Pathfinder’s regular columnist Jordan Wylie shares his top tips for 2020…

In my first Pathfinder column of 2020, I thought I would use it to share some (12 in fact) of the things I have learnt over the previous years in a no nonsense, short and sharp manner. I stress that these are my lessons and you may not agree with them but hopefully they will give you food for thought as we head into another big and hopefully successful year for each and every one of us.

  1. Nobody Owes You Anything

If there’s one thing I’ve learnt so far in this life, it’s nobody owes you anything, despite what you may think. The sooner you get your head around this, the more peace you will find day to day. You are responsible for yourself and what opportunities you find and exploit. If you really want something, then work hard and earn it. Don’t expect anyone to do anything for you. If they do, it’s a privilege, not an entitlement. Never forget that, this is an important message, especially if you are a service leaver about to enter civilian life too.

  1. People Will Come & Go

As you grew older and hopefully become wiser you will notice your circle of true friends becomes much smaller (well my certainly has anyway). You’ll be so close to someone special today, and suddenly you aren’t talking to them anymore tomorrow. Unfortunately that’s life but it doesn’t have to be perceived as a bad thing in any way at all. People grow apart rather than grow as a part of you; this I have learnt is perfectly natural. Accept that and move on, don’t dwell on the past. People will walk in and out of your life for various reasons, try to work out those reasons, take the lessons and the experience and keep moving forward always.

  1. Opportunities Are Everywhere

Opportunities are everywhere; they really are all around us, if we just keep our eyes open, live in the present and are open to them. Sometimes we are so focused on the immediate big win, or the thing that is right in front of us that our radar misses the low hanging fruits that are ready to be picked off in easy reach right now.

  1. Pay It Forward

Remembering where you come from is super important in life but alone, it is simply not enough. Once you reach some kind of level of success in your field (whatever that may be), it’s important that you pay it forward. Do your best to help others at all times. If you’ve had your chance in the spotlight, help others get theirs too. Seeing other people develop, flourish and grow as a direct result of your help is incredibly rewarding I promise. As one of my old Sergeant Majors would say, don’t trust it, test it!

  1. Always Back Yourself

One thing I’ve learnt over the years, whether from the adversities I’ve faced or the challenges I’ve taken on in extreme and often complex environments, is that we are capable of much more than we give ourselves credit for. The biggest difference I’ve noticed between successful people and unsuccessful people isn’t intelligence, work ethics, access to opportunity or resources. It’s the belief that they can make their goals happen and become a reality. If you don’t believe in you, then no one else will and that’s a guarantee!

  1. Make Your Contacts Count

You will have built a lifetime worth of relationships and many of them will be sitting easily accessible in your phone book, on your social media or in your email box. Humans have a terrible habit of only reaching out to people when they need or want something. Reach out to your contacts and see if you can help them, always keep the network alive and watch the good karma unfold!

  1. Don’t Mistake Probability For Possibility

A common mistake for many is the lack of clarity on what is completely impossible and what is merely unlikely or improbable. I have always lived by the mantra than anything is possible if we truly believe it and are prepared to make the sacrifices to make it happen, however various risk factors make some things in life less and less probable, it’s up to you to work out the rest but for me the stronger the mind believes the more likely it is to conceive.

  1. Accept Failure

It’s easy to beat yourself up when you get things wrong. This is something that we all do very well, me especially. Failure is a necessary and inevitable part of life. If we do not fail, we will never learn how to pick ourselves back up again, brush ourselves off and be stronger and more resilient as a result of it. When it comes to failures, attitude is absolutely everything. Embrace the opportunity to learn and really understand what went wrong, that way you will be sure it won’t happen again and will grow as a person from the experience. When all is said and done remember there’s actually no such thing as full failure, you either win or you learn.

  1. Do More Of What Makes You Happy

This sounds really obvious doesn’t it and perhaps too simple but in recent years I have come to understand and implement that the true art of happiness is to combine those things that we love and make us happy into the fabric of our day to day lives. You just need to make sure you take time to stop and think about the things that really make you happy, and how your current life supports them (or doesn’t). Don’t put them off, start factoring them into your routines right now! In this sense, if it makes you happy, you really should be doing much more of it, life is too short!

  1. Zero Negativity

A negative mind will never give you a positive life. How we attach meaning to events, experiences and the circumstances we find ourselves in, in our lives has a large influence on the quality of the life we end up living. This perhaps is the most important lesson I have learnt in recent years and I’m so happy that I really got to understand this better in 2019.

  1. Forget The Haters

It doesn’t matter how much good you do in the world or how much positive energy you push out into the atmosphere. There will always be haters that will pop up now and again; they tend to group together in very small numbers too. All I can say is “Forget them”, there is simply no other way to put it. One of my favourite things about haters, is that knowing that there are people in this world that would do anything to see me fail promotes a feeling of motivation unlike any other fuel out there so I will also take this opportunity to thank them too!

  1. Be The Difference That Makes A Difference

If we all give a little back in this world, I truly believe we can do so much good together to change the lives of those less fortunate. I am currently experiencing this first hand with some credible people helping me. If you feel you want to give a little back and join our movement please do get in touch. We are passionate about helping children and inspiring the next generation. I know we won’t change the whole world but we will and are doing for a handful of kids out there that really need our help.

I wish each and every one of you the best of success in 2020.

This year I will be continuing with my charity fundraising and bring back the Running Dangerously project with a new Pole edition. I will run in the coldest and most extreme climates on the planet including Antarctica, The North Pole and the first ever (and my first ever) Falklands Ultra Marathon which will take place in 12 months time, along with many other cold and complex parts of our planet. If you would like to get involved or support, please do reach out to get in touch and

“Be The Difference That Makes A Difference”

Jordan Wylie is a former soldier, now author, explorer, adventurer and key note speaker. See his website for more information on his charity projects here.

Read the latest issue of Pathfinder International here