Closing in on 2018 and hitting a few major milestones over the past year has really made me stop and think about years gone by and how they’ve shaped me as a husband, father, athlete, and business owner.
In one of my thoughtful moments, quietly laying down with my youngest son, my mind wandered through my life, pieced together in 10 year increments. Here are the most powerful lessons I’ve learnt.
The first 10 years
What did I learn? HAVE FUN
Growing up on a family farm in country Victoria was incredible. I helped the family out by doing my chores, played a whole heap of sport, and enjoyed spending time with friends. But my strongest memory was the fun I had being outdoors, no real agenda or plan, and simply enjoying ‘old school’ FUN and subconsciously nurturing my own creativity, imagination, and connections to both the great outdoors and how I interacted socially. Technology was limited back then and wasn’t a real focus for me and to be honest, I see that as a blessing. A time without the demands of technology and simple, healthy fun, seemingly so small and insignificant at the time, really defines now how I feel about my childhood. Nowadays, I think we sometimes lose sight of this gentle message in our daily, sometimes stressful lives. So, if you’ve got kids remember to get them outdoors and to get out there with them! This free-range fun is what they will cherish and remember.
And always try and remember the kid within you. The essence of you. When you’re at work, why not take your game face off every now and then and enjoy your time there too. Life really does go so quickly so always remember to have fun.
What did I learn? DON’T TAKE ANYTHING FOR GRANTED
Obviously schooling was a big part of those years and I probably could have studied a bit harder, achieved some better results (Dr Pidgeon) and listened more (hindsight – how many of us say that?!), but around 17 and 18 was when my life took a turn that was very unexpected. I lost my biggest inspiration, my father, in a farm accident and then about six months later one of my good friends also passed away in a car accident.
So, at age the tender age of 18, that rocked me to the core. And my life could have either way.
Thankfully, it went the right way and I took a positive out of a couple of heartbreaking negatives. It gave me a level of maturity I wouldn’t have otherwise known and a real sense of gratitude. I realised that we shouldn’t take a single moment of life for granted and that we should take the time out to to be grateful for what we’ve got, who we are, and where we’ve come from. This is what sets us well for the future.
For a moment, be grateful for what you have now and forget about what you don’t have.
What did I learn? HAVE DIRECTION, BE COURAGEOUS AND TAKE ACTION
In my early 20’s, I was a Physical Education teacher. During this period I became quite stale and wasn’t content with the thought that my next 20 to 30 years was going to be doing the same thing followed by quietly drifting into retirement. I wanted so much more. During this time, ‘The Cashflow Quadrant’ was a life defining book for me that really taught me to open my eyes to the world that was out there waiting for me. This lead to running my own business, property investing and then the natural progression to property and business coaching. But had I not taken any action, none of this would have happened. What taking action actually does is it opens doors and gives you more opportunity than you could ever imagine.
Don’t look back in 20 years time and say ‘Well, I would have loved to have done that but I didn’t have the courage’. If you have a burning ambition inside you, get out there and DO IT.
My 30’s to now
What did I learn? SURROUND YOURSELF WITH THE RIGHT PEOPLE
These years for me were a lot about family and my beautiful wife Amy who I met over 10 years ago. We now have three fantastic children who we are lucky enough to spend a lot of time with. Through my 20’s and 30’s I spent most of my time working really hard and as a result, sacrificed downtime. What I realised though, was that I was working harder, not necessarily smarter. With family and my health a priority, my 30’s to 40 was about fine-tuning my income generation so that I had a really good balance of work versus lifestyle and spending time with my family. Throughout your life, it’s so important to surround yourself with the right people. Obviously the immediate family you’ve got, but also the people you bring into your life. Make sure they lift you, support you, give you the confidence, motivation and encouragement to do what YOU want in life and not the reverse. Don’t waste your time and energy with those who are telling you the opposite because it really does affect the long-term outcome for yourself.
Think about the people who surround you. Do they give you what you need to get to where you want in this life? If they don’t, it might be time to start re-evaluating your circle.
Head Business and Property Educator
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