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The 10 greatest gifts I have received in 50 something years

The 10 greatest gifts I have received in 50 something years

Time goes by in the blink of an eye. That is the one thing I know for certain. It seems like only yesterday that I was a teenager, then an adult, and now here I am, in my fifties. I have had so many incredible experiences to date; some brilliant, exciting, overwhelming, even joyous and uplifting. Then there’s been some experiences that have been challenging, devastating, and really confronting.

However, as I look back over the years, every single experience has gifted me in some way. Often, it can be challenging to find the gift in a difficult situation, but I can assure you, there is always a gift. It is always your responsibility to find the positive, beautiful, and inspiring present that is waiting to be unwrapped.

As we mature, we are often asked the following questions:

Would you go back and change anything?

Is there anything in your past that you would do differently?

Personally, I wouldn’t change a thing. Every piece of my past has enriched my life in some way. Every person who has come into my life has taught me something valuable.There have been no wrong choices – just lessons and gifts.

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These are my 10 greatest gifts to date.

1. Manners

Times have changed, there is no denying that, but has society managed to keep up, in regards to manners? My parents instilled in us the importance of good manners, courtesy, respect for others, and most importantly, treating others as you wish to be treated. This gift from my parents has been one of my greatest gifts to date. YES, it is the gift that just keeps giving.

In business, showcasing proper business etiquette says a lot about you as a leader. As a person, and in regards to everyday life, good manners show your true essence and character. Manners can help you strengthen relationships, as well as change your life and the lives of so many around you.

2. Childlike energy

As kids, we were encouraged to have fun, play outside, and enjoy life. I never had a care in the world as a child. It was easy to create, imagine, and quite literally experience real freedom. My father (who is almost 90 years of age) to this day has still retained his love of fun, play, and sense of childlike energy. I have watched him with his great grandchildren, and I am sure that they think he is the same age as they are.

Having real fun can improve relationships. It can inspire us to be more creative and it can really help to reduce stress levels. Most of us are so burdened with commitments that we rarely stop and have fun. Somewhere in between being a kid and then being an adult, we forget how to play.

Don’t lose your childlike energy. Get outside, play more, and have fun. Laugh, dance, sing, be silly. Not only will it benefit your wellness, it will also keep you feeling young.

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3. Family

There is an old saying, “You don’t get to pick your family”; but maybe (just maybe) we do.

Do we choose our parents before we are born to master certain life lessons? Patience, commitment, connection, tolerance, pure love – these are all life lessons my family has gifted to me. Family is always there, whether you need them or not. I treasure the gift of my family most of all.

4. Soul family

If you are really blessed, at some point in your life, the universe will gift you with finding your soul family. This year, I met my soul family. From one chance meeting that led to a gathering of like-minded souls, I realized that I had finally found my soul family.

Your soul family is the spiritual equivalent to your birth family here on Earth. When you meet your soul family and feel surrounded by kindred spirits, you will really notice that your heart and your soul can heal and regenerate.

5. Peace

I began meditating over 10 years ago. Meditation changed my life. It gifted me with real inner peace. It has provided me with the most priceless sense of well-being, as well as a clearness and clarity that has quite literally opened up a whole new world.

6. Setbacks and challenges

I don’t think anyone travels through life without experiencing setbacks and hard times. You can let your challenges knock you down or you can choose to let them be your greatest opportunity for growth. Life doesn’t always get easier, but we can always get stronger and more resilient. In turn, this gifts us with strength. Real strength is in your soul.

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7. Self-belief

It is our birth right to have a healthy amount of self-worth and self-belief. It is the foundation for success. Believe that you can, and you are half way there. Self-belief has gifted me with opportunities and priceless experiences. It has allowed me to connect with the most amazing people worldwide.

In a society where we tend to put older people out to pasture and overlook their experience and wisdom, self-belief has gifted me with the determination to live a full life. If I let society take away my ability to share my life experiences to date, quite simply because of the number on my birth certificate, I would only be living half a life.

8. Loss

The passing of some of my precious family members and also my dearest friends has gifted me with the following:

Life is short, live it.

Your life can change in a heartbeat. Love it.

The people you love might be taken away from you, but their memory stays locked In your heart forever.

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9. Love

There is no greater gift than love. Whether that love comes from heart-to-heart connections with partners, children, friends, or pets, love is the greatest gift of all

10. A new day

Every new day is a gift. It’s a gift denied to so many. A new day is a new beginning and another chance to change your life for the better.

Conclusion

In my fifty something years, I have come to believe there is a gift in everything.

Life is the greatest and most precious gift of all.

Featured photo credit: Viktor Hanacek via picjumbo.com

More by this author

Jo Ettles

Jo Ettles is a published self help author, international writer, speaker and extremely gifted intuitive life coach.

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Last Updated on October 15, 2019

How To Be Successful In Life? 13 Tips From The Most Successful People

How To Be Successful In Life? 13 Tips From The Most Successful People

What is success to you? How to be successful in life?

To some, when they think of success, they imagine wealth; others want power; some just want to make a positive impact on the world.

All of these are perfectly valid, indeed success is a concept that means different things to different people. Though no matter what success is to you, it almost certainly isn’t something will come easily.

There are countless guides and books to being successful, however, as success is personal and unique to each individual. The advice contained in these books can often not be relevant. Therefore following the advice of a single individual can often be unhelpful.

With this in mind, considering the advice of a great many people, people whose ideas of success were different both to each other, and quite possibly, to you can be a good alternative.

What follows is a list of thirteen of the best pieces of advice from some of the most successful people who have ever lived. If you want to learn how to be successful, these 13 tips are essential:

1. Think Big

    From Michelangelo Buonarroti, Great Renaissance Artist:

    “The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark.”

    There are few artists as influential as Michaelangelo. Today centuries after his death, his work still inspires and connects to people. His work is world famous, just think of his statue of David, or the Mural in the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican.

    Imagine then, if he decided not to work as an artist.

    Being a successful artist has always been extremely difficult, imagine if he decided to give up this ambition in favour of something easier?

    Oftentimes, people often decided to put their dreams aside for something more “realistic”. To give up their dream for something easier. This quote teaches us the danger of such a point of view.
    Instead be ambitious.

    2. Find What You Love to Do and Do It

      From Oprah Winfrey, Media Mogul:

      “You know you are on the road to success if you would do your job and not be paid for it.”

      This is a good quote to remember and think about when you’re at work.

      Imagine being as successful as possible in your current job. Ultimately you’ll probably find yourself working extremely hard and this it will take up much of your time.

      If it’s a job you hate, then being successful at it might only mean filling your life with something you hate to do. What’s the sense in this?

      Instead, why not focus on doing something you love? When you’ve found what you’re passionate about, you get the motivation to keep you moving. Success at this means the fulfilment of your dreams.

      Not sure what your passion is yet? You should learn about this Motivation Engine first.

      Even if you’re not successful, you still filled your time with something you love to do. Many successful musicians spent years of their lives doing unpaid performances, the only reason they kept playing was because they loved to perform.

      3. Learn How to Balance Life

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        From Phil Knight, CEO of Nike Inc.:

        “There is an immutable conflict at work in life and in business, a constant battle between peace and chaos. Neither can be mastered, but both can be influenced. How you go about that is the key to success.”

        All too often, people think that to be successful, they need to make the object of their success their life.

        If a person thinks their job will lead them to success, then they may spend countless hours per day, and well into the evening working hard.

        However this comes at the cost of rest, your health and having an enjoyable life. Ultimately they may burn out and cease to be successful at their job anyway.

        If success comes from having a strong social life and a good group of friends, their job may suffer; meaning that they may lose their job, and then be unable to afford going out with friends.

        In these ways, success, as Phil Knight says above, is helped by balance. Think of it as a balance between rest and work, or work and play.

        To achieve that balance, this Ultimate Guide to Prioritizing Your Work And Life can help you.

        4. Do Not Be Afraid of Failure

          From Henry Ford, Founder of Ford Motors:

          “Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.”

          There is a story, it’s unconfirmed whether it actually happened, yet the message within is none the less true:

          Thomas Edison inventing the lightbulb was the result of several hundred failed attempts. In an interview, he was asked “How do you feel after all of your failed attempts?”

          His response was great, “I didn’t fail, I learned hundreds of ways not to invent the lightbulb”

          He saw each “failure” as a lesson. From that lesson he learned what won’t work, and also might work instead.

          Each failed attempt, each rejection, were key steps on his path to success. It is easy to feel like you should give up after a failure. But perhaps in that failure is a lesson.

          Pay attention to your failures, study them. Perhaps then you’ll learn how to succeed.

          If you find it difficult to fight your fear of failure, here’s a guide for you: Why You Have the Fear of Failure (And How to Conquer It Step-By-Step)

          5. Have an Unwavering Resolution to Succeed

            From Colonel Sanders, Founder of KFC:

            “I made a resolve then that I was going to amount to something if I could. And no hours, nor amount of labor, nor amount of money would deter me from giving the best that there was in me. And I have done that ever since, and I win by it. I know.”

            This, in many ways relates to the above quote about learning from your failures.

            It’s the easiest thing in the world to give up from a failure. The only way to push on is if you have the true burning desire to succeed, to not be moved or dissuaded from your goals.

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            If you are not truly dedicated towards success, then each failure will hurt more, each set back will slow you down.

            Success is hard; without the unwavering desire to succeed, this difficulty may seem insurmountable. With the desire, it is merely an obstacle to go through.

            6. Be a Person of Action

              From Leonardo da Vinci, Renaissance Genius:

              “It had long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things.”

              Though it was said hundreds of years ago, it works just as much today as it ever had. It applies to literally any successful person.

              Think about it, picture someone like William Shakespeare:

              When we think of the time he lived in, we think of the time in a way shaped by him. When we think of Renaissance era Italy, we think of Michelangelo and Leonardo Da Vinci. Or think about the present day, Bill Gates or Steve Jobs. Our current way of life would simply be incomparably different if they didn’t accomplish what they did.

              You’re probably reading this article on a device by a company that they either founded or companies influenced by them.

              All these figures were proactive, they saw ways to do things differently and did them. If they let the world shape them, then they’d simply fit into the background. Instead they shaped the world.

              Applying this to you?

              Don’t be afraid of going outside the norm. If you can think of a better way to do something, do it that way. If you fail, try again.

              7. Cultivate Positive Relationships

                From Theodore Roosevelt, 26th President of America: “

                The most important single ingredient in the formula of success is knowing how to get along with people.”

                The best leaders and some of the most influential people (and Theodore Roosevelt is one of the best leaders and one of the most influential people to have lived) were not those who caused commotions, who fought with people or disregarded people; but were people who were friendly to those around them.

                People liked them. They wanted them to do well.

                This is key to good leadership.

                It’s logical. If someone likes you, they want to help you; if you give them a suggestion, they’ll gladly follow through with it.

                But if someone doesn’t like you, they may either refuse to help or actively get in your way.

                What’s more, it’s always a good idea to cultivate good relationships. You can never tell who will prove to become someone who’ll be able to help you in a big way, or even be a good and supportive friend.

                As such, help people and they may help you; and be good to people, and they my be good to you.

                8. Don’t Be Afraid of Introducing New Ideas

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                  From Mark Twain, Famed Author:

                  “A person with a new idea is a crank until the idea succeeds.”

                  It is an unfortunate truth that those with the boldest ideas are often disregarded.

                  Most of us are taught from an early age to think and do things similarly to everyone else. This can be great to fill an existing role. But to truly do things differently (and all successful people did things differently), you need to think differently.

                  If you have a new idea, don’t throw it away because it’s new and different; instead, celebrate it. Your strange new idea might one day be the one that leads you to success.

                  9. Believe in Your Capacity to Succeed

                    From Walter Disney, Founder of Walt Disney Company:

                    “If you can dream it, you can do it.”

                    Success has to be something you can imagine yourself achieving.

                    It is possible that you will come across those who doubt you and your ability to succeed. You must not become one of these people because the moment you cease believing and dreaming is the moment these dreams fall away.

                    Keep dreaming!

                    10. Always Maintain a Positive Mental Attitude

                      From Thomas Jefferson, 3rd President of America:

                      “Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.”

                      Like the above quote says, you need to trust in your ability to succeed. This is the only way to cultivate the right mindset.

                      Replace negative thoughts with the positive ones. You need to approach problems, not as obstacles stopping you, but merely tasks that need to be completed for you to keep going.

                      If you stay positive and think like this, setbacks won’t affect you so much, people’s doubts won’t impact you and even the biggest obstacles will seem like minor problems.

                      However with the wrong mindset of doubt, you’ll be much easier to stop.

                      11. Don’t Let Discouragement Stop You from Pressing On

                        From Abraham Lincoln, 16th President of America:

                        “Let no feeling of discouragement prey upon you, and in the end you are sure to succeed.”

                        It is an unfortunate fact of human nature — all of us in some way, doubt ourselves. This can be made far worse if others doubt us too.

                        When surrounded by doubts, giving up can actually seem like a good idea.

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                        Don’t pay attention to the doubts. If you are discouraged, ignore it.

                        If this discouragement moves into your mind and you begin to doubt yourself. It is important to ignore this too.

                        This is How Self Doubt Keeps You Stuck and How to Overcome It

                        12. Be Willing to Work Hard

                          From JC Penny, Founder of JC Penney Inc.:

                          “Unless you are willing to drench yourself in your work beyond the capacity of the average man, you are just not cut out for positions at the top.”

                          You might have heard the quote that “success is 1% inspiration, 99% perspiration” or you may have heard about the 10,000 hours idea.

                          Whichever way you frame it, they say one thing:

                          True success comes from work.

                          You’ll never become successful if you don’t work towards your goal in life and keep working towards it.

                          Check out this article and you’ll understand Why Hard Work Beats Talent.

                          13. Be Brave Enough to Follow Your Intuition

                            From Steve Jobs, Co-founder of Apple Inc.:

                            “Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”

                            In ancient Greece, there was a group of Oracles who lived in Delphi. Everyone who needed advice or to know their future visited them, from the poorest of society to kings. Above the doorway of the temple were the words “know thyself”.

                            If you strongly believe and desire something, chances are that you already have an idea how to get there. If not, you may naturally know what things will help you and what things will slow you down.

                            It’s like how your body can detect danger even when things seem safe.

                            Ultimately then, you need to trust your own instincts.

                            Final Thoughts

                            What you might have noticed is that many of the above lessons are similar — most are about developing the right state of mind. This clearly suggests that the key to achieving success, in whatever you wish, comes down to the way you approach it mentally.

                            Moreover, no matter what stage of life you’re at now, you can still make a difference and pursue success. You can make resetting your life possible when you do this: How to Start Over and Reboot Your Life When It Seems Too Late

                            More to Help You Succeed in Life

                            Featured photo credit: Ryan Wong via unsplash.com

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