My name is Blake Fletcher and 1 1/2 years ago I quit my job to start a podcast called Half Hour Intern. On the show I interview people about either a career or hobby that they are really passionate about. We get to hear amazing stories, great advice, and learn a lot more about what everyone around us is doing all of the time. The thing that I love most about working on the show is getting to meet amazing people from all over the world. The guests are always so candid and give me such insight into their lives and what they do. Often they drop truly insightful pieces of advice and divulge the heartfelt lessons of a life well lived. After over 150 episodes I can definitively say that these 7 things are the most important lessons that I have ever heard. Not all of them are novel, but good advice can never be given too many times.
Enjoy the top 7 lessons I have learned from the past 150 interviews I have done
#1 - CUDDLE MORE
“If it’s someone that you’re already cuddling with and comfortable with, just do it more…practice in touching, practice in relating really authentically and openly, and that’s what we all need a lot more of is just practice in these things”
This is probably the most straightforward and awesome piece of advice on the list, so I won’t expand on its simple greatness. Cuddle more. Touch more. Be authentic more.
#2 - WORK HARD
"Don’t look at work as something that is bad, look at it as an adventure and look at it as a thing to do so that life doesn’t get boring”
I’ll be the first one to say it, I don’t feel like working hard every day. I don’t feel like waking up earlier than I have to. Sometimes I don’t feel like making another post or trying to sell myself. Unfortunately, and fortunately, this is nearly always what separates those that make their dreams a reality from those that do not. As Cameron says, we seem to feel like everything can and perhaps should come easy, but that is just a lie that we tell ourselves. It didn’t come easy for anyone else, and it probably isn’t going to come easy for us either. Wake up a little earlier, work a little harder, and sleep happy knowing that you’re doing everything you can to succeed.
#3 - DROP YOUR EGO
“If you want to get anywhere, if you drop your ego it becomes a bridge and you can walk over it.”
Tim is an amazing person and does absolutely amazing work helping Australian veterans. While Tim was in the Special Forces he had an epiphany that he credits with changing his life and the lives of those around him, particularly in the Afghanistan War. Tim realized that everyone, including himself, was so worried about protecting their own egos and saving face that they were unable to get where they needed to be mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Like most things in war, the ramifications of this were heightened in Afghanistan. Tim realized that he could sacrifice his ego and use it as a bridge to get where he wanted and needed to be. This helped every soldier he came in contact with in Afghanistan. We all can remember a time when we refused to apologize to someone, only to have it hurt us in the long run. We all know of areas in our lives where we probably need to be more honest with ourselves about what we can achieve, how we are currently performing, or what type of effort we are putting forward. Yet, we put off even having that conversation with ourselves at the expense of our ego. Our ego remains intact, but our potential is left unfulfilled. Drop your ego and build an ego bridge. Use your ego bridge to take you from where you currently are to where you want to be.
# 4 - LISTEN TO YOUR HEART
“My boss was super cool, super nice. The job paid well, I worked four days a week. Birthday and Christmas my boss was giving me something super dope every year. Free concert tickets, bonuses out of nowhere…an unbelievable set up! But I was completely miserable.”
In the majority of our lives we are told to, expected to, and often rewarded for thinking with our head and not with our heart. I’ve learned that thinking with your head can only take you so far, and with the most important decisions in your life you need to let you heart do the talking. Think of going on a date and having it just not ‘feel’ right. Maybe you’ve been on such a date. Everything looks good on paper, they’re everything you think you should want, you and this person should be clicking…but…you’re not. We will somehow easily walk away from this in a dating setting, yet too often settle for ‘good on paper’ in our careers or other areas of our lives. I say, if it’s not good enough for a person that you are going to be spending a good portion of your life with, it should’t be good enough for a career that you’re going to be spending a good portion of your life with. Listen to you heart, listen to your soul. They know a lot more than we give them credit for.
# 5 - PERSEVERE!
“You know, it’s 2 1/2 years of nothing happening and expecting nothing to happen, and then all of the sudden it just explodes and you’re like, what happened?!”
There are so many stories from the 150 people I have interviewed on my podcast that illustrate this lesson. Travel blogger, Musician, and YouTube Gamer are three of my favorite examples. Time and time again people hang in there, often past when they think they should have, and in the 11th (or 12th or 13th) hour everything clicks. Sales start to come in, people start to subscribe and follow, dreams become reality. If the stories that I hear on a regular basis are any indication of what to expect in life, expect it to not go as you planned. Expect it to not happen on the timeline you had planned on…probably expect it to take longer. But always hold out hope, always persevere. Years in, at your lowest moment, just when you’re ready to throw in the towel, it might all change.
# 6 - LIFE IS SHORT
“Life’s so freakin short, why not put your all into something that will make you happy. If you can be successful that’s great, if you can just survive then that’s awesome too”.
In many different ways we allow fear to hold far too much power over our lives. DO NOT let your goals in life or the possibilities that you lay before yourself to be effected by fear. The week before I quit my job to start the podcast I was really scared. The day before I quit I was terrified. All I could think was, "If I am this anxious and afraid now, how bad will it be after I no longer had a job?" I considered backing out. What kind of person quits their cushy job with the salary they need to survive to start a ‘business’ that they know absolutely nothing about, that will pay them no money for the foreseeable future? Do you know how many horrible ‘what if’ questions popped into my head? Nearly every 'what if' road led to me being homeless and unable to ever get another job ever again. The fear was strong. I breathed deep, put my head down, and went through with quitting. You know what? That day before I quit was the absolute most scared I ever was. As soon as I quit and committed to the unknown, committed to working hard to make a new life for myself, all of my fear went away. I occasionally have small bouts of anxiety about finances or other things, but I have never felt what I would call fear ever since I quit. Once you look a monster in the face, it’s just not that scary anymore. You realize everything will be okay. Ask yourself, “what do I want to do with my life?” If you come up with an answer that is different than what you do now, you owe it to yourself to at least try and go for it. Look your monster in the face and go for it. Worst case scenario, you’ll have a great story to tell your grand kids one day.
#7 - DON'T BE SO HARD ON YOURSELF
This is not a lesson learned from the story of one guest, but rather a lesson that I learned from listening to guest after guest talk about their path in life and seeing the one misstep that it seems we all make. We are far too hard on ourselves. You, reading this right now: there is a 100% chance that you are too hard on yourself. Follow the rest of these lessons; chase your dreams, cuddle more, work hard, but while doing all of it have the same level of compassion for yourself that you would for anyone else. If you slip up, just get back up and get to work again. No need to chastise yourself. We subconsciously think that being hard on ourselves is the only way to keep in line, but that simply isn’t the case. What you focus on expands, so focus on the positive, not the few things you could’ve done better.
That’s it! If you follow just one of those lessons, I’m sure your life will be better for it. If you manage to follow all Seven, please contact me and let me know how it’s done!