11 Life Lessons I Learned So Far
In December 1996, I moved to the United States.
On my own.
I left behind everything I knew – my family, my friends, my favorite foods, in search of a better life, chasing my “Own Dream” in the “land of the free.”
I have come a long way since then, from incredible humbling beginnings, arriving in a new country, with a $100 in my pocket and a broken English to a successful Edupreneur (entrepreneur that empowers and helps people to unleash their powers and achieve what they deserve), empowering and teaching people around the world to discover their personal power and use it to achieve their own success and happiness while contributing to making the world a better place.
I recall the time landing at Miami International Airport and thought to myself, “this is it- I made it.”
Yes, I know it sounds crazy, but I could visualize my success and knew that somehow I could make it happen. I was scared and afraid but I wanted a new life for myself and I was ready to take action and make it happen. Joseph Campbell reminds us that
“Opportunities to find deeper powers within ourselves come when life seems most challenging.”
As I reflect on my journey I wanted to share with you 11 lessons that will help you live an authentic, happy and rewarding life. A life you deserve to live.
“If you want to change your life you have to change your mind.”
Yes, easier said than done. But WE can do it.
Everything happens first in the mind or I should really say "the brain."
Do you believe that you are confident, ambitious, smart, beautiful, kind, strong, capable, responsible, accountable, worldly, articulate…?
What is your answer?
If you cannot believe in your abilities, no one will.
So, again, what do you believe?
How do you see yourself?
Take some time to assess your own beliefs, the things you do on a daily basis and why you do them, and then try to replace the beliefs that no longer provide value to you with new ones.
For example, if you believe that you CAN achieve an A on a test, that you CAN lose five pounds in a healthy way, or that you CAN start your own business and embrace every challenge as an opportunity to learn and grow then yes, you are right, you are on your way towards achieving your realistic goals.
It means you have a growth mindset.
However, these are just ideas and beliefs.
What matters is to act on those ideas.
For instance, to lose five pounds or ten pounds and keep it off, you need a realistic plan for it. A consistent workout routine along with nutritional meals as well as a supportive environment are some of the keys to achieving lasting healthy results. I know many people who manage to lose weight fast, but they gain it all back because they were not consistent in their diet and workout habits. Likewise, I know students who scored well on a test but did not learn anything because they focused on getting a grade. The focus should always be on learning, growing, and improving ourselves.
The journey is far more important than the destination.
The point is that our MINDSETS – our beliefs about the world and ourselves determine our
success or failure.
Whatever you think you become, feel, think, and act.
You CAN achieve so much more power, health, happiness, and wealth by learning to unleash the power of your mind, eliminating any negative beliefs and self-limiting beliefs and replacing them with positive beliefs and habits.
“Awareness is the greatest agent for change”- Eckhart TolleTo achieve success and happiness you must become more introspective of your work and your personal life. You need to understand the way you think, your strengths, your values, your areas of improvement, your behaviors and your personality. There is no shortage of books and assessments to understand yourself and what you want out of life. Ask the big questions such as why are you here, what makes you happy, what are your values, beliefs, and do you live your life in alignment with your values?
Let’s face it, most of us have great ideas and even pursue some of them, but somewhere along the way, we give up. Somehow, we lose motivation to push all the way to the end. It happened to me many times until I realized that the way I was doing things was wrong. Therefore, I decided to spend some time and get to know “me” and learn from others who were efficient and effective with their time and work. I wanted to work smart not hard. Tony Robbins and many other motivational speakers say, “Success is 80% psychology and 20% mechanics.” Therefore, it makes sense to explore and understand ourselves better to become action-oriented, persistent and resilient. Here are some ways to get you started:
Visualize and connect your goal to a purpose
Find support and surround yourself with people who have already achieved what you want for yourself.
Believe you CAN do it. Change your mindset if you want a different life
Have a to do list and stick with it
Create habits that will allow you to stay on course
Persist until you achieve your goals
Failure is part of success. Learn from it and move on
Remember when you were a child? Children are naturally curious; however, as we grow up and become adults we seem to lose that inquisitive feeling for fear of the unknown. We all know that to discover our potential and excel at anything we have to get out of the comfort zone. By being curious, we open up to new ideas and opportunities, which creates excitement and happiness. I know that fear is “real” for many of us but after failing so many times I realized that failure is a good thing- it teaches us how to do things better. Every successful person I studied has failed many times, and their success came out of all the lessons they learned from failure. Embrace failure and learn from it.
Prioritize your priorities. It is necessary.Do you know what you need to do on a daily, weekly, monthly, yearly basis?We have to prioritize our priorities in order of importance.MIT – Most Important Things For instance, I use the MIT list with the Most Important Things to do on a daily basis. It is important to me that I know what needs to be done and why.What is the value in it?Why do I need to do it?To maximize our time we need to know what it is we want to accomplish each day and why. Then we live with focus, intention, and purpose. There is no wasting time, and I always have the time to accomplish the things that matter to ME -“the MIT.”In my book I write about my morning routine and here is a sample of it – my MIT – Most Important Things. I think about and prepare my list the night before so in the morning I am ready to go.
My morning routine is the same, it’s part of my lifestyle, it is non-negotiable (meditate, visualize, exercise, breakfast, read)
Wake up at 530am (update: July 2020 I wake up at 5am)
Read for about 30-45 minutes
Review my MIT list
Start working by 830am
Ensure there are no distractions (phone on silent…)
Stay focused on the task
Take short breaks each hour or so
Conclude the day with MIT for the next day
Relaxing time – read something inspiring
Daily reflection and write in my journal the things that happened during that day, what could I do better the next day?)
In bed by 1030pm
Your turn now.
Go ahead and make your MIT list of priorities you want to accomplish TOMORROW. Think about ROT (return on time) and adjust your priorities. Successful people spend their time with MIT and ROT in mind. You can do the same. Start now to become aware of how you spend your time, take notes, adjust, reflect and improve, not procrastinate any longer.
Take action today to improve your life.
Routines are imperative to achieving any success. Routines are not set in stone. You need to be flexible as there is always room for improvement. The best way to improve your routine is to remove any bad habits, people, or situations that prevent you from achieving your goals and becoming your best self.
In my new book, WHY NOT YOU? How to Become an Empowered Woman I discuss in detail the importance of having successful habits. You will learn that what you do on a daily basis is critical to achieving your goals. Look at your daily routine and evaluate it. Does it help you make progress towards your goals? If not then it is time to get serious about eliminating habits that no longer serve a purpose to you.
“If the body is feeble, the mind will not be strong.”– Thomas Jefferson
Richard Branson, the Founder of Virgin Group, and many other self-made successful people talk about habits and skills one needs to have to achieve success. One of the habits these people have in common is “exercise.”
If you do not care for your whole self- mind, body, and soul, then you’ll not be able to care for others, for your life, and for your business, and most likely you won’t be happy. The relationship between physical health and personal/business wealth is evident in most successful people’s stories. Just go and read them – again, google some successful people that you admire and maybe look up to them and read about them. How they achieved success? What is their story? What are their routines and habits? I guarantee you that one of the things they do on a regular basis is exercise, meditate, read – taking care of their whole body, so they have the energy, enthusiasm, and passion for pursuing their goals.
How about you?
Is exercising part of your daily routine? Sure, you could tell me, Val, “I don’t have time to workout” and I will say to you that if these self-made millionaires, busy people have time to exercise every day, then you and I should have time too. Health should be a priority for us too. We deserve to be healthy, happy and successful too.
“Visualize your success and start taking action.”
I believe in the power of visualization. How about you?After all, I visualize a different life for myself over 20 years ago when I decided to change my life. I saw myself in my mind as a successful and happy person. If we don’t take chances and leave our comfort zone then we’ll never know what we could be. I will tell you that it is hard. It is challenging. It is possible. Once you overcome any self-limiting beliefs, then you begin to plan your success and take on bigger challenges. The new routines and habits we discussed will allow you to make progress in all areas of your life. Soon thereafter you won’t recognize yourself.
9) MENTORS – NETWORK
Without a doubt, an essential skill to make fast progress in your life is to have mentors, meet people in your field, attend meetings, conferences, and webinars and join various networks of like-minded people. Motivational speaker Jim Rohn’s famous quote “you are the average of the five people you interact with” is as relevant today as ever. Indeed, our environment affects our way of thinking and feeling, our self-esteem and our decision-making process. Therefore, it is imperative that we evaluate our environment and eliminate anything and anyone that prevent us from becoming our best selves.
10) LIFELONG LEARNER
“Go to bed smarter than when you woke up.” – Charlie Munger
My intention is to go to bed smarter than when I woke up and most days I am successful. In fact, I do this with my students too, and at the end of each class, they write down in their journals what they learned and how it applies to their own lives. Self-reflection is critical to self-growth.
I am sure you have heard of Warren Buffett and his friend and partner Charlie Munger. What is their secret to success?
You guessed it – READ A LOT and a few other things…
Warren Buffet says, “I just sit in my office and read all day.” He spends 80% of his working day reading and thinking. Of course, one needs to know “how to read,” which requires critical thinking and reflection, and how to apply the new knowledge. If you want to speed read look up “How To Read A Book,” by Mortimer Adler & Van Doren.
Imagine what happens if you read every day for 10 or 20 minutes about self-empowerment, or entrepreneurship, or self-growth and so on?
Your life will change forever as you begin to explore new ways of thinking and doing things, become inspired and motivated to change your life, make better choices, and spend time with people who support your dreams.
I read every day, in the morning and in the evening. In the morning I may read something motivational or about business or self-improvement. Then at the gym, I also use my time efficiently and while working out I’ll listen to audiobooks or watch a short video on something new I want to learn and challenge myself.
I cannot imagine living my life without my daily reading habit, as it is a constant inspiration, motivation and a source of ideas to live the best life possible. It is a non-negotiable habit.
We are not ordinary.
We are capable of extraordinary things, and it is our responsibility to make it happen.
Are you ready to live your life by design and NOT by chance?
These are my two incredible FREE resources for eBooks, art, wisdom, philosophy and anything else you want. Please check them out and access any knowledge you want now. I promise you that your life will never be the same. Enjoy!
11) Invest in Yourself
Do not be afraid to invest in yourself. It will be the best investment you will ever make. I spend a lot of time, energy and money on my growth. I want to challenge my mind, body and soul and experience life to its full potential. I chose to create and walk my own path. I am my hero’s journey.
You can be too!
Go for it and good luck!
Begin your life transformation today. Do not wait for tomorrow or for anyone to do it for you -it will not happen.If you want something great for yourself, then YOU have to make it happen.The world does not owe us anything.The beautiful thing is that you have everything you need to get started- you have yourself. Just decide that today is the day to change your life and take action.
Empower yourself to achieve what you know you deserve.
If you need help please contact me now.