This week might be one of the most significant weeks for me that I can remember having as an adult. First, I had to say goodbye to some really great people as I transition to a new career path next week. Second, one son started preschool and the other started daycare and with that comes a change in routines that I have to adjust towards. And of course, I am turning 40. All of this forces me to put my life into perspective and what’s brought me to this pivotal time. I sat down and sussed out what are the main pillars that I’ve found to sustain myself going into the next 40 years and shared them below.

Horizontal Rust by Franz Kline
Horizontal Rust by Franz Kline

Know thyself

Every journey begins with taking stock of your provisions, and your provisions in life are the strengths and weaknesses that combine to make up your personality. I suggest to anyone that you play on your strengths and develop your weaknesses by embracing a growth mindset that assumes you can learn and do anything. There is a path to contentment as you strive to become a better person. In fact, you might find that working on a perceived weakness introduces you to something you didn’t realize you’d enjoy and open a whole new life path for you.

I also believe most success comes from character, and building character in yourself is paramount. Finding courage to do the right things, to act with integrity, and to find resiliency in the face of adversity isn’t easy. But you can do it as long as your forgive your shortcomings and continue to strive to be a better you.

Create vision

The next step in any journey is having a map, and you should create a vision for what you want in life. Do not set your vision according to what others expect of you. Your life’s vision is wholly your own and should resonate within you. It took me awhile to learn to not judge myself based on status or possessions, but rather on the quality of work I do and my impact on other people. Get in the habit of talking about what you want to do rather than what you’ve already done. There is so much evidence that visualizing your ideal end state leads you to where you want to go. Just remember that at the end of the day, the only standard that matters is the one you set for yourself.

Embrace change

Let’s be honest, life is a struggle. There are bumps along the road, some detours, some roadblocks, but if you find joy in accomplishment, even in the little things, you’ll find a strength in yourself you didn’t realize you possessed. A lot of times it’s hard to make a change, but if it’s in line with your vision and your authentic self, you can make it happen. Never be afraid to admit that a path isn’t working for you, you are allowed to pivot in any direction you see fit.

Foster relationships

You are going to meet a lot of people along the way. Seek out those who possess the traits you want and learn from them. Be open to talking to people from all walks of life. You can learn a lot regardless of how many birthdays they’ve had or what their education level might be. I can’t begin to relate how much I’ve grown just by asking honest questions and getting back honest answers. You won’t believe how much this has helped in subjects ranging from parenting, career advice, or even home repairs.  I’d also encourage anyone to mentor a younger person who needs it. I love the advice “be the person you needed as a kid.”

Finally, one will hopefully come along who makes all the difference in your life. My advice is to marry that person.


Everything I’ve written is meaningless if you can’t execute your life strategy. Procrastination always seems to be a hurdle in life. I did a lot of research into the origins of procrastination and I believe it stems from dealing in murkiness. It’s hard to act when the path forward isn’t clear. This can cause anxiety and really hamper your desired progress. If you can find clarity, you can prioritize and execute your vision fully. This means being clear in how you map out the issues you face and devise solutions to them. It also means saying no to things that really aren’t important. Your time is your most important resource. Having the same 24 hours in a day is what unites all of humanity, so use it wisely.