22 Lessons from 22 Years

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Jesse Jia
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So, another year has passed and technically speaking I should be a year more experienced in this unpredictable game of life. One thing is for sure; experience does truly pay dividends. Whether you’re 5 or 95, as you get older you collect more stories, create more memories, and experience more of what life has to offer. The fun part is knowing that there’s always more to gain from this everlasting game. Truly, the world is your oyster and the results come directly from your participation. The more effort you put forward, the greater chance you reach your reward. On the other hand, the game can also be incredibly unfair and maybe you’ll never get to where you want to be, or your playtime will be cut short due to some unforeseen circumstances. I think about this all the time; just how unpredictable, unfair, and remarkable everything can be. Now, I could probably ramble on and write an entire book without getting a point across, but let’s get to what people want to read this decade; a listicle. So, without further ado, I’ve compiled 22 lessons I’ve learned from 22 years on this planet albeit most of these have been in the recent years but goes to show that growth is exponential.

1. You don’t have to please the world.

2. You can buy a lot of things, but you can’t buy respect; that must be earned.

3. Don’t overlook advice from elders. They’ve been there and done that.

4. It’s okay to expect certain outcomes for yourself, but never expect anything of importance from others.

5. Make friends and cherish your family. At a certain point, the words friends and family can be used interchangeably.

6. Stay true to your values and what makes you unique.

7. It is a much gratifying feeling to give than to receive.

8. There’s no better time than the present.

9. Nobody has it all figured out no matter what it may appear.

10. Take lots of pictures. Some moments are only captured once in a lifetime.

11. Have thick skin, there’s nothing to be afraid of.

12. Change is growth.

13. You can’t be an expert in everything.

14. Help isn’t a sign of weakness.

15. Don’t take negativity personally. Either they’re trying to help or they’re jealous; both of which are positive signs.

16. It’s good to reminisce on the past, but you can’t live in the past.

17. When the people around you are happy, that’s the best feeling in the world. It’s about them as much as it’s about you.

18. Small things do make a big difference. Cherish the little moments.

19. Be the small fish swimming in an ocean rather than a big fish in a tiny pond.

20. Don’t plan too far ahead. The story isn’t meant to be completed at the beginning.

21. Catch as many sunrises as you can; find your reason to get up every morning.

22. Stop talking and get doing. Show the world what you have planned.

I could go on and on, but I believe the main principle revolves around a few ideas; being fearless, working hard, creating relationships, and seeing things through the end. It’s only at the finish line when we can truly look back and evaluate the outcome. Funny thing is, at the end it doesn’t matter how much further you’ve progressed because at that stage, the journey that got you there is what truly matters. Since we’re all onboard this journey right now, I just wanted to share my current thoughts with everybody.

– Jesse

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