21 Suggestions for Success

This September I moved into a new house. One day, I noticed a sign tucked away in the corner by the living room fireplace. It read, “21 Suggestions for Success: by H. Jackson Brown Jr.Instantly, I was intrigued! I had never heard of such a concise, useful list, so I sat down and read it carefully. A lot of these points are seemingly obvious, however I truly believe most of us forget them on a day to day basis. The other ones made me stop and seriously think for a minute, and it hit me just how important each and every point here is to remember. This list is a wonderful motivator and reminder to have, and that’s why I wanted to share it as well as my thoughts on it with you.

  • Marry the right person. This one decision will determine 90% of your happiness or misery.

Right off the bat, this was one of those that made me stop and think. It’s true- once you move away from your family and start your own career, whoever you decide to marry will be your new family. They will have the power to support you or not- financially, emotionally. A good partner is someone you should be able to share life with through the good and the bad, making life easier to get through because you’re together.

  • Work at something you enjoy, and that’s worthy of your time and talent.

The part that stuck out to me here was “that’s worthy of your time and talent.” At the end of every day, do you feel that you’ve accomplished things that pushed you and fulfilled you? Take a second and think of what truly is worthy of your time and talent.

  • Give people more than they expect and do it cheerfully.

Nobody likes an unhappy person. Whatever you do will seem extra well done if you’re genuinely  happy to do it. 

  • Become the most positive and enthusiastic person you know.

This one takes a lot of energy, and possibly self reconstruction, which is a major commitment. However, it’s all in the mind. Only you have the power to change you. Isn’t being positive and enthusiastic everyone’s goal in life?

  • Be forgiving of yourself and others.

This one is really hard, but that’s why nobody says “success” is easy. Personally, I struggle with forgiving myself, and that’s something I’m trying to work on. It’s easy to forget to be easy on yourself when you have so much pressure and self expectation, but this is all about growth and awareness!

  • Be generous.
  • Have a grateful heart.

It’s important to remember to be grateful for the little things in life- after all, it’s the daily stuff people end up missing, right? Again, trust me when I say you’ll get so much more out of life when you are generous and grateful.

  • Persistence, persistence, persistence.

Simply don’t give up. Just that easy… hey? Just kidding. It’s hard to keep putting yourself out there and out of your comfort zone, but it will pay off if you don’t stop trying. 

  • Discipline yourself to save money on even the most modest salary.

This one can feel like a massive lifestyle change, but it is possible and super important. There’s nothing worse than having a big unexpected repair bill and no way to pay it. It’s always better to be prepared, even if that means you have to go without a lot of things.

  • Treat everyone you meet like you want to be treated.

Everyone, and I mean everyone. In my opinion, there’s nothing in life that’s more difficult than consistently being the better person, but if you are, you’ll have a lot less regrets in your life.

  • Commit yourself to constant improvement.
  • Commit yourself to quality.

These are essential- people change, and you can change for the better. Like starting with this list! There’s nothing better than being committed to improving yourself, whether that’s at work, school, in your hobbies, anything!

  • Understand that happiness is not based on possessions, power or prestige, but on relationships with people you love and respect.

It’s truly all about who you spend your life with and surround yourself with. Are they positive influences or do you feed off drama, gossip and negativity with them?

  • Be loyal.
  • Be honest.
  • Be a self-starter.

These are super important in all aspects of life- professional, personal, in your relationships, and so on.

  • Be decisive even if it means you’ll sometimes be wrong.

This is something I definitely struggle with. It’s hard to make big decisions when you don’t know how they’ll turn out. The lesson here is that sometimes you have to take risks and if it works then it works, and if it fails then you’ll learn for next time.

  • Stop blaming others. Take responsibility for every area of your life.

This one’s a biggie!!! And I mean, it’s huge. To me, this is arguably the most important point out of the whole list. If all you do is blame others, that means you’re not reflecting on yourself. If you’re not reflecting, then you’re not improving or changing. If you think everyone around you has a problem and you don’t, maybe you should reassess and you might find it’s actually you with the problem. It makes a person feel terrible and belittled to admit when they’re wrong, but at least you won’t be pushing your supporters away. Of course, it’s also important to remember that it isn’t always going to be you with the problem.

  • Be bold and courageous. When you look back on your life, you’ll regret the things you didn’t do more than the ones you did.

This point couldn’t be more true. Take risks and experience new things, and it’s even better if it’s outside of your comfort zone! You’ll have much more to look back on.

  • Take good care of those you love.

It’s worth your time and energy. There’s nothing as special and precious as the people in your life.

  • Don’t do anything that wouldn’t make your Mom proud.

Come on, this one’s a given!

I hope these points made you think a little and reassess some things in your day to day life. Whether that’s how you handle certain situations, treat yourself and those around you, or committing to put in extra energy for self improvement.

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