Happy Tuesday #Jontourage,
Welcome back to the “Classy Gent Chronicles”, where staying classy is the only way to be. In this week’s edition, we say goodbye to the 20-year old me as this is the last week before I turn 30...
So Sunday, July 26 is my 30th birthday. It’s scary how quickly ten years go. I have met a lot of people and gained a lot. I have also lost along the way too. It’s wild to think that certain people who started 2010 with me are not about my journey in 2020 as I get ready to turn 30. With this being the last week before I turn 30, I have been in deep reflections. If I could have a sit-down talk with my 19-year-old self as he prepared to turn 20, these are five lessons I learned in my 20’s I would share with him:
1. Don’t be afraid to start over- Everyone who starts in chapter 1 won’t be in chapter 10. Keep a good group of people around you. The value of what you have around you will most likely be a reflection of what you settled for. Don’t be afraid to move out of state
2. Self-care is a must – I promise no relationship or opportunity is worth the stress. Stress is a silent killer that has killed as many people as common illnesses you hear about on the news. Make peace of mind your number one focus. Health is wealth.
3. Caring about the opinion of others will keep you from things you actually like. It’s important to remember that everyone is going to have an opinion. I was well over 300 pounds and was told I was too big. I lost 100 pounds and was told I look too skinny. I had short hair and was told I should grow my hair. I grew my hair and was told I should cut my hair. You will never please 100% of the people 100% of the time. Do you!!!
4. Success is not just defined by what you accomplish at work. It is awesome to have a great career but strive to be a good person, get your faith in order, be a better friend, even mentor someone if you can
5. God’s timing is the best calendar to live by- things won’t always happen when you want them too but they will always happen when they are supposed to. Don’t allow the success of someone else to make you believe you have done something wrong. I started my children’s’ books back in 2016/2017 and just published it yesterday (y’all know I was going to plug my books lol). https://www.authorjon.com/books.html
But in all seriousness, life sends you on so many twists and turns but the reality you live is sometimes better for you than the original vision you had. Look at this image below. This was a five-year letter I made back in 2013 for what I thought I wanted for my life by 2018. Some goals happened and some didn’t. However, I am happy with the life I live right now. TEDx was not a part of my future goals. 40 Under 40 was not a part of my future goals. I wanted to lose weight but I did not even accomplish that until 2019/2020. My male initiative professional work was not a part of my goals. Most importantly, being an author was not a part of my goals and now I have three books published. It’s great to have goals but those are just your goals, not necessarily your purpose.
Moral of the story: As my grandfather always said, life is understood backward but must be lived forward. I am excited about what 30 brings. I will go into with an open mind, a committed work ethic, and a grateful spirit. We will see what happens from there.
Remember, in order to live out your dreams, you have to think it, feel it, live it! Until next time, stay classy...
For more Classy Gent Chronicles blog post, be sure to visit https://www.authorjon.com/blog
Jonathan C. Harris is no stranger to leadership, hard work, or success. At the age of ten years old, he earned the right to be a guest weatherman for a day on Fox 5 DC News. He has already received over 100 honors and awards including Forty Under 40 for Prince George’s County, MD, TEDx Talk speaker, American College Personnel Association (ACPA) Outstanding Men’s Program, high school Valedictorian and the Kiwanis Club Citizenship Award. Raised in Fort Washington, Maryland, he has served in leadership positions his entire life, from being the manager of the school store in elementary school to the president of the Homelessness Awareness Club in middle school to the president of the National Honor Society in high school.