There’s seven challenges that in your 20s that I want to tell talk to you about. I want you to see down the road from where you are now. So what are seven of life’s greatest challenges?
1. Learning to Like Yourself
I have to tell you, I’m a big fan of me, and I am so utterly flawed. I’m extraordinarily annoying to probably half the population, I’m high energy. I mean really, really high energy. I’ve always got an idea. I’m extremely confrontational. I’m extremely confident.
…But I’m not six-foot-two and I don’t have broad shoulders, but I’ve learned to like myself. I’m a big fan of me, and however I’m created I believe I’m created exactly like this for a reason.
I’m telling you right now, you need to learn to like yourself because if not, everybody who criticizes you is going to damage you. It’s going to weaken you. And you’re never going to be able to achieve anything great. How can you achieve anything great if your self-esteem is fragile?
At this point, there’s nothing you could tell me that’s going to really damage me from the outside. The people closest to me can pull me aside, and they do, and I keep trying to improve. It doesn’t mean I’m happy with the current version of me all the time, but you need to learn to like yourself.
2. Learning that Losing Sucks and Winning is Worth the Effort
This is a life lesson too many people aren’t learning today. We have a youth sports now where they don’t keep score anymore! That’s the most insane thing I’ve ever heard of.
You have to learn that losing does suck, and there’s a consequence for losing. There’s a consequence you’re not being good at something, and winning is absolutely worth the effort.
I remember my son wrestling in high school, and I would encourage him to condition and do different things, and I would tell them, trust me, winning is worth it. The sacrifice is worth it. It’s the same thing in life. Winning in life is worth it. Losing sucks, and it’ll always suck, and somehow people just get used to it and it shocks me. I hate losing. I can lose and I can shake somebody’s hand and tell them, good job, but it doesn’t mean I like it because I don’t.
3. Discover How to Financially Support Yourself
That scared me to death in college because you naturally assume when you finish college, you’re going to walk out on the last day and you’re going to get a job. I end up taking a job for free, but discovering what you can do to the level that somebody will pay you and hopefully pay you well, that’s a challenge. That’s scary.
4. Discover Your Purpose and Passion
A job can be a job but it doesn’t mean it’s your purpose and your passion. That may offend people. You really should do what you’re passionate about.
Well guess what? I’m passionate about playing golf, and I don’t know anybody stupid enough to pay me to play golf…but I’d like to do it every morning. I wish I could get paid for it, but I don’t think golf courses are a great investment, so it doesn’t fit my purpose or my passion but I absolutely love doing it…
I think my purpose is educating people in entrepreneurship. I love equipping, encouraging and educating entrepreneurs, but guess what? To be able to do that, it took 25 years of starting and managing companies. Do I give up those so I can just do my purpose? No. I’ve got tons of employees that count on me. I have businesses that are established.
You’re going to have to do things that pay the bills, and then with that, you’re going to find things that are your purpose and your passion, and if you can roll them all into one, great! But doesn’t always happen.
The example I would give is Richard Branson, who recently went to space.
That’s a passion. It’s not necessarily a business that might end up being viable, but it didn’t matter anyway. It was his passion.
It’s all these businesses over the last 50 years that he had, that’s going to allow him to be able to go to space and maybe turn it into a business, but if he doesn’t have Virgin-everything for the last 50 years, succeeding and becoming a billionaire, that never happens. It’s the compound effect of starting companies that allowed him to do that.
5. Learning to Like and Accept Those Different from You
This is shocking, but the world is made up of a lot of people that don’t look like me, and I’m good with that. There’s a lot of people that don’t look like you. Having the general understanding of being able to work with anybody, as somebody who employs people, is important.
I like that I can pretty much get along with anybody, no matter how different they are than me.
6. Learning to Get Back Up When You Fail and You Will
If you haven’t had a “big failure”, you haven’t tried enough. I’ve had a ton of them. They’re expensive. They hurt. They’re embarrassing.
I’ve had businesses fail, I’ve had real estate deals fail, I’ve had personal failures to tremendous things of that nature. You get back up. I always said that if I could have super powers, one I would not want to ever have is the ability to see into the future. If I would have saw all the different challenges I would have in life, I wouldn’t have done 90% of the things I’ve tried, because everything I’ve tried ended up being 10 times harder than I thought.
7. Learning to Give Generously
When you can give money away, making money is really easy. That’s all I can tell you. When you can effortlessly give it away, making it is just very easy.
I’ll never forget, one of my closest friends said to me in college after I did something generous when I really didn’t have any money, “You’re going to have the gift of giving”.
He said, “God never gives us the gift of giving unless we have the gift of getting”. And it’s true, I’ve always given away money, and I’ve always figured out how to make exponentially more than I gave away.