What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started”?

 

You don’t have to do it alone: I spent much of my young life doing things by myself. My parents separated when I was young due to his sexuality, and I lived in extreme poverty. There were people who helped me and wanted to help more, but I often overlooked help from others because I was so used to being independent. This kept me from pushing forward when I hit many obstacles. I was dedicated, but tunnel vision blinded me from other opportunities to accomplish what I wanted. This is one of the reasons I didn’t finish college right away and ended up delaying my first degree by more than a decade.

 

Be consistent: Persistence pays off. Primarily in my adult life, I dropped interests and skills for various reasons. Select one or two things and keep at it. Develop a daily habit that supports those endeavors.  

 

Intelligence is irrelevant: It’s all about deliberate practice and a growth mindset. You won’t always be the smartest person in the room. This reality smacked me in the face in college, and it was discouraging. The truth is, someone is always better than you in something. You must be willing to learn from others. Stand on the shoulders of giants instead of expecting yourself to always know the answer or think you can solve it alone.

 

Don’t view your goals in isolation: Consider other aspects of your life and how your goals fit into that larger puzzle. Think about the type of person you’ll become as part of your pursuit even if you don’t achieve all your goals. In high school, I had a singular focus. That focus got me halfway to where I wanted to go, but the other half could’ve been achieved by looking at the bigger picture.  

 

You will hit roadblocks: If things don’t happen on your time, use that as an opportunity to learn and grow. There’s more than one way to do something. I found this out when I dropped out of college after two years. I didn’t seek help to find additional options. This cost me time and heartache.

Published by john paret