26 things I have learned in 26 years

1. Take time to reflect
It makes sense for this to be #1. This post is giving me a chance to pause and reflect where I am and how I got here. Giving yourself a chance to pause and reflect on what has happened gives you an opportunity to create new ideas. Reflecting helps you investigate how or why things happened. As John Maxwell says "Reflection turns experience into insight."

2. Self Awareness is the most important thing....in life.
This might be the biggest thing I have learned. What works for someone might not work for you. Understanding what you're good at and what you're bad at gives you a chance to build real relationships. Someone who lacks self awareness is extremely unattractive - understand your strengths and weaknesses and accept it.

3. It's okay to be vulnerable
This ties into Self Awareness, but for real - nobody likes a know-it-all. We all have different strengths, don't pretend to know something or be good at something if you're not. It's not only hurting you, but it's hurting future connections with the people you surround yourself with.

4. Focus on the things that you can directly control
I have wasted majority of my 26 years of focusing on things I can't control. You can't control people, you can't control the score, you can't control the end game. But you can always control your attitude, effort, energy and perspective.

5. Work out - you will feel better
I'm glad I grew up in sports working out my entire life, it helped me keep a habit of working out. There is nothing better than a good sweat.

6. . Challenge yourself daily, if not weekly, or monthly. 

7. Reading can change your life.
I know it's not for everyone, but for a guy who barely finished one book in high school it changed my life. 

8. Drink a lot of water
It makes you feel better.

9. Work is not an extension of your schooling/education.
It doesn't matter if you have your degree, what degree you have, or where you received your degree. All that matters is your current work. Be where your feet are.

10. Ask a lot of questions
Its best way to learn. I used to be pretty quiet and didn't ask many questions. Looking back, I didn't learn much being in a shell.

11. You are always building your own house
Everything you do is shaping you to who you want to become. Any habit you have, good or bad, is a result of many small decisions over time. Lay one brick at a time. 

12. Own your mistakes
Own everything you do. There is noone to blame.

Implementing Extreme Ownership requires checking your ego and operating with a high degree of humility. Admitting mistakes, taking ownership, and developing a plan to overcome challenges are integral to any successful team.
— Jocko Willink: Extreme Ownership

13. If you are going to see a movie, find a theatre with Dream Loungers. 
There is no reason not too. The big comfy red recliners are definitely worth the extra three dollars. 


14. Saying sorry is hard but it can become a habit.  
For some reason it seems like saying sorry especially hard when you need to say it to the people you love. But, you eventually need to and the more you say it the easier it becomes. 

15. Fall in love with the chase.
Sometimes the build up and the chase is the best part. The pregame to a party, the excitement before the big game, the four years before graduation, the process of looking for a new job, the plans for moving into a new house. Don't get caught up in the end-game, fall in love with the process.

16. 2 things that really matter - Results and Relationships
These are really based on two questions - "Are you delivering?" and "Do you care about your teammates/peers/coworkers?"
Those are the only two things that people care about. To be the best you can be, you need a balance of both.

17. Your choice creates your challenge.
We often go through our daily routine because we believe we "have to" but when we think like we "have to" do everything, we are telling ourselves we don't have a choice. When we tell ourselves we have to do something, we often conform and go through the motions. Going through the motions never created anything with tremendous value. We don't have to do anything.

18. Celebrate small wins.
Celebrate and enjoy yourself. If you are not having fun, it's not worth. Every little tiny step in the right direction means something.

19. Self Entitlement is extremely unattractive.

20. Work - Life Balance is a myth
I know people who work 14 hours a day and have a great family life. I know people who work 6 hours a day and have a troubling family life. Work life balance isn't about how many hours you work, it's how you spend your time with your family and friends.  

21. Everything is easier with a team
Take a look at Jordan Spieth - The best in his class in a sport that is known to be "individual". Every interview and every time he is in front of the camera he is talking about his team. The caddy, the swing coach, his dad, his supporters. It's never a one man show. The greats surround themselves with a great teammates.

22. There is not much worse than a bad handshake
The Dead Fish, The Hand Crusher, The Four Finger Shake, The Short Hand-Handshake: They are all terrible. A firm handshake and look in the eyes goes a long way. Thanks Dad.

23. Perspective is overlooked
When we lose perspective we lose the way we connect with people. Losing perspective can make you into a coward. Maintain who you are when things go awry.

24. Choose the pain of discipline over plain of regret
Pain of discipline is short term. The pain of regret last forever, its eats at you and is always on your mind. I think most of the time we put off discipline because it's happening now, where the pain of regret happens later on. It's just like when we regret going thru the drive thru or sleeping in and skipping a workout; It feels great in the "lack of discipline moment" but later on, the pain of regret settles in.

25. You have to be motivated.
If u don't want to pushed if you don't want to be challenged nothing is going to be happen. If you are motivated, it's makes your coaches, teachers, and leaders jobs easier and more effective.

26. Grind it out.
Grind when people tell you to give up. Grind by putting the most important things in your life first. Grind by falling in love with the process. Grind by maximizing your resources. Grind by understanding that your work ethic needs to be in direct proportion of the size of your dream.