As much as it pains me to admit it, I’d genuinely say that up until my early-to-mid 20s, apart of me was not who I really should have been. I wouldn’t say I was living a lie but I would go as far as saying that although I didn’t care what people thought on the surface, an aspect of me did care deep down. I prided myself on having the degree, I spoke about accomplishments I had achieved, that, on the grand scheme of things, really weren’t of much significance when I reflect back. I had this idea that making a buck was all that mattered and that it would bring me true happiness and freedom. 

Fast forward nearly a decade, two kids and a wife later, a few humble years of experience under my belt in the working world and a tonne more responsibilities, I’ve learned a little more. Certainly I’m aware I’ve got a lot more to learn and more experience to gain only being in my early 30s now but I’ve come a long way since I tried to make a mark in the world at the baby age of 22.

I care less more now about wearing the shirt that makes me feel or look a little more well off than I was at the time and now moreso enjoy feeling comfortable in my hoodie and jeans knowing I’ve earned my dues as a hard working dad, really putting in the hours for myself and my family. I respect patience a heck of a lot more and realise that being 30 is still just as young as 20 and life has many more lessons and experiences ahead for me. As they probably do you if you’re reading this. 

One of the benefits to flipping the way I look at life and moreso myself compared to a decade ago is that I’m more open to opportunity. People respect honesty and integrity in this world. I’ve been able to build relationships with professionals and friends alike that have been both mutually beneficial and rewarding, not just a little financially but also when it comes down to reputation. People easily forget the good you did yesterday when you’ve only done good a handful of times. But do good often, genuinely from the source of who you really are, when you’re comfortable with your true self, and things seem to work out a little better. 

I guess in this post I’m trying to encourage you to be yourself, and love yourself for who you are. Cliché, I know. But really, go back and read the words a little closely, and read in between the lines. As often as we’ve heard the phrase encouraging you to be yourself and to love yourself for who you are, it carries a certain truth. 

Be you. Do you. Invest in you. And chase what calls you. I speak only from a little experience but none-the-less experience that in some respects costs me dearly. And if you haven’t found out what that is yet, then do what makes you happy while you’re busy being your true self and I’ve got a feeling you’ll end up closer to the place you hope to be at. 

Ivan. 

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