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?
William Osorio | Artist
I’m approaching this question from an aesthetic perspective and in correlation to my practice as an artist …
The most noble kind of beauty is that which does not carry us away suddenly , but rather the kind of beauty which infiltrates slowly , which we carry along with us almost unnoticed, and meet up with again in dreams.
Marion Zapata | actress and Tvhost
The most important thing in each trip, is that it is each place is a unique learning experience and new cultures.
Lennon Lee | Real Estate Investor & Entreprenuer
Business related: It’s not a Zero-sum game. Too many people out there with a defensive mentality where, in their head, the only way to win is if the other party losses. Why can’t we all win? Why can’t we all join forces to make great things happen? .
It’s all about creating win-win situations and team effort where we all come together and tackle bigger challenges than we could tackle on our own.
Life related: Patience is the asset. Live Your Life Like You Have Two More Lives To Live. I mean for real, how sustainable is it to live everyday like is your last day? Too many people telling others to live by that philosophy and actually odds are that we are not going anywhere anytime soon. The numbers are in our favor, if you are 30 or 40 then it is more likely that you’ll live until your 85 than getting hit by a bus tomorrow. So, patience is actually the asset. You don’t need to have your life all figured out by the time you get out of college. Hell, you don’t even have to have your life all figured out even if you are 50. Run the numbers and you’ll see. By the time you are 50 you have 30 more to go. How much can you accomplish in all those years? We tend to pay too much attention to what society has to say. Again, odds are we have at least two more lives to live. So it’s really never too late.
Don’t put unnecessary pressure on yourself that will only lead to inaction. Time is on our side.
FrankPal | Artist | music producer | composer of urban music
No matter how much you travel, don’t stop traveling and learn. Each place always delivers a lesson and learning.
Erin Olive | Assistant General Manager of Stripsteak Miami
I would say the most important thing I’ve learned thus far is that failure is not an end. It’s an opportunity to grow and champion a better version of oneself. If you are going to fail, fail and fail quickly so you can move on to the next challenge.
Fidel Garcia | Entrepreneur
Listen to the customer, they will mold your business.
Joel Rivas | Life & Business Coach
There are so many great lessons that I’ve learned in my journey, but if I have to choose one it would be to be intentional about everything you want. This quote has become so important to me: Pray as if everything depends on God; work as if everything depends on you.
Life is so short and we miss so many great things in life simply because we keep waiting for the perfect moment or the right opportunity.
Karina Rivera| Macaroon queen and pastry lover
The most important lesson I have learned in my journey is to always stay true to myself , to my beliefs and to my values. It hasn’t always been easy, but I am proud to say that I have earned every accomplishment with lot of dedication and effort. Every person will have a different opinion of you and your decisions, but if you stand for your beliefs and act with kindness things will start falling in place. We all have unique journeys that lead us were we are and is not fair to compare ourselves with others, if we want to achieve something let’s do it to become a better version of ourselves.
Federico Restrepo | Filmmaker
We face different stages during our life, ups and downs, success and failures. One thing I have learned during this journey called life, is to never lie to yourself. The real you will always know the truth, whether it is good or bad. The real you will always have the answer to your doubts. These days, it is very easy to follow what everybody is doing. We have become dependents of what other people say and do but what if you start doing what you really like? What if you are the one who takes the first step and make a difference among everybody else? When you reach that point in your life where you don’t let anything or everyone else hide who you are, you become YOU. That is when you really start living your life. What I have learned along my journey, is to never give up on discovering who you really are.
PS Events & Design is an Event Planning Company owned by 5 sisters | Ana Pascua- Co-Founder & Director of Operations | Karla Pascua- Co-Founder & Director of Client Relations | Maria Pascua- Co-Founder & Finance Director | Tatiana Pascua- Co-Founder & Creative Director | Gabriela Pascua- Co-Founder & Production Coordinator
Learning to focus on your vision and your dream, no matter the setbacks, the naysayers and the negativity, keep moving towards your goal and don’t give up! We all have busy lives, families, jobs, so making our time together as a priority to work hard and take steps everyday towards a shared dream of making PS Events & Design a success, is what keeps us going.
Rodrigo Aldorino | Entreprenuer & Nightlife Conceirge
The most important lesson I’ve learned so far is that you’ll never be able to take back yesterday.
In other words, live today as if it was your last day, live it joyfully and with no regrets. Life is too short to reminisce on the past, always have a forward outlook on life and keep a positive mind.
Teresa Fernández | Stylist and Owner of a Boutique Studio Salon | Teresa Creating Style
Work so hard until you get it.
Sara Rivera | Stylist & Co-owner of The Blonde + The Brunette Boutique Salon
I think one of the things that I have learned in my journey through life so far is to be open to growth. Growth through failure, success, trying times and even our best moments. We are constantly looking for perfection and anything that claims our idea of “success,” but I really don’t think that’s the point. I believe the true meaning of the impactful moments of our lives is how we deal with them and how we choose to grow and gain spiritual knowledge from them. Basically, enlightenment.
Sergio Santos | Latin-Pop Singer & composer
I have learned a lot during my travels, but the most important lesson I learned is It is not the goal that matters, but the road itself!
Domonique Zen | Acto | Dancer and Model
It’s okay to be Unique, you don’t have to fit the mold!
DJ Dirty Gold | DJ & Business Owner
The most important lesson I’ve learned in my journey so far would be to always take advantage of your talent. No matter big or small there’s a platform for everyone.
Rachel Ferguson | Pilates Instructor and Spray Tan Technician
I have learned through my pilates journey that a lot of people are hesitant to get out of their comfort zones and try something new, but once they do they are never disappointed! I have clients that have totally changed their lives around because now they are so much healthier just from implementing pilates in their daily routine. I am so grateful to help them along this journey.
Alex Wells | Wedding Photographer [ Unveiled Moments ]
Throughout the course of my career, I’ve found that no two couples are alike. Every couple brings with them their own history, passions, quirks and ideas of what they want their wedding pictures to look like. In order to capture their best images by creating images that reflect their personalities, I take time getting to know the couples. By understanding what is important to my clients, I’m able to shoot with purpose and deliver an end product that thrills them when they see their images for the first time. When going into jobs with a cookie-cutter mindset, the images will always be cookie-cutter like, however, by taking time by asking questions, hearing them and becoming invested with the couple, I am able to create the most loving and intimate moments of them expressing their love for each other on their most important day. In my opinion, spending the extra time getting to know my clients and getting them comfortable with me is one of the most important steps I take while preparing for my weddings and it shows in the images every time.
Malinka Max | 50+ lifestyle model & Investor
Wisdom is acquired by listening. Everyone has their own truth. Learn to be patient and just listen.
With new knowledge comes better understanding, therefore a new perspective on life.
Elia Galban | Fitness and wellness entrepreneur | author and public speaker
The most important lesson I’ve learned is to listen and check how I feel when im sharing words with others. I’ve learned to not take things personal and that everyone is on their own personal journey, so judgement and expectations are put aside. I’ve learned that self mastery and self love comes down to accepting ourselves even with our dark side, without regrets, without guilt, only then you can accept others because you fully accept yourself.
If you’re not willing to leave behind your “social life” all those special occasions with family and friends you better reconsider the DJ career, but if you do I won’t say is worth it but it’s definitely rewarding!
Christa DiPaolo| Creator of Boxing & Bubbles online fitness community
Since launching my own online fitness business, Boxing & Bubbles, in October of 2018, I’ve learned the importance of the 3 P’s. Passion, perseverance and patience.
Passion is what fuels the fire, it’s our purpose, gives us that drive and why we wake up in the morning. Without it, we lack the motivation to give 100% effort. I learned about true passion after leaving a comfortable corporate, steady paying job to start my own business. When I finally made the risky decision to follow my dream, my passion was invigorated! Starting my own company was the hardest and best decision I’ve ever made. I credit my strength because of my passion for wanting to create a supportive online fitness community, connect with people from all over the world, and to simply make working out fun for my members! Are there roadblocks? Of course! That’s where perseverance comes into play. Perseverance simply means never giving up despite the difficulties or obstacles that come your way. Owning a business is truly rewarding but there are extreme highs and lows. These day to day challenges have taught me to be more flexible, be a better problem solver and continue to get up no matter how many times I get knocked down because I know my purpose. Lastly, patience is KEY! We all know the cliche, Rome wasn’t built in a day, yet we all get impatient and want instant gratification and success especially in this day and age. I’ve learned that being patient is accepting that great things take a long time to build. Creating something meaningful and successful takes awhile and must be nurtured. Giving myself grace and patience has made this journey so much more enjoyable.
Julia Grushenko | Yoga instructor | Aroma therapy consultant | Retreat leader
The most important lesson that I’ve learned throughout my journey is that The meaning of life is just life by itself. The goal is to enjoy it. Life’s landmark – self realization.
I organize yoga and wellness retreats that support students in transforming their mind, body and Spirit, boosting their energy levels and learning about healthy nutrition and lifestyle.
Sometimes it’s being challenging but I try to be neutral with people, things, and situations in my life because everything we say “no” to controls us.
Romulo Avendano | Photographer & Master Printer
Over the past four years of my journey I have learned so many lessons, I left my born country looking for a better opportunities for my family. The path has not been easy, we had to learn a new language, new customs, new house and make new friends.
When starting from scratch, for the second time in your life, you see things further and impossible to achieve, however, it is at this moment where you draw strength from within yourself and demonstrate how strong you should be.
I’ve learned by far is to trust. Not just to trust in others or trust in myself, but to trust that life has an opportunity for every one of us, trust that I am in the right place in the right moment where I need to be, and to trust that I have everything we need.
Patience, this magical word is part of my daily path. I learned how to wait thanks to the photography, it was my hobby that became my current profession. This exploration of the overlooked helps me engage more deeply with where I am in space and time. My goal is to make photographs that draw viewers into the now. A focus on details keeps us in the present; it stops us from fretting on the future or regretting the past.
Be kind, grateful and humble is part of the learning. Not too many people believe in these moral values but no matter what the situation becomes nothing can beat the power of kindness. Grateful is the essence of our existence and if we sustain it we can make tremendous impacts in the lives of other people around you. Humility embraces contentment and simplicity. It doesn’t need to have the nicest or be the best. Humility puts relationships before the need to be right.
I strongly believe that it is the attitude that is at the origin of every single positive thing I have ever done to be right here, and of every positive thing that has happened. Fail, success, luck, opportunities, relationships, love, connection, it all comes for a simple lesson. Failing is absolutely necessary, the prospect of failure makes reaching the finish line so much more rewarding. Failing is a must-have lesson.
Joan Cruz | Master Barber
I think my biggest lesson in life, more than anything is appreciation, we always should work hard for everything we want in life, put a lot of passion to it, believe in yourself, and build a better future, but the most important thing is to enjoy the ride, and appreciate everything we have today, your job, your family, your friends, people that care for you, because life can completely change overnight, and we’re so worried about tomorrow all the time that we completely forget about today.
Roberta Guerra | Owner and Founder of The Authentic Brigadeiro
The most important lesson I have learned so far is to be grateful. Life has its own twists, things can become more complex, and opportunities come and go. We need to educate ourselves, be prepared, have plan A, B and sometimes C. We need to take actions and also some risks, and we are always learning from experiences as we grow. Still, when I finally learned to be truly grateful for every moment and person in my journey, it has become the greatest source of my energy. It is what drives me forward and what makes me joyful every day.
Quade Kirby | Freediver & industrial engineering student at the University of Miami
As a college engineering student and sole proprietor of a radical new Spearfishing company, I’ve started to delve into the stresses of what will soon become the reality: Exhaustive deadlines, high expectations, and a million distractions with little to no prior experience of any form. Many of us become swallowed by our own daily routines or lack thereof. There’s moments where I want to throw all I do off of my balcony and just move to an island— Yet all that fear, second guessing, and self criticism (I will always be my own biggest critic) melts away when I freedive. Nothing is more humbling then the sound of the eerie crawl on the ocean bottom at 80 feet of water. Everything becomes so fluid and tiny you really can’t think of anything but to just gaze in awe. Freediving is something many consider but few take the leap to truly delve into. It can be expensive, scary and takes a lot of guts, like taking a driving course and then stepping into a formula car. But I love it. It has taught me what I deem the most important philosophy of my life: you’re either all in or all out there is no in between!
Antonio Chavez | Photographer | filmmaker and content creator
I think that the most important thing for me in my professional area is the world of audiovisual production is an art and as any art must have that eye to know how to capture that moment and that the content you want to make is of excellence and quality, full of details and be as detailed as possible to be able to make a good and eye-catching content, it is not about taking a photo or a video and already making a valuable content with excellence and quality
Instagram saved is the most important platform to be able to make content since it is the right place which for us producers can show and make known our work and make our profile a curriculum and thus let you know.
Natalia Romero | Student, Realtor, & Goal Setter
As a new realtor in this market I’ve come to learn that perseverance and patience is key. Great things in life don’t always come right away and in your lowest moments you must keep pushing forward to greatness. I think the most important lesson I’ve learned so far in this journey of life is that you never want to be the smartest person in the room.