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What I'm reading #34: Business, relationships and life - 45 years' worth of lessons

By Sam Instone - August 26, 2022

I recently turned 45...

And I'm reflecting a lot. 

I've tried my hand at many things; for the last 18 years, the creation of a financial services organisation focused on disrupting the status quo/traditional industry has monopolised my life.

I've learnt a lot of lessons along the way.

These have taught me a lot about success, failure and myself. 

The thing with wisdom, (and often with life lessons in general), is it's usually learned in retrospect. 

Here are 23 powerful lessons so far...

  1. The world is designed to make our life comfortable

    Avoiding the comfort trap is the difference between who you are and who you could have been. Be comfortable with the uncomfortable.  

  2. Being in control of your time is being in control of your entire life

    There is nothing else worth controlling.

  3. Society will constantly define success and failure

    Realising what they mean to you is called self-awareness.

  4. Compounding is the biggest miracle of life

    Most things take longer than I expect and consistency/controlling my impatience is hard.

  5. Exercising teaches you discipline and patience

    Focus on the process and not the end results.
  6. Create healthy systems and habits

    Embrace procedures and tasks. Learn how to do the small things consistently that will compound and add up to the big things. Systems create results, habits create you.

  7. Stay organised

    Write things down, keep a calendar, and free your mind from tasks.

  8. Expand your consciousness

    The process of finding yourself or your purpose in life is critical for self-development. Take time to focus on these things, adopt a growth mindset, reflect and improve self-awareness.

  9. Challenge yourself every day

    Embrace your weaknesses and conquer your fears.

  10. Complaining never leads to a solution

    Moaning makes me feel better in the moment but personal responsibility makes me feel better in the long term.
  11. Make decisions

    Don't procrastinate. Success waits for no one. Decide, act, adapt and thrive.

  12. Challenge your mindset

    Be open to new information and ideas, and don't stagnate with your beliefs.

  13. Embrace change

    You can't grow or learn anything without changing your way of thinking or adopting a growth mindset. Approach change with optimism, and always be open-minded.

  14. Being grateful in life for what you have is precious

    Practice gratitude. This mental clarity gives you the freedom to pursue your goals and attack each day with the right energy.

  15. Find your focus

    You are responsible for all of your problems and all of your accomplishments. Recognise your unique abilities (try Clifton Strengths or DISC) and know where your focus needs to be.

  16. Remove yourself from all negative relationships

    Family, friends, and business relationships.

  17. Judge others less

    Listening to someone without judgment is a very precious gift you can give someone.

  18. Laugh more

    Seek out the things that make you laugh, and spend time with people who make you feel good.

  19. Learn the power of no

    Stand up for yourself and your beliefs. If things don't align with your goals and purpose, say no.

  20. Practise forgiveness

    You can't move forward without moving on. Holding a grudge against someone requires a lot of effort. 

  21. Be selfless

    Go the extra mile for someone or do something for someone.  I like the motto of Dali Sanghera @Accenture 'To lead is to serve others'.

  22. Fail fast, fail forward and fail often

    Learn from your mistakes, correct them and battle through adversity.

  23. Start the day strong

    What you prioritise after waking up in the morning will dictate the rest of your day. Do the most important tasks first. 'Eat your frog.'

Do you agree or disagree with any? What lessons have you learned along the way?


Further reading

What will a recession do to you?

Why you shouldn't care what Cathie Wood buys for ARK

What I'm reading #31: Wealth vs. getting wealthier

How to live longer and happier with this financial planning secret

The 7 truths of my basic investment philosophy

Save and invest for a better life, book a call - SAM