What I've learned from 8502 days of living

Every day I read articles on life hacking, productivity, time management, creativity, and how to improve this and that. Always trying to improve different aspects of my life. But with this constant consumption of information I find it more important than ever to take a moment and actually think about what I’ve learned so far.

With that being said, having lived for 8,502 days, this is my summary:

  • Competency is not defined by age. By all means, respect people who are older than you, but that fact alone doesn’t necessarily make them better than you.
     
  • Learn from your younger peers instead of ignoring them. People who are younger than you might very well be better at some things than you are, and the sooner you can swallow that fact the better.
     
  • Definitions and terms change over time. They get lost through layers of bullshit, while the best, and most true definitions often come from the gut feeling of a young and “under-developed” mind. Refresh your own mindset and knowledge base, by learning from your younger peers
     
  • In a conversation or activity try to include everyone, no matter how difficult that sounds, except the douche bags.
     
  • If you dig deep enough you can learn something from anyone. Even the people you really don’t find interesting, you just have to dig a little deeper.
     
  • Yes, you should stay in touch with your friends, but at the same time the ones who really keep you close to their heart won’t necessarily need that regular contact that acquaintances need. The strong friendships you’ve already established won’t need that same maintenance.
     
  • “Do you really want this person in your life?” If not, move on, and stop trying so hard to get him or her to like you, and for you to like that person in return. You might just be better off without.
     
  • As harsh as it may sound, live your life for yourself. Not for everyone else. Base your decisions on yourself and your values. If you’d rather stay home and read on a Saturday night than go out drinking, then do that. Just make sure that you:
     
  • Invest in your social life. Give that little bit of extra effort. Try saying yes, when you usually would have said no.
     
  • You always regret the things you didn’t do, more than the things you actually did.
     

  • You’re not made to stay indoors. Get out of the apartment. Nature was here before apartments, computers, and the internet came around. There’s a reason for that.
     
  • Expressing gratitude makes you happy. Saying “Thank you, that meant a lot to me”, to a person who has helped you in any way will make you feel like a good human being.
     
  • Don’t take life too seriously. The decisions you make in moments of doubt are likely not as important as you make it up to be. That assignment you’re doing at school won’t decide whether or not you’ll be happy in your lifetime.
     
  • Nothing is perfect. So stop expecting it, both from yourself and others.
     
  • Look for the small pleasures in life. The satisfaction you get from several small personal victories will outweigh that short-lasting pleasure in finishing just one big project.
     
  • Don’t be afraid of the first, blank page in a new notebook. Blank pages are just filled with your own expectations. The bigger the sheet, the higher the expectations. Use that first dot as a bat to beat the crap out of your expectations. Put your back into it, really use some force, and draw a turd. A stinky turd at that. Or a worm with an eye-patch. Really, whatever that’ll make you smile, and motivates you to continue with what you intended to do in the first place.
     
  • Face-to-face conversations are always best. Period. This is also where you’ll learn the biggest lessons in life. Which, by the way, sounds ridiculous coming from a 23-year old, but up until now that has been the case.
     
  • In the end, just don’t worry so much. Contrary to what you may feel, life is not a sprint, it’s a marathon. And even though you might really,really, suck at it now, focusing on one day at the time will always make you more happy.