High school is good preparation for college or university. And college/university can be a good preparation for finding a job. Yet neither is very good at preparing you for general success in life.

The most important ideas and skills for successful living aren’t taught in school. Unless you have an appropriate coach or mentor (or you learnt this from your parents), you could be missing out on this critical part of your education.

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Consider these secrets to living a successful and enjoyable life that you probably didn’t learn at school.

1. Failing is an essential part of success.

In school, failing had a negative connotation, especially if exams were involved!  However, those that ultimately succeed are those that failed the most. Fail quickly, learn, adjust your process, and have another go at it.  You’ve heard the saying “Ready, Aim, Fire.  Well many successful people use the “Ready, Fire, Aim” approach.  They take action, fail and then adjust their strategy.

2. It’s important to forgive easily.

When you forgive others, you set yourself free. Forgiveness doesn’t always mean you give the other person a second chance. It means that you’re choosing not to suffer any longer.  This is such an important concept to grasp and many people never do.

3. Persistence is the ultimate power.

There are plenty of highly intelligent and talented people living close or below the poverty line. Even if you feel that you were born with the short end of the stick, you can still be incredibly happy and successful by any measure.  So many people give up when success is so close. If you have the persistence to stick at it, you can overcome almost any obstacle.

4. Find a partner that fits into your life

Suppose you have the life-long dream of spending your winters in Australia and your summers in the south of France. It doesn’t make sense to become romantically involved with someone that insists on living near their family all year. Build a life you love and then find someone that fits into your lifestyle. There are more people you could happily spend a lifetime with than you think.   Ignore the love song lyrics and know that there are many people out there that could be “the one” for you.

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5. The best investment is the investment you make in yourself.

Spend money to enhance your skills and abilities. A gym membership and the right books, audios and videos can be the best money you’ll ever spend.  Also invest in seminars and workshops that will help you succeed in whatever you put your mind to.

6. You can’t control other people.

With practice, you can learn to control yourself. When you appreciate how difficult it is to control yourself, you’ll realise how useless it is to attempt to control others. Invite people into your life that you can accept as they are and everything will go more smoothly.

7. Stay in shape.

Even the 3-sport high school athlete can eventually reach 100 kilo’s. It’s much easier to stay in shape than to get in shape. Develop an exercise routine and diet plan you can follow for a lifetime.  This gets much more important as you get older.  I bet the teachers never told you that!

8. Find your purpose.

Living in a five-bedroom mansion with two kids and a dog is not enough. Imagine having everything you want in life, but spending 8+ hours each day at a job you despise. You’ll spend a lot of time at work. Ensure that you find a career that you enjoy, is interesting and fulfilling and works with your identity and values.

 9. You only need a few good friends.

Good friends can be hard to find. Those people that you believe have 25 close friends do not. Focus on making quality relationships and creating a few close friends that you can spend meaningful time with.

10. Most of the things you worry about will never happen.

We’re all experts at creating imaginary challenges. We worry and fear the worst. Take a few moments and think about the biggest worries you’ve had. Most (probably around 95%) of them never happened. There’s plenty of time to get upset after something negative actually happens. However, it doesn’t make sense to start feeling bad before it’s happened.

It’s possible to do well in school and still struggle with life. However, life is easier than you think once you understand these secrets you never learned in school.

To your success

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