Reflecting on Year 21: What I Could Have Done Better

“Knowledge is not enough, you must apply. Willing is not enough, you must do.” Bruce Lee

I can honestly say that year 21 has been the best year of my life. I turned 22 last week, and as I reflect I think back to the mistakes I’ve made, which have been some of my greatest lessons up to now, and the good decisions that I’ve made, which will continuously prove to be some of the reasons why I will be successful in my endeavors in the future.

When I think about what I did right, I’m using a criteria that goes something like, an action or a state of mind that I adopted that has brought joy, excitement, and direction into my life. I’d then define mistakes as decisions or states of mind that have slowed me down and lowered my sense of direction, joy, and excitement, but nonetheless proved to be invaluable experiences that I would not take back.

One of the best decisions that I made early on, I’d say, last October, was adopting the principal of living my life in the pursuit of health, wealth, love, and happiness. It has become a fundamental shift for me and will continue to be for the rest of my life. It has brought me a massive sense of direction in almost every core aspect of my life that I did not have before. It helped me cut out all of the confusion about what it is that I as Matthew Jacquet, and as a human, should be focused on. Because of these pillars, health has been a major focus for me. I’m now in the gym regularly, eating much more conscientiously, and am currently in the best shape I have ever been in. This decision has brought me a massive increase in confidence, productivity, mental clarity, and self love.

As another indirect result of health, but a direct result of my boost in confidence, is that I have learned to love myself and love somebody else. Love has always been a challenge for me. I’m still young so I don’t expect it to necessarily be easy, but still it has been something that I have been able to integrate into my life with little to no confusion or pain. After being in a relationship with the same woman now for almost a year, I can honestly say that the rewards have been enormous. The joy that has arisen out of it was probably one of the major reasons why year 21 seemed to fly by. I am so grateful for this experience and it motivates me to be a better person because I have learned that how you treat your partner is a direct reflection of how you feel about yourself. Self-love is a prerequisite to all other types of love, as without it we are incapable of being loved to the fullest as we are not yet capable of loving ourselves.

Attaining wealth has been the hardest for me up to this point, as expected. I have spent the past year studying, and learning religiously through books, videos, and seminars. The idea of becoming a lifelong learner has stuck with me, and adopting it as a life-long doctrine has been by far one of the most beneficial decisions I have ever made. Education does not stop when class is over, or when college is over. In this world of over 7 billion people, it is almost impossible to get ahead if you are not a learning machine. As Warren Buffet, and countless other successful people have said over and over, “The more you learn, the more you earn.” To say that I have been the best in-class student would be deceitful, but as a auto-didactic learner, I have found the light as to how to absorb information on a daily basis. The do’s and don’ts of health, business, marketing, happiness, sales, psychology, chemistry, history, philosophy; have all crossed my path and will continue to for the rest of my life. I believe that becoming a learning machine is one of the keys to reaching my financial goals.

But though I have made great strides in the major pillars of my life that have brought me happiness, I must admit that I have made mistakes and a lot of them. Perhaps the biggest mistake that I personally have made that I feel has brought me the most problems and setbacks, has been not taking enough action. Though the people who have been the closest to me would doubt the validity of this crucial mistake, as through their eyes I have already taken action to my goals, I know that I could have done so much more. This past year I had dedicated so much time to being a learning machine, and to studying my craft of business so that I could someday say that I have maximized my potential and have become the man that I dreamed of being. But where I failed was in the direct application of that knowledge. What this has done is left me with unfinished projects, a slower rate of progression, less financial rewards, and an uncomfortable feeling that I have not done enough.

I once saw a quote by Bill Gates that said “You’ll never be 100% ready, just start.” As I look back, I realize I have stunted my own progression by seeking perfection in my method, application, and trying to attain ultimate confidence in myself. Procrastination has been an issue for me. I will never be 100% ready, I will never be 100% confident in myself. True, deep learning, not only comes from being a sponge to the information, but also to the practice and application of that knowledge.

I could continue to derail myself of all of the things that I have done wrong, but doing so may not bring much value to any of my young readers. I say this because at the end of the day, I am young, we are young, and we will always and should continue to make mistakes. We learn from them as they are some our best teachers. Our mistakes are signs that we are trying and constantly stretching ourselves in the pursuit of our goals. What I really wanted to share was my own experience in my self-improvement journey up to this point. I wanted to look at myself honestly and tell myself and the world my biggest mistake because it is a mistake that I feel holds so many of us back in the short and long-term. Take action, don’t be afraid to trip and fall, don’t make excuses as to why you can’t start today. Start that business, get your health together, cut those bad habits, improve your relationships; start today and go after it like there are a 100 people trying to take it all away from you.

Let me know what you think

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