30 Life Lessons I Learnt In 2020

  1. Death & Catastrophe Is Imminent: The death, illness or debilitating deterioration of the health of my parents is imminent within the next day to 15 years if they keep their current lifestyle. Disaster, death and suffering is coming, it’s not a question of ‘if’, it’s a question of ‘when’. Are you prepared for those dark days ahead? Who will you be and who do you want to be when catastrophe arrives?
  2. Others Aren’t Less Worthy Than You Because They Live Differently: You don’t need to deploy your thesis of how to live onto others just because you see they’re not living your version of an ‘optimal life’. Just because someone doesn’t have similar standards to you, doesn’t mean they haven’t attained their own success, meaning and fulfilment. Lead by example and if they want help they’ll put their hand out or follow the standard of excellence you lead your life by. Stop judging others for their standards. Just live your standards.
  3. Don’t Oppose Others Brazenly: You don’t need to oppose others whose way of life you disagree with. Pick your battles — ask yourself, can you provide meaningful conjecture that will positively move you and the other forward towards meaning psychological enrichment?
  4. Bare Your Soul More: “You always fix everyone else’s problems, but you don’t stay long enough to let them know your own insecurities, vulnerabilities and who you are. So you think you’re connected to all these people but they don’t feel connected to you. They just trust you can help them out.” People need people. The deeper connections you can cultivate with others the more fulfilling and rewarding your life will be. So sit down and take time to engage with people to show them who you are by expressing what makes you hesitant, vulnerable and uncomfortable.
  5. Talk Less — Be More: If you want the world around you to be better then BE BETTER. “What you are speaks so loud that the world can’t hear a word you’re saying”.
  6. Don’t Work With People Who Aren’t Demonstrating Commitment To Help Themselves: You can’t help people who don’t want to help themselves. So it comes down to what you are willing to accept — what are your standards? “You can’t force someone to see their gold mine of potential if they can’t see it within themselves first.”
  7. It’s NOT Always Better To Ask for Forgiveness Than Permission: Relying on others to pay you forgiveness for your conscious errors of judgement in an effort to find loopholes to make your life easier is not safe, smart or thoughtful. It’s selfish and doesn’t consider the other person or groups of people that are affected by that decision.
  8. When Overwhelmed With Tasks, Go On Offensive & Run The Sprint: LIST all the tasks you have obligated yourself to do. RANK them in order of significance. ASK what is the lead domino task that will make other tasks easier, less of a cognitive burden or irrelevant. These are the tasks I usually procrastinate on the most — complete those FIRST. DEDICATE a block of free undisturbed time to complete a minimum of 2 of these tasks per day or run the sprint and complete them all.
  9. Treat Your Skin Like An Organ You Care For: Niacinamide, Zinc, Jojoba Oil and aloe are a very healing mix. Also understand the skin takes weeks to heal to replace new tissue, breathe and be patient.
  10. Your Personal Legend Comes Before Everything: I must never give up or devalue my deepest purpose to placate another. If I do, ultimately everyone suffers in the end, and my purpose for Being smoulders. When I live in accordance with my personal legend a harmony between nature and potential coalesce and I can be better for myself so I can be better for others.
  11. Don’t Live As If You’re Going To Die Today OR Later: Do both. I would, will and must live with the gratitude and vigour that everything can be taken away. At the same time, I must also seek and attain betterment for myself while serving others via my pursuit of excellence for the future.
  12. To Be Good Means You Must Understand You Can Be Evil: I must confront the unlimited discomfort of my most inner darkest thoughts — not run from them, but sit with them, befriend them and make peace with them. “No tree, it is said, can grow to heaven unless its roots reach down to hell.”
  13. Live As If You’re Everyone: What if I lived knowing I would embody the life, heart and soul of every person that has, and will ever live? This would mean…every time I hurt someone, I am hurting myself. Every act of kindness I’ve done, I’ve done to myself. So treat everybody as if they were you…you’ll be better for it.
  14. Be Kind Over Being Right: The value of kindness far supersedes being right. I don’t always have to say what I think. I’m learning that when someone is in pain they don’t always need to hear the truth. They often just need to be heard…that is being kind.
  15. To Maximally Preserve Muscle During Caloric Scarcity/Deficit: Resistance train consistently. Consume 1.8–2.5g of protein per kg of bodyweight, ~0.9g of fat per kg of bodyweight of fats and fill the rest out in carbohydrates. Sleep as much as your body desires/you can.
  16. More Muscle = More Food & Easier Abs: You need appreciable amounts of muscle mass to earn the right to eat a lot of food, have a high basal metabolic rate and more importantly — be lean with high body fat percentage. You can be lean and have a 6 pack with 10–20% bodyfat but you just need a large amount of muscle bulk to present itself through that subcutaneous fat.
  17. Plan The Time & Energy Commitment of Your Studies: In any future formal studying commitments such as university; assess the workload ahead of time relative to your time commitments and responsibilities to minimise future overwhelm, frustration and stress.
  18. My COVID Experience Is Not Your COVID Experience: Everyone is experiencing varying levels of turmoil (or lack of) which predisposes their perspective and risk assessment of a pandemic resulting in stark perspective differences between individuals across every city in the world.
  19. Be Free of All Of Life’s Games & You Will Be Free: Play the games that make my life better, more effective and have a utility. If it doesn’t, why am I doing it?‘The reason to win the game is to be free of it’ You free yourself from all games by finding and pursuing your ikigai. Make sure every game in my life is chosen out of thoughtfulness, careful consideration and solid reasoning instead of obligation, necessity, or lack of something. If I beat enough of the right games I can be free of all of them.
  20. Time Is Life: My time is my life. Resentment, overwhelm and anxiety can bubble up when you are doing things because you feel you ‘have to’ instead of because you choose and want to.
  21. If You Ever Have A Family, Create Routine Time For Undistracted Family Dinners: Dedicated family dinners are important for cultivating connection and communication and will be a mandatory part of my family if I decide to have a family.
  22. Minimise & Control The Inputs Or You Will Chase Check Box Ticking Forever: Things to do will pile up unless I control the inputs better (emails, videos, podcasts, articles, research). Be more selective and strict about the videos, podcasts, articles and emails you consume.
  23. You Probably Don’t Need To Finish Your Degree: a. I don’t need to continue my degree in order to further gain comprehensive and practical foundational knowledge. I have sourced a multitude of other educational resources that have been more efficient for learning, time, cost and energy. b. A degree is an expensive ticket to credibility and authority and for me can be attained by others means through in the dirt practical results and knowledge. c. You technically don’t need it to open any door because you’re already in the room doing what you want to do (except a visa).
  24. If You Need A Home Loan Don’t Try & Make It Look Like You Earn Less To Pay Less Tax: You need to make it look like you make enough money on your next tax return in order to demonstrate to the bank that you are eligible for the loan amount you desire.
  25. “No Obstacle In Front Of Me Is More Powerful Than The Will I Have To Conquer it.”: My will is my superpower and with it I gain a mental edge by using it to dive into the depths of my soul, facing my shadows and figuring out who I am. My will = my ability to exceed boundaries, show up consistently and work smart and hard. Through this, I gain the courage to conquer anything I set my eyes on. Not with the arrogance or delusion of guaranteed success, but with the feeling inside that my will has the power to drive me to conquer the mountains that face me.
  26. You’re Capable Of More Than You Prepare For: You don’t always need to lean on the crux of feeling like you have to optimally prepare yourself to perform and be great. You ran nearly half a marathon with a friend when you never even ran half the distance before in your life.
  27. My Health Does Not Have To Be 99% Perfect Adherent: My life, diet and nutrition does not have to be 99% perfect in order to achieve a very high excellent state of performance, health and wellness. Adopting a 80:20 ratio as a maintenance is enough to satiate my joyous desires and spontaneity of life while being consistent on the base foundational habits that provide the foundation for my health.
  28. Food Is A Gateway To Connecting With Others & Experiencing Joy: The experience of sharing good food with good people is one of my favourite things to do that brings me joy and allows space to connect deeply with others — so keep doing it because it’s a worthwhile investment.
  29. Life Is About People: Life is dramatically enhanced when you share it with others you love, care for and enjoy. Priotisie these experiences and people more because you probably won’t wish you worked harder, more or longer, but you probably will wish you spent more time and said yes to more enriching experiences with people that bring you joy and light to your life.
  30. Life Isn’t Just About Productivity & Betterment: Not Everything I do has to be about the pursuit of betterment, productivity, ambition and progress. The life I’m living is not just solely dedicated to chasing excellence anymore and being better every day, it’s also about finding peace and joy in the simple pleasures of life and chasing my own curiosity.

Self reflective writings & book summaries on philosophy, psychology and human behaviour. youtube.com/emmanualalexander

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