Some lessons I was lucky to have learned early…
The first is to find your strength and align it to a higher purpose, or conversely find your purpose and build a skill to fulfill it. Soak up new challenges and opportunities like a sponge, even if you don’t know it all. Never turn down an opportunity just because you have your sights focused on a narrow vision of how your life must play out. Know that your past experience is never wasted. I have returned many times to skills, industries and activities that I thought were long forgotten.
The second is to protect your energies like precious gold. Run, don’t walk, away from negative people and bigots who spend their time dissing “them” or “those”. Don’t waste time on revenge or rehashing old grievances or imagined slights. Use that energy instead to focus positively on learning from it, making change, driving forward. In the end you won’t even care whether the person who did you harm knows where you ended up, you’d have moved so much past it.
The third is don’t be a silent bystander, and don’t let your loyalties lead you to let injustice pass. The fond description “loyal to a fault” is the reason why bigotry in this world goes unchecked. Cronyism, Racism, Nepotism. Intolerance. The death of merit and talent is the result of misplaced loyalties. When your “loyalties” prevent you from standing up for truth, letting loved ones know the path they’re on, calling out human rights violations perpetuated by your religious leaders, reporting harmful signs of mental illnesses, and embracing outsider talent, you do a great disservice to yourself, talented individuals, societies, organisations and nations. Be proudly disloyal.