Note for my 20s

1. FAIL EARLY AND OFTEN; TIME IS YOUR BEST ASSET

When you are young, your greatest asset is not your talent, not your ideas, not your experience, but your time. Time grants you the opportunity to take big risks and make big mistakes.

2. YOU CAN’T FORCE FRIENDSHIPS

Many of the people I was closest to when I left could hardly even be bothered to call me back when I returned. Yet, some of my more casual acquaintances slowly became the closest friends in my life. It’s not that those other people were bad people or bad friends. It’s nobody fault. It’s just life.

3. YOU’RE NOT SUPPOSED TO ACCOMPLISH ALL OF YOUR GOALS

I’m firmly convinced that the whole point of goals is 80% to get us off our asses and 20% to hit some arbitrary benchmark. The value in any endeavor almost always comes from the process of failing and trying, not in achieving.

4. NO ONE ACTUALLY KNOWS WHAT THE HELL THEY’RE DOING

But the truth is, almost nobody has any idea what they’re doing in their 20s, and I’m fairly certain that continues further into adulthood. Everyone is just working off of their current best guess.

5. MOST PEOPLE IN THE WORLD BASICALLY WANT THE SAME THINGS.

I’ve learned to judge people not by who they are, but by what they do. Some of the kindest and most gracious people I’ve met were people who did not have to be kind or gracious to me. Some of the most obnoxious asshats have been people who had no business being obnoxious asshats to me. The world makes all kinds. And you don’t know who you’re dealing with until you spend enough time with a person to see what they do, not what they look like, or where they’re from or what gender they are or whatever.

6. THE WORLD DOESN’T CARE ABOUT YOU

And this is actually really good news: it means you can get away with a lot of stupid shit and people will forget and forgive you for it. It means that there’s absolutely no reason to not be the person that you want to be. The pain of un-inhibiting yourself will be fleeting and the reward will last a lifetime.

7. POP CULTURE IS FULL OF EXTREMES, PRACTICE MODERATION

It’s important to sometimes retreat to that the world outside of the Internet and remind oneself: life is simple, people are good, and the chasms that appear to separate us are often just cracks.

8. THE SUM OF THE LITTLE THINGS MATTER MUCH MORE THAN THE BIG THINGS

We have a propensity to assume things just happen as they are. As outside observers, we tend to only see the result of things and not the arduous process (and all of the failures) that went into producing the result. I think when we’re young, we have this idea that we have to do just this one big thing that is going to completely change the world, top to bottom. We dream so big because we don’t yet realize — we’re too young to realize — that those “one big things” are actually comprised of hundreds and thousands of daily small things that must be silently and unceremoniously maintained over long periods of time with little fanfare. Welcome to life.

9. THE WORLD IS NOT A SCARY PLACE OUT TO GET YOU

Find a way to travel, and when in doubt, talk to people, ask them about themselves, get to know them. There’s little to no downside and huge, major upsides, especially when you’re still young and impressionable.

10. YOUR PARENTS ARE PEOPLE TOO

Chances are your parents screwed some things up during your childhood. Pretty much all of them do (as my mom always likes to say, “Kids aren’t born with instruction manuals.”) And chances are, you will start to notice all of these screw-ups while you are in your 20s. Growing up and maturing to the extent that one can recognize this is always a painful process. It can kick up a lot of bitterness and regret.

But perhaps the first duty of adulthood — true adulthood, not just taxed adulthood — is the acknowledgment, acceptance, and (perhaps) forgiveness of one’s parent’s flaws. They’re people too. They’re doing their best, even though they don’t always know what the best is.

Full article: http://markmanson.net/surviving-my-20s

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