Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom

I believe there is nothing in this world that tops wisdom…. and wisdom not only requires experience but a deep commitment to do the right things. As Albert Einstein used to say: “Any fool can know. The point is to understand”

My take in this regard?

  1. Be yourself and develop into the person or role model you want to be. Do not ever try to be another person. In fact, never compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about. There is nothing wrong if you are a born rebel and cannot conform. Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg were all rebels. Look what they achieved in life. This is the only way you will discover who you really are and whether you have it or you don’t. I fought a lot when I immigrated to the United States back in 1982. Nothing wrong with that. Helped me become who I am today.
  2. Don’t take anything at face value. Lots of bullshit and scam artists out there. Learn how to identify them. It is an art. Equally important… Always challenge the conventional and don’t let anyone mold your mind. Listen carefully yes but make always your own opinion even if you stand alone in your views. Have debates, be an independent thinker, don’t be a snowflake.
  3. Fight not for your abundance but for the abundance of others and you will see how your life will turn around. Equally important… Trust your instincts, know what you want, and believe in your ability to achieve it. Rules and conventions are important for schools, businesses, and society in general, but you should never follow them blindly. Once you embrace unpleasant news not as a negative, but as evidence of a need for change, you aren’t defeated by it.
  4. No matter how much money you make, stay humble. Power does not roar. Power is silent. Real powerful people do not shout out loud and show off. With real powerful people, you sense their power without them uttering a word. Equally important…. Don’t ever show your money or talk about money to anyone not even your closest. Never brag about yourself – Best bragging is when people brag about you – and never bully anyone. Be nice, be effective. But if you are bullied, just obliterate the bully. Pure and simple. No questions asked.
  5. Connect with the right people. At the end of the day, you become the average of the 5 people closest to you. Choose your inner circle real carefully. They will pretty much shape your life…. Most importantly, don’t burn bridges with anyone. You will only get to regret it. No win situation.
  6. Think Bigger than life cause the worst thing at the end of your life is regretting what you should have done but rather saying to yourself I still cannot imagine how I had the balls to do what I did. Frame every so-called “disaster” with these words ‘In five years, will this matter?
  7. Be relentless in your pursuit of excellence; never give up … Most importantly quit bitching. Overnight success is 15 years. Enjoy the journey, it is not an end game. At the end of the day never forget: Your wealth is your knowledge and your network is your net worth.
  8. Life isn’t fair, get used to it and it is way too short not to enjoy it. In fact, some of the most beautiful things worth having in your life come wrapped in a crown of thorns. Believe it. Make peace with your past so it won’t screw up the present
  9. Be prepared to change yourself first before changing the world. Get rid of anything that isn’t useful. Clutter weighs you down in many ways. Whatever doesn’t kill you really does make you stronger. Don’t take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
  10. Envy is a waste of time. Accept what you already have, not what you need. Life isn’t tied with a bow, but it’s still a gift. It’s never too late to be happy. But it’s all up to you and no one else. The best is yet to come. Time heals almost everything. Give time time.

I believe you have achieved real success when your kids out do you and surpass you in this world. I strongly believe every generation has to outdo the other. This is how you have real tangible progress. Hence challenging your kids is real key when raising them. Your kids are your future and your legacy to this world. Never forget that.


Written by

Ziad K. Abdelnour, Wall Street financier, trader and author is President & CEO of Blackhawk Partners, Inc., a private family office that backs accomplished operating executives in growing their businesses both organically and through acquisitions and trades physical commodities – mostly oil derivatives – throughout the world.