Life is full of lessons. Some lessons are learned in an instant–like when you touch a hot stove. Others take time to fully understand–for example, what it truly means to be in love. But regardless of the size of the lesson, there are 30 important ones everyone should know before exiting young adulthood and entering the next phase of their life.
1. Your habits can make or break you. Every action is a brick, meaning it’s what you do on a daily basis that determines the house you end up with. You are the house you build.
2. You are what you read. If your body is a reflection of what you eat, then your mind is a reflection of what you read and study. Fill it with good stuff–not candy, like social media.
3. You cannot compare your path with anyone else’s. We each have our own struggles, and we each have our own triumphs. Your path is your path for a reason. Pay attention to the lessons meant for you and you only.
4. Your inner circle is your “dream team.” If you surround yourself with negative people, your dream will die. If you surround yourself with positive and driven people, your dream will thrive. It’s on you to build your “dream team” accordingly.
5. Your life is a reflection of how well you know yourself. It always comes back to self-awareness. The more willing you are to address your fears, shortcomings, and points of conflict, the more self-awareness you will have and the happier you will be.
1. How you invest your time is a reflection of how you invest your money. The smart and wealthy know the value of their time. They see each minute, hour, day, week, month, and so on as an opportunity to invest wisely in themselves. You must do the same.
2. To be productive, you have to remove distractions. Productivity is not about multitasking. It’s actually the opposite. It’s about trying to do less, so that you can ultimately do more.
3. If you aren’t getting done what needs to get done, there is a fear. We avoid the things we don’t want to do–or worse, wonder if we can do at all. This is why startup plans and book ideas get pushed to the back burner so often. To get the work done, you have to confront what’s holding you back.
4. Efficiency is a process. It doesn’t happen the first or second time you do something. Which means in order to be productive in the fullest sense, you have to commit to the process of always looking for ways to improve over the long term.
5. Failure to prepare means preparing to fail. You can’t expect yourself to move through things quickly and effectively if you haven’t set yourself up for success. What you do today impacts where you start tomorrow.
1. The most important relationship in your life is the one you have with yourself. Without a positive relationship with yourself, every other relationship in your life will suffer. It always starts with you.
2. Friendships and relationships are collaborations. They are not one-way streets. Healthy relationships make both parties better.
3. Trust is built through actions, not words. You can’t pay attention to what people say or promise, only what they ultimately do. The way someone acts will tell you everything you need to know.
4. A real relationship is built on vulnerability. It doesn’t matter if it’s a friendship, a significant other, or even a business connection, the best exchanges are rooted in some level of vulnerability. At the end of the day, we’re all exploring life together. We want to have genuine connections.
5. Every relationship has its ups and downs. Conflicts and disagreements are inevitable. What matters is how each conflict is resolved. And the key is to always maintain a level of respect and benefit of the doubt, so that both parties can be heard and mutually understood.
1. Your body is your temple. Treat it well.
2. Too much sugar and you’ll crash. Candy diets and processed food binges aren’t part of a healthy lifestyle. Your body is a reflection of who you are, your habits, how you treat yourself, everything. Cut out the bad stuff.
3. Lack of sleep is not a trophy. Bragging about only getting three hours of sleep last night is not something to be proud of. What it shows is a severe lack of balance and an unsustainable workflow. Life is a marathon, not a sprint.
4. Physical activity is crucial to personal wellness. No matter how busy you get, or how hectic things are, you always have to make time to take care of your physical body. Exercise is key. If you don’t, you’ll pay for it later.
5. Coffee is good, but too much coffee is bad. When your entire diet becomes “red eye” after “red eye,” it’s time to address the sleep problem.
1. You don’t get anywhere fast trying to cut the line. There are no shortcuts. Throwing someone under the bus on your way up will only come back to bite you. Focus on investing in yourself and your skill sets and let the rest fall into place.
2. Your reputation is everything. Above all, you always want former employers, co-workers, partners, and collaborators to speak highly of you. Upholding your reputation is everything when it comes to building a successful career for yourself.
3. It’s not about what you’ve done, but what you’re currently doing. Especially in our new world of digital media and personal branding, people want to know whose attention you are commanding today. What impact you are having today.
4. Humility goes a whole lot further than bravado. It’s not about convincing everyone how much you know. It’s about showing that you’re a team player by being willing to listen, learn, and add value where you can. No one likes a spotlight searcher.
5. Becoming a leader has nothing to do with a formal leadership position. Just because you have a big fancy title does not mean people will listen to you, or even take you seriously. To lead a team effectively, it starts with holding yourself to the highest standard and leading by example.
1. You aren’t aiming for perfect. You’re aiming for perfect practice. It’s not about tunnel-visioning on the shiny idea of the final product. It’s about treating each step of the way with intention. That’s how you create something worth presenting to the world in the end.
2. External rewards are fleeting and unfulfilling. They’re fun, sure, but they are not the end goal–not by a long shot. What holds far more value, and defines the quality of your life, is how many people’s lives you impact for the better. However you choose to do that is up to you.
3. Believing your own hype is dangerous. No matter what you achieve, or how externally successful you get, you have to always remember the kid that started out on his or her path out of pure curiosity. You should never lose that childlike sense of wonder.
4. You are only as good as the last risk you took. If you have to rely on your last home run (which may have happened a long time ago) to speak for your current talents, you have fallen stagnant. Success over the long term is about constantly pushing yourself to take the next big risk.
5. Somewhere, someone much younger than you is practicing his or her heart out, coming for your spot. Just remember that. Anyone can reach the top of the mountain. The hard part is staying there.
Originally published at www.inc.com