Last Tuesday I celebrated my 29th birthday. With most of my friends scattered across the U.S., I found myself fielding calls from lots of places from Florida to Massachusetts to California. One particular caller made it a point to remind me how close I am to the big three-oh and how close that was to the even bigger four-oh! After our parting insults ( I get to call her a bitch and she calls me a bastard ) I gave what she was saying some thought.
Of course, from her traditional-old-country-Mexican point of view, I should be married by now with 5 kids and a pregnant dog, but it's just not my style. Despite her disapproval of my bohemian lifestyle, I have led a pretty good 29 years considering it all and thought it good for memory's sake to take inventory of that and the lessons I have learned.
So here are 29 lessons I have learned in my 29 years of life:
Lesson #1 - Be passionate.
Above all else be passionate about everything you do. If you are not passionate about something your time and energy could be better spent elsewhere. In times of crisis and doubt follow your most passionate instincts and you'll live without regret.
Lesson #2 - Listen.
People always tell you more than you need to know. Listen carefully to their words, listen to their emotions, and you'll learn to understand them.
Lesson #3 - Think.
Never be lazy with your thoughts. Explore your wants and needs in your own head. Debrief your day. Think about you and think about your effect on others.
Lesson #4 - Be political.
Create your own political point of view, do not let others define your politics.
Lesson #5 - Strive for respect, from those who you respect
Figure out whom you respect the most, figure out why, and live to earn their respect.
Lesson #6 - Do not imitate.
If you are acting like someone else at any point in your life, stop yourself and return to last place you knew who you were.
Lesson #7 - Know your family history.
The world is a lot more interesting when you know who is/was in your family and where they came from.
Lesson #8 - Ask questions.
Never shy away from your ignorance and never accept it. If you don't know something this is the time to learn.
Lesson #9 - Don't loose touch with others.
While it is hard to keep connected with everyone you've met, make the effort.
Lesson #10 - Everyone is interesting.
In many ways the people you've met show you how your life would have been had you made some different choices. Learn from them.
Lesson #11 - Make a decision.
You should never become paralyzed by indecision, if you can't decide between the options it means your choices are equally good/bad and you just need to pick one.
Lesson #12 - Making Money is not a goal.
Making money is a means not a goal. Remember that.
Lesson #13 - Be honest.
If you fail at anything in life, do not fail at honesty. Your word will only be accepted on trust once.
Lesson #14 - Find an expert.
An expert is someone that knows more about something than you. Always keep a lookout for other experts. Learn from them.
Lesson #15 - Everyone is an expert on something.
Find out what that is.
Lesson #16 - Accept defeat when defeated.
Never allow yourself to be called a sore-loser.
Lesson #17 - Never boast.
Other than at job interviews.
Lesson #18 - Never oversell yourself.
Know your limits and never accept a responsibility you know you can't handle.
Lesson #19 - Try something new.
No two days should be the same in your life.
Lesson #20 - Be Helpful.
If something is within your power to fix, fix it.
Lesson #21 - Don't expect a thank you.
No matter how much you deserve it, never expect it.
Lesson #22 - Find Help.
Never be too proud to ask for help, when you need it.
Lesson #23 - Do not become dependent on help.
Your neediness should be brief and unusual.
Lesson #24 - Seek Wisdom
Lesson #25 - Travel
You don't know till you've been there.
Lesson #26 - Knowledge is freedom.
He/she who knows more is less vulnerable.
Lesson #27 - Oppression must be fought.
You are always in the right when you defend those who can't defend themselves.
Lesson #28 - Be mindful of your faults.
Someone has surely pointed them out, work on them.
Lesson #29 - Love hurts.
It just does. If you can't accept that, it'll hurt more.
Hope these lesson are found useful by someone.