While I’m still rather young in comparison with many of my peers, I felt it appropriate to list many of the lessons I have learned over the years.  If anything, for myself to reflect on later in life.  Well, here goes:

  • Someone, somewhere, thinks you’re the coolest person on the planet.  You might not feel that way all the time, and you may not even know that person, but they look up to you in the highest regard.
  • Never compromise your integrity.  Integrity is important and will dramatically improve your life in the long run.  Your reputation should be one of respect, not notoriety.
  • Always stand up for what you feel is right; even if it is against the grain.  Authority is malleable, and any person can be swayed under the proper circumstances.
  • Think outside the box.  Read things you disagree with and attempt to empathize with the opposition.  If you’re only looking at one side of the canvas, you’ll never know if there’s a beautiful painting on the back.
  • If you don’t evolve, you’ll fall behind.  Work hard every day to improve your skills and develop new ones.  You never know when that hour of seemingly pointless research will change your life.
  • Understand others’ experiences differ from your own.  Try to understand where others come from.  Those who differ from yourself are your biggest assets.
  • Strive for completion in the short game, and perfection in the long game.  Neglecting either is a waste of time.
  • Don’t spend too much time with the same people.  Doing so will only place you in a bubble.
  • Always surround yourself with successful people.  Over time, you will become more like them.
  • Measure success based on personal progression, not on monetary earnings.  Money will come and go, but your personal development is with you for life.
  • Just because you can do something, doesn’t mean you should.  This plays back into the integrity thing.
  • Create new experiences with every chance you get.  Never pass up an opportunity to experience something new.
  • Travel.  Even if it is to a place that isn’t interesting to most.
  • Set high moral and ethical standards for yourself and everyone around you.
  • Talk to everyone.  Sometimes the best conversations are with those who you least expect.
  • Learn from everyone you interact with.  Everyone has something to share.  You never know when a quick conversation with someone in line at Starbucks will change your life down the road.
  • Never be afraid to ask for help.  Everyone around you is a resource.
  • Always provide help when asked.  That help impacts others more than you will ever know.
  • Be a weirdo.  The greatest people in this world were never seen as “normal” until after they changed it.
  • Always own up to your mistakes.  Owning up to a mistake improves how people see you, and enhances self pride.

To be continued…