1. You’ll learn to erase the word “embarrassment” from your vocabulary.
Greatness and embarrassment are closely connected. If you aren’t willing to be vulnerable and take risks, you’ll never meet your full potential.
2. You’ll discover your non-negotiables.
We’ve all grown up being told that acting selfishly is not okay, but when it comes to your personal and professional life, sometimes it is. Each of us will learn that there are certain things that we just aren’t willing to put up with. And that’s fine. Realizing your non-negotiables will make you a much happier person.
3. You’ll learn that everyone has a different definition of success.
Focus on your own achievements and stop sneering at the achievements of others. I’m looking at you, women.
4. You’ll learn to date people with a similar taste in music.
The power that music has over our emotions is a beautiful thing. If you can find someone who connects the same way you do with the songs you love, there’s a pretty good chance that you’ll find yourself connecting on other levels as well.
5. You’ll realize that there are certain people that just aren’t capable of loving you back.
As you grow, you’ll come across people that are dealing with personal struggles so large that they simply don’t have the capacity to show you the love and attention that you show them. It’s okay to stick around and support these people through difficult times, just realize that you cannot fix them or make them understand the thoughts and emotions that are holding them back. Some people really are worth your respect, support and admiration, even if they don’t always reciprocate. Just don’t compromise your own happiness while fighting for the happiness of others.
6. You’ll learn how to handle being alone.
There will be times (possibly many times) when you’ll eat at restaurants alone, stay in hotels alone, and spend hours or days on the road all by your lonesome self. Learn the art of self-entertainment.
7. If you miss someone it’s okay to contact him or her, even if it’s been a while.
Go ahead and send that text or email. Sometimes you just have to suck it up and be the one to say hello.
8. You’ll learn to be a future-thinker.
Ask yourself where you’ll be 5 years down the road if you continue to live your life the way you’re currently living it. If you don’t like what that future looks like, it’s time to make some changes. Sometimes you’ll have to make some really difficult, gut-wrenching decisions in order to better yourself, but it will be worth it.
9. You’ll learn a thing or two from children.
Sometimes the advice they give us is rather strange–my friend Simon, for instance, regularly tells me to, “never trust a fart”–but kids really do have a lot to teach us. Kids are great at embracing uniqueness, being creative, showing persistence and asking lots of questions, and those are things that us 20-somethings often forget to do. Growing up is great and all, but don’t lose touch with your 5-year-old self.
10. You’ll learn a thing or two from the elderly as well.
Elderly people can provide you endless cheat codes to happiness. Older men and women have so much to teach us about hard work, relationships and life skills. And they’re hilariously uncensored. Take advantage of your elderly family members’ knowledge and dig around for some great life stories. Elderly people seldom fail to disappoint.
11. You’ll learn to trust your gut.
Overthinking can destroy you. If something seems right, let it be.
12. You’ll realize that friends and partners are supposed to make you feel good about yourself.
Never allow yourself to be bullied, taunted, criticized, blackmailed, lied to, or threatened by the people you’ve allowed into your inner circle. Letting go of friends and significant others is a heartbreaking process, but freeing yourself of negativity is crucial to your well-being.
13. You’ll learn that there are more important things than wearing expensive clothing.
Being comfortable and having a bit of emergency money are two of those things.
14. You’ll learn to ignore people that question your abilities.
Don’t let others tell you what they think you’re capable of; show them what you know you’re capable of. You deserve whatever you’re willing to work for. Never let anyone convince you otherwise.