5 Lessons I Learned the Hard Way

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I think the impending arrival of Baby Jack has me thinking about my legacy because I had a desire to share my failures with you today – I’m weird like that. I’m particularly thinking about the younger generation coming up that will shape our future and I don’t want them to make the same mistakes I did. If you are just getting out of high school or college and preparing to enter “real life” (whatever that means), PLEASE read my cautionary tale. Every single one of these comes down to one central flaw: a lack of patience.

  1. Don’t get married too soon – Guys and gals, I hate to tell you, but “the One” isn’t real. I made the mistake of getting swept away in what seemed right to me without being patient. I made terrible decisions in my first marriage that ultimately ended up in a divorce. Take your time, and get to know yourself before legally binding yourself to another person. People get hurt and lives get ruined. Trust me, I know.
  2. Don’t buy things to try to impress people – I felt like I had arrived at 24, so I bought the house, the car and bunch of other crap I thought made me look successful. 2 years later, I foreclosed on that house when I moved to a different state and lost my job there because of terrible decisions I made in my marriage. People get hurt and lives get ruined. Trust me, I know.
  3. Don’t try to be popular – If you obsess over #1 and #2, you definitely will obsess over this one. Being popular is bullshit and it’s incredibly overrated. I had to sacrifice almost every fiber of my soul to become something for everyone. I was utterly lost. If everyone likes you, there’s a problem. People get hurt and lives get ruined. Trust me, I know.
  4. Don’t wait to start saving money – Playing the game of “looking” the part is very expensive and will require vast amount of money to maintain. If I had saved all the money I wasted on garbage, I would have a beautiful nest egg right now. Start now because you’ll never be able to start earlier. If you don’t save now, people will get hurt and lives will be ruined. Trust me, I know.
  5. Don’t get trapped – The sum of points 1-4 will result in getting completely stuck. You will find yourself in the job that you needed rather than the career you wanted. You will have to use this job to pay off the emotional and financial debt you have accrued. It’s a long road back from this and it will take a lot of effort to reverse these decisions. People will get hurt and lives will be ruined. Trust me, I know.

I hope that by making myself vulnerable here, you will be aware of the pitfalls of a lack of patience. If you’re like me, and you’re clawing your way out of this mess, the good news is this: if bad choices got you INTO this mess, then good choices will get you OUT of it. I’ll never tell you that it’s easy, but I will tell you that the hard work is worth it.

Check back in tomorrow for 5 Lessons on Patience. I’ll take theses 5 mistakes and turn them into success stories. Everyone loves a story of redemption. People will be encouraged and lives will be restored. Trust me, I know.

I’m not done yet…

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