29 Life Lessons I’ve learned in 29 Years

“They’ve read a bunch of words and I’ve lived a bunch of life”   ~ Jay-Z

Happy St. Patrick’s day!  Today is my birthday, I can hardly believe I’m 29.  In fact, and don’t laugh, I actually forgot how old I was.  I stopped caring after 24.  I’ve been in Edmonton for two days now, it’s a nice place contrary to earlier reports.  I have an interview for Bartender today @ 2pm, ecstatic!  This list has taken me two weeks to compel, but I’m comfortable with it.

What have I learned in my years on this earth?  I stumbled upon (http://www.stumbleupon.com/home/) a great blog called Man vs. Debt (http://manvsdebt.com/26-life-lessons/) where he reflected on his 26 years.  I think the idea is clever and immediately begun my own.  With that said, lets get started: 

Carpe Diem Que V29.0

#1.  Impossible is nothing.  When we were children, our parents would say, “you can be anything you put your mind to”.  As an adult, people tend to forget their parents statement and they recline in the Laz-boy chair of “Realism”.  When times seem bleak and you’re losing faith in yourself, remember this, “Being realistic is the most commonly traveled road to mediocrity”  ~ Will Smith

#2.  Say what you mean and mean what you say.  Your word is your bond, and as such, it’s always important to follow through with what you say.  This will go a long way in having people respect and trust you.  Integrity is a powerful word.

#3.  Life is 80/20.  If you ever have the opportunity, I recommend you read Richard Koch’s “the 80/20 Principle”.  At a high level, it states that 80% of all effects come from 20% of all causes.

#4.  Surround yourself with positive people who inspire you.  Having people around you that enrich your life is of the utmost importance.  These people will prop you up when you’re down, encourage you to push forward and constructively criticize.

#5.  Experiences trump possessions.  This tenet doesn’t apply to everyone and I don’t expect everyone to get it.  There are people out there that are content with their stuff and I wish them all the best.  My personal feeling is that I’d rather have a night of wine, dinner, laughter and love over any possession.

#6.  Learn to take criticism.  This was the most difficult thing to accept.  I used to be a very stubborn person and on occasion, I’d blanket my insecurities in sarcasm.  In the last year, I’ve learnt to listen, internalize and then intelligently comment. 

#7.  Be yourself.  When it’s all said and done, you are you.  It doesn’t make sense masking who you are to impress others.  Generally, the people you need most in your life will love you as you are.

#8.  Fear should never impede progression.  It’s so easy to give up!  My follow through and persistance has often been called into question.  Whenever I feel like quitting, I remember my childhood friend who bartended his way to a house, education and debt-free life.  He’s a firefighter by trade, the profession is oversaturated and he’s undersized, but not deterred.  Every year he’s perfecting his craft and honing his skills for that opportunity to arise and I respect him for that.

#9.  Don’t sell yourself to fall in love.  This is in conjunction with #7.  A relationship is definitely compromise, but when compromising yourself makes you another person – it’s not worth it.

#10. Know when to cut your losses.  When something isn’t benefiting your life, know when to walk away. 

#11. Nutrition, exercise and cleanliness are important.  This one is self explanatory.

#12. Listen to children.  These small people have the greatest nuggets of wisdom because they see the world through the clearest lens.  I worked at a daycare and seriously, I became a proficient chess player by getting beaten by a 9 year old all summer long.  In the evening, he moonlit as a violinist, impressive.

#13. There will always be haters.  “Hater n****s marry hater b*****s and have hater kids” ~ Kanye West.  Pay them no mind, they’re just upset about their situation.

#14. Don’t lose hope in humanity.  Never paint any person(s) with one broad stroke, people are all different.  Don’t think because someone is one way, other people will conduct themselves the same.

#15. Love completely.  In any relationship you’re involved in, be completely in the mix of it.  In romance, love fully, if you get hurt, repair and repeat cycle.  Family and relatives are unconditional.

#16. Trust in family .  If you have a great family, don’t be afraid to ask for help.  Family is a great asset and they should be comended and appreciated for it, not everyone has one.

#17.  You’re problems aren’t unique.  My previous manager used to always say, “you’ve only have seven seconds of original thought in your life”.  Nothing is original in this world.  Problems that may seem insurmountable can often be solved effortlessly with a little help.

#18.  Smile often.  Smiling has astounding effects on people.  It’s inviting and warm.  Women love it and men bromance based on it.  Those individuals who stand against the wall scowling at events have no idea how foolish they look.  Don’t be afraid to smile!

#19.  Make new memories.  Old memories are great, but don’t dwell on them.  Make new ones and live.

#20.  Learn to say “No”.  I hate saying no, I try to help out as much as possible.  However, if your heart isn’t completely in something, it’s better to decline respectfully rather than disappoint.

#21.  The answer will always be no if you don’t ask.

#22.  Money doesn’t buy happiness, but it buys everything else!   This is my fun way of saying that I like money.  I want a lot of money.  While true, don’t let #14 fool you.  I want my family to live a remarkable, yet secure life.  I rarely worry about money now, but I want to all but eliminate it as a concern altogether.  I want to be able to focus my life on giving in the coming years, while still being able to have an income.  ~ Adam Baker

#23.  Never have regrets!  “Regrets are a waste of time. They’re the past crippling you in the present.” ~ Under the Tuscan Sun

#24.  Be Altruistic.   Thinking of others first is a great thing, if they don’t take advantage of you.  If it’s in you, give without intention of receiving, if it happens, great, but never let that be your motive.

#25.  Travel and explore.  There’s so much world out there.  There are people to meet and experiences to enjoy.  Why are you still sitting there?  “Scared of a world outside you should go explore” ~ John Mayer

#26.  Debt is the devil.  There is no such thing as good and bad debt.  All debt is bad and while I’m aware that debt is necessary in North American society, I don’t agree with it.  It’s a form of modern day slavery.

#27.  Implore the younger generation to save.  Pay yourself first should be a concept adopted by everyone.  Setting aside 15% of your cheque for savings is important and I don’t mean saving for a substantial purchase.  These savings are just to be saved with no intention of spending.

#28.  Cheer.  Be a fan.  I love the New Orleans Saints, Chelsea Football club, Edmonton Oilers and LA Lakers.  I am not shy about it, these teams are important to me.  I love having something to cheer for and the camaraderie it brings between friends.

#29.  Wisdom comes  with age.  I’m 29.  I’m not old or ancient.  There’s a lot of life and I love this age.  I think there’s a stigma that comes with getting older, especially when people look around and see friends with more to show.  My mentality now in comparison to five years ago is drastically different and in my opinion better.  I’m learning from everything, everyone and my surroundings.  I doesn’t make me uncomfortable to say, “I don’t know”, it just means that there’s something new to learn.  The attainment of knowledge and the wisdom to put it into action should be life’s neverending journey.

Happy St. Patrick’s day everyone,


One thought on “29 Life Lessons I’ve learned in 29 Years

  1. Happy Birthday belatedly! I probably agree the most with surrounding yourself with positive people. Having negativity in your life is the number one reason you’ll never be happy

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