1. Have the courage to say when something isn’t working.
2. Have the courage to commit when something is.
3. Take a look at yourself and ask: If I stopped growing tomorrow, is this the person I would want to be for the rest of my life?
4. Decide what doesn’t matter, so you can invest your time and money into what does.
5. Think regularly about how you would live your life if social media didn’t exist, if you weren’t documenting your every move, or if you didn’t have glossy, edited pictures to compare yourself to.
6. Stop overreacting.
7. Have something to talk about that isn’t other people, and your judgments of them.
8. Stop worrying about inane things like whether or not you are “fat.” Nobody will be at your funeral blessing your life because you maintained one pant size. How you look is not an accomplishment.
9. Ask questions about other people more than you make statements about yourself.
10. Stop trying to have the most nuanced, complex opinions more than you try to be the kindest, most empathetic person you know.
11. Cut yourself some slack. One of the biggest regrets most people have about their 20s is that they didn’t enjoy them more. And I’m not talking about “buy more expensive dinners, take another trip to Thailand” type of enjoyment. I mean having the ability to take a deep breath and sip coffee in the morning knowing that you have done, and are doing, your best.
12. Read books.
13. Learn how to be nice. This is the most insanely powerful life hack, and yet the most overlooked. Learn how to genuinely be nice to people. This will get you farther than anything else.
14. Live so death has nothing to steal. Leave everything on the table. Don’t hold back your thoughts, your love, your creativity for another day. That path leads you to becoming a fraction of the person you were meant to be.
15. Stop saying you want to be in a forever relationship, and be in one. Your soulmate relationship is something you build, not something you stumble upon. If you don’t figure this out, you will be perpetually disappointed by the person you end up with.
16. Live within your means. If you don’t learn to do this when you have little, you won’t be able to do it when you have more. High-earning people can also be the most indebted and financially unstable, because they are always living just a bit outside of what they can afford.
17. Accomplishments don’t change your life, habits do.
18. Write a mission statement and use it as your guideline. Define your most essential values and make sure your thoughts, actions and decisions align with them. This is how you live an honest life.
19. Don’t burn bridges. Learn to bow out of friendships, relationships, jobs and parties with grace.
20. Ask for the truth.
21. Be in the discomfort that’s leading you to your bad habits. Whatever it is that’s holding you back in your life is actually a symptom of some unmet need. Figure out what it is, and feed it in a healthy way. Your external issues will start to dissolve as you do.
22. Recognize the ways in which you’ve projected blame onto others. “What you love in people is what you love about yourself; what you hate in people is what you can’t see in yourself.”
23. Learn to seek purpose more than you do pleasure. Pleasure does not change your life, it makes discomfort bearable. Purpose makes discomfort worth it. Don’t let comfort be your first virtue.
24. Home is where you make it, so make it somewhere.
25. Break free from the illusion that what you see on Instagram is “real life.” It is not “real life.” It is a highly curated, aspirational, photoshopped, filtered vignette.
26. Learn to be happy here, now, today. If you do not learn how to be happy in the present, no job, no partner, no success, no trip, no money, nothing that you are working for will be as enjoyable as you think. You cannot save up your happiness to be released when you think you deserve it. You either have it now, or you have it never.