“Is it better to be different and know that you are different or to be different and think that you are the same?”-anything but khakis
38 year old Benj: I had a birthday this week. I turned 38. I worked on my golf game, went jet skiing, and had dinner with family.
22 year old Benj: I had a birthday this week, too. I don’t remember exactly what I did, but I just graduated from Mars Hill College, and I am grinding hard as I get ready to continue my soccer career as a graduate student at Wingate University in the fall.
38: That’s great! I actually just made a video congratulating the Wingate University Class of 2020.
22: Cool! What did you say?
38: It’s on Facebook somewhere, and I only had 30-45 seconds, but if I had had longer, here’s what I might have said:
Everyone and their brother wants to tell you how to live. What to do. What to believe. What’s right. What’s wrong. Advice for this. Advice for that. Clichés that sound cool. Quotes that look nice. They are often well-intentioned, but they don’t know you. You know you, and if you don’t, well, start there. I did, three years ago, as 35 year old Benj.
I believe everything starts with self. What do you want? What makes you tick? Get to know yourself. Love yourself. When you screw up, forgive yourself. Most of all, be kind to yourself.
However, comparing yourself to someone else is a recipe for disaster. Life is internal, not external, and no one really knows what they are doing. Yes, adults too. Especially adults. It’s ok to be wrong. It’s ok to change your mind. It’s ok to not believe what you believed ten years ago. The framework we are often presented is, quite frankly, backwards and somewhat rigid.
Find your people. Be patient. Understand your emotions. Take care of yourself both physically and mentally. Money is merely a tool, bigger isn’t always better, and freedom is so underrated (and tied more to courage than money).
What you want should be personal and intimate. If you don’t know what you want, try stuff. Even in adulthood. Forget The Joneses. Forget the roadmap. Get comfortable with discomfort. It leads to extreme growth. Be ready to adjust. Things don’t stay the same, nor should they. Things are also not fair. Oh, and a personal fave, no one likes a complainer (except other complainers).
You likely have some talent that will help others. Foster it. Use it. If you want to get better at something, work at it. Everything starts with self but is meaningless without everyone else. Making an impact, a true impact, even on just one person, beats pretty much everything.
Free thinking, selective hearing, thick skin, and a big heart will take you somewhere pretty cool.
At the end of the day, you just have to be you, the real you, and finding, developing, understanding, and accepting that person is life’s great journey.
Own your life story.
Have a great week.- Benj
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