post written by: Marc Chernoff
30 Truths I’ve Learned In 30 Years
Since today is my 30th birthday I thought it fitting to share 30 things I understand now that were complete mysteries to me just a few short years ago. These are simple lessons about life in general that I picked up while traveling, living in different cities, working for different companies (and myself), and meeting remarkable and unusual people everywhere in between.
- There comes a point in life when you get tired of chasing everyone and trying to fix everything, but it’s not giving up. It’s realizing you don’t need certain people and things and the drama they bring.
- If a person wants to be a part of your life they will make an obvious effort to do so. Don’t bother reserving a space in your heart for people who do not make an effort to stay.
- If you want to fly, you have to give up the things that weigh you down – which is not always as obvious and easy as it sounds.
- Doing something and getting it wrong is at least ten times more productive than doing nothing.
- Every success has a trail of failures behind it, and every failure is leading towards success. You don’t fail by falling down. You fail by never getting back up. Sometimes you just have to forget how you feel, remember what you deserve, and keep pushing forward.
- When you get to know people with different ethnic backgrounds, from different cities and countries, who live at various socioeconomic levels, you begin to realize that everyone basically wants the same things. They want validation, love, happiness, fulfillment and hopes for a better future. The way they pursue these desires is where things branch off, but the fundamentals are the same. You can relate to almost everyone everywhere if you look past the superficial facades that divide us.
- The more things you own, the more your things own you. Less truly gives you more freedom. Read The Joy of Less.
- While you’re busy looking for the perfect person, you’ll probably miss the imperfect person who could make you perfectly happy. This is as true for friendships as it is for intimate relationships. Finding a companion or a friend isn’t about trying to transform yourself into the perfect image of what you think they want. It’s about being exactly who you are and then finding someone who appreciates that.
- Relationships must be chosen wisely. It’s better to be alone than to be in bad company. There’s no need to rush. If something is meant to be, it will happen – in the right time, with the right person, and for the best reason.
- Making a thousand friends is not a miracle. A miracle is making one friend who will stand by your side when thousands are against you.
- Someone will always be better looking. Someone will always be smarter. Someone will always be more charismatic. But they will never be you – with your exact ideas, knowledge and skills.
- Making progress involves risk. Period. You can’t make it to second base with your foot on first.
- Every morning you are faced with two choices: You can aimlessly stumble through the day not knowing what’s going to happen and simply react to events at a moment’s notice, or you can go through the day directing your own life and making your own decisions and destiny. Read The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.
- Everyone makes mistakes. If you can’t forgive others, don’t expect others to forgive you. To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover the prisoner was you.
- It’s okay to fall apart for a little while. You don’t always have to pretend to be strong, and there is no need to constantly prove that everything is going well. You shouldn’t be concerned with what other people are thinking either – cry if you need to – it’s healthy to shed your tears. The sooner you do, the sooner you will be able to smile again.
- We sometimes do things that are permanently foolish just because we are temporarily upset. A lot of heartache can be avoided if you learn to control your emotions.
- Someone else doesn’t have to be wrong for you to be right. There are many roads to what’s right. You cannot judge others by your own past. They are living a different life than you. What might be good for one person may not be good for another. What might be bad for one person might change another person’s life for the better. You have to allow people to make their own mistakes and their own decisions.
- Nobody is perfect, and nobody deserves to be perfect. Nobody has it easy. You never know what people are going through. Every one of us has issues. So don’t belittle yourself or anyone else. Everybody is fighting their own unique war.
- A smile doesn’t always mean a person is happy. Sometimes it simply means they are strong enough to face their problems.
- The happiest people I know keep an open mind to new ideas and ventures, use their leisure time as a means of mental development, and love good music, good books, good pictures, good company and good conversation. And oftentimes they are also the cause of happiness in others – me in particular.
- You can’t take things too personally. Rarely do people do things because of you. They do things because of them.
- Feelings change, people change, and time keeps rolling. You can hold on to past mistakes or you can create your own happiness. A smile is a choice, not a miracle. True happiness comes from within. Don’t make the mistake of waiting on someone or something to come along and make you happy.
- It’s much harder to change the length of your life than it is to change the depth of it.
- You end up regretting the things you did NOT do far more than the things you did.
- When you stop chasing the wrong things you give the right things a chance to catch you.
- One of the greatest challenges in life is being yourself in a world that’s trying to make you like everyone else.
- Enjoy the little things, because one day you may look back and discover they were the big things. Read The Book of Awesome.
- Anyone can make a difference. Making one person smile can change the world. Maybe not the whole world, but their world.
- Everything is a life lesson. Everyone you meet, everything you encounter, etc. They’re all part of the learning experience we call ‘life.’ Never forget to acknowledge the lesson, especially when things don’t go your way. If you don’t get a job that you wanted or a relationship doesn’t work, it only means something better is out there waiting. And the lesson you just learned is the first step towards it.
- Regardless of how filthy your past has been, your future is still spotless. Don’t start your day with the broken pieces of yesterday. Every day is a fresh start. Each day is a new beginning. Every morning we wake up is the first day of the rest of our life.
Photo by: Hamish Irvine