Alas, I am 32, and like most birthdays, I feel the same. However, I have noticed myself feeling more anxious over the last couple of years. It took me some time to figure it out but eventually I realized what the problem is. As a pretty ambitious person, I felt perfect in my early 20’s. After all, failures and set-backs didn’t mean much. I had loads of time left. Now they do mean something, at least to me. One failure feels like 100.
So, in learning to deal with that and to celebrate 32 years of learning about life, I thought I’d write out a list of 32 things I’ve “almost learned” over the last 32 years. I say “almost learned” because I certainly haven’t mastered all of them. I have simply learned them and will continuously try to implement and improve on them throughout life. Isn’t that what it’s all about?
I hope this list inspires you in some way. Feel free to share more tips that you’ve learned in the comment section below!
32 Tips from 32 Years
In no particular order…
- Even if you do everything “right”, everything can go wrong. There’s always an element of luck.
- Life is more fun if you’re curious but career/business success requires focusing on one thing. Most of the time.
- Everyone thinks the world is getting worse when in reality, it gets better each and every day. Ignore the banter, focus on the facts.
- Focus is great but what if you focus on the wrong thing?
- Almost everything we know of is imaginary. It just seems “real” due to a shared belief.
- You can’t fight hatred with hatred. Have you ever tried putting out a fire with more fire? Try it. It doesn’t work.
- Ego really is the enemy.
- By far, the thing holding you back the most is yourself.
- Dreams are great but without action, they are a distraction.
- It’s okay to have hobbies. Don’t try to turn all your “passions” into a business. It will destroy you.
- Try new things. Life is about spice. Explore the possibilities.
- Start an automated investment plan in a relatively safe way. Mine is with ETF’s. Set it up yourself so you don’t pay outrageous fees. Contribute monthly and forget about it. Do an annual check-up. If everything else fails, at least you’ll have this. At the very least, it will give you some peace of mind about the “Future”.
- Questions everything. Everything.
- Care more about important things. One person can make a difference but there’s never just one.
- Be compassionate. Look at everything as grey and not as black and white. Think about the pain and suffering that even the “bad guy” must be going through or has gone through. You’ll be surprised at how humanizing this is.
- Have less opinions. Have no opinions. When did an opinion ever get you anywhere?
- Read. Read fiction. Read non-fiction. Learn from others and stir your imagination.
- Never stop learning. Doing so is death.
- Start reading food nutrition labels. Learn what it means. Doing this well help you avoid the hype and truly eat healthy without getting confused. It’s easy.
- Stop supporting companies that go against what you know or believe is wrong.
- Anything in moderation.
- Be happy with less. The thought of “losing stuff” is the source of much anxiety. You don’t even have to live with less but if you truly know you could be happy with less – really know it – it’s like having an insurance plan for the worst case scenario.
- Don’t crave things. Don’t run away from things. Just be present.
- Realize that everything is internal. No one controls your happiness. If someone is offering you a gift of negativity, refuse it. Who wants a shitty gift?
- Exercise. Lift weights, join a bootcamp, play sports, go biking, go running, go hiking. Just move more.
- If this was your last year on Earth, what would you do? What’s one thing you’d do at all costs? Now go do that. After all, it really could be your last year.
- Become a part of nature. Get out into nature more. Develop “eco” habits not out of trend or because it’s “the thing to do” but because you’re a part of it. Treat nature and the world around you like a loved one. After all, you depend on it. Plus, you’ll feel better. I know I do.
- Get over yourself. You’re not that special. This is a hard one for me but it should relieve a lot of pressure. Stop trying to impress people. Care less what they think. Most people are too obsessed with themselves to truly care about what you’re doing. Just live as you please, as long as it’s not hurting another being. Again, good luck. If you have any tips on implementing this, let me know.
- Everyone reading this right now will be dead in 100 years or less. Whether you have a backpack or a Ferrari, it ain’t going with you. Choose wisely.
- Experiences are worth far more than goods.
- Do something truly exciting at least once a year that you can’t stop talking about for the following year.
- Hug more.
Oh, and travel more! Go to at least one developing country and avoid the faceless resorts. Stay with locals at a guesthouse. Meet them. Listen to their story. You’ll learn so much. Trust me.
What do you think? Any tips you’d like to share or expand on?