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29 Lessons from 29 Years of Life!

Having recently turned 29 years old (yes the big 3-0 is next year), I thought I would take a little time to self-reflect on some of the lessons that I have learned so far in my years spent on this Earth.

29 years is the equivalent of 10,585 days, or 254,040 hours of life - when you look at it like that, it is quite a bloody lot! I would like to think that in my life so far I have tried to fill it with meaningful experiences and people. I am of the belief that life is a gift, and that we should try to live every day to the full, we should embrace both our days of joy and our days of adversity. Sometimes we can forget that tomorrow is never guaranteed, and therefore it is important to smile every day and be the best individual we can be.

So without further waffle, here are my 29 lessons from 29 years of life so far:

#1: Your mind is the most powerful tool you control

Never underestimate the power of your mind. The thoughts and beliefs that lay on top of our shoulders play a vital role in our daily habits and behaviours. If we can learn to understand our mind; its thoughts and beliefs, then the possibilities of what we can achieve are endless.

#2 Your body is capable of so much more than most people believe

The many physical challenges that I have undertaken, from climbing mountains over 6,000m to cycling for 35 hours have shown me that our body is incredibly resilient. If we are able to control our mind, and push back against our limiting beliefs, our body will often continue to go further than we ever thought possible.

#3 Make friends with people who are older and wiser than you

As I have aged myself, I have learnt the importance of spending time with people who are wiser than myself (they don't necessarily have to be older - but often years of life experience can help). At family parties, you will often find me talking with elderly people, I find that they are buckets of knowledge and experience who often love to share! If you want to learn a new skill etc. then find an individual who has mastered that craft and can share their wisdom.

#4 Surround yourself with people who inspire you and help you grow

Linking to the point above, however this time we are thinking more about the people in our lives on a daily basis. Energy is REAL! We have all felt it. If you spend time with someone who has endless positive energy and passion, this will quickly rub off on you. You will be inspired!

#5 Be open to new experiences (they can change your life)

Quite possibly my favourite character trait about myself is being open to new people, experiences and cultures. My time spent travelling to different parts of the world have shown me that if you can be open and ready to accept new challenges and opportunities you WILL grow. Many of my best experiences in life have been as a result of me going SOLO and trying something new. An example of this would be signing up to do a Salsa performance course - at the age of 28, finding my latest passion in life.

#6 Be open to people and cultures

Linked to the above point, being open to new people and cultures can have a life-changing impact on us. I have many examples of this, from starting University and making life-long friends who were completely different to the friends I grew up with. Other examples would be living with a Colombian family and sharing our love of food and cycling; spending a couple of night staying with a Peruvian family in Puno, where my friends and I were accepted into their family and share unforgettable experiences. On every travel I have been on I have met people that have impacted my life for the better. Be open to meeting new people and engaging with different cultures.

#7 Perspective is key

"Your perspective will either become your prison or your passport". Take a step back, there is always two ways to look at any situation. It is easy to get upset or angry in the moment if something negative has happened in our lives, but I truly believe something positive can come from every negative - but only if we are willing to embrace it.

#8 Found out what your passions are and build your life around them

This is still very much something I am working on and it is probably one of the biggest challenges in life. Trying to build a life around our passions where we are still able to earn enough money to have the lifestyle we want. I am a big believer that we should not settle for simply doing a job that puts money in our pocket, but instead follow our passions and purpose, and find a way to bring value to the lives of others to be remunerated. Every individual has a gift worth sharing. Don't wait until its too late to look back on your life and wish you tried to follow your dreams.

#9 Do your research so you don’t get burned

One of my biggest negative character traits is that I can often jump into things too quickly. Unfortunately, there have been times in my life where I have been burned (lost time, money etc) as a result of either being too kind (naïve) or not spending enough time doing my research. If you want to make a large investment (whether that is your time or energy) make sure to do your research first.

#10 Take risks

I love risks! Risks are what bring adventure into our lives. If every single decision we made in life was a safe one, would our lives really be worth living? Yes, try to make calculated risks where possible, but it is in taking risks that the greatest rewards can be made. Listen to your instincts. Sometimes, risks may not work in our favour. That is ok - learn from it!

#11 Investing time and money into your health is the best investment you can make

As a chubby little 10 year old lad, I made the decision that I wanted to be comfortable in my own body. I wanted to embrace the gift of movement that was available to me. It was the best decision I have ever made. I have been trying to live a life of health and activity for the past 19 years, it helps me in more ways than you can imagine. All the money in the world is of no use if you are not physically, mentally and emotionally healthy and strong.

#12 When people tell you that you can’t achieve something; smile and prove them wrong

For me, there is no greater motivator than when people tell you that you can't achieve something. When people doubt you, smile, dig in, put the work in and show the world what you are capable of. There have been times where people have told me my goals are too big or I can't achieve something (including the voice in my own head) - I strive to make it my mission to come out fighting!

#13 Know what your values are and try to live every day aligned with them

Over the last 4-5 years I have spent a lot of time working out what my values are. There have been many books I have read and people I follow who speak about the importance of knowing your values. It is our values that help to guide our behaviour on a daily basis, it is our values that allow us to go to bed at night with a smile on our face. In order to live life by our values, sometimes we will need to make tough decisions.

#14 Eat more vegetables!

I can't believe the lack of vegetables in peoples diets in the Western world. Whilst I am not a vegetarian, I know that vegetables contain so much goodness that they should make up the majority of every individuals diet. Eating a wide variety of vegetables will contribute significantly to the longevity of your health. Don't eat the same couple of vegetables every day, be open to new flavours. You will thank me when you are 80 and feeling great!

#15 Don’t rush through life, savour the now!

I am not going to lie, there have been many times in my life where I have been guilty of rushing on to the next thing. Instead of enjoying a meal with my family I am thinking about what I am doing tomorrow. Instead of exploring the place I am in and taking it all in, I am thinking about the next adventure. If we live life like this we will never learn to appreciate each moment. Be conscious of when you are not living in the now and pull yourself back in.

#16 Knowledge is good, but action is great.

Yes, knowledge is powerful, but without action it is useless. The most successful people in life are those who are able to take action on the knowledge they gain. There are millions of people on this Earth who know they should exercise and eat better, but they don't take action on that knowledge and thus find themselves wishing that they looked and felt better. Have the discipline to take action on what you know.

#17 Never stop learning

The more knowledge we have, the more positive actions we can take. Make life-long learning one of your values. Spend time around people who are wiser than yourself, read books, listen to podcasts, but make time to take notes and implement.

#18 Take time to self-reflect

It is very easy to live life at 100mph! We live in a modern world with everything just a click away. We get so caught up in our day to day that we forget to take a step back and ask ourselves if we are heading in the right direction. Try to make time each week to sit down and reflect on the following:

- Am I doing work that fulfils me?

- Am I making time for the people I love?

- Am I making time for the activities I enjoy?

- Have I set any goals and habits to work on? How consistent have I been?

#19 Stand up for what you believe in

This one links back to our values and knowing what it is that we believe in and are we willing to stick to our values. There will be difficult times in life where it is easier to pretend you didn't see or hear something and brush it off, but deep down you know that isn't the right thing to do. Don't be afraid to be in the minority, a lot of the greats in history have become greats because they were willing to share their voice (there might be more people like you who are waiting for a leader to stand up)

#20 Mistakes are only called mistakes if you never learn from them

We all make 'mistakes', but are they really mistakes. In my opinion, they are only mistakes if we continue to make them and not learn from them. Instead, view your 'mistakes' as opportunities to grown and become wiser.

#21 Treat every day as though it is your last

This doesn't mean you need to jump on a plane and travel around the world. Unfortunately, we don't all have the money to do crazy exhilarating activities or eat at extravagant restaurants every day, but is that what brings real joy?

Living every day as though it is your last is more about showing love to the people that mean the most to you, taking joy from the little things in life and not letting anything get you down for too long.

#22 Time is your most precious asset, be wise with how you spend it

Money comes and goes, but time is an asset we can never get back. Time is a human's most valuable asset. It is only as we get older we realise that time is not infinite, in fact it seems to go quicker each year. Therefore, view your time as precious, try not to waste too much of your time on activities or with people that don't bring joy and happiness.

#23 Adventure is essential for the soul

Wow! "A life without adventure, is not a life at all". If life was the same everyday it becomes monotonous and lacks excitement. It is through adventures, big or small, that free our mind and spirit. Adventure gives our lives a hit of adrenaline. When I die, the moments I will remember are the wild adventures I have been on, from bungy jumping and skydiving in New Zealand to cycling through Japanese wilderness.

An adventure might be simply going for a cold plunge in a local lake, or having a cold shower - adventure simply means doing something different or trying something new. Make adventure a key component of your life.

#24 Be free like water - there are lots of ways to get the same result

Don't be too fixated on one method or technique to get an end result. After working with thousands of people to help them achieve better health and fitness, I know there are thousands of different exercises and methods to get people the same result.

If something isn't working, be open to trying a different way.

#25 Real growth takes place outside your comfort zone

When I get too comfortable in my day-to-day, I know it is time to shake things up. My life experiences have shown me that in order to see growth, I need to get outside my comfort zone. Whether that is taking on a new physical challenge that makes me a little nervous or making phone calls to people that could help my business grow. Know that, in order to fulfil your potential, you will have to get uncomfortable. #embraceadversity

#26 Earth is more beautiful than you could ever imagine

I have been to over 30 countries around the World and spent up to 6 months in some of them. Every time I go travelling, whether that is in the UK or abroad, I usually find myself saying "WOW". If we are willing to get outside our comfort zone and explore new places, we will be surprised by just how beautiful mother earth is.

#27 Money can’t buy happiness, but it can provide freedom

From a young age, you might have heard the quote "money can't buy happiness" - I definitely did. It is a quote that carries a lot of weight, I don't believe money can buy happiness, however money can help to provide freedom. Financial wealth and security can mean you don't have to worry about providing for your family or being able to go on holiday. Happiness is internal, but money allows us to live life to the full.

#28 Self-belief, clarity and perseverance might just be the 3 most important determinants of growth and success in life.

You don't have to be the smartest, you don't have to be the strongest or fastest. But you do need to believe in yourself. I believe that the people that go the furthest in life are those who have a clear vision of where they want to go, they have self-belief that they can get there, and they are willing to persevere when difficulties get thrown their way.

Of course, having a good network and being born into a good environment for success help too!

#29 You will not be everyone’s cup of tea, that is ok, don’t try to be.

Too often in life, people try to change themselves to conform to what they think others will like. The truth is, there are over 7 billion humans on planet Earth and the chances of everyone liking you are slim. If you are honest to yourself and your values, you will attract like-minded people and build a tribe of those with similar values.

To Conclude

I hope that you enjoyed reading my 29 lessons from life. If you find them useful, please share with friends, family and colleagues. Next year is the big 3-0 so I will be sure to share more golden nuggets in a years time.

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