We’re constantly being hit with life lessons and well-meaning advice. With so much to know and so little time, life gets pretty hard, so we’ve put together a compact list of 101 important things you should be informed about in this crazy, beautiful thing called life!
1. You are your own responsibility: Nobody is going to get you success for you. It’s all dependant on how badly you want it and what you’ll do to get it. Don’t use external factors as an excuse for yourself if you haven’t done everything in your power to make your situation better.
2. Nobody cares about you: Beyond some curiosity or desire to be in-the-know, most people don’t truly care about you. They might like your latest instagram photo or favorite your tweet, but it likely means little more than satisfying their own needs, so don’t let others’ opinions of you affect your personal satisfaction.
3. Independence: Other people can’t run your life for you. Only you can achieve your goals for yourself, so learning to thrive independently is one of the greatest skills you can have.
4. Haters gon’ hate: People are judgmental by nature, and the more attractive, more accomplished, more talented you are, the more inclined people are to hate you. Everyone’s a critic, so use their criticism to improve yourself, but don’t let it stop you from doing you.
5. You’re not the sun: Even though making a constant effort to improve yourself is great, don’t fool yourself into thinking that the world revolves around you. Make yourself the best you can be, but realize that you’re only one small person of the many that exist in the world.
6. Be ambitious in everything you do: While you shouldn’t expect everything to always go your way, you can aim for higher places. Aim for the moon; even if you miss you’ll land among the stars.
7. Give reasons, not excuses: If you made a mistake or committed a wrong-doing, just be honest and give reasons. But do not give excuses, meant to displace the blame or push it onto external factors. Own up to your faults and do better next time. Honesty and accountability builds a good rep that will serve you well in the future.
8. The sum: In every experience, you learn something new, develop a new perspective on something, become a slightly different version of yourself. You are the sum of your experiences. Allow your experiences to define you into someone better than who you were yesterday.
9. Have confidence: For all the introverts, queer people, or naturally shy types out there, confidence is a struggle. But don’t shy (haha) away from it, because confidence can be achieved by everyone. You don’t have to be loud and boisterous; confidence comes from within.
10. Learn to learn: The world is changing so rapidly that yesterday’s news could be history by tomorrow. In order to be relevant and valuable, the greatest skill of all is the ability to learn.
11. Engineer your own serendipity: Success won’t be handed to you on a silver platter. While media may make it seem like successful people are just smart people who happened to get lucky, most had to get themselves to those positions. Truly significant success won’t happen serendipitously – you have to engineer your own serendipity.
12. Slow and steady wins the race: So you’re keen on improving yourself. But trying to take on everything at once is counter-productive and will prevent you from really getting anything done. Take things at a steady pace and improvement will come soon enough.
13. Live purposefully: Live each moment everyday with a purpose, whether it is to be better, stronger, kinder, smarter, or whatever else you aspire to do or become. Also, don’t just toil and rest and repeat – live on purpose.
14. Make a difference that makes a difference: Donating $10 or sharing a post may be “making a difference,” but it’s not truly making a change. Making a difference that stirs others to make differences is the beginning to truly creating a wave of change.
15. Produce, don’t just consume: Modern society just wants us to consume, consume, consume. However, change and influence is not created by people who consume; it’s created by those who produce, whether they are producers of anything from opinions to food to art.
16. Think like a businessman: Almost all significant decisions you make involve risk. To get the most out of your time and work, leverage the risks you take wisely so you can come out on top.
17. Investments: Make smart investments in things that will yield big returns on investment. Learning to invest early and wisely can make a world of difference later on down the road.
18. It’s a game of strategy: Getting a job, finishing a degree, finding a home – it’s all a game of strategy. Identify what is needed to succeed and use your resources effectively to achieve success.
19. History lessons: The thoughts you thought, the dreams you had, the mistakes you made – they’ve all been experienced by people before you. Use the conveniently laid-out history of our ancestors to help you tread a slightly less mistake-ridden path.
20. Commitment: Commit yourself to what you care about. Everything worth learning about or doing will need you to be faithful and dedicated.
21. Scare yourself: Getting over scary things is like jumping over metaphorical hurdles on your path to achievement. By overcoming them, you can easily become more confident and more ambitious.
22. Be curious: Everything, big or small, complex or simple, can be interesting. All it takes is an open mind and curious questions to see the fascinating nature of everything.
23. Your health is invaluable: Most things you will have in the world can be replaced, but not your health. It’s easy to take for granted in your youth, but without proper care, you can face tragic consequences. No bad signs now is not an indicator of no bad news later.
24. Don’t worry: Worry is kind of pointless; it creates wrinkles, ages the mind, and makes people around you anxious. If something’s going wrong, be concerned, but avoid needless worry; you’re only harming yourself.
25. Treat yo’self: Humans aren’t machines. Toiling away day after day is tough and everybody deserves a break. Don’t forget to treat yourself, because you deserve to be happy.
26. Educate yourself: In today’s world, an education is one of the most valuable assets a person can have. It’s not only an asset to help you get a job, but being able to learn is an amazing gift that can make you a greatly impactful person.
27. Learn languages: Learning a language is like learning to be part of the culture in which it is spoken. There are countless nuances in languages that reflect the culture. Even words that only exist in certain languages demonstrate a culture or people’s values. (ex. komorebi means “sunlight filtering through the tree leaves” in Japenese!)
28. Work on yourself: There are many things that demand your work and attention, but the ultimate project is yourself. The time and resources put towards this cause can’t be taken away from you and will help you become a better you. “The most important investment you can make is in yourself.” – Warren Buffet
29. Understand and harness the power of your words: Being able to articulate your thoughts allows you to not only communicate, but create influence with your words. Your words form part of your identity and by refining your words, you can refine yourself.
30. Experts in rhetoric become experts in people: Words can drive people, making the ability to persuade with rhetoric incredibly powerful. Understand rhetoric and you can motivate, instill fear, and change minds. There’s a reason political leaders, the people whose careers revolve around the art of persuasion, hire the best speech writers.
31. Money is but a tool: Money may be a necessity, but it doesn’t make up the bare necessities in life. It is instead a tool that allows you to gain far more than the bare necessities, so don’t let the pursuit of riches and materials be your life’s goal.
32. Make money make cents/sense: Okay, so making money’s “not supposed to be” your ultimate goal in life – but for most, it’s nearly impossible to achieve your lifetime goals without it. If you want to sustain a happy, fulfilled lifestyle in modern society, effective money management is a priority.
33. Politics and Policies: The rules that have been set in place undeniably affect you. Understand the laws and systems around you and they can be used to your advantage.
34. Morality: Our underlying morals determine our thoughts and opinions. Be aware of what your morals are so you can be confident in your actions. After all: “Your beliefs become your thoughts, Your thoughts become your words, Your words become your actions, Your actions become your habits, Your habits become your values, Your values become your destiny.” – Mahatma Gandhi
35. The inevitable: It doesn’t matter what you do; death is in your future. Come to terms with your fears of death and embrace its inevitability. You’ll be on your way to a freer and happier life.
36.Choose love, don’t just fall in it: After the thrill of a romance is gone, being in love is no longer an effortless and unstoppable force. However, this doesn’t mean you can’t love anymore. Choose to love and make that a priority.
37. I don’t like you that way: Unfortunately, love is not always mutual, and if someone you love doesn’t love you back, there’s nothing you can do except move on. Continue your life and improve yourself so maybe the next person will realize how great you are.
38. Relationships: Life isn’t the disney movie; it’s the movie plus the years after too. They won’t always work, and that’s okay. But when they do, it’s not a one-man project. Relationships are not a 100m dash; they’re a 3-legged marathon.
39. On equal terms: Relationships with people should be a fair deal: both people give and both receive. Set equal terms with people and only take as much risk as they’re willing to take themselves.
40. De-clutter your connections: Throughout your life, you’ll connect with all kinds of people. Eventually, you won’t have enough time or room to be hurt by bad people dragging you down. Cut away the harmful people and keep people you value close to you.
41. People will be people: Everybody’s different. Maybe they’re nice, or gay, or selfish, or timid. But people are also just people, so the next time somebody puts you off, remember that everybody also has fears and desires that stem from the same human nature because everybody’s also the same.
42. Don’t hate if you can appreciate: The world has enough haters already. If you don’t like something, fine, but trash talking or putting others down is unnecessary and rude. Instead, get rid of the things you don’t like in yourself and appreciate what you like about the rest of the world.
43. Selfishness: Everybody’s got their own priorities and their own mouths to feed before they can feed yours. Don’t depend on the kindness of others, but instead be self-sufficient. It’s okay to be selfish until you’re on steady footing and then help others after.
44. Everyone just wants to be happy: Don’t judge others for their desires and pursuits. In the end, they’re all just chasing happiness and success in the same way we are. Understanding this will make the world a more accepting and forgiving place.
45. Only busts belong on pedestals: Being put on a pedestal is suffocating. It’s toxic. And it entails expectations that are impossible to live up to. Everyone’s just trying to do their best, so putting people on pedestals doesn’t do good for either of you.
46. You can’t understand everyone: Everybody has an intricate personal history and it’s impossible to fully understand everyone’s story. Understand that there are countless factors affecting every person and you’re on your way to a less judgemental and empathetic outlook
47. Building a community: Humans naturally desire community and a sense of belonging with other people. Establishing a community in any facet of your life, from work to home, helps you to be a more content person.
48. Don’t poison yourself with hate: Hate is a form of self-torture. Only you truly feel the effects and only you can stop it. Choose to forgive and forget and let the resentment fade away.
49. Kindness and empathy: A lot can be accomplished simply from being kind. Be kind and empathetic to others and hope that others will do the same for you.
50. Be understanding to your parents: Your parents are people too; imperfect, small people trying to do their best, just like you. Don’t blame them for not being perfect. If you can, ask them about their background and motives, as this knowledge will help you be more understanding and forgiving towards them.
51. Win or lose: You may win and you may lose, but neither are all totally good or bad. Your successes are proof of what can be accomplished with hard work, while your failures are goals to be achieved and areas to be improved.
52. Look up, not down: Every single person has admirable traits. Learn to look up to their admirable traits, but don’t look down on them when they’re not doing things the way you are.
53. All about the lens: A mistake can be both a failure or an opportunity for improvement – or both. The world changes when you put on a new set of lenses, so view the world the way you wish to see it.
54. Take a vacay: Stop the stream of commitments and demands from your life to enjoy and appreciate the things that matter. Go see your parents. Play with your dog. Laugh with your friends. The rest of your life can wait a little.
55. Avoid regret: Enjoy every moment, because once it’s gone, it’s never coming back. If there’s something you shy away from doing because it would be awkward or you’re simply scared, just do it. Better to know you made a mistake than wonder what would have happened if you hadn’t.
56. Valuing relationships: The people you value should truly be treasured. Learn to appreciate and understand them, and reciprocate when others value you.
57. Stay logical: Emotions are important and shouldn’t be disregarded, but don’t let emotions make your decisions for you. Even in the most intense situations, use logic to make sure you’re making smart decisions.
58. Stay objective in work: Regardless of how cool it is or how excited you are to be there, don’t become too attached to your work. At the end, you’re simply a resource to the company.
59. Identify your identity: Despite people who claim they “don’t care what other people think,” your reputation in work and at home plays a big part in your personal happiness. Actively work on your identity in these places so it represents who you want to be.
60. Don’t (blindly) follow your passions: Following your heart is the most popular career advice, but it needs to be taken with a grain of salt. Society wouldn’t function if all 5th-grade kids decided to be YouTube stars. If you can provide value to others, great opportunities will often appear for you. “Where passion and pragmatism meet, great things happen.” – Ryan Holmes, CEO of Hootsuite
61. Travel: There is so much to explore in the world, and travelling can immerse you in a totally mind-changing and extraordinary new world. Opening your mind and your heart to the vastness and uniqueness of the world can change your life.
62. Your heritage: Especially if you are an immigrant or from a generation of recent immigrants, your upbringing and background probably reflect your heritage. It is a part of you and always will be. Learning about it can enrich you and help you understand yourself and your family better.
63. Know your biases: Every interaction, every experience, every thought you’ve had has influenced you in some way. They create biases in our minds that cause us to subjectively view the world. Understanding that your mind is constantly plagued by these biases will help you to catch yourself being biased.
64. Do like a mirror – reflect: Our lives are so busy that we have less and less time to simply be unoccupied and think. However, conscious growth requires reflection to identify, so take some time off and remember to reflect on it. Even the smallest things can be changed
65. Up or down: Humans have a natural negative bias. We’re wary of that which we don’t know and scared of risks. But nature can be overridden with conscious emphasis on positivity. Allow positives and success to prevail in your life so that you’re always moving up and not down.
66. It’s arbitrary: Time, age, money, titles; they were all made up by humans and we use them as a measure of value. While understanding these values is useful to modern life, a lot of things in life are just arbitrary.
67. We’re only human: Everybody is as much of a victim as you are. We’re all prey to biases and insecurity and messing up. The better you understand human behavior and decisions, the more you can prevent problems in your life.
68. There’s only so much you can do: You just want what’s best for those close to you, but sometimes it’s like they’re trying to fail on purpose. If you’ve tried your best and there’s nothing else that can be done, let them be responsible for themselves. You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make them drink.
69. Imperfection: Your instagram might make it seem otherwise, but you’re not perfect. He’s not perfect. She’s not perfect. Nobody is perfect. Everybody makes mistakes and has flaws, so accept the unavoidable imperfection of the human race and be content with it.
70. Not everything goes your way: You are only one person in the vast world, and your planning and caution can only do so much. Sometimes things simply don’t go as planned. It’s inevitable, but it doesn’t have to be a bad thing. Accept it, face it, and move on.
71. Appreciate: The world is filled with great things and great people. Acknowledging and appreciating the great things in life put a positive outlook on every single day and help you stay humble.
72. Fill yourself with wonder: That which is mundane to society doesn’t have to be mundane to you. We’re surrounded by wondrous and captivating things. Just an open mind and a sharp eye can reveal the wonders of life.
73. It’s cool to care: People who care more than is “cool” make the world a bigger and better place. If something compels you and makes you happy or angry or sad, don’t be ashamed about caring about it. So, yeah, I care about grammar and spelling. Got a problem?
74. Expression is freedom: Saying how you feel and showing who you are therapeutic. It helps you to reflect and allows you to refine your ideas and identity. Practice self-expression, whether it’s writing, music, dance, fashion, or another unique form of expression. If it’s true to you, then do it.
75. Your legacy: What will you leave when you die? Or rather, what do you want to leave? Whether you wish to simply be happy or to change the world, the identity and change you build while you are alive is up to you. Leave the legacy that you want.
76. Lead by example: Everybody wants to be a leader, but giving orders isn’t truly leading. To have people truly follow you, be sometime they aspire to be. Be their example.
77. Be more than a job: There is far more to life than your occupation or our career. If that’s all you have right now and you’re not happy with it, explore what else you’re missing. You can still live happily and make ends meet.
78. You’re making an impact: Regardless of how it may seem, every action you take has an impact. Don’t be fooled into thinking that the little things don’t matter, because even the gentle flapping of butterfly wings can cause a hurricane.
79. Authenticity: Authentic people are like authentic food – wise people will value them and they never lose their appeal. Stay authentic and honest about who you are and what you think.
80. Accountability: It’s easy to get lazy and tired, but lazy and tired doesn’t get you on top. Keep yourself accountable. Do what you say, say what you mean and people will notice.
81. Know a little about a lot: Having a general understanding of things from sports and entertainment to economics and programming will help you understand the world around you, not to mention that finding a common ground with strangers will be significantly easier!
82. Not knowing is okay: While being in-the-know is great, it’s impossible for one person to know everything. Everybody has blind spots in their experience and knowledge bank and you don’t need to be ashamed if one of yours is revealed.
83. Be self-aware: Make yourself aware of how others see you. An understanding of others’ perspective can help you ease communication with others and make it easier to take yourself less seriously.
84. A mountain of salt: Everybody has an opinion and even if it’s none of their business, that opinion is sometimes thrown on you in the form of advice. Even if it sounds like the solution to all of your problems, take all advice with a grain of salt. You’ll be the one dealing with your life if the well-meaning advice doesn’t work out.
85. You don’t have to be in-the-know: The world has everything and anything going on all at once, but it’s impossible to know about all of it. The desire to be in-the-know can easily distract you from the present moment, so remember to focus on what’s affecting you now as well.
86. Stay away from drugs, kids: And not just chemical drugs. Additions to money, food, smoking, or getting Facebook notifications distract you from the more important things in life. Don’t let addictions run your life for you.
87. Pride vs. entitlement: Have pride in yourself and your accomplishments. If you’ve earned it, give yourself a pat on the back. However, be careful not to overstep your boundaries, as there is a fine line between pride and entitlement and thinking you deserve things you didn’t earn.
88. Desire vs. intention: Your desires may be your most natural inclination, but often our desires won’t lead us to a brighter and better path. Don’t confuse desire from intention; instead, thoughtfully choose a certain course with intent.
89. Comparison is the thief of joy: Your chapter 1 is not the same as another person’s chapter 20. Use others as inspiration or as a reference for where you want to go, but their life isn’t your bible for achievements. You can be successful to yourself regardless of others.
90. Respect yourself and you’ll have a wealth of respect: It’s hard to build self-respect. People are constantly judging and media’s shoving comparisons in your head, but self-respect allows you to value you. Do that, and others will notice and follow.
91. Where are your manners?: While some etiquette seems like arbitrary social rules, just like policies, they should be understood and when possible, used to your advantage. Besides, etiquette makes up part of others’ perspective of you and why make it a bad one?
92. Sex: It’s one of the driving forces of human nature, and sex ed. isn’t really hitting all the bases. Understand both the physical and emotional sides of sex, and know that isn’t like the movies.
93. Focus: They say that difficult things are the only things worth doing. If that’s so, the ability to focus is essential, as it is the basic skill needed to develop other skills and gather new knowledge.
94. Discipline: You can’t become a master by making half-hearted attempts. It requires a purposeful effort every day – it requires discipline. Train yourself to achieve your goals and eventually, you can be a master of whatever you choose.
95. Creating: The skills and abilities you develop throughout your life are a product of who you are. If you want to create, let your creativity roam free. Develop a craft that you can work on throughout your life, whether it’s music, writing, origami, or any queer thing that you happen to enjoy.
96. Be in the moment: Every passing moment can never be retrieved. The day you spent watching Netflix, the hour you slept in, and the past 5 minutes you’ve spent reading this are gone. Time is precious, and it is too easily wasted, so be in the moment and make every moment count.
97. Honesty isn’t a license to be rude: People may value honesty and authenticity, but don’t mistake it as a necessity to rudely proclaim your opinions. Regardless of the subject matter, criticism can always be given in a constructive and graceful manner.
98. Make opposites attract: Contrary to scientific theories, we’re drawn to those who are similar to us. Those who are different are bound to see the world differently, but it’s this different perspective that broadens and enriches your mind.
99. Be good to yourself: Eat good food and buy yourself nice clothes, because the better you feel and look, the better your life can be.
100. Be a wise rule-breaker: While being able to follow rules is a valuable skill, it won’t always get you what you want. Wise people understand the rules that govern society and people. Most importantly, they know when it’s necessary to bend and break those rules.
101. When you can afford to, give more than is required of you.