For the most part, life has been a daily struggle where occasionally I have learned a lot of important lessons along the way. Lessons that no matter what I’m doing or how I’m feeling remain true and consistent.

Let me share them with you and you will come to realize that some of these principles also apply to you, your friends and the world.

Change is always harder in the beginning

Why change is hard? I don’t think there is a simple answer to this question, but I will try to explain it by comparing it to a space shuttle. Did you know that a space shuttle uses more fuel during the first few minutes of flight than it does the entire rest of the trip? Why? Because it has to break free of the pull of gravity.

The hardest part is getting off the ground, changing old ways and old conditioning, which is the equivalent to gravity pulling down on the space shuttle.

Since everything just wants to stay at rest or stay the same. You will need a lot of energy to break your inertia. But once there is a breakthrough, things get easier and you will be hard to stop, even though you are now putting less effort while receiving greater results.

You can always learn from everyone and everything

If life ever had a purpose, is to learn and to grow as much as we can. Opportunities will always present to you and me in every shape and form. It’s a fool’s idea to limit oneself to only certain people and ideas. Most of our learning is done from unexpected sources.

The only problem is that in order to learn, one must first learn to understand before being understood. Why is this a problem for the majority of people? You just need to listen to a few conversations to realize how people talk. They tend to focus more in what they have to say than what’s being said to them.

Best exercise for better learning is to read a lot, and meditation, where you don’t do any of the talking. You just sit and take it all in.

There is never a one answer to everything

Sorry for busting your lazy bubble. I know how awesome is to have people tell you what to think and how to do it. Trust me, I’ve been there, and breaking free is hard. But so worth it. I think the biggest downside of thinking in your own is that is literally too much freedom in your hands. Which can and will get messy if you are not careful.

I had a horrible experience in my life because I listened to a friend, who believe life to be only a certain way, she believed it with such strong convictions that I decided to trust her instead of doing my research and following my own experiences.

I think you have seen people like this. They can have a really good-hearted cause that makes a lot of sense, like being a vegan or climate change, but they take it to an extreme and see things only in their one prospective not understanding that life is much more complicated than that.

Failure is as close as success as symbiotic twins

Success tends to hide behind failure. Often, failure is success. Just think about it, how many times have you found success right after failing. It’s all a masquerade. You must uncover each as you would uncover a Christmas present.

In many ways this makes a lot of sense. Failure is the stepping stone to success, which feeds into failure for more success. If at this point I haven’t lost you with this confusing statements, then you are halfway to understanding one of the key component of life.

Which is: to succeed you must fail.

A lot.

What has always impressed me about success is the resilience of the human spirit to do whatever it takes, for a long time while facing failure along the way.

Or better put:

[tweet_box design=”box_09″ float=”none”]Jumping from failure to failure with undiminished enthusiasm is the big secret to success.[/tweet_box]

Everyone Starts from ground Zero

No one ever wakes up being great at something. As much as the media tries to portray this fake reality where successful people were born gifted and with an unfair advantage over everyone else, it’s just not true.

Just think about all those extraordinary people who failed continuously before succeeding. Take Einstein as an example, who as a child had some difficulty communicating and learning in a traditional way. Or Oprah Winfrey, who was fired from her first television job as an anchor in Baltimore. Or Walt Disney, who was fired by a newspaper editor because he “lacked imagination and had no good ideas.” And these are not a few instances, they are the norm for anyone who was ever great at something.

Your thoughts shape the reality you experience

Better known as the law of attraction, which basically states that the way you think about your surroundings and life directly affects the outcome of the events that unfold. In other words, If you think positively, you will get positive results in life. If you think negatively the opposite will happen.

I’ve had countless of experiences in my life where this law has been so evident. Interacting with people is one specific area that seems to demonstrate clearly how powerful this law is. For example, whenever I went to say hi to a cute girl and I truly believed she was a great person, friendly and adventurous, happy to meet new people, 8 times out of 10 it would go amazingly. That’s because people are more likely to reinforce the belief you have of them.

As UFC featherweight champion puts it:

[tweet_box design=”box_15_at” float=”none” author=”Conor Mcgregor” pic_url=”http://www.ultrabodymind.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/Conor-McGregor-min.jpg”]When you carry bitterness and unhappiness things start going bad because like attracts like and your energy and mind can only focus on the negative stuff around you.[/tweet_box]

Your worst enemy is you

The only person that is stopping you from achieving all that you want, is you. You are your most powerful enemy.

Every time you look yourself in the mirror you are looking into the eyes of the person that could determine where you will end up in life. Take a good look and decide today that no matter what, you will take control of that person looking back at you.

Despite all the bad people I’ve met in my life, and trust me, at one time I almost died because a random person decided to throw a rock at me after a football match just because I was wearing a jersey supporting the other team. Despite all this, I am still my worst enemy, because I am the only one that has power over me.

Habits are the difference between ordinary and extraordinary

If we are our own worst enemy, then habits are the tools we use to either free ourselves or tie ourselves deeper into oblivion. That’s because habits form our paradigms, the glasses we use to see the world around us. And as I mentioned before, we reinforce what we believe to be true. Either that life is a great place to live and grow, or that life is meaningless and there is no point in pushing ourselves.

It’s crucial that you become aware of your habits, the things that you repetitively do each day that gives you a sense of reality. Make a conscious choice of how you want to live your life and work hard to implement daily habits to get the life you want.

Otherwise you will live an unconscious life shaped by habits that you are not even aware of.

Nothing is easy one way or another

No matter what you do in this life, nothing will be easy. Even if you do everything you can to remain in a shell, comfortable and cozy. The same comfort at some point will turn against you in the shape of regret of what you could have accomplished if you had only dear step out of that shell.

If you can’t do it today what makes you believe you can do it tomorrow

I still remember vividly the moment I came up with this sentence. I was wondering around in the concert of Chicago and Earth, Wind and Fire, when all of a sudden I stumbled upon the most beautiful girl I’ve ever seen. I immediately stopped and did a little “omg” expression followed by a cringe in my face.

After spending about 20 minutes standing in the open, dancing to the music looking on and off in her direction. A sudden rush of words entered my mind, “If you can’t do it today what makes you think you will be able to do it tomorrow”. Like that, my perspective changed and new courage grew inside me. Painfully, but determinedly I walked towards her, and said “hello”. It was easier once I understood what that sentence really meant.

By the way, she was accompanied by her mom, sister, her sister’s boyfriend and her aunt….and also her father, all which looked at me wondering what the hell was I doing.

Yup… that was awkward.

But I did it and what really matters is that I did not postpone it for another day.

Put yourself out there

Take risks and do things you don’t even believe you can do. It might surprise you one day looking back on how wrong one can be when fear and comfort clouds the view.

With the girl I met at the concert, I think the thing that was mainly holding me back was rejection. That she would dismiss me the same way people dismiss a homeless person asking for change. That by putting myself out there and my personality I would get hurt. In the end that does not matter because her response towards me is not a reflection of who I am, but a reflection of who she is.

Also, who is to say that things will not work out? The best way is to figure for oneself if it’s good or not. But has to be backed by hard data, by taking action and having experiences packed in your pocket.

Own up to it

Take 100 responsibility for everything that has happened in your life. Even if it’s not your fault. That’s the only way you will hold yourself accountable and will allow you to take a closer look at what went wrong so that the next time you are ready to do better.

Never let laziness decide who you can become

Never, ever let your body decide who you are. Or who you can become. After watching a YouTube video of Nick Vujicic (I’ll attach the video at the end), a person with no arms or legs, being so happy and doing so much with his life, there was no longer an excuse for me to ever be lazy. Or to ever complain.

When I went to see Tony this past July, he told the incredible story of a 85-year-old Catholic nun he met after one of his tours. Sister Madonna Buder who is a member of the Triathlon Hall of Fame, has completed 45 Ironman races and more than 350 triathlons. She was not remotely an athlete for the first half of her life, and only began her athletic career at 40 after a priest recommended running as a spiritual exercise.

Then he said the following that stuck with me:

[tweet_box design=”box_15_at” float=”none” author=”Tony Robbins” pic_url=”http://www.ultrabodymind.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/Tony-Robbins-Min.jpg”]You can always do more, even at the point of complete exhaustion you can always do more. There are no excuses.[/tweet_box]

Balance

Everything in moderation they say, and they are completely right. My ex-girlfriend used to tell me that all the time. I am a very addictive person. The type of person that if I pick up a good book will blast through it, or if I pick up a video game I will sit there for five hours, one of the main reasons I don’t play video games anymore.

Finding a good balance between work, family, friends and life is very important. Though there is something that really successful people have in common, and that is a deep obsession with what they do. Sometimes it’s just hard to balance things, but your must do your best.

Fear is just lack of experience

Do you still remember the first time you did a presentation in school?….No?

Well, let me tell you about mine.

When I was about seven or eight I did my first presentation, and let me tell you it went horribly. Not only was I booed, I was made fun of and bullied afterwards. My teacher instead of doing something, just let me take all the abuse from my classmates.

It has been hard to forget that experience, after that, I did everything in my control never to be put in that position again. I lied to my mom telling her how sick I was feeling whenever I had a presentation the next day. It worked most of the time, but at one point it stopped working. It was impossible to avoid all the presentations from all the classes.

Somehow though I did manage to not do any presentations until I was 13. After so long, and with so many nerves, you can guess what happened. Yes, it went terribly again. I panicked and my body shut down, leaving me motionless in front of a young audience that seemed innocent enough. This time though, no one booed me or said anything, maybe it was more painful this time because I remained silent for about one minute, whenever I tried to break the silence I would be met with my shaky voice, stuttering awkwardly meaningless words. It was the worst. I still don’t know how i survive that.

But fear is just lack of experience, and when I was in my last years of high school, I vowed to never ever be intimidated or made fools in front of an audience. This time I would practice to the point of exhaustion. And I did, I rehearsed in front of my brothers, my mom and dad, and friends. I practiced so much in front of the mirror and passing in my room. I made cards in case I staggered, that way I could just read from the cards.

By the end of the presentation I got a huge applause and the teacher congratulated me thoroughly. She even asked me to keep my slides since they were as my teacher said, “well done”.

At that age, I was not aware why I was feeling this pain inside my stomach that made me want to throw up. Once I went through this personal transformation, from lying to my mom so that I didn’t have to present, to being one of the very best presenters in my class left a clear imprint on how fear is just lack of preparation and experience, but once a task is repeated, any task, it becomes the norm.

Like I said,

I am not an expert in life and as you can see, I have failed more times that I have succeeded. Life is a struggle which, if you are willing, can teach you many lessons. Lessons that will not only change your life for the better, but also the life of the people that surround you.

These lessons are very personal to me as you can see, and I am sure some of them are personal to you too. Make sure to always be willing to be grateful for the experiences you have and turn negative into positives.

And if life gets you down, remember what rocky said:

[tweet_dis excerpt=”It ain’t about how hard ya hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.”]The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It’s a very mean and nasty place and I don’t care how tough you are it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t about how hard ya hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done![/tweet_dis]

and if that doesn’t work, then remember that there is someone out there with no arms and no legs, killing it.


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