The man I was yesterday died before the stroke of dawn today. Before the crow of the rooster, that man had left with all his mistakes, failures and even with the little winnings. His unaccomplished dreams, desires and goals are all that is left of the man I was yesterday.
Today I looked at myself in the mirror and asked; “why didn’t you live your dream yesterday?” I didn’t because I was so afraid to make mistakes. I was afraid I will let people down with my failures. I didn’t write the book I dreamt of. I lost the chorus to that beautiful song my soul desired to sing out loud. I didn’t do it—Because I was afraid to live.
The man(child) I was yesterday didn’t do these;
#1. Do a job for free
There is nothing like a free lunch I said. Everything my hand sought to do was for the paycheck. I will lie to get the money. I would put my health under the knife so silvers and gold would be thrown unto my plate. My friends were those who were able to invite me to a feast. I only did things for people who had the power to pay.
I didn’t do a lot. I couldn’t accomplish so much. Anything I’ve ever done for the money, I failed. Most times I did it just for the money and not for the love I have for the work. Do what you love even if you have to do it for free. Doing something for people for free is a favor you do them. In future they’ll return it. Things you do for others, those things you did willingly to help others out of a situation are mostly remembered.
Grateful people will return such favor.
#2. Start a business and be serious with it
They said everybody can start a business and be good at it. To be rich, you have to own a business and lead it to success. It’s something everybody can do. I didn’t do it. I didn’t see myself as an entrepreneur. The fears of having to rely on the unknown pushed me off the rail of building my own business. Being an entrepreneur takes so much risk. I’m not a risk taker. So naturally I’m not an entrepreneur.
Until I heard James Altucher said; “the best entrepreneurs are not risk-takers. They spend every day reducing risk.”
“They have an “evil plan.” Every day they work a little on that evil plan. The evil plan compounds. Then they make the jump.” What is that “evil plan” James is talking about here? Side jobs! James believes leaving your job right away to start your own business is not the best idea. That’s risky and it’s easier to fail when you go that way. Do a side job whiles you’re working for someone. When your side job grows and it’s able to “replace your salary and little more” then you jump!
If I only did that yesterday, by now I would be jumping. But the myth of the entrepreneur being a risk taker scared me. I didn’t start what could have been my saving grace—a company.
#3. Talk to a lot of people
Then I would have known their stories. People are rich source of knowledge. Every person you see on the street of life carry with them a rich story of yesterday that you could learn from. I sat by a man in a bus for a four hour journey. At the end of the journey, I felt like I’ve been plug into a life larger than mine. A life where you get to accept what comes your way and forge meaning out of it.
People don’t talk to people these days. We’ve all been consumed in the happenings around our little worlds. We are too busy to notice the life changing situations happening around us. We don’t care about the other person. At best, we pretend we know them. We judge them without knowing the kind of fabric their life is made of. We make a lot of mistake with people because we hear them talk but we don’t listen.
If only I talked to half of the people I encountered yesterday, then I would have known some people appear very stronger but they are being held together by a single thread at the verge of broken down. Then the question would have been; how did they do it? How are they able to look this strong when they’re just a snap away of broken down?
Then I would have learnt.
#4. Be honest with myself and others
Where the truth hurts, I run to the comfort of lies. I loved to keep myself warm with a lie than to run around shivering in the cold arms of the truth. I wasn’t honest to most people. But then, every lie I ever told bent the bridges of the future. I lost honest people. I couldn’t tell them the truth. They left my life.
The worse lies were the ones I told myself. There were somethings I could have done and be reaping the results today. I didn’t do them. I told myself I didn’t have the time to do it. So I didn’t. Today I look back with no pride left in my heart for the things I did. All the things I could have been proud of today were the things I gave excuses for.
The man I was yesterday feared to be honest with others and even with himself. So today, I’m spending the times to make amends. To call the people I lost yesterday and say sorry. Whatever I gave excuses for, I’ve resolved to do them to day.
#5. Write down as many ideas as possible
“Write 10 ideas a day”, James Altucher said. In a week you’ll have 70 ideas. In a year you’ll be having 3,600 ideas. If I only did that yesterday, I would have had enough ideas to change my world. According to James, writing 10 ideas everyday helps to exercise your brain’s muscles. It does not matter the quality of idea you write, just write them down. Sometimes quantity is better than quality.
Out of 70 ideas in a week, you might end up having one or two that will work for you. Many of the ideas might not work. That’s alright. If one out of the lot works, your life might change. You’ll end up having a better life than you had.
Today, I just finished writing my 10 ideas. This blog post topic happens to be one of the ideas I wrote down some weeks ago. Sometimes it’s very difficult to come up with 10 ideas. But like James said, the idea is not to write 10 quality ideas a day. The idea is to write 10 ideas a day. When Frederick Smith presented the idea to build an overnight delivery company, people called it a stupid idea.
Today you and I know the successes of Fedex. It was a stupid idea sometimes ago. Who knows where your ‘stupid’ idea will lead you.
#6. Let the ‘toxic’ people go
Not everyone is good for you in the long run. I learnt that the hard way. I was comfortable with a lot of people. Those are the ones I usually kept as friends. The people who it’s easier to live with. They don’t challenge you. They don’t say “no” to you when you are wrong. They are always comfortable with who you are. They don’t grow you.
Those are the people I should have let go long ago. They are the toxic people. I said ‘yes’ to a lot of these and later regretted. Many of them were not actually the people I needed to be around with to achieve goals. They especially weigh you down. They are the first to tell you a dream is not possible to achieve. They are the ones who call you crazy for dreaming big.
I wish I left them where they belong. But I carried on with them for too long. Today, I’ve learnt to say no to such people. Good things are happening in my life now. Without them.