Growing up as the youngest of my siblings made me grow up pretty fast. Majorly because the elder siblings were already out of the house by the time i came to my senses and my parents had no time to over pamper me. Then time for me to get out of the house too. Boy! The responsibilities (sic). ‘Growing up was a trap!’ But then, there is no time travel.
Navigating through adulthood is hard. Life comes with no rule book. Somethings we learn in school, others through our own experiences or those of others. From the lessons learnt so far, here are some of the things I endeavor to master while I still can.
1. Time Management
Yes, I value punctuality. However, more often than not, I find myself late for appointments and places that I should not be late for. I am also guilty of procrastinating things that are crucial for my development or that of those around me.
Prioritizing things is not as easy as people think it is. It requires a little wisdom and discipline to follow through.
Time is a resource that we all have, 24 hours in a day. How each one of us utilizes this makes the difference amongst us. Time management is a crucial life skill that none of us cannot afford to not learn. For those of us who have mastered it, keep up. For those of us who are yet to get there, keep on.
2. Continuous Self Improvement
Knowledge is infinite. One does not have to acquire education/ knowledge from the conventional classroom. The speed at which the world is evolving creates opportunities to learn from wherever, acquire skills on the go and be better.
My father once told me that investing in my mind is one of the greatest gifts that I can give myself while still young. I have been trying, but I must admit, am lazy sometimes. And this has worked against my growth in immense ways.
We all have the ability to learn new skills, be it cooking, graphic design, photography, to name a few. There are online platforms that offer great marketable yet affordable courses like LinkedIn, Coursera, Udemy etc. After a serious talk with myself recently, I enrolled for a course online which is pretty exciting. I also started reading a book on Leadership; just finished the first chapter.
3. Build my Brand
I know that possess something that this world could find valuable. Problem has always been the timidity and modesty which sometimes is not necessary. All through my school life, I held leadership positions.For a long time, I did not understand what people saw in me. Attended a Leadership Summit a while back and the theme for that year was, ‘Everyone has Influence,’ it started dawning on me.
Each one of us is a brand. Build yourself, build your brand. And do not shy away from standing out from the crowd. Oh this is hard especially for people with esteem issues. (We will deal with this at a later time) But in the meantime, build yourself.
“Stay afraid, but do it anyway. What’s important is the action. You don’t have to wait to be confident. Just do it and eventually the confidence will follow.” – Carrie Fisher
4.Choices have Consequences
Newton’s 3rd law states that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. I am usually terrified of making drastic decisions as I am afraid of the consequences. At other times, I simply ignore what I know I have to think about until I cannot avoid it anymore. Then there are those times, when reason was nowhere in the room and the decisions I made were costly.
A wiseman keeps telling me that the cost of indecision is greater than that of a wrong decision. I agree, when presented with two evils. Before making decisions, like quitting your job, or asking her out, think. Have a picture of the end in mind.
5. Managing Money for Freedom
Money management is not an easy affair. Most of us are struggling. Bad debts used to be part of me. Living beyond my means got me there. Budgeting and prioritizing were a pain. If only I had discipline then about money. I believe it is not too late. I am on a path to healing, moneywise by exercising restraint and discipline in budgeting. There are many apps that can help you keep track of your finances. Recently, I got myself one, and I can see good returns already.
Being able to save money to set up your own business, buy land or invest is important. Learn how to manage your hard earned money for your freedom.
6. Step out of the comfort zone
Lastly. This is pretty straightforward. Getting in the habit of setting goals and I’ll live a much more intentional life. To achieve those goals, I would need to get out of my comfort zone and master the art of taking action even when I do not feel fully ready. This calls for sacrifices and a lot of self discipline.
Yes, life is a classroom, but we cannot fully exhaust the lessons. Each day, strive to learn something new, or better what you already know… better yourself daily.
I hope my to do list helps you make a step towards the direction that you would like to go. Or better, come up with a list that works for you. May life be kind to you as you press on to hack it.