This post is also available in: Română (Romanian)
I initially wanted to write this post on the 21st of July, right on my 28th birthday. But I was too busy with other things and had no time to do it. No problem, I am still 28 for a whole year, right?
So… it’s been another whole year, I am one year older. 28 years of life…
In this special and unique occasion of my life, I want to write a few thoughts for past and future me.
It is completely against the trends of this world to trust God or even practice any form of religion so trusting God seems like an ol’ practice. Nevertheless, nothing else will bring you greater satisfaction than having God in your heart, you get peace and joy that you can’t experience in another way.
Generally, we the people are afraid of showing our real faces and we tend to use a lot of masks. Those masks should make you look good in front of other persons. More opportunities will come in your life if you’ll stick to being yourself, not a transformed version of you that the people want to see. You’re a weirdo like me? It’s your way to be, don’t be afraid and you will find people to appreciate you for the real you.
Don’t be afraid to start a family
Another thing that is against the trends, but which forms your character a lot, is having your own family. I know a lot of folks that don’t even think about getting married before 30-35 years, let alone having their own babies. In a marriage, you will have a lot of things to gain for yourself and you will improve your own person, even though the process itself is hard to stick to. It is also best if you do this step in life as early as you feel you can. The age difference between me and Joshua is 24 years and 26 years between me and Caleb. When I’ll be 44 I will have a kid in college and one having its final high school exams, if God allows it of course. The more you postpone this natural step the older you’ll be when kids have important moments in their lives. Do you really want your kids’ colleagues to ask if you’re the grandpa or the dad?
So yeah, it is hard, especially considering that when you’re young you are not so smart, you can have little money, you’re more stressed and so on, but all those things make you stronger and you learn a lot in life.
Good things happen to those who do good things
You can’t wait to be blessed in life but you’re a grumpy old dude that spreads negativity. Good things happen to persons that spread goodness.
It is ok to fail
Failure is inevitable, even though we’re talking about a job, something personal, or something minor. It is important that when you experience failure in your life you learn the actual lesson to be learned from that episode and move on stronger with your life. I know it looks like a cliché but failure should make you stronger not take you down. This year in 2021 we were waiting for the Diversity Visa answer and see if we’re getting a green card so we can move to the USA. On the same weekend when I had to receive the answer to that, I had to receive a negative or positive answer for a job at Automattic. In the same week, I got two “no”s. It was not easy, because we had plans, but the world did not end there.
You can’t be liked by everyone
When you are young you tend to have a lot of friends, but as you get older the number of friends go down. The good part there is that only the best friends remain.
Take initiative if you want to change
You might have a dream that you want to make it reality. Nobody and no one will make it a reality but you. Take initiative, do small but sure steps towards reaching your goal. Do you want to move to another country? Take the right steps in that direction, the country itself won’t invite you over. Do you want to lose weight? Cut off the food intake. It’s all about you and your decisions, not others’.
Patience is an important virtue
Your today’s dream won’t become a reality tomorrow right away. It might take years to really make an important change in your life. That’s why patience is important. Don’t force things that don’t come naturally.
The key is communication
Even if we’re talking about family, work, or any other social activity, things work better with good communication. Do you have a problem? Don’t be afraid to say it, you’ll see that it is much easier to fix things when you clearly communicate the problem.
Be transparent about your own mistakes
I remember to this day an episode from my career when I made a big mistake and I tried to hide it but after all my effort to hide it, it came to light after a while. Even today if I am talking with the persons that know about that mistake I assume they don’t take me seriously, even it is not necessarily true. If you make a mistake, assume it and be transparent, you’ll only have advantages from doing it this way.
Keep the phone in your pocket!
Many times when we are going out in the city, I remember that I have a phone and I start watching and reading a lot of things and my wife Catalina has to remind me that we went out to eat together not to browse Twitter. Life was simpler in the past without so many devices on non-stop, let’s get back to it from time to time and experience that simplicity again.
Work on your civic spirit
It is important to contribute with a tiny bit to the society you live in. Go out and vote, report the problems of the city, schedule a meeting with the mayor, send emails, write on Facebook. When doing this, I met a lot of persons that lead that never took me for real. Even on my birthday, I wrote to a local councilor about something to improve in our town and the answer was “you’re a programmer, you don’t know this, stick to programming”. This does not stop me from doing it again and again because having a civic spirit is a good thing.
It is ok to change direction anytime
The Bible teaches us not to attach to earthly things, so the fact that we’re so attached to our house or our city in this world is only our fault. It is ok to change direction in life anytime you want, sell everything, and start fresh. It is just a mental barrier that you need to overcome.
Don’t feel bad for your own decisions
If the decision you took for yourself was good for you in the end, there is no reason to feel bad about it.
Don’t compare yourself to others
There are not two things identical in this world. If you’ll try to copy another one’s steps you probably won’t get to the same result. You can’t know what opportunities that other person had, what he/she got through to be where he/she is now, how much had to be sacrificed and so on. Follow your own path.
Do things that take you out of your confort zone
Every time when I did a thing that I was afraid of or took me out of my comfort zone, I felt very good afterward, even if I am talking about a thing I did on my own or with Catalina. Doing a new thing in life helps you grow a lot.
It is OK to say no
This is a thing that I am always afraid of, “saying no”. Even if I am the busiest man in the world and a friend comes to me asking to do something, there are pretty high chances that I will do it and get even busier. It is ok to say no from time to time and I have to work on this a little bit more.
It is 100% possible to make money from your passion
Since my first job 9 years ago and to this day I have kept being a programmer. Why? Because I liked this way before working, back when I was in general school. Oh, and I can make money out of it. I have other friends that do what they are passionate about and earn money from that. It is possible and even to be desired.
Keep more memories
I have gigabytes of pictures and movies and I don’t feel bad at all about it. I have pictures since I was a little kid, photos since my wife was a kid, photos of both my boys since the day they were born and I feel like I don’t have enough yet. Having memories is a blessing for you and your close ones. Nothing will wake up memory in you more than a picture or a movie from the past.
Not everything is about money
We are looking to make money daily, from the moment we get up from bed until we fall down to sleep. This is all our lives should be about? Of course not… money is not everything. Experiences are the thing that really matters in life. We did not have a bed in our new house for over a year, was it that bad? Of course not and the memories we will have about this will be forever in our lives.
Money can make your life easier but can also make it harder. The key is to find a balance and stick to that.
“Let not the sun go down upon your wrath”
Right in the beginning moments of our marriage, there were moments when we got to sleep angry at each other. Maybe we do this nowadays too, but the frequency is not the same. You can’t know what tomorrow holds, your life belongs to God and it can end today. Don’t wait for another day to resolve your argument, it’s not worth it.
Life is a highway, so they say, and we are tempted to enter this “dance” and move at the same pace too, running non-stop towards material things and wealth. It is an important thing to know when to slow down and hit the brakes when to think more about simpler things in life that make us happy.
Wake up early in the morning
If my wife reads this now she will probably laugh because we’re in a period in life where we go to sleep late in the night and sleep until late in the morning or until the kids no longer let us. I remember the periods I was waking up at 7 AM were the most productive ones. I really want to change this in the near future and I will work on this.
No one owes you anything
The people around you that have more things than you do usually worked more so they can have those things. No one around you owes you anything, not your parents, not your friends, NO-ONE. Everything you have in life has to be earned by you. Trust only God no other person.
Start and maintain a relationship with God
If you do not know God, maybe you want to work on this aspect, but I am sure that having a real and strong relationship with God is one of the most important things you can do as a human person on this earth.
Treat everyone with respect
It is essential to show respect to everyone, even if we’re talking about the person cleaning the streets, the person that gets the garbage away from you, or our leaders. If you can show respect to those around you, people will know to show respect to you too.
You are no special that others
And no one is more special than you. I know that it sounds like a cliche, but everyone makes their own path in life. If I know more programming than you it does not make me any special than you. You can also learn programming in our own way and pace and you can even get to know more than me in a short period. You make yourself special but keep in mind that you are special just for yourself and not always for the ones around you too.
Life has an end
Even if you’re a Christian or not, at a certain point in life we all die. We have to always remember this throughout life when we are tempted to gain all sorts of material things, money, or seek wealth, houses, land, stocks, bitcoin, cars, and other things that make us wealthy. Those things only help yourself and only while you’re alive. We all leave this planet with an empty pocket. What really matters in life is to take care of your soul and make it wealthy, not gain material wealth.
You might not believe in God but the reality is the same. On top of that, what is the real advantage of having wealth and possessions on earth after you pass away if you did not have good relationships with the persons around you, if you do not have kids or someone to enjoy the things you leave on earth? No advantage, right?
It is July 26th when I am trying to finish this article. I think it is one of the articles I’ve spent the most time writing on this blog. I wrote it in a few days in Romanian and then I thought about writing it in English too so I can share it with my international audience too.
I tried to write 28 thoughts I have and I’ve experienced in the past or I want to work on in the future. I am not a guru in those areas but I want to improve myself in those. I have a lot to work on and improve in my life and in my family life, but we’re in a never-ending process of improving, aren’t we? That is why good things don’t happen overnight and not all our dreams come to reality the next morning.
Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. Matthew 6:33 NLT
The most important thing I want to improve in my life is my own relationship with God and I know all the rest will come from Him!
Happy birthday to me, merry Christmas to y’all!