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Tyler Perry And Soledad O'Brien Host Gala Honoring Bishop T.D. Jakes' 35 Years Of Ministry

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During my 58 years, I’ve occupied several roles. I’ve been a student, teacher and church leader. I’ve been an intern, employee and boss. I’m a son, father and grandfather, as well as husband, neighbor and friend. As I approach my sixth decade, I’ve been thinking a lot about missed opportunities, regret and the hard-scrabble lessons I’ve learned along the way.

While it’s true we can’t turn back time, we can impart timeless wisdom. Below are five principles my 58-year-old self would share with my 25-year-old self, if only I’d listen.

1. Pursue Purpose With All Your Heart

You can’t get to where you want to go without a guide. Let your purpose guide you. Determine your purpose by taking inventory of your interests, strengths and passions. By doing this, you’ll avoid cycles of wasted time and energy, your most valuable resources.

2. Don’t Let Other People Define You

Too often, you’ve allowed your desire for approval to determine your self-worth. The yearning to be recognized isn’t the problem, it’s your inability to see that some people are so embittered by their own disappointments they lack the capacity to nurture the gifts and talents that are starting to blossom in your life. Aim for self-definition. Don’t let other people tell you who you are.

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T.D. Jakes: 5 Things I Would Tell My 25-Year-Old Self  was originally published on