their feelings, sit back and say, “I’m feeling sad, I’m feeling overwhelmed, I’m feeling stressed, I’m feeling angry and now I want to share with my loved one or share with my partner or share with my child. The experience I’m having as a result of those emotions, and I want to say it in a way that they can not only hear it but they can receive it and understand it, and they can provide some feedback back to me, and we can have a healthy two-sided dialogue.” No one’s ever learned that on the fly. You want to know how you learn it? You work on your communication, you acknowledge your shortcomings, you acknowledge your flaws, you look at the history of where you learn communication, and identify it. I never learned it so I have a hard time doing it. You get yourself a support group, you get yourself a counselor, you get yourself a pen and paper, and your goal is to become a better communicator.
The better you become at communicating on a personal level the better you’re going to be communicating at a professional level. Communication is communication, but because you do it so often in one area and not so often in another area it’s really lopsided in people. So become a better communicator – it’ll do you freaking so much wonder in life.
9. Be a Great Leader
I believe all human beings are capable of being great leaders, and if you’re thinking to yourself, “Well, hey man, my kids are struggling or my spouse is struggling or I’m struggling, how can I be a good leader?” and maybe you’ve been doing this for a couple months now or a couple years now, just know that there’s another person, that is who and what you were when you first came into this world of recovery. You remember how scary it was for some of you? Remember how lost you felt? Remember how lonely you were and thought you’re the only person in the world going through this experience? Remember what it was like to send your kid to another state for recovery, your treatment or your loved one, or fly yourself to another state? Remember what it was like to feel your feelings for the first time, and to address all the guilt and shame and all the inadequacies of your life and all that kind of stuff? Remember that?
Well, let’s look at this – there’s somebody else right now in this moment that’s going through that same experience – your experience becomes the most valuable asset and treasure to that person’s life because you get to share your experience, your strength and your hope about what the journey’s been like for you. See, when someone comes into that world it’s dark, they can’t see beyond their limits, beyond their fears, but you’ve been able to see what’s on the other side, you’ve been able to see a little further – they can’t see that. So your experience and your words is kind of like shining a light on what’s possible – it brings hope to the darkness, it takes what’s unseen and makes it seen a little bit. And sometimes that’s all they need.
10. Build a Legacy
I guess when it’s all said and done, I don’t know if YouTube’s gonna exist 30-40 years from now, 50 years from now, however long I got on this planet, but it’d be kind of cool to go back and be like, “Oh my God, this guy’s got 50 years of footage trying to tell people that they can transform their lives, trying to tell people that they can be what it is that they always thought they could be, who it is they always thought they could be, they could go where they always wanted to go, if they only believed in the possibility of human transformation. It’d be kind of cool to have that legacy and I hope all of you are building a legacy of your own because at the end of the day this is it.
We get a 100 years on this planet if we’re really lucky, we get 80 years on this planet if we’re lucky and sometimes we get a few years, sometimes we get 20, sometimes we get 40, some people get 43 like my brother, some people get 103, I don’t know but whatever it is that we get, all we get to do is leave behind who and what we were. So each one of you watching this has a legacy. Now some of you like the legacy you’ve created, some of you are not okay with the legacy you’ve created, some of you are half and half. Well, why not, while you still have the opportunity to create the legacy you want, why not build it and not leave it up to chance? Why not create the exact legacy you want? Is it too hard? Well, leaving this world without leaving the legacy you want is going to be pretty hard on other people, so make sure that you’re leaving a legacy.
When our time’s done our legacy is all we have. You choose what you want to leave behind and if you want to leave a good one then my friends, make sure that you invest in yourself, your personal development, total well-being, mind body spirit every day. Nurture and tend to the relationships in your life. Write down your goals and achieve them. Make sure you use the proper use of time. Do not major in the minor things. Surround yourself with the best people and always ask yourself who do these people have me becoming? Be a lifelong learner, don’t be close-minded, don’t become an expert. Learn how to communicate efficiently and effectively. Learn how to take your emotions, translate them into words, deliver them in a way that the other person can receive them, internalize them and respond back to them in a way that’s effective. Be a great leader, just lead with what you got, where you are, however you can. And ultimately leave a beautiful legacy that will last and pass the test of time.