I have lived on this planet for three decades, and I can tell you that it has been a wonderful life so far. So first, cheers to the next 70+ years.
But that is not why I am writing this. I want to share with you some of the little things I have learnt in my 30 years of living and hope you learn and pick some things from them.
– God is my source: I cannot over-emphasize this; all my blessing and success has been from God. I could not have been alive today without God keeping me safe and as blessed as I am without Him. From Him, I get the very life I live. Jesus is my saviour, and I will forever confess this till my last breath.
– Two is always better than one: For most of my life, I have been a loner – trying to figure out everything by myself. I mostly get by and get things done – but man, when I decided to get married, most of the things I thought would take me 10+ years to achieve have taken less than 5 years. This is no fable when the bible says 1 shall chase a thousand and 2 shall chase ten thousand. So, if you can marry early in life, please do. Know God, know His will and get in tune. I married my wife one year earlier than I had planned because I could not just imagine living without her and I have seen the great benefits of this marriage.
– If you cannot pay it back, pay it forward: a lot of people have been kind to me all through my life – most of them I can never ever repay, even if I could, they would not accept. So, I pay it forward. Those I am kind to also may never be able to pay me back and I don’t ever expect – so I say, be kind to the next person, pay it forward and we make the world a better place, one act of kindness at a time.
– Never stop learning: Especially in your career, never ever stop yearning for more, in the early days of my (still early days) career, I would stay up all night gulping in videos, books, podcasts, anything I could so I can stay ahead of the curve and be at the bleeding edge of technology. I’m a bit older now and have commitments, but I never stop learning. My wife knows this, I will carve out time to always do the things that matter – and she supports me. Helping me with that cup of tea and toast in the mornings when she’s home.
– Write it down, make it plain: one of the most terrible lies you can ever tell yourself is that you can remember it all. I don’t doubt that you are smart – but it is worth always writing your plans and vision down. Some days ago, my wife was showing me her prayer journal that was about 7 years old, and she can really see that her prayers were answered. This only renews faith in God but helps keep track of your prayers and goals. It doesn’t matter if you’re 10, 20, 30 or 70. Having your vision, prayers and goals written down keeps you on track and accountable.
– Keep your circle tight: I don’t have a lot of friends – I mean friends, not acquaintances. Friends to me are those I can call up in the middle of the night and would come running and I would do the same in a heartbeat. Those we can share joy, pain, struggles, success and life together with. I have friends dating back 20+ years that are still very much in touch. Those are friends. Even when they cannot help you out, they won’t leave you hanging. Find those friends.
– It doesn’t hurt to fail: Many times, in my life, I have failed a great deal. But I will not let failures define me negatively. No, I rather dust myself, learn from the experience and forge ahead. You only really fail if you let your failure negatively define you. Pick the lessons and move on. Do not die on this failure mountain.
– Focus on you and yours: Sometimes, all you got is you, my mother taught me you can only rely on yourself. That is true. On some pathways, you have gotta walk it alone and carry your cross. When there is no one else left, there is only you. Do not be too kind to others that you burn out and cannot be there for you and the ones you love. The only ones you are bound by duty to die for are those whose life and living depend on you. I will not take a job or contract without first thinking of how it would affect my family – both positively and negatively. Weigh the pros and cons, pray, seek the counsel of my wife and then decide. I have said no to job offers, interviews and whatnot simply because it would take me away from my kind of life – a family man.
– Be present, money is not everything: I live in a land of bountiful opportunities, and no week goes by without an opportunity to make loads of extra cash. But when I think of it: I go to work so I can take care of my family and be there. Why can’t I be there now on the (not-so) little I make, and we can be a happy family. I want to be a present dad and husband. I want to see my children grow. I want to be an active part of their lives as I had growing up. Even though we did not have a lot, we were a family.
– Live with the end in sight: Before deciding on anything I think of almost all possible outcomes, good or bad. My wife asks me – Dara, why are you so calm through even the toughest situations? My answer is simple, it can only end in these possibilities, I’m prepared for any BUT I believe God will make the best out of it all.
Of course, that is not all. But I would not like this to go on too long, so if you enjoyed this, go take a look at some of the life lessons my wife and I teach on our YouTube Channel and Instagram. Stay blessed.