Education is one of the most important things that we can seek in this world. An educated person will be well equipped for success in all areas of their personal and professional lives. As you become more educated, however, you are going to become more aware of the mistakes that people in your life are making. This may be something so trivial as the incorrect pronunciation of a word or something a bit more substantial, such as making a financial or professional decision that will likely lead to unwanted results.
It is natural to want to pass on some advice that you’ve learned from your own life experiences, but in order for your advice to be trusted and followed, it is essential that you find a proper way of educating someone without insulting or embarrassing them.
“By bringing shame to a person, how could one expect to make him a better man?” (Hagakure)
If you take a direct approach and call out someone who is making a mistake, they will almost definitely take offense to your correction. Even worse, this approach taken in front of others will certainly embarrass the person. By finding an indirect way of providing the correct information, you will help the person realize the mistake they have already, or were about to, make. This lesson was one that Marcus Aurelius learned from the literary critic Alexander…
“Not to be constantly correcting people, and in particular not to jump on them whenever they make an error of usage or a grammatical mistake or mispronounce something, but just answer their question or add another example, or debate the issue itself (not their phrasing), or make some other contribution to the discussion – and insert the right expression, unobtrusively.” (Meditations)
Life is all about your approach. Your ability to be trusted by your peers and seen as a true teacher, and leader, is no different.
You can’t always control everything in your life. As hard as you may work, and as focused as you may be, there will still be things that that are out of your control. Knowing this and accepting this will allow you to move forward and be as successful as you can be with the hand that you were dealt.
“Things aren’t working out like they’re supposed to but at least they’re working out.”
With this knowledge, take a look at your life. There is a reason things are the way they are. Most of us aren’t rich so we have to learn the value of a dollar and in turn, we truly appreciate hard work, regardless of the monetary outcome. Most of us have to work at relationships, whether it be one with family, friends, a loved one or ourselves. In turn, a successful relationship can truly be appreciated. A similar approach can be taken with anything in your life.
Negatives are positives.
Life always has meaning and purpose.
“If you ask yourself if anything is meaningful, you’ll find that everything is…no doubt.”
Peter Bjorn and John – “Stay This Way”
At a friend’s party not too long ago, I met the dude Jay Humble. We got to chatting and found that we were both huge hip-hop heads and beat junkies with similar styles and taste in music. I recommend you click on that name and give his music a listen.
While browsing on Facebook one day, I noticed Jay had posted a link to a mixtape by Mike Be called “..From DAT to This..” I got to listening and loved the vibe of the mixtape. Classic hip-hop, beats and chops. One track stood out for me called “Excuse Me.”
“I know today ain’t what it should be, but we can change what tomorrow will bring. Fast pace cause the waste is a horrible thing, excuse me while I follow my dreams.”
Think about that line. Everyone has their own dreams and goals. Unfortunately, everyone also has their own problems and has to face the reality that’s given to them. It takes understanding that you’re not alone when you face some hardship to get you through it. Everyone is going through the same struggle, and for most of us, we’re not totally happy with some aspect of our lives. The best way to deal with that is to focus on the things you can change and do something about it.
Today paints a picture of everything you’ve done in the past. If there are certain aspects of your life you’re not necessarily happy with, there may have been something different you could have done that would have made today a bit different. If you’re still at a job you’re not happy with, you could have worked a bit harder to move to a position you would like, or you could have put in some effort searching for a new job. If you’re not in an ideal physical or mental shape, you probably could have found some time to hit the gym or read a bit more to get you to that place you want to be.
Tomorrow paints a picture of where you want to be, a picture of those dreams and goals. “We can change what tomorrow will bring” so stay hungry and shift to “fast pace cause the waste is a horrible thing.” Follow your dreams and paint the picture that you will look back on and be proud of.
I’ve found that one of the most important traits of highly successful people is honesty. Honesty in every facet of your life, whether it be personal relationships, work relationships or the relationship with yourself.
It all starts with the relationship you have with yourself. In order to find happiness in life, you have to be honest. Be honest about what makes you happy and who makes you happy. Never live your life according to what other people tell you because at the end of the day, you’re the one that has to deal with the situation. Try and weed out the things in your life that don’t truly make you happy. Once you can be honest with yourself, the rest will fall into place.
The boys at Jamla know what’s up…
Sean Boog – “One, Two, Three”
“I’m on my for real, like ’til I hold a mil, I don’t tell em what they wanna hear, I tell em what I feel.”
A clean slate.
The start of something is always exciting. It could be anything from a new hobby to a new job to a new relationship. If you’re an artist, it may be a new song, new photograph or new painting. Any way you look at it, the start represents a whole new beginning. The past can be overlooked, the present is in focus and the future is bright.
Witnessing the creation of art or hearing the story of how a particular artist got their start is something I’ve always found motivating and inspiring. There’s something about hearing artists tell their story that makes me feel like I have the chance to do something important, regardless of where I am in my own life.
Look to different art forms as possibilities for you to start your own life, your own journey. Listen to a song and realize that an artist telling their story might as well represent you telling yours. Look to a photograph and see a sunrise as the sun rising on the next chapter of your life.
As it’s said in Nas’s “Back When,” “They love to hear the story how it all got started.” Tell the world your story.
If I had to describe my lifestyle and overall approach to life in a time signature, it would be 4/4. For those that aren’t big on music theory, a time signature basically tells you how music is counted. The top 4 tells you how many beats to count and the bottom 4 tells you what kind of note to count, whether it’s a whole note, half note, quarter note, etc. In this case, 4 refers to a quarter note. Ok, boring, but what this boils down to is the simplest and most straightforward time signature.
I always find myself enjoying songs that have a relatively simple beat and fill the spaces in between with a little more flavor. Like 4/4, I’d say my life is pretty consistent, somewhat normal and has a general feeling of completeness to it. Some try to do too much and some do too little, but living a 4/4 lifestyle feels just right. It allows for a nice mix of family, friends, work, hobbies, relaxation and anything else you may be in to.
While I feel like this is a great general approach to living, too much of anything is never a good thing. In order to remain hungry in life, keep things interesting. Never let yourself fall into a pattern, any pattern. Get up, go to work, come home, relax…great. Tomorrow, do something different. Set goals at work. Plan a dinner with a loved one. Go to the gym…anything. Just remember to keep your life interesting no matter how simple your time signature may be.
“Modern Man” by Arcade Fire is a fantastic song that has a different feel to it because of a funky time signature. Like this song, keep your life interesting by changing your “time signature”. While 4/4 may be a great way to stay consistent and keep things on an even keel, consistency leads to boredom. Change with the times, always keep learning and apply that to your life.