In a couple of weeks I’ll be twenty-seven years old. I look in the mirror and I’m astonished to see how much I’ve aged since last year. I used to look twenty-two, but because of stress, bad decisions, and lack of sleep… I can safely say that I look exceptionally older (25 in White-American standards). My eyes are puffier, I’m developing crows feet, and my stomach protrudes outwardly.
As the saying goes, “your body just gets worse over time, so it’s your job to slow down its breaking process. This requires exercise, healthy eating, and sleep.”
Besides the body shaming, what is it like being a twenty-seven year old? What are the things I’ve learned over these past twenty-seven years? I’ll tell you. Here are the 27 things I’ve learned over these past years.
27 Lessons I’ve Learned… From A Not-So-Successful 27 Year Old
1. Time Flies So Don’t Be Hesitant To Learn Something New
When I was twenty-one, I was hesitant to jump into an academic program because I was told that the program could take an upwards of two to three years. I thought two years was a long time and so I backed away from these opportunities to “enjoy” my youth.
This is a lesson I’ll never make again. You should try to jump into any opportunity that helps you grow the skills you need for your career. Yes, it can take time. However, time flies by so fast that if you’re consistent, work hard, and grind it out, you’ll be done before you can say two years.
2. Be Consistent
Be consistent with anything and everything you put your mind into. You want to run a marathon? Then you better be training every single day. You want to be a writer? Then you better be writing & reading something every single day. You become your habits, so make great habits.
3. Start Now!
I don’t care if you’re broke or you think you don’t have the time. You should always do everything you can to try and start your project – right away. Many times I’ve waited for the perfect moment, the perfect scenario, and the perfect monetary bank balance to realize that there isn’t and will never be a perfect moment. You’ll never be ready and you’ll never be truly prepared. So, just do it!
This is why you should start on your project right now and push forward. It’s called “shipping your project.” You can start improving and evolving your project once it’s (repeating myself) started. The more you wait, the more you DO NOTHING, and then you’ll soon realize that you’re twenty-seven years old with nowhere to go!
For example: I’m very fortunate that I decided to launch my podcast when I did. I wanted to wait a few more months before launching, but I said forget it because I just wanted to get it out there. It was from there that I was able to focus on improving and changing the podcast to fit my schedule. Though I have room for improvement… I can at least say that I started.
4. Balance Sex & Work Life
You should make sure that you’re having sex with someone on a monthly basis. It’s healthy and it will relieve the stress in your life. However, sex is even better when you have a balanced work life. It’s very demoralizing to your sexual prowess when you have unfinished business or stressing out about work. This is why you should balance out the two. Sex is better when you’re in the moment.
5. Understand Money Management
I’ve learned that you’re able to do cooler things when you have money. This includes, but not limited to, traveling, purchasing cool things, going out and hanging out with friends, etc., So many times I’ve missed events because I couldn’t afford it at the time. I repeat, understand money management.
6. DGAF – Don’t Give a Fuck
When you GAF too much, your mind goes crazy. It’s easier to DGAF when you’re honest and consistently working hard on your projects. You need to push your ego aside and block out everyone who treats you like shit. This is a rule that I have a hard time following. There is this guy who pops in my head and I always have a hard time shaking him off. He shows up in my life from time to time and his negative aura really brings my psyche down. Out of all the rules, DGAFing is easier said than done.
7. People Will NEVER Truly Forgive You
People will rarely remember what you did, but they’ll always remember how you make them feel. This is why when you decide to do something, make sure you understand the consequences. The person you hurt will never, ever, ever forgive you.
I have so many memories of the many people I’ve hurt. It eats away at me at night.
8. Don’t Hold Grudges
Again, easier said than done. But your mind has a finite amount of space it can carry. Storing grudges will only occupy spaces that can be used for better purposes.
9. People Come and Go
It’s always good to stay in contact with people. However, know that people come and go… don’t be upset, frustrated, or butt hurt if no one from the past is contacting you. They’re living their life and you’re living yours. If you’re a good person and if you’re meant to see each other again, you will.
10. Say No
I said YES way too much in my 27 years. It’s actually hurt me than helped me because I was doing my best to please everyone. When you’re trying to please everyone, you’ll begin to see that you’ll end up pleasing no one. It’s okay to say “no.”
Saying negative things to yourself won’t change a damn thing. In fact, it will only hurt your chances of success. Why? Because your body is reliant on how your brain thinks. According to scientific data, your body is more likely to break down when you’re negative and pessimistic. You can’t fight science. Love yourself. Forgive yourself.
Lies will always catch up to you. People are inherently nosey and if you lie, they’ll put your facts together and realize that you’re full of bs. In addition, lying will only make your truths seem false.
Reading will keep your brain fresh and healthy. If you stop learning, your brain will become mush.
14. Expect The Best from Everyone
Expect the best from everyone means that you should always give people the benefit of the doubt. You never know how smart people are, or how nice people are… just give them a chance.
15. Push The Evil Doers Away
You become who you hangout with. Therefore, you should push out people who are stupid, mean, and evil. Life isn’t fun when you’re getting yourself into trouble, or worse, plateauing in your pursuit to your goals.
16. Get Rid of Bad Habits
They say that people don’t change and they’re right, people don’t change. They don’t change because they’ve established certain habits that have become who they are. Habits are really hard to break and this is why you need to get rid of bad habits. How? The only way is to FORCE yourself to act on that new habit. It takes 30 days to get a new habit into your life. Start NOW. Start TODAY.
Who cares if you’re traveling, broke, or haven’t slept for days, it is your job to make sure that you’re out there participating in what you’ve set out to do! Of course, this is easier said than done.
17. You Need to Be Your Own Rock
I’ve learned this the hard way, but you can’t really rely on anyone to be there for you. Your closest friends might console you during your darkest of times, however, they’re not going to fix you. You need to be your own rock. You need to fix your mistakes. You need to find the courage to get through all your obstacles, yourself.
18. It’s All About Money
If something you’re doing isn’t making you enough money, then do more or do something else. Money is very, very, very important. This may not be true for people who have made millions of dollars (“money can’t buy happiness”). But, for everyone else, money is important, so make as much as you can.
19. Spend Your Money on Experiences
I realize that spending your money on “stuff” will not bring you happiness. Spend your money on cooler things like brunch with a friend, a movie, or a concert! It’ll bring you smiles! Oh! Don’t forget to take pictures!
20. It’s Not About The Place. It’s About Who You’re With!
I would rather spend $5 at McDonalds with a friend who I really love than spend a ton of money traveling the world with people who are dull.
21. Stay Sexy
Seriously, I can’t stress this enough. You only have ONE BODY… SO TREAT IT RIGHT! Do you want to be a frail 60 year old who can barely walk? Whatever you do to your body right now will affect you later in life. (Currently, I can feel my body falling into pieces. It isn’t the best feeling in the world).
22. Document Your Life
As you get older, you’ll remember what you did but you won’t remember when you did it. This is why it’s crucial that you do everything in your power to document your life. One of the saddest moments of my life was when my cell phone got stolen… I lost 1,000 photos from the summer of 2013. And, the summer of 2013 was a really GREAT summer. #Sadness
23. Stay Strong
I’m just not talking about health. I’m also talking about mind and spirit. This requires you to stay academically present and intellectually present. Having your brain plateau is one of the worst feelings in the world. How can you give advice and insight to someone younger than you (or anyone) if you’re NOT learning anything new?
24. Family Isn’t As Important As You May Think… Kinda
Remember, just because they’re family, doesn’t mean you owe them anything. For example, my father left our family and so I do not have any respect for that man. I do not care if he’s my father, he’s an a**hat. However, when it comes to my six young siblings, I will DIE for them. Too many times people use the word “family” as an excuse to hang out or help unwanted people. Treat family members with respect, but know you’re own worth as well.
25. If You’re in A Relationship… Let the Little Things Go
Your partner and you will say, or do stupid things to each other. It’s bound to happen and it’s in these moments that you can either i) yell at each other or ii) let it go. Not everything needs to be a fight and not everything needs to be addressed. I’m not saying to LET EVERYTHING GO. I’m rather saying that there is a time and place for any talk, so just address such topics when you feel necessary.
26. Respect Your Partner
If you’re in love with someone, then you better do all you can to fight and defend for their life. This also includes the way you treat them. You shouldn’t call them names, put them down, or embarrass them. They’re your love, they’re your partner, and they can become your everything. Treat them well.
Keep happy the one who gets you laid… or your happiness will fade.
27. Be Thankful You’re Alive
Some old guy said to me, “I’m thankful as long as I’m on this side of the dirt.” His words have truly resonated with me these past few months. It’s crazy how unappreciative and ungrateful we can become. I think we focus too much on obtaining the feeling of happiness, that we forget that these feelings are something we cannot control. This is why I think life is about staying alive, life is about being alive, and life is about finding peace. In the long run, being thankful and finding peace will keep you happy.
Let’s see what I think next year.