If you were given a chance to have a one-on-one conversation with Bill Gates, Oprah Winfrey, John Maxwell or Jorge Luis Borges , I bet you’ll set aside everything for such a rare opportunity. But I bet you’d do the same even if it was just a simple, yet intimate gathering with an enthusiastic audience and a discussion with inspirational people who have succeeded in their own fields of expertise—even if they were not as famous as the aforementioned.
I was moved by the words of established and successful writers, an entrepreneur with philanthropic aims and a practical, clever Fitness and Wellness instructor during Brew 2015’s Discover What’s Special About You event, and this article is my way of thanking them for everything they taught me that day.
Here are the 8 things that I learned from all of them:
1. You don’t need to be good at everything, but you can be extremely good at one thing
This could also be a translation of “Jack of all trades but a master of none.” As cool as it sounds—it’s a downgrade. I may disagree with Oprah Winfrey for saying that one can have everything but not all at the same time. One can’t spend his entire lifetime doing one thing to another just to earn bragging rights about having everything. Be grateful for your talents and blessings given by Him. Whatever you’re good at, practice mastering your skills in it and make improvements, but also don’t forget to be driven by a higher and greater purpose.
2. Tell yourself you can
Everything starts with YOU. The moment you discover the very essence of your existence and your calling is the moment you start living. If you want to be a writer, remind yourself that you can Form beautiful words and more than that, move and inspire people through your work. To become existential, the key is to get up from bed, start seizing every moment and fight mediocrity with this mantra—“I can.”
3. Do things with love; it eventually becomes natural
I finally understood that one doesn’t need to impress the audience all the time. All you have to do is express your true self, share your message to the world, maximize your potential– and the rest will take care of itself. Don’t try to fight the pull of the universe and don’t be too hard on yourself. Just be honest with your intentions and emotions, do things with compassion, and BE YOURSELF—from there you will notice how things will flow smoothly and eventually become natural.
4. Learn from your failures
It saddens me to see people commit the same mistakes, fail terribly, and find themselves stuck in a rabbit hole, doing the same things over and over again. This mundane tendency goes on and on because people tend to think there’s always going to be a guarantee of a moral or lesson at the end, and that’s why they don’t take the time to go through a personal assessment of themselves. But this is wrong. Only those who know how to reflect and examine themselves have a high chance of not failing twice and not committing the same mistakes. These reflections and assessments will help you win your personal battle against mediocrity and will teach you to eventually paint the most vibrant and attractive picture of yourself.
5. Attempt to try even if you won’t succeed
If there is one thing worse than failing, that is refusing to try. Our subconscious always gets ahead of us, commanding us to avoid some activity because it’s risky, sabotaging our attempts to do something new because of the imminent threat of not succeeding. Well, news flash: it won’t hurt to try. Trying is not all about putting our ability to a test but it’s also about discoveries, amazing surprises and unforeseen opportunities. If you think trying something new is all about risks and a waste of time, you might as well not try at all. Go on, fail miserably. Be haunted with a voice in your head that repetitively asks, “what if I tried?” or worse, says, “I should’ve tried…” In the end, it’s your call.
6. Go out of your comfort zone
Have you ever wondered why Taylor Swift always tops the billboard’s chart? Or why the most awkward girl from your high school is now the cover of a high-fashion magazine? It’s because they stepped out of their comfort zones and discovered their worth and beauty. Stepping out of your comfort zone helps you overcome your insecurities and improve your self-esteem. As you face many consequences and obstacles outside your comfort zone, the mere fact of being average with the feeling of being ignored and restrained in the same, old zone will only urge you to become even bolder, fiercer and unstoppable.
7. Don’t jump into conclusions and judge
Everyday we come across people from all walks of life, and what we should bear in mind is to never judge them according to what we first see. A man may be in a casual button down shirt with pressed trousers or a woman in high-end fashion clothes and shiny, blinding diamonds, but those do not necessarily speak about their level of intellect, the money in their bank account, or what they do for a living. One shall never judge others!
8. Sadness can make it better
“How does it feel that the only worthy things you ever created came from the worst kind of loss?” (from Where She Went by Gayle Forman).
Life—after all—is about ironies and paradoxes. Those who love ardently and irrevocably become the tragedy, those who were buried deep in the past and have tried to forget to oblivion became the poetry, and the ones who broke hearts became the sole source of relative lyrics and a particular melody for others. Simply, we have created art and written stories out of the worst kind of agony and misery. Our creations without the pain are already good. But often times, when we start recognizing the pain, stop fighting our real emotions, and realize that they are all part of the overall formula—our creation takes its best form.