There is wisdom everywhere – we just have to tune into it. Each person I meet, as I travel as a speaker and coach, has something remarkable to share about life, being happy or living one’s greatness. They are also quick to share their failures and challenges – and how these events have been critical to reframe and improve their thinking. Ah, collective genius – actively learning from everyone and everything in life to live with clarity, competence and courage.
Sometimes others have the information that will help us avoid making mistakes or to help us be more successful at something in life. Sometimes we don’t have to go through life’s tough events ourselves, we can just learn from others.
So, from all this street wisdom I have heard lately, here are three of my favorites that I believe we should tell our kids (so they have great and happy lives). And while telling them, we should listen and act on our own advice:
- Today is not a dress rehearsal. You don’t get this moment or day to live over. What matters is right now. Think and choose wisely. Have a vision. Define your values and beliefs; use them to live intentionally, passionately and powerfully each day. You never know how many days you have so love, respect and value today. Each day is precious and each day is a gift. Be grateful for the gift.
- You own your life. You can and should listen to others, read everything you can and really learn about your world. Then determine of what you hear, what is right for you. You are your life’s owner. You are not only responsible for this life, but you are accountable for it; your actions matter; your thoughts and feelings matter; your impact matters. No one can (or should) live your life for you. This is the greatest thing and most difficult thing about life – you own yours. Don’t follow others when they go in a direction that doesn’t fit you. Don’t let others tell you what to do, believe, or how to live – you decide. Get help until you are ready to decide, but know that it is your voice that must always direct your life.
- Never determine your value by what others say or think. This may be the toughest. We are each so influenced by friends, family, society, ads, lifestyles, etc. But remember, when you don’t know what your voice says (because you don’t know your talents, strengths, passions and values), you will let others speak and decide for you. You will let others tell you who you should be, what you should buy, where you should live, who you should marry, what you should believe. And you will determine your value by what they say – DON’T. Just remember that you are already great – as you are. You are valuable not because of what you do, where you live or how much you make. You are valuable because you were born awesome and perfect as you are. You have amazing abilities that the world may sometimes not appreciate – but that doesn’t mean they’re not amazing. Be yourself. Be true to what you feel. Live your best abilities and make your own personal dent in the universe. Don’t check with others to determine if it was enough of a dent – you decide.
I am grateful for those who have come into my life to share this wisdom with me so I can guide those I love and care about. Our kids need our guidance to help them discover, develop and live what is great in them. And we should listen to our own advice and do the same for ourselves. Inspire yourself and others to live life like it matters – because it does.