Yesterday, I was honored to be invited to speak to some of the Grand Island High School students during their breakout sessions at an annual event called Job Search. It was held at the Byblos Niagara Hotel & Spa and it was quite a wonderful opportunity, both for the students and the presenters.

I highlighted to my audience the top ten lessons that I have learned in life and I hope that these will help you as well, especially since I have learned some of these lessons the hard way!

1) Make sure to pick a job / career that you love so that even if you come into a lot of money, you continue to do what you are doing.  Pick a profession that allows you to be awesome and exude the positive qualities that you possess.

2) Use social media responsibly and be transparent, both online and offline. THINK BEFORE YOU POST, not vice versa. When you delete a social media account (like Facebook or Twitter), your pics can be stored for up to 7 years after the account deletion!

3) Learn effective time management skills and begin by doing all your difficult tasks first! Do them early in the morning so that you enjoy doing enjoyable tasks the rest of the day. In this manner, you will have more time to do what you want.

4) Proofread everything:  please double check your texts and emails so as to avoid the dreaded “auto correct fails.” When sending emails, especially professional ones, double check the spelling, grammar, email address of the recipient and the attachment to make sure all are correct. You don’t want to send private documents to the wrong person!

5) Openly give credit to others, publicly and privately.  I highly recommend reading the book Give and Take by Adam Grant. He is a professor at Wharton and has proven through his research that those who give of themselves, their time and their information actually come out more successful, fulfilled and wealthier in the end.

6) Make manageable monthly resolutions, not yearly. Pick one goal per month and reach it by the end of the month before you begin a new one. At the end of the year, you will have 12 completed tasks instead of 4 incomplete ones. It takes 21-28 days to form a habit for a new task. Make sure you stick to your monthly goals and try to partner up with others so that they can follow up with you to see if you have fulfilled your goals.

7) Learn to speak and write effectively. In any field, these two abilities will set you apart from the rest of the crowd as a “go to” person for connecting with the public. 

8) Please learn effective money management skills and stay away from student debt. Avoid it like cancer! When you grow older, please stay away from credit card debt as well. Just remember, don’t buy things you don’t need with money you don’t have.

9) Travel often and to many different places.  Engage with people and learn to see the world from the eyes of human beings, not from a camera. You will become “half educated” just by traveling, according to Mark Twain.

10) Rise above (#RiseAbove) all negativity and naysayers. Use negative experiences to soar higher, just like a bird or a plane uses wind resistance to fly to greater heights. Don’t let negativity consume you.

Motivation Image by Maya Angelou

I ended my talk with the following quote from Zig Ziglar:

“The quality of a person’s life is in direct proportion to his or her commitment to excellence, regardless of his or her chosen field or endeavor.”

Pass on the motivation and positive thinking to others.

With effervescence and mirth,

Fahim Mojawalla

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