When I moved away to Asia and when I came back, a lot of people told me how courageous and gutsy I was for leaving for the unknown.
This always made me feel a bit awkward; I never thought of myself as someone particularly courageous – in fact, a lot of things scare me.
I was terrified the night I left a very comfortable life to move for unknown opportunities in an unknown land but, I knew I had to raise above that.
There were some real hard parts to my year away but, there’s nothing I regret. If anything, my journey abroad taught me that life is not about having fears or not, it’s about how well you face your fears. Everyone has fears; we just don’t face them the same way.
For more lessons from abroad, check out 26 things you can learn by living abroad for a year.
Champions don’t become champions in the ring… they are merely recognized there (John C. Maxwell).
This past year, I worked for an Agile software development company. Agile was something I wanted to learn; I needed to understand how agile projects nearly always launched.
As much as I learned working in an agile company, it’s the concepts behind that really struck me.
Agile is about splitting goals into short incremental sprints (eg. 1 to 4 weeks). After every sprint, we revise and adjust based on whether what we have brings us closer to our goal.
In life, most of what we aim for is either too big or requires too long of a commitment. To reach our goals, we need to break them into reasonable chunks.
If you start aiming to learn or do just one thing that moves you towards your goal (or that invalidates your path) every week, your chance to reach your objective will greatly increase. Focus on small improvements, don’t look too far ahead.
About same time last year, I was closing a successful consulting business and selling almost everything I owned getting ready to move to Asia.
In spite of all my efforts, I didn’t make a lot of money – actually, considering my investments, I lost a lot of money.
Luckily for me, my gamble paid off and I got a well-paid job in China.
As months went by, it became clear that I would learn more on my own – the travel and way out of my commitments cost me an arm and a leg.
Yet, in spite of leaving money on the table time and time again, I feel richer then I was when I left.
In the business world, everyone is paid in two coins: cash and experience. Take the experience first; the cash will come later. (Harold Geneen)
The true measure of experience is not the number of years you have worked, it’s the worth of what you have learned. Increase the quality of what you learn, increase the money you get down the line.
Hockey coach Guy Boucher had pictures of players playing through pain in the locker room to remind his team of the sacrifices needed to reach the big leagues.
Weight loss experts recommend hanging “Before” pictures on walls to remind overweight people of what they need to achieve.
A friend of mine has pictures of the things he’ll buy when he’s rich to help him visualize the success he seeks.
I have a list of 7 things I always want to keep in mind. They’re visible whenever I open or close my computer to help me focus and prioritize the things I have to do accordingly.
There are hundreds of ways to use visuals or visualization but, no matter what the technique is, the objective is always the same: to help people focus and keep in mind the important things.
What can you do to keep track of the things that matter?
I tattooed my body so I couldn’t fall back on anything. I purposely did that so I couldn’t get a normal job and live a normal life. I did it so I had to play music (Travis Barker).
Seth Priebatsch, a startup entrepreneur, says he got rid of his social life to force himself to focus and invest all energy into making his company successful.
Although you certainly don’t have to take it this far, setting yourself on the path to success can go a long way into helping you achieve your dreams and goals.
Everyone has ambition and, more often than not, they compete with other people’s. To stand out and succeed, you can be the most talented, the luckiest, the hardest-working or the most desperate and focused. Which person are you going to be?
Comfort is a good and a bad thing.
It’s a security to fall back on patterns we already know but, it’s also what keeps us from experiencing disbalances and new patterns.
When you get out of your comfort zone, you’re forced to evolve, learn and push yourself towards trying something new. It’s uncomfortable but it’s temporary; comfort always comes back.
People have very different comfort levels with change. You can either actively seek ways to break out of your comfort zone or you can let life take care of it. The important thing is to know when you’re in your comfort zone and be able to get out of it when it no longer suits you.
Unfortunately, some patterns won’t give us what what we seek… That comfortable job might not lead to a promotion and that relationship might not be good in the long run.
I personally never regretted breaking out of my comfort zone. Sometimes that’s just what we need. :)