2022 In Review - How To Love
Every year around my birthday, I like to reflect on how my year went, what went well, what didn't, and what I'm going to do differently moving forward. I publish these insights out loud in hopes that others can also learn from my experiences. Thank you for reading, and I hope you get value from my sharing!
This time last year, I was pushing for growth - on a mission to optimize myself, everything, and everyone around me. I thought that was the best way I could give back to the world, because I believe that my intrinsic value is to help others achieve their potential.
This determination was magnified when I found my personal definition of love this year - choosing to support others in their growth and wellbeing. But in my desire to help, I overlooked a vital reality: everyone needs different type of support at different times - and that’s okay.
Love Is Easily Misunderstood
In our journey through life, we may have found strategies and tools that made our life better, and if it works, why not share it with people we care about? Its easy to force our way onto others and call it love. I only realize now that it's a trap that many fall into, and we need to look no father than our own parents to understand.
How many times have your parents told you to do something, that you didn't want nor were prepared to do? Yes, maybe looking back, you could understand why it was perhaps useful and necessary in their eyes, but the process would not have been enjoyable. Furthermore, in the context of a familial relationship, tensions can flare up quickly when seemingly one is taking for granted all the “love” that had been given to them - asked for or not.
I try to help others by sharing my way of living my best life, in hopes that I could act as a guide for those who may want to achieve similar things. The internet has a way to bring like-minded people together, and those that found me enjoyed the way that I was sharing my messages, and found success with my methods. With it being an arms-length relationship, I was satisfied with being able to support their growth journey from afar, and helped many at scale.
However, I started becoming very frustrated when those close to me were not prepared to take the steps needed to achieve what they wanted. To me, the path to success seemed clear - they just needed to start, so I pushed them towards it. But what’s ironic, is that the way that I pushed ended up discouraging more than encouraging. This helped me realize that my understanding of love needed to be quickly redefined.
Love = Patience
I had taken on the old adage of “treat others the way you want to be treated” to a extreme. Through my upbringing, I had gotten acclimated to growth through pain. My dad constantly threw me into increasingly difficult and dangerous situations to temper me. His favourite saying is, “what doesn't kill you makes you stronger”. That was the best way I knew how to grow, and while I definitely didn't feel good in the process, I learned that if you push through pain, growth follows.
However, everyone is on their own journey. If you try to force others into your timeline, the glass will crack. I realized that if I were to truly help others level up, and fulfill my vision of being someone that others wanted to be around, I needed to find a way to help others grow while making the journey enjoyable.
Who cares if the outcome is positive, if it was done at all costs and feelings were trampled along the way? It's tempting to control the process, especially when you might be invested in the outcomes - but even if the interactions were borne out of love, no one will realize. People remember the way you made them feel.
So, from these tough lessons emerged a fresh, healthier perspective on love. Love is having the patience to respect everyone's unique life tasks, and simply offering knowledge, tools, and community to give them the courage to face their challenges - while letting go of any expectations. All things will change with time, including your own desires.
Here are the tenets I've adopted for loving in a healthy and sustainable way.
- Love Yourself. If you don't learn to love yourself first, you won't be able to love others. Do things for yourself that you would only normally only do for others.
- Find Your People. You'll be happier if you spend time with individuals who share your pace of growth and beliefs.
- Know Your Limits. Refrain from taking over others’ life tasks. When helping others, start with encouragement and offer mentorship only when requested.
- Set Boundaries. If a relationship doesn't foster your growth, part ways with grace.
- Be Responsible. Never forget that you are the only one responsible for your life tasks. No one can live your life for you.
Love = Being Present
This year, I also realized that my fixation on growth meant that I was constantly living in the future. I would often say that my life is good because I know I will be a better person tomorrow. While this mindset stimulated me to constantly strive to be a better person, it blocked me from living in the moment and truly loving myself.
I was often frustrated when things weren't going well, and because I knew what my best self looked like, I often looked on current self with dismay and contempt.
I've started to remind myself that my life is good because of today. I simply need to compare the me from yesterday to appreciate that I've been steadily progressing towards my best self. With this mindset shift, instead of focusing on what could be - I'm focusing on what is.
You can’t predict how life goes. Just live each day as if it was the last. Focus on how you can be the best you that you are today. You are the creator and master of your own life journey.
How Will I Live With Love?
I've learned that you need to fill your cup - you can’t help anyone if you don’t help yourself. Once your cup is filled, give back in a compassionate and thoughtful way.
Aligning Career with Purpose
I've decided to make a significant changes in my professional life. For the past few years I've been supporting the community on the side while working on my fintech, but it's time to go all in on what I think will make the most positive change in the world. So, after launching our third product, staked.finance in Q3, I will be focusing my time on The Co-x3 Family.
This move aligns my career trajectory with my overarching life purpose: to help others level up. The Co-x3 Family Foundation has been newly incorporated this year and has been recognized as a 501(c)(3) non-profit. We're committed to transforming real-life challenges into engaging game concepts and empowering members to unlock their potential, live better lives, and never struggle alone.
I’ll be taking on a full time role with the organization to support their mission of equipping creatives, students, and ‘second winders' with knowledge, tools, and a supportive community as we build co-create and collaborate on ways to help us live better lives. You can check out all our impact projects, as well as find out ways you can support us here.
I’m also rebranding my personal YouTube channel to Level Up With Conrad, to separate it with our community channel The Co-x3 Family. I’ll still be sharing content related to Co-x3, but as a sponsored creator under the brand with the focus of helping others level up. For my first video series, I'll be releasing vlogs on how I'm living my best life - and at least one new short every day. I'm also launching my own TikTok and Instagram!
From Growth to Love
The past year has been a journey of understanding growth, love, and the delicate balance between support and self-reliance. These are important life lessons, and I'm so happy to learned them early enough so that I have time to treat the people that I value in my life right - including myself.
Last year, I was pushing for growth. This year, I'm growing in love.
Here's to a new year of loving right and helping others level up in a truly empowering way.