21 Things You Need To Learn By 21 To Get Ahead In Life

iStockPhoto.com / Ondine32
iStockPhoto.com / Ondine32

1. If you want something, you better go the extra mile and make an effort in order for you to get there.

Nothings going to happen if you are just sit around and wait for a miracle. Miracles don’t work unless you do. If you want to pattern your life after Miranda from The Devil Wears Prada, you have to work your butt off. Designer bags don’t come cheap!

2. There are two kinds of “friends”: friends for convenience and friends through thick and thin.

You are going to lose touch with most of your friends from high school, college, internship, or your old job. Yes, separation anxiety is real but you can’t keep everyone especially if one party does not make an effort to get in touch. But that’s all right! At least, at this age I now know who are worth keeping and who my real friends are.

3. You can do anything, just not everything.

Choosing a career path can be quite tricky. Up until now, I didn’t even know where my life was headed. If you’ve mastered the art of knowing a little bit of something about everything, it’s a bit hard to choose a path that you are really good at! We are all just people and we are all learning in progress. Focus on one thing and let the rest come easy. Don’t be a Jack-of-all-trades — master something.

4. It’s so hard to tolerate close-minded people.

You will come across a person with a different family background, a different political view, or someone who’s just really difficult to deal with. Generally, people will say “that’s normal.” As for me, try to learn about them. Listening is crucial. However, there are times that you just want to tear your head off during the encounter.

5. Don’t let yourself be eaten by the system.

Don’t lose sight of who you are and what you are good at. People are going to pull you down because that’s how they system works. This world is a big game show and in order for you to be the “survivor,” you must play the game.

6. It’s okay to take your time and take things slow.

I had to learn this the hard way. As soon as I got out of my internship, I was in a rush to go get a job and make money. I wanted to live my life on the fast lane. I was too gushing to get to where I want to be that I didn’t take the process one step at a time.

7. Living in the past will just slow you down. Let the past be a mere memory.

The past is a strong place. It’s a part of who you are and you can’t just throw it out. It’s a constant reminder that once upon a time you were a lanky little kid that’s afraid to go out there and make a difference in this world. Don’t dwell on the past and compare it with the present. Those are two different situations.

8. Don’t hold on to something so hard.

False hopes are going to break you. Don’t hold on to people’s words. People are the worst. You need to be at peace. Let go but never ever forget. Unless you have amnesia, but you don’t. Words are a powerful tool that can brighten up a sad day or the other way around. When you make a promise, stay true to it or get the fuck out.

9. It’s okay to cry.

Crying is a good thing. If you’re feeling a little down, it’s okay to sulk yourself into the feeling of sadness. Crying helps you relieve stress. There are no enough evidence to support that but it helps me, so it might just do the same for you. But be ready to pull yourself back up. You can’t be sad all your life.

10. Never let go of your dreams and aspirations.

My previous job made me lose sight of everything I have ever wanted in life. I divulged all my time and energy to them because I wanted to make a good impression and produce an amazing output. Sadly, all my efforts are not good enough. There’s still something lacking. Little did I know that I no longer feel inspired and I already lost everything. Always remind yourself why you started and what you want to make out of it.

11. Go places.

I live to see the world. My dad being an expat made traveling part of my life as I was growing up. Don’t set boundaries, see as much of the world as possible. Don’t just travel to post something on social media. You are not defined by your Instagram account.

12. Nothing that’s worth will ever come easy.

Rome wasn’t built over night. J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter was turned down by a handful of publishers. Walt Disney didn’t become a multi-million dollar with just a snap of a finger. All I’m saying is that we are going to go through a lot of setbacks before we get to say, “Look mom, I made it.”

People are going to push us to our limits and pull us down at the end of the day. That’s how we learn.

13. Be weird and go crazy.

Let your ideas roll and let your creativity flow. Your work of art needs to see the light of day. Even if it fails, at least you tried. You are not gonna forgive yourself if you don’t try. Go big or go home. Never be afraid to put your thoughts out there. You deserve to be heard.

14. Read lots of books and watch series

This is my past time and I know I’m not the only one. You get to pick something up from a book or an episode and that’s one of the joys of life. English is not my mother tongue, so whenever I get to learn a word or two or the right pronunciation and usage of a word, I get really happy. I’m a sponge. I try to absorb as much as I can in every medium possible.

15. Passion doesn’t go away.

If you have the heart for something, you may lose touch of it but it doesn’t go away. It just gets buried deep down that you tend to forget.

16. Uber drivers are the best people to talk to.

Thanks to globalization and the Internet, private car rental are made possible and easy. I am overwhelmed and amazed by the story behind each driver that I encounter. I get to learn more about the real world through them. These drivers are so genuine and honest about their life story.

17. Social Media is garbage.

Media, in general, is full of unplayable lie. Being a media practitioner myself, I’ve had a glimpse of how it works and I don’t see myself being in this industry for a very long time. Listen here, social media has a way of sugarcoating what your life really is. You tend to post things to impress people and give them the idea that you’re living your life on the edge. Even if you are, you don’t have to rub it in other people’s faces. I’m guilty of this; I’m not gunna lie.

18. Money does not grow on trees.

I give this one to my dad. It’s so hard to earn money and it’s so hard to just let it all go. The last year taught me the value of hard earned cash and how important it is to learn how to budget. My parents were a little generous when it comes to my weekly allowance while I was in school, so I never really had a problem when it comes to money. Handling the money was my problem. The spending does not stop as long as I know that I have more than a peso in my bank account. That’s how bad I was with money. Thank God, my first paycheck taught me to value every cent I make.

19. Family is everything.

When I was a tad bit younger, I loved it when my mom’s away and I have the house to myself, it means freedom! I get to stay awake as late as I like and I get to sleep as much as I want to. Over the course of time, as much as I hate to admit it, I miss my family. I hate that I have to miss out on important family events. I hate that I only get to spend time with my family on weekends. Being away made going home feel extra special.

20. You need to spend some time alone

Alone time is the best time. Being alone doesn’t mean that you’re lonely. It gives you time to reflect and to think about yourself. It’s not about being selfish, it’s about keeping yourself together for the sake of your mental health.

21. Never lose faith in Him.

Religion is a sensitive matter so I don’t really want to dive deep into that. I just want to say that amid all the drought and storm, there’s still a God somewhere out there that will serve as your refuge and give you strength that you need to help you face your day to day struggles. TC mark

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