A thoughtful question popped up on my Quora feed the other day: What are the most difficult and useful things people have to learn in their 20s? Over a hundred wise men and women from all over the world and in many different fields of expertise chimed in. So I thought I’d chug a triple espresso, put on my angry hat, and unleash a few unsavoury truths. Here they are:
If you hang around with losers…. you’re a loser.
Don’t bad-mouth your friends. Get new friends.
When I hear someone bitching about how their friend didn’t help them or another friend gossips too much or another friend has a drinking and drug problem…. I don’t automatically think there’s anything wrong with your friend.
I think there’s something wrong with YOU. Why are you still friends with them if you have only bad things to say?
We’re the sum of the 5 people we spend the most time with.
Don’t ask for advice if you’re not going to act on it.
The majority of people ask for advice for only one of two reasons:
- To get attention and have another person feed their ego by inflating their own sense of self-importance.
- As an excuse to avoid taking action.
If you ask for advice, act on it before asking for more advice. Otherwise it’s useless and you’re wasting your own time AND the other person’s time.
You are not a victim.
Stop blaming everyone and everything for the “problems” in your life.
We hear it all the time…
I can’t do this because….
- This society is prejudiced against me
- I didn’t have the right education
- I don’t have the right look
- My parents failed me
While you’re playing the victim card, there are people with REAL problems who have made outstanding strides in their life.
I don’t like watching the Olympics. I prefer the Paralympics. Anyone making stupid excuses for why they aren’t where they want to be in life needs to watch the Paralympics.
Here are a few things I saw watching the Paralympics:
- Blind people doing judo, soccer, and running at world class levels.
- Swimmers without arms and legs.
- Tennis players in wheelchairs.
These stunning athletes didn’t let blindness, deafness, or deformity stand in their way at being world class. Why are you letting your “situation” stop you?
No one owes you anything
No one owes you sex.
No one owes you a job.
No one owes you money.
No one owes you their friendship.
No one owes you a romantic relationship.
You are not owed fame or fortune of any kind just because you exist. You need to work for it. You need to give value to the world.
You woke up on the wrong side of the bed? So what? Get over it.
You can’t justify screaming or swearing or being an asshole to anyone because you’re “not in a good mood”.
Have some self-control.
If you take your “mood” out on other people – be it strangers, service workers, your kids, your spouse, your friends, your siblings – you better damn well apologise for it and figure out how to control yourself in the future.
Can’t apologise after being an ass? Still feel you’re justified in taking out your anger on other people? I got bad news for you. You’re mentally ill. I can’t help you.
Feel like crap?
Hit the gym. Do something for your future. Work hard anyway. Buy a gift for your loved one.
Remember these words: This feeling will pass.
Have some respect for the people and world around you.
You are not the center of the world.
It feels like it. Sure. But you aren’t.
See someone who is elderly/injured/carrying heavy bags standing on the subway? Give them your seat.
Someone does something nice for you (even a small courtesy)? Say thank you. Always say thank you. And mean it.
Got some trash but there’s no trashcan for miles? Hold onto it. Don’t drop it or hide it somewhere. Carry it with you until you can dispose of it properly.
Hold the door for people.
Apologise if you bump into someone.
Think about how your words and actions will affect someone else.
Know when you got it good.
Smartphones, clean running water, internet, huge advances in medical care, entertainment available at the touch of a button 24/7….
Be grateful. The world is an amazing place.