A few months ago I turned 30. The big 3-0. I didn’t celebrate it at all and I don’t really remember where exactly I was when it happened or what I did.
I think I was in a small town somewhere in Romania.
It’s so funny when that big moment is finally there and nothing really changes at all.
You’re still the exact same person you’ve been the day before and you don’t just magically change your life overnight.
When I was still young (I can finally and officially say that!!) I always pictured myself as a guy that settled down, that has a career going on and just does his thing every single day.
Or was that someone else’s vision? I don’t remember. Maybe…
But as you might have figured out by now already I haven’t settled down, I don’t have a family yet and I don’t even have a flat anymore.
Am I upset about it? No, not really.
I guess everything has its advantages and disadvantages.
Even though I didn’t change my personality overnight, I did realize that I learned quite a few lessons during the last few years.
And because I want to remember them (and not forget about the in the course of my life) I decided to write a blog post about the most important things I learned. Or the ones that came into my mind while I was thinking about it.
As you know, my blog is mostly about my personal notes to self gone public, lessons learned and the occasional spark of genius, you’ll also get the chance to read about the most important lessons I learned in my twenties.
So sit back, relax and enjoy the (free) show:
1. Believing that you have a reputation will only hold you back.
Believing that you have a reputation will only hold you back from really experiencing and living a life you deeply care about. It will hold you back from doing the things you’d really like to do but people discourage you. Be it you parents, your teachers or that career counselor. Screw them! But most importantly: screw your reputation!
2. We tend to forget that others have problems, too.
We all have heavy baggage to carry on our journey on planet earth. Unfortunately, we tend to forget about this and wait for people to help us out when we might need some help. And because no one shows us love or helps us out we sometimes tend to stop showing love to others. Because nobody seems to care about us, we stop caring about others.
3. If you want to change a bad relationship you have to be the one to take action.
Relationships are almost always complicated, be it between men and women or between friends. If there are tensions in a relationship and you don’t go the first step nobody else will. As a matter of fact most people will only talk about things but they won’t change anything. Why? See #3
4. Screw your pride.
Same like reputation. It will only hold you back from doing the things you know you should be doing and screw up most of your relationships. He’s the one who has to make the first step. She has to call back. It’s been like this for ages. It’s the rules. So it has to be like this. You know what? Forget about the rules. That’s your ego talking and it’s complete BS!
5. It’s never a good time to change things.
There will never be a good time for change. It’s almost always a bad time to change things in your life. You might not have enough money. People might turn their backs on you and talk shit about you. You have to pay the bills. You have a mortgage. You have a gf/bf/spouse/kids and so on. Change will never be easy. But if you wait for change to magically happen you’ll most probably be waiting your life away…
6. Creating things will help you to figure out what you really want in life.
If you wait until you have that perfect idea or until you know who you really are or what you really want to do with your life you will probably never start doing anything. You’ll be waiting for that perfect moment, that perfect idea or that perfect investment opportunity. But it’s only by starting to create things that you will figure yourself out and find your true purpose in life. So stop waiting and start creating.
7. Our opportunities might be risks for others.
What might look like big opportunities for us are indeed very risky for others. So it makes a hell lot of sense to put ourselves in our opponent’s shoes first and try to consider their objections before we start talking to them.
8. The world is guided by fear.
Everyone is afraid of taking risk. Every human interaction is guided by the fear of taking on a risk that might just be too big and not really worth the investment. Be it a potential customer, a potential investor, your bf/gf1. They are all afraid of risk.
9. No life decision will last forever.
Decisions are temporary. Every decision we take today only lasts until we take the next decision. So it’s not really worth it to procrastinate on decision making. The faster your decision making, the faster you get access to new decisions and new opportunities.
10. Friends leave.
Sad but true: They come and go.
11. Trust is the basis for everything in life.
It’s all about trust. If someone doesn’t trust you they will never do what you expect them to do. If people don’t trust you they won’t buy your products, they won’t hang out with you, they won’t call you back and they won’t make business with you. There’s no single human interaction that’s not based on trust.
12. Honesty is the only way to connect with people.
People tend to feel when you’re being honest with them. They feel it when you’re a genuinely honest person, when you write down your honest words and speak the truth. Unfortunately people tend to put on so many masks and try to hide things from each other. And then they get all busy hiding things instead of just living their lives.
13. Be human and admit your flaws.
People connect with people and not perfect machines. So put that mask away and be more human instead. Don’t be afraid to show your flaws. Be yourself. Be authentic. Be visible. Be transparent. Tell your story. And make sure that it’s your own story you’re telling and not someone else’s…
14. Family matters.
Will always be there for you, no matter what. The only thing that really matters.
15. Not having enough money can sometimes make you more creative.
If you have too much money you tend to become fat, lazy, inflexible and lack you creativity. If you don’t have enough money you start being creative, innovative and will try out all sorts of crazy things that you would otherwise not have tried. Not having enough money sometimes helps you find out what you’re really capable of doing.
16. New is not always better.
Most of the time it’s worth it to invest some time and effort into fixing things. Otherwise, you might just run into the same exact problem a few years later and you still don’t know how to fix it and it somehow becomes a vicious circle.
17. Only by challenging yourself over and over again will you really grow.
18. Nothing in life is really a waste of time.
Not the shitty job you worked at for many years. Not the bad relationship you’ve been in for many years. Not the money you lost in that one big deal. It really is like they always say: It’s either a blessing or a lesson.
19. No book, blog, podcast or any human being can beat experiencing things.
There’s nothing that will ever replace experiencing things first hand. Never ever.
20. Luck is predictable.
Luck only comes to the ones that go out there, show up over and over again and constantly expose themselves to luck. A lot of successful people will tell you they were just lucky. But what they won’t tell you is that it was just a matter of time until luck found them. They were constantly on the grind. They were not sitting on the couch waiting for luck to find them. They were hunting it down…
21. We can learn so much about how to approach life from the perspective of kids.
Here are 14 things we can learn from kids.
22. The best things in life are the things we never really planned.
So I just stopped making plans. The plans I made never really turned out as planned anyways. Moreover, having had a plan has usually made me somehow inflexible and not agile enough to exploit other opportunities ahead of me. It always felt like I had planned it and that’s the way it has to be done now…
23. Happiness is about having enough.
Every time I visited a developing country I realized how much happier the people were compared to back home. They didn’t seem to have a lot but they looked happy. I guess the secret to being happy is to be able to tell yourself that you actually don’t need all of this crap. You don’t need that new jacket, that new pair of jeans, that new car, that house or whatsoever. I believe that the secret sauce to being a happy person lies in these three simple words: “I have enough”.
24. The best way to learn things is to teach things.
I guess the moment you try to explain things to others you start to not only understand them a lot better but they somehow magically become a part of you.
25. Being yourself fits you best.
I tried to be many different things but the one thing I’m really good at (and better than anybody else) is being myself. Am I a bit weird. Yes, I am. Do I care? No, I don’t. Do I run around when I hold a presentation? Yes, I do. Did people tell me that I should stand still? Yes, they did. Do I follow their advice? No, I don’t. Why? Because that’s just not me…
26. Creating things is not enough.
It doesn’t matter how cool the stuff you’re working on really is. It might be the coolest thing on planet earth but if you don’t push it, promote it and market the hell out of it nobody will even notice it.
27. You have to lose yourself to find your true inner self.
I had to learn it the (mini) hard way. But it’s true. You actually really have to lose yourself to find your true inner self. I still haven’t found it yet but I have the feeling that I’m on the right track.
28. There is no such thing as overnight success.
Everything in life takes a hell lot of time. If we think we might be successful in one year, we won’t probably be successful until the third or the fourth year. Have funds that might last one year? Then cut your spending because it will probably take a lot longer than just this one year…
There are probably hundreds of other things I learned in addition to these, but I guess that’s enough for now…