This year, on my birthday, I decided to do something different. This post is about the 28 most important things I learned over the last 28 years. I hope that you will find them valuable and useful also for you.
1. Your current situtation is changeable and the only person responsible for this is you.
No matter what you are doing, where you are living, or, in general, what is your current situation – there is always something that you can do the change (of course if you would like to). I believe that the thing is always to find the right solution and people on your way and move forward will small steps. Also, nobody will take care of it, apart from you – you are fully responsible for your actions.
2. Dream big, do small.
Dreaming big is a very good thing and can motivate and stimulate us. But at the same time, it might be demotivating and also overstimulating. This might be the case if we realize how long it will take to realize a certain plan.
What I have learned is that if we focus on small, constant activities, rather than on the final goal, we will avoid burnout and sooner or later our dreams come true.
3. If you cannot access the house via door, use one of the window instead.
I learned this some time ago when I was trying to find a job in a completely new industry for me. If you try to do something and one solution doesn’t work, try another one – if that one also won’t work look again for a different approach, and so on. As you can access the house through different “holes” there are also multiple ways to achieve something.
4. You know best, what fits you
The doctor knows what is the best medicine for you; an Architect knows what is the best way to construct the house; a Lawyer knows what is the best way to cope with the law. Question – who is the person who knows what is the best for you in terms of the direction in life that you should go? You.
5.The negative feelings are temporary.
Life is fully packed with mixed feelings. When we feel happy, we wanna stay in that mood for as long as possible, but unfortunately, it’s not always possible. The good news is that all feelings are a temporary state of mind. Why is it important? If we feel bad or we experience any negative emotion the awareness that it will go sooner or later is helpful to overcome them. This knowledge helps me so many times.
6. Try to go outside of the bubble.
One of my teachers in high school said that the number of people (friends) around me will be decreasing over time. At that point in my life, I don’t believe in that but 10 years after high school I can confirm that is totally true. I wouldn’t say that it’s a bad thing (sometimes it’s better to have one friend rather than 10 “friends”) but is a good thing, from time to time, to go outside and meet someone new.
7. You are not able to fix everything
Over time I have learned that there is no way that I will solve all of the problems by myself. I thought that I’m a superhero who can step into every single situation and find the solution. I lost a lot of energy and time for that. Control what is under your control and let the rest of things go.
8. I respect your opinion about sensitive topics but don’t try to convince to your thinking.
I saw the tendency (especially in the pandemic times) that people were trying to prove that their thinking/opinion is the only and the right one. The same is applied to politics, religion, and so on. My personal view is mine and I don’t wanna be convinced of someone’s point of view without my asking. Also, I understand and respect that you might have different perspectives, and, I believe it’s a healthy way of exchanging thoughts about sensitive topics.
9. You can always ask, but I will not have answer for all questions.
We expect that if someone is an “expert” (whatever it means) in some field that this person will know the answer to all of the questions. I cannot agree with that statement. Art is to say that we don’t know everything and we need to learn that it’s better to say that rather than to spread the wrong information.
10. You are not the train, you don’t have to follow specified routes
I think is not that popular right now (correct me if I’m wrong) but there was a time in history when if the grandfather was the baker the father and it was expected that kids will follow the same path. It’s not an issue if someone wants to have the same job as an older member of the family, but it’s an issue if there is pressure from the family.
It, however, reminds, you that if someone is telling you that you need to take a specific, fixed route to achieve something that person might be wrong. There are no specified, fixed, routes in life and you can create your own.
11. There are a lot of people around you who can help
Sometimes we might be afraid of seeking help, because “who cares about our worries”. I think one of the ways of solving problems is to gain someone’s perspective. I really believe (and this is also based on my experience) that there is always someone around you who is willing to give you advice.
12. Celebrate the successes as often as its possible.
“I’m not good enough”; “I still have to get this and this” and “I don’t think that I’m doing something cool in life”. These statements are the best ways to depression or other issues with mental health. One of the ways that I learned about building my self-esteem is to celebrate my achievements as often as possible, no matter how big that success was.
13. Don’t forget that the job is changeable, the health not
I had jobs where I was thinking that there is no way to find another one and I have to do everything that is possible to make my situation better. This thinking brings to me a lot of stress and tension in my body. Based on that experience I realized that I cannot change everything in the workplace, what I can do for sure is to find another job and it’s not as hard as I thought – because I have full control over my career. What I cannot change is health so my job cannot affect it in a negative way.
14. Remember that you have something more than your job
We’re living in a kind of rat race. We are trying to achieve more and faster. But it’s not possible to follow that race without affecting your health and other areas of your life. Many people are speaking about work-life balance and I’m also on a way to finding a good balance between the time which I use for work and for my family, friends, and other things which are equally important.
15. You’re not too old to try something new
For quite a long time I was living in a bubble where people follow some kind of structure that, only certain age is the right one for doing certain things. When I left this bubble I meet the people who went to another university in their late 40s or tried various different things and don’t care about their age at all. For me, it was an eye-opening experience because I age is not the criteria for doing new cool stuff in life.
16. The mental health is equally important to physical health.
I think it is self-explanatory and these days more and more people are speaking about the importance of mental health.
17. You have the right to say “No”.
You don’t have to agree on everything and be open to every offer from other people. The skill of saying “No” is hard to master but I think every one of us should try to work on that.
18. You are not obligated to keep the relationships alive.
If you have relationships that are kept alive only by one party (in other words – you), there is no reason to have that friend any longer. As someone said, “the phone call can be done in the relationship by two parties at any time”.
19. Find “your home” the place where you can always come back.
I like that in the English language there is a differentiation between a physical place for living (house) and a place where someone feels good and secure (home). Sooner or later, everyone will have the need to have a home and I think it’s very important to find your own place in that big world.
20. Try different things to stimulate your brain.
The brain is the phenomenal thing in our body but we need to keep it stimulated. One of the ways that I learned is to try different things, sometimes new to me like new sports (or food), traveling to new countries, meeting with new people, and so on.
21. There is always a way to earn money
This is a statement that might surprise some people but I have a strong opinion that if I lose my regular job there are 100 (or more) ways to earn money to pay the bills and so on.
22. You don’t have to achieve X things at Y age.
“You have to have X thing at age Y” sound familiar? To me as well. I learned that every person has his/her own, unique pace and we don’t have to be sad when someone achieved something earlier.
23. Don’t say anything if you have nothing valuable to say
Criticism is so popular on the Internet these days. I’m not against the feedback but it should be constructive. My general statement is – if you have nothing useful to say just don’t comment on someone’s content and unfollow that person. It will really save you energy (and time).
24. What is the wortest thing that could happen?
For a long time, I was afraid of trying and taking risks. Then, one day, I start to think about every situation in terms of what is the worst scenario. With that, I can be prepared but on other hand, in my situation, I realized that there is nothing to worry about.
25. You can achieve anything you want, it’s all about time and consistency.
It might sound like a cheap motivational speech but this is true. The reason why we don’t believe in that is that we give up after some tries or time. Persistency and consistency – these are the keywords, in my opinion. One example, that gives me confirmation of that statement was when I had a chance to be in a TV show, which was my dream for a quite long time.
26. Remember to have true friends
By true friends, I mean the people with whom you can talk about every topic. People who are always ready to support you and will give you honest opinions when needed. I learned that I don’t have many of them – 1-2 is enough.
27. Treat failure as a lesson
We have been told that we cannot make mistakes. For a long time, I was thinking in that way. Then I realized that without failures I cannot find the right solution. Test and try – if fails – test and try again – this is my current approach. Also, every mistake is a lesson and additional valuable experience.
28. You cannot change the past, but the future is your.
I was blaming the past for too long time. For a few years, I know that the only thing that I can take control over is my future, and this will be my future, created by me and by my own rules. You can do the same.