31 Candles

Tomorrow I’ll be turning 31. Instead of writing about being 30 at the start of the year, I want to share my thoughts on the last day of it.

I could speak directly to experiences in my life (I’ve had many wonderful ones!), things I’m thankful for (the list is long), or people who mean something to me (close connections have made me who I am). Instead of that, I want to touch on a few points today that have impacted me deeply: 

  1. Comparing yourself to others – It’s easy for me to look at others and compare myself to them. I could use another’s station in life to mentally push them down in order to lift myself up. I could look with jealousy at someone who, from my viewpoint, has it better. All of that is pointless, and damaging to relationships and my sense of self. Instead, my goal is to strive to be the best version of who I’m meant to be. If there’s to be any comparisons made, it should be between where I’ve come from and where I intend to go. My journey isn’t the same as anyone else’s, and to create comparisons isn’t healthy or accurate. 
  2. Leadership qualities – For me leadership has been an interesting thing to discuss and an odd ideal to pursue. We can talk about servant leadership, micromanaging bosses, or absent managers. In my experience a little book, “Turn the Ship Around!”, has been one of the best pieces of advice on the topic. A true leader looks to create leaders that think one level higher than their rank (in a naval context). Instill in others autonomy and guidance to make their own decisions, then back them up or gently steer them in the right direction.
  3. Striving in your career – Without vision you won’t go anywhere. There’s an interesting point between going all in on an idea, fully invested, versus not caring or simply holding back. Over the past year I’ve seen opportunity to push the boundaries on things I’ve believed in. The results, while not what I expected, have still brought about answers that can move things forward. The takeaway for me then is: in the work you pursue strive to do something worth doing, go big, be daring. However, in the doing, don’t invest all of your being into that work, keep a part set aside for your outside of work life. 

This life is a special one that we’re given. I want to use it to build relationships that matter, and help lift others up.