7 Lessons I Don’t Regret
Honestly this was a tough write for me because I don’t make a habit of wishing I could go back in time and do things differently. I do obviously like to share my experiences from the past and how I’ve grown from them here at the blog.
So why did I write this wish post then?
Because it’s my contribution to the Life Lessons Series from my new friend Abubakar. He put the challenge out and I answered.
1. I wish I Would Have Understood It Was Ok To Not Grow Up
I’ll be the first to admit there are times today that I’m just downright childish, silly and hard to take seriously. I like it, enjoy it and most everyone when they are around me feel good about themselves because of the energy.
Admittedly I also can be extremely serious. Ok, um anal is really the appropriate word. I thought it was more important to throw the creative child aspect of myself to the side and grow up so I could make some serious money because well, that’s what people who make money do.
Yeah not, so much.
It’s OK to allow your child like self to be free and creative. You don’t have to sacrifice one for the other. It is possible to live your life with a child like wonder.
2. I Wish I Had Learned Chasing Money Is A Dead End Road
Yes I wanted to make some serious money because I was tired of being a broke musician. I didn’t want to keep living my life powerless. (Money equaled power back then) I had equated having money to having personal power. I completely leap frogged over the aspect of knowing I am valuable already and that I just needed to consciously obtain life skills that supported the self in a long term growth plan.
I figured If I made more money that would make me more of a person and get me more respect.
Yeah, kinda short sighted. Although someone with money can be perceived as having it all, it’s not always true. I chased money to the point of only using it to buy drugs and alcohol to fill my voided self.
I did more drugs when I was in the manufactured home business (and almost died twice) than I ever did when I was in the metal lifestyle.
I was also more out of alignment with who saw myself as than ever before in my life too.
Money should be a result of providing a ton of specific value. Money is a great tool that allows you and I to have and create more experiences for ourselves and others.
3. I Wish Would Have Learned To Follow My Heart Rather Than My Head
When I shifted from being a musician to businessman it wasn’t for reasons of the heart.
I was influenced by the flashy new corvette my friend drove up in when I got back from my European stint with Cynic. He was making tons of cash and he was only 21. I was so jaded from feeling “screwed” by the band that I was in serious resistance of doing anything with them again. I saw myself as a victim. Someone who was taken advantage of, powerless and broke.
I emotionally reacted and told the band to go get bent when they asked me to do a U.S. tour with them and Cannibal Corpse in early ’94. I could have responded instead and objectively looked at the situation before making an emotional decision from the victim mentality.
Had I followed my heart and realized it was the music I was there for and this was just a stepping stone, I would have done it. Who knows what other contacts, gigs, and musical growth opportunities I could have had. (Little known fact, I had a good chance of joining Cannibal Corpse as a guitarist but I chose to go after my dream of playing with Cynic)
Even though I felt screwed out of being in the band, I could have said I needed to be compensated for the U.S. tour as a “guest musician” instead of doing it for free, thinking I was going to be a member of the group. (I learned as the European tour was coming to a close in late ’93 that I was a guest musician instead of an actual member. I learned by reading the inside sleeve of the CD jacket and putting forth a year of effort)
I chose reaction, resentment and money.
That decision changed the course of my creative life for almost 16 years.
I don’t regret the experience. Because of the shift I made I realize I made a vital decision that changed the course of the kind of value I provide to others today. I do it in a creative expressive way that supports change in others and aligns with their higher values.
4. I wish I Would Have Learned To Be More Responsible With Money Earlier
Keep in mind the next few lines are all story lines that contributed to several years of victim mentality.
I was never explained money as a kid. My great grandparents and great aunt made a total of around $45,000 a year between the 3 of them.
- There was never a discussion around money. It was taboo.
- There was no sit down on how to get ahead or how to start getting credit. It wasn’t discussed.
I didn’t have my first checking account until I was 22 and had gotten my first real job in the manufactured home industry as a salesman. Before that I was a dishwasher from the age of 15 till I was 19.
I finally did start making decent money at the age of 22 and I had zero respect for it.
I blew it on CD’s, movies, drugs, partying. You name it. Anything that would remind me I hadn’t chose the reality that I did.
Hell I didn’t even pay my taxes (I was self employed) and ended up having to pay the IRS monthly payments for a few years.
None of that was fun I tell you and I let all of those stories dictate a big chunk of my life.
I would have had chosen to have a greater respect for myself, my choices and my money earlier on. I forget where I read the quote but:
“Money is a terrible master but is a better servant.“
Money is not evil nor wrong, it only exposes or promotes who you are and how you perceive the world at the time. Realize money doesn’t fill your emotional holes. Deposit love in your emotional bank account everyday!
Pay yourself first, spend money on assets that will spin off more income second, that way you can do tomorrow what others won’t, because you do today what others don’t.
5. I Wish I Would Have Learned To Hold Myself In Higher Integrity
This one is a tough one to write about publicly but let’s just say with as low a self esteem as I had as a young adult I was involved in not one but two affairs. Both of which were selfish on my part and hurtful. I was the “other man” and quite frankly it sucked big monkey nuts. I ended up putting myself in positions where I got my heart broke and continued a cycle of self defeating relationships and behaviors.
I felt like I was a total douche.
I won’t get into too much detail however let’s just say I would have held myself to a higher standard, had more self respect and focused on self love.
“Situations don’t make a person, they reveal a person.” -Wayne Dyer
The choices we make today will impact how we feel about ourselves tomorrow. Weigh the impact of your decisions by what you value most. Are those values serving your greater good of yourself and those around you?
6. I Wish I Would Have Learned To Be More Disciplined Earlier
Being a classically trained violinist I learned a lot f music theory. I practiced every day. And I believe I became pretty good, however I wasn’t inspired to practice every day. I had to force myself to do it.
When I hit the metal scene I threw it all out the door and went for music from the heart. I had and still have a good ear for music but it’s a big reason why I later on feel my ability to express myself failed to hit it’s potential. (Hence why I was never considered to be a member of Cynic)
Today I also still enjoy playing guitar, piano and programming music on my mac. I’m not the most flexible musician but I enjoy the hell out of what I do create. No one has to tell me to do it, or beg me to do it. I just do it.
When it comes to writing, blogging and coaching no one has to tell me to do it. I just do it.
I’m inspired to do it and I don’t need any motivation.
Today I realize discipline isn’t required when you’re aligned with something you love. When I’m aligned with my greater sense of purpose I’ve found responsibility & discipline comes so much more naturally and easily than when I’m not.
7. I Wish I Would Have Learned To Love (Give) Myself As Much As I looked for it from Others
When I look back at all this wishing, what I’m really saying is, “I wish I would have been consciously aware of self love.”
I realize I grew up in a household that didn’t value the expression of love however that’s no longer an excuse as I am now a conscious loving person myself.
It’s always easier to be a general after the battle.
I’m a believer of everything happens exactly as it’s supposed to have happened. It’s part of our dharam. The word dharma translates as that which upholds or supports.
Everything I’ve experienced, whether I interpreted it as good or bad has lent to my dharma and the discovery of my purpose here today. There for there is no good or bad, only what is that supports our journey. This is my karma.
I know we have heard we are all that we need and all that we need is within us but the human need for connection and community is huge. It’s powerful and it’s part of our nature. Today I have learned forgiveness of myself is paramount. Forgiving me of my attachments to the past.
I’m releasing my attachments I have to things outside of myself. I am living out loud as I am today. And I am contributing to others as I am today. This is what bring me the greatest joy.
Your Biggest Lesson
What about you?
Are there something you can share in the comments that you wish you would have learned earlier in life? (But are grateful you know now)
How are you different today now that you had to go through those lessons?
Do you value those lessons or do you hold them in resistance? (You don’t have to answer this one, just think on it)
Share your feedback below.