To put some context behind this post, I began investing in myself near the end of 2014 in the form of books, podcasts, YouTube videos, and blogs. Reason being is that I felt I could be more than just a software developer that builds apps for a living.
I didn’t want to just build web and mobile apps. There’s more to do in life than sit or stand at a desk writing code for 40 hours a week.
Now, I don’t mind writing code for 40 hours a week. I love being a software engineer. I love building apps that reach users around the world. But there’s 168 hours in a week, and I feel that I can use the remaining time to work towards a larger vision that includes more than just building apps for users.
And that’s why I became serious with following the stories of others, reading personal development books, and consuming similar content.
I have bigger dreams; and while I’m still working on my long-term goals, I’ve learned a few lessons while accomplishing the smaller goals on the way there.
Many of these will be reminders for you, but regardless, they’re invaluable lessons that anyone can take away in order to achieve their own personal and professional goals.
1) Results won’t come unless we put in the hard work first.
As Gary Vaynerchuk asserts:
“There is no such thing as an overnight success. It takes hard work. Period.”
Results, big or small, will come if you consistently hustle and work harder than everyone else in the room; especially when no one is watching you.
For me, the hustle in 2015 included personal growth, consistent workout routines to reach my health goals, and constantly writing and connecting with followers, high achievers and influencers to expand my knowledge, my personal brand, and my long term vision.
Everything is still a work in progress; you have to start from somewhere. But the point is: results start with hustle.
2) Our network is one of our most valuable possessions.
Whether you realize it or not, your network can and will take you to places. Your best friends, biggest followers, acquaintances, advocates, whoever is in your network, they will help you. No matter how big or small, there’s something that someone in your network can help you with.
Of course, there’re exceptions if we want to be philosophical about it, but if you constantly invest in your network, your network will naturally give back to you in some form or another.
This is something that I am trying to perfect, but the takeaway here is to be of value to your network, grow it, and nurture it. It will all come back to you in the form of shiny opportunities and strong relationships. There is no successful person who doesn’t have a powerful network.
3) Almost nothing else can make us feel more happy, satisfied, and fulfilled than helping others.
I’ve done a little bit of impromptu tech consulting lately and have even met with people who wanted to hear my stories and expertise.
One thing that I can say for sure is that helping and giving back to others is extremely satisfying. There’s almost no better feeling than the one you get from helping someone who asks for your help.
And not only is it a great feeling, you’re bound to be rewarded for your help sooner or later by the Law of Reciprocity.
Help comes in many forms; from listening to someone, all the way to a simple but genuine ‘hi, how’s it going?’.
It’s one of my dreams to be the best person I can be for myself and for everyone around me, and I’m experiencing the joy and satisfaction in working towards that! I love what I do, what I’m working towards, and what I’m improving on, because of the opportunity to help so many people around the world.
4) Investing in ourselves is the best investment we can make for ourselves, and for others.
We are where we are currently at in life because of the decisions we’ve made and the actions that we’ve taken up to this point. If we want to be somewhere else in life, we can only get there through change.
For me, change meant taking action and investing in myself through personal development books, business and life podcasts, and other mediums that produce similar content.
In order for me to achieve what I want for myself and in order to serve more people, I had to equip myself with the knowledge and experience necessary. And I could only do that by investing time, energy, and effort into building myself.
By investing in ourselves, we not only build the talents and expertise necessary to accomplish what we want, but we also put ourselves in a position to help others accomplish what they want, as well.
5) Extraordinary accomplishments towards our biggest visions come as a result of leaving our comfort zone.
Chances are, if you knew that you could not fail, everything that you would do, are the things that deep down, you’re the most passionate about doing.
But here’s the catch. Those are probably the things that require you to go out of your comfort zone in order to achieve them.
But that’s exactly the point. Nothing feels worthwhile unless there’re obstacles to overcome. The most successful people in the world had to confront their fears and conquer them in order to achieve their biggest goals.
Everyone is scared, I’m scared. But that’s not a bad thing, because our dreams should scare us. The only thing that we need to do is make the decision to confront our fears and leave our comfort zone. Only then, only then, can we achieve what we know we’re capable of.
What’s your biggest life lesson of 2015? Let me know in the comments below!
I’m currently working on two articles for startup enthusiasts and self-help junkies, in which I connect with several tech startup founders and high achievers and ask them to share some wisdom. Be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss out!