23 Lessons Learned in 23 Years – Part One
Twenty-three seems hardly an age to start talking as if you have the wisdom of ten monks. But you’d be surprised just how much brainstuff I’ve accumulated in the past 23 years of my life. In honor of my (soon to be) 23rd birthday, here’s the first part of a list of 23 lessons I’ve learned in my lifetime:
1 – Straighten out your priorities
It doesn’t necessarily matter what you prioritize, so long as you’re happy with what you’re spending your time on. Personally, I spent a lot of time in college working, which was fulfilling for me. Find the parts of your life you want to focus on and experiment. It’s also highly unlikely you’ll find the perfect mix from the get-go, but eventually you’ll find your happy medium.
2 – Be confident
This is somewhat cliche, but you should think highly of yourself and of your opinions. Why shouldn’t you be heard in the next club or work meeting? But beware: there is a difference between being confident and ego-maniacal. Make sure you’ve got the right mix of humility with your confidence as well.
3 – Understand yourself
Why do you think what you think? One of the biggest mistakes we can commit with this is to classify ourselves as members of a generalized groups. You don’t need to have all the answers to every question, but make an effort to figure things out for yourself.
4 – Drink more water
Self-explanatory. Just do it. If you’re one of those “detoxify your body” people, water is the best way to do it.
5 – Find something you’re passionate about
Life should be more than just, “going through the motions”. Spice up your life: take that language class you’ve always wanted to take; start up a blog; attend conventions. Find what makes your life feel more meaningful and run with it.
6 – Understand that friends can disappear… and reappear
The sad truth is many times we lose touch with our friends. A lot of time I find it’s just a difference in schedule that can make it difficult to catch up on a regular basis. Admittedly, I’ve let a number of friendships fall to the wayside, but it’s my hope that, in the future, my friends and I can pick up where we left off.
7 – Dress fabulous
Even though my office has a fairly lax dress code, I typically come in with business casual on (minus casual Fridays). I feel particularly ready to take on the day’s work when I’m dressed for it.
8 – Learn to take criticism
For any young person entering the workforce (whether you’ve got a blue- or white-collared job), I find this is really important for your personal and career development. Anyone who’s defensive is really difficult to work with, so make sure that you’re open to hearing out what your critic has to say. It could help you in the long run.
9 – Sort out fights as soon as they happen
Don’t let anything simmer. Even better yet, as soon as you realize something bothers you, let the offender know before it turns into something bigger– and quite possibly something irreversible.
10 – Exercise at least once a week
I wish I was maintaining this at the moment, so don’t be like me. Make use of your local YMCA, go jogging in your neighborhood, or make some room for a WiiU Fit workout system– anything is better than nothing! Doing this at a minimum of once a week will be good for your health all-around; you sleep better and can run to catch the train without losing your breath!
11 – Take pride in your work
No matter what job I had, from retail to my current white-collared desk job, I always worked my hardest to give it my all. Putting the kind of effort I do directly reflects what I want people to see in me– success. Even a menial task is worth a certain level of effort, so long as it contributes to your company in some way.
For the rest of the list, read the second half here!
What do you think of these learned lessons so far? Let me know in the comments below.
Featured Image Credit: Photo by raichinger. Royalty free via Freeimages.com.