1. If you put someone on a pedestal, you give them no choice but to look down on you.
2. Some friendships age like wine, and some others age like milk.
If someone makes you feel tired and unpleasant more than happy, it’s time to let them go.
3. Pick your battles.
Many battles aren’t worth fighting: with your wife, who’s otherwise great, with your boss, who knows something is stupid but has to do what he’s told, with a cranky toddler who only wants to wear purple today.
Conversely, don’t be a doormat. Some battles are worth fighting. Some battles are worth fighting even if you think you’ll lose.
Try to find your own principles, and let them guide your judgement.
4. No one actually really knows what they are doing. We always look backwards and things from that vantage point seem like they were preordained. But in the moment, everyone is just guessing. Some people are just better at covering that up.
5. Most of the time, people aren’t doing things TO you. They’re doing things FOR them. They’re not trying to slight you or hurt you, they’re just like everyone else putting themselves first. I’m sure there’s a better way to put it, but that’s the gist. You likely didn’t even come into the equation when they were deciding.
6. Just because its an emergency for them doesn’t mean it has to be an emergency for you.
7. “Love is a rubber band”. It will stretch to accommodate those you care about. You do not need to give less affection to someone in order to have more leftover to give to someone else.
8. You can’t pursue something without leaving something behind.
9. Just try to live a good life for you and do the things you’re supposed to without questioning why.
Eat good food when you’re hungry, drink water when you’re thirsty, sleep when you’re tired, move when you’re restless, be around people when you’re lonely, be by yourself when other people stress you out, work when you need money, spend money on things you need, fix things when they break, create when you’re creative, look for inspiration when you’re in a rut, practice when you’re not as skilled as you’d like to be, wait when you’re patient, distract yourself when you’re not… I could go on.
You most likely know all the things you need to do and why you should do them, just stop looking for better reasons and accept that the most obvious reasons are good enough. An addict doesn’t need a reason to be addicted, nor do they have to enjoy what they’re addicted to. You’re addicted to life whether you enjoy it or not, might as well make sure you’re getting the good shit.
10. No matter how hard you want/need to take care of others, remember to take care of yourself too. Otherwise you’ll burn down, and then you’ll become part of the problem.
11. Life happens. You cant stop it or change some things. Every person will struggle, you’ll wake up depressed some days, and your parents will eventually pass away. It happens. It sucks.
All you can do is keep moving forward.
12. If you don’t learn to forgive, you well end up bitter and resentful over a lifetime of petty shit. Get over it and move on.
13. You can choose your family. You can find people who love you and treat you with compassion.
You’re not obligated to have relationships with people who treat you badly just because they share DNA with you.
“Family don’t end in blood.”
14. People may not remember what you say but they will ALWAYS remember how you made them feel.
15. Sometimes doing the right thing is difficult or unpleasant, but you still need to do it.
Refuse to fall prey to the bystander effect. If someone needs help, don’t stand around waiting for someone else to do something to help. Be the one who steps up.
You can be happy even when things are hard.
16. Everything that is worth having in life is hard to get. Act more, talk less, and stop looking for easier ways.
17. Free time is limited as an adult: spend it doing things you love and with people who love and respect you.
18. Everyone is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Be kind. Always.
19. Think twice before you say. Those words could break someone’s heart or make bad things happen unintentionally. Don’t argue when you are angry. You will lose control of your emotions and you will end up to make things worse.
Don’t trust people too much. Yes, you can trust them but not to the point that they can stab your back without you noticing it. Some people may have double standards. Always be alert.
20. You are responsible for your own happiness. Don’t expect others to give it to you.
21. Your most important relationship is the one you have with yourself. It colors everything else.
Perspective is a powerful thing, and you can change how you see things and what your emotional priorities are if you want (I’ve been doing this with cognitive restructuring techniques). If your emotional priorities tell you to play video games instead of study, it’s a lot easier to change that then resist it.
Related: you create a narrative of your life, and that narrative can be unhealthy as shit. For example, do you feel like nobody likes you? The only person telling you that is you, and you don’t have to feel that way.
Life does not run on a track where you have to reach X point at Y time, or you’re a loser. Do you know what nobody mentions about Jonas Salk’s polio vaccine or Einstein’s theory of relativity? How old they were. It’s your accomplishments that matter.
The only person who has to believe in you is yourself. This isn’t depressing; you know yourself best and you know your goals best, so who else is qualified to tell you what you can and can’t do?
Taking genuine feedback (especially negative feedback) seriously will reduce your rate of mistakes. It’s all well and good that people keep telling you that you can’t be a surgeon, but what if you’re trying to ignore the fact that you are a double arm amputee? If you don’t consider what people say then you might dismiss something you need to hear.
If you want to get good at something, it requires effort, sacrifice… and enjoyment. If you don’t like what you do, effectively putting those hours in is going to be a lot more difficult and ultimately not sustainable. I started getting a lot better at fiction writing when I started finding enjoyment in it, even though I was writing for 3 hours a day before and after.
If you want to make an accurate assessment of someone, don’t make any assumptions that aren’t preliminary and give them the benefit of the doubt. If you don’t know them then it’s easy to be missing context.
This one might seem more depressing, but you can’t self-determine: there are some things that are going to be out of your reach, and you can’t necessarily do anything to fix that. You have to understand your limits, however they’re imposed, because working with and around them is the only way to get anything done. Understanding that life is about taking maximizing your chances (it’s all about probability; you’re always gambling) helps a lot with empathy and understanding.
22. I have learnt that it’s important in life to ensure the people you love know that you love them. Not just in the context of a partner, but your parents, sibling and friends.
A time will always come where for whatever reason, those people aren’t around you any more. I can say with great satisfaction that although my mum died, she died knowing how much she meant to me. I get to live knowing that and it brings great happiness to such a dark time.
Love and appreciation can bring so much joy and it costs absolutely nothing.
23. Be on time, say please and thank you, do what you said you would, and finish what you started.
24. Don’t take life too seriously. Sometimes (most of the times) you should just go on and don’t give a shit about things.
25. We don’t see things as they are, we see things as we are.
26. No matter how amazing your day is, it will still be 24 hours long. If you want it to last forever, I’m sorry – that won’t happen. However, if you live in the moment, you can cherish it every day as you relive it.
And this is true for the times your day isn’t going well. The day may seem like forever – but it’s not. It’s still going to be 24 hours long no matter what. Even if your SO broke up with you it will still be 24 hours long. It will end.
27. Being cool, calm and collected in a stressful situation is hugely important. Which is not to say repress your emotions; just don’t let them get the better of you
Don’t live your life to an agenda. E.g., go to college, get a high paying job, get married, buy a house, have 2 kids and a dog, that sort of thing. Just live.
No matter how much you try to stop it, life will throw you curveballs. Learn how to hit the curveball.
28. Sometimes life is unfair and kicks you when you did everything right. It is best to move on.
29. Break the rules, not the law, but break the rules. It is impossible to be a maverick or a true original if you’re too well behaved and don’t want to break the rules. You have to think outside the box. That’s what I believe. After all, what is the point of being on this earth if all you want to do is be liked by everyone and avoid trouble?
30. BE PERSISTENT.
31. Start saving for retirement very early.
32. It is impossible to use rational argument to dissuade someone of an irrational point of view.
33. No matter how bad your current situation is, you‘re just a piece of meat and bones walking around on a big ass stone filled with lava. And your time is limited so make the best out of it.
34. Debt will suck the life out of you. Don’t take on debt.
35. There will always be someone richer, prettier, more successful, etc. than you are. Focus on what you DO have rather than what you don’t have.
36. Social skills are very important. Hard work and intelligence are important but mean nothing if you do not how to talk to or work with others.
37. The pursuit of YOUR happiness is all that matters. Give all you can to the people you care about but never at the expense of yourself. Make enough money to get what you want but don’t work your life away. And finally be genuine and kind but don’t let others take advantage of you.
38. Your interpretation and thoughts regarding the world around you have a strong influence on what you end up observing and what you end up experiencing. Your thoughts alone can sometimes create harmony or chaos.
39. Life is filled with challenges. Those challenges will never be the same as anyone else that you know. It’s not about what happens to you but how you handle it. Another good thing to live by is never brag about yourself. Let others do the bragging for you. If you don’t like what they’re saying then you should change something about yourself or not associate with them.
40. There is no time limit or “right way” to grieve.
41. All anger comes from expectation. Don’t expect anything from any human, any animal, any technology etc.
42. If something doesn’t feel right, it most likely isn’t.
43. Not everyone is going to like you and that’s okay.
44. These 4 got me a long way esp during rough tides:
Be impeccable with your word.
Don’t take anything personally.
Don’t make assumptions.
Always do your best.
45. People are willing to help if they think you don’t need any help. Try to fake it if you wish to get support from people around you.
46. Don’t discuss religion or politics at work. Its cliche, but I always have to learn things the hard way. Cost me some friendships with people I’ve liked and respected.
47. People that you don’t know on a deep enough level don’t really care about you. It’s pointless to constantly worry about what others think of you when you occupy an infinitesimal, fleeting portion of their attention. Others care much more about the details in the context of their own lives.
I’ve found that it’s really liberating to do whatever it is that I want with the idea that everyone else is so absorbed in their own narratives in mind.
48. No matter what you do, somebody’s always gonna have something negative to say about it. You cant please everyone, worry about pleasing yourself.
49. Look out for number one. You’re not a martyr and you can’t make other people happy if you’re not happy, but the reverse definitely can happen.
My father used to say, “I made a deal with the bank, they don’t do my job and I don’t loan money.” Don’t loan money and never ever co-sign for someone.
50. People don’t look at you, talk about you or think about you nearly as much as you think they do.
And in the off chance they are, it really doesn’t matter a fuck.