Resilience and Longevity – I’m Amazed, 19th June 2024 is THE Day

I broke out in to a cold sweat, my heart was pounding so hard I was convinced it was about to explode from my body. It was Friday, 16th June 1989 at precisely 4.07 pm when I was being told by then boss I was being made redundant, for the third time, in my short lived seven year career as an optician.

I know what you might be thinking. John, you were an optician and didn’t see it coming? No I didn’t!

That weekend I make a bold decision to follow my passion… magic. I love magic. I wondered what would happen if I traded in optics to become a full time magician. I decided to give myself a year and then go back to a ‘proper job’.

On Monday, 19th June 1989 I became a full time professional magician.

Considering it was meant to be a year long experiment, I can’t believe 35 years on I’m still doing what I love. I’ve since evolved in to a speaker but it was magic and comedy that gave me the foundation for the skill I now have to engage audiences.

So on Wednesday, 19th June 2024 I celebrate 35 years self-employment, I would never have thought all those years ago I would have got so far.

What can I tell you about my 35 year journey? Fulfilling? Yes! Occasionally challenging too. The biggest downside to being self employed is if you ever call in sick, you know you’re lying ;) I’ve loved every minute. Well, almost every minute as there were some very scary times too, I have mixed feelings about those. On the one hand I could have done without them on the other hand I wouldn’t be the person I am today without them. Nor would I have learned so much to pass on. So I’m very grateful.

Lately I reflected over the years and wrote down what I know now that I wish I’d known 35 years ago? Well, here’s my 10.5 top nuggets of wisdom I’d have told a much younger John Hotowka all those years ago and I hope some or all of them will resonate with and maybe even inspire you.

1) Learn from yesterday, prepare for tomorrow, do what you can today.

2) If something you don’t like happens, it’ll pass. If something you do like happens, it’ll pass. Life doesn’t reward or punish you, things just happen, it’s not personal. Live with it, move on.

3) Know the difference between helpful and unhelpful fear and act accordingly. An example of helpful fear is when an animal such as a rabid dog threatens to attack you; run away. An example of unhelpful fear is being afraid of rejection such as asking someone out on a date or for help; in those cases face the fear and… GET ON WITH IT!!!

4) Be kinder than necessary to all you meet, because EVERYONE is fighting some kind of battle.

5) It’s OK to say no. NEVER feel guilty saying no.

6) Celebrate your achievements, no matter how small, often. No need to have a big party, although there’s nothing wrong with that. At the very least give yourself a pat on the back.

7) Laugh and smile as often as you can, even when you have nothing to laugh or smile about. Joy, gratitude and pride help create a positive focus.

8) If you can’t help someone you’d like to help, don’t feel guilty. Also, if you ask for help from someone and they refuse, don’t take it personally.

9) Accept yourself for who you are warts and all. Don’t dwell on your flaws just be your own best friend. If you do something wrong or make a mistake don’t beat yourself up instead pick yourself up, focus on what you can do and encourage yourself to carry on.

10) Respect the beliefs of others who’s to say you’re right or wrong.

10.5) Above all, keep the faith. Even in your darkest hour believe what is happening is for your highest good, it usually is.

Soooooooooooooooooooooooo that’s it. We became a little serious then didn’t we?

Here’s to the next 35 years 😯

Want more resilience building insights, tools and inspiration?

You can read my blog posts as soon as they’re released by signing up to my twice monthly ‘Achievement Thinking Insights and Inspiration’ on the blue banner at at the bottom of this page.  Each one full of hints, tips, tools and inspiration to help you and your teams build resilience and manage high speed change, sign up now