Every twist in our story, challenge we face, and obstacle we overcome is an important part of our story. These difficulties make us stronger and wiser and prepare us for what’s ahead. As we grow and succeed we may imagine that soon the challenges will fade away, but in our conversations with business owners, artists, creatives, academics, and others we have learned that the most common experience is that challenges never go away – instead they get more complex as we grow and succeed. Our ability to to thrive therefore depends heavily on our ability to learn from our experiences and so we are asking some of the city’s best and brightest: What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned along your journey?
Daniyal Khawaja | Marketing Student at the University of Houston
The most important lesson I’ve learned is that you have to live life authentically and unapologetically. There will be times when there are other people telling you what to do, how to behave, or how you should live your life. That is not for them to decide. That choice is not their’s to make. It’s yours. Ask yourself what you value in life and where you see yourself in the future. What are your dreams? Your goals? Your passion? What drives you to keep moving forward?
You might not know the answer to any of these questions, and that is absolutely fine.
The answer won’t come to you in one day. Your goals won’t be accomplished overnight. It’s a gradual journey that takes months, years, even decades and spans throughout the duration of your entire life. Have a plan for where you want to be and formulate steps on how you can get there each day.
You are the main character of your own story. You get to decide what your life consists of.
Don’t be afraid to step outside your comfort zone and venture beyond the realm of what already exists in society. Try to tap into unknown and unexplored territories. You will be surprised by what you find. Your yearning for adventure may inspire others and create a ripple effect of individuals who are so ready to revolutionize the world in a positive way.
I have learned that sometimes I need to take things slow in life. I am always worried about my future before I’ve even gotten close to it. Being patient will help me realize where I want to go in life and maybe who I am as a person.
Pelu Adejugba | Engineer & Full time MBA student
I’ll attempt to condense the most important lesson because I have a couple of them. Whenever life gets really challenging and your goals seem unreachable, do all you can to keep putting one foot in front of the other. Why? Because the journey is the reward. Work hard, hustle but take a moment and smell the roses. Enjoy the process.
Kimberly Stuckey | Makeup Artist & Blogger
The most important lesson I’ve learned in my journey is to overcome all adversities. I allowed fear to dictate me for many years. During and even after being in a toxic relationship, it stripped me of my confidence and willpower. It was time that I took charge of my life again, while doing the things I love. With the encouragement of friends and family I finally started taking makeup classes, built my makeup kit, and practiced makeup looks at all hours of the day. Not only did I peruse my passion for makeup, but I also started blogging (The Single Life with Kim). It was time for the world to hear my story. Today I am empowered, motivated and confident. When one door closes, another one opens.
DK Cartey | student of business
I’ve learned not to rely on discipline or will power but rather mental systems and accountability. This allows you to attune for the moving parts of your subconscious patterns.
Jumoke Akinkugbe | Retired Navy Veteran | Owner at Orchid Boutique, LLC
After 20 years in the military, and having a lot of patience on the job, I have come to the reality now as an Entrepreneur; that ‘Patience is Key’ in everything we do. I am currently enjoying this moment and won’t have it any other way.
Adam Lopez | local fashion and blogger lifestyle photographer in Houston
One thing I’ve learned on this journey is that Houston is photogenic as hell. You can shoot any style of photography, in nearly many different locations and have different vibes for different shoots, and that helps the model also get in the zone for the work we create together, which is essential when you want your work to resemble magazine quality images.
The most important lesson I’ve learned so far in my journey is Don’t be afraid to cater to all body types. Before launching my swimsuit business i researched major swimsuit business and noticed they only catered to smaller women. Being a curvy woman and having plus size family members made me take a different direction with my business, first i was concern about what that would do to my business. After a few thoughts i didn’t care because as a curvy woman it’s hard to find cute affordable swimsuits. So overall I’ve learned don’t be afraid to take chances, this was definitely a chance I don’t regret .
Roberto Lopez | MUA & CEO
The most important lesson I’ve learned in my journey so far is that not everyone is on the same page as you. Don’t rush anything, there is a time for everybody. Especially being so young and seeing so much success around the internet makes us feel a little overwhelmed & pressured.
The most important lesson I’ve learned so far is, nothing worth doing or having comes easy. Everything in life is hard work. If you get knocked down ten times, get up eleven and prove to those doubting your efforts that you have fight and determination in you. One quote by Booker T. Washington that keeps me pushing through the tough times is, “I have learned that success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has had to overcome while trying to succeed.
Kirby Chenkin | Founder of KirBeBetter | Health & Fitness Entrepreneur
The most important lesson I’ve learned through my journey so far is that to live an inspired life and awaken genius, you must be authentic with yourself and align with your core values. I’ve also learned that each of us is born with a gift. I have identified mine and have discovered my purpose as a result. Learning those key lessons is where I have found greatness and grown the most.
Mr and Mrs. Eiber
And our most important lesson learned is don’t wait … Plan but don’t wait on the perfect time..
We are originally from Wisconsin.. married for 15 years and have wanted to move to a warm area with more opportunities for our children.
2 years ago we made the leap to Houston with a 5 yr old and our 6mth old twins.. one job and limited funds from our home sale. We knew the steps to build our life and followed through.
We got great jobs here and began to focus on the next step which is to work towards self employment . Between my wife wanting to lose the baby weight and the drive to start a business in our new home we launched Lift Heavy- Work Hard.. my wife had lost over 40 lbs and transformed her figure, I am much better shape and we are working towards our goals..
Dustin Svrcek | Custom Lure Painter
I’d say the biggest lesson I’ve learned is how to manage my time owning a small business while working a full time job. When I first started painting I would spend a lot of time at my bench trying to decide color schemes and patterns. I’ve found that when I brainstorm and write out detailed instructions prior to setting up on a lure, I am far more productive.
Mekahaliah Brown | Landscape & Wildlife Photographer
My most important lesson on this journey so far is to accept the help and support and be surrounded by the ones you love. I’m overall a very independent person. But I wouldn’t have even started to pursue photography if it wasn’t for my friends and family. I didn’t even think I was very good when I started but they saw something in me and helped me with this whole process and still are supporting me to this day. If you have a problem or an issue, don’t bottle it up and try to figure it out all by yourself. Reach out for help, talk to someone because you really never know where that will lead you. If I never reached out, I wouldn’t be doing photography, I wouldn’t being doing the thing I loved the most.
Daniella Raye | Aspiring Makeup Artist
I’ve learned that practice makes perfect and it’s okay to learn as I GROW. There’s always room for improvement and growth. I’ve learned to follow my heart, believe in myself, and I don’t let any negativity distract me from reaching my goals. It’s also important to speak your truth and stand up for yourself even if no one else will.
Tylinda Roberson | Fashion Model & Retail Manager
I’ve learned to never give up on your dreams because you don’t know who’s watching you as a role model or just positive inspiration!
Kachi | Makeup Artist & Influencer
The most important thing I’ve learned on my journey is: You’re a better person when you choose to be yourself. In all that we do, we must avoid constantly changing out identities, but instead make a mild for ourselves to fit in.
Emily Roy Sayre | Freelance Dance Artist
I have a lot of thoughts around this question, as I believe every lesson is precious for each phase of life. I’ve definitely learned lessons of different shapes and sizes that have changed my perception of my journey as well as the journey itself. As I write this in Montreal midway through a two week dance workshop, I have to speak to what I am currently learning. Though the concept is still taking hold and yet seems so obvious, I’m learning to remove the self-inflicted boundaries of “”getting it right”” so I can make myself available to be fully me in every moment. Without realizing it, I began to block myself from enjoying the process of learning by accomplishing tasks instead of being curious. I still am, and will always be, a work in progress—a statement I would previously find intimidating that is now refreshing and freeing.