In the ancient times, wars, food, a constant struggle for life used to turn children into adults through a series of life-events (most of which were not always pleasant).
But in our modern world, it’s not exactly clear when one truly enters the adulthood. Is it when we get to legally drive a car or drink alcohol or are no longer our parent’s control? Or, is it when we find a paying job or secure a relationship or have a career or all of the above?
It’s somewhat sad when on the one hand science and society tells you that the human brain doesn’t stop developing until age 25 and at the same time your inner adult doesn’t get to express herself (or himself) until much later when you are beaten down with debts, social obligations, and converted into a social norm following, play by the rules kinda zombie.
Life After 18
Going by the philosophy of this blog, I believe, each soul already possesses what it should do and which paths it needs to follow. Almost everything we face from the time we turn 18 (at the dawn of adulthood), is a series of resistance to thwart us from our path.
As we age and slowly learn more about ourselves, about our own strengths, and about the many lies of society, we begin to take control of our life (if we are lucky). Most humans are not fortunate enough to ever claim their freedom. If you are reading this, chances are, you value your life and you seek freedom above all else.
Below is a short list of truths about life that I have realized over the years. Eventually, each one us learns these on our own. But, the sooner you internalize these truths, the better your life will be.
Hard Truths of Real World
- Everything is a choice. A choice is a fork in the moment. Each choice has consequences. Consequences have consequences.
- You begin adulthood with nothing figured out. But so does everyone else.
- Everything that you’ll do now, you will own it for the rest of your life. Therefore think before you commit to do something or do anything.
- The most powerful thing that you’ll ever learn is “compound interest.” Take it seriously. Compounding looks boring at first but then quickly makes things grow exponentially. It’s hard to mentally calculate in exponential terms.
- Everything compounds in life. Your health. Your relationships. Your money. Your knowledge and skills.
- No one can (or will) make you happy. Making you happy is your job.
- Happiness is a state of being. To be happy, be happy. That is all to it.
- You would always feel you wish you saved more. So start saving from the day you earn your first penny.
- There are two kinds of work you’ll ever do. Work that generates income and work that generates meaning. Your real job, therefore, is to marry the two.
- Most managers aren’t leaders or managers, but simply slave drivers with no alignment with the company’s vision or inner desire to truly manage.
- Freedom doesn’t begin with making a lot of money but by being self-aware and making yourself grounded in your own truths.
- Speaking of which, financial freedom is not “true freedom”. It’s a part of freedom pie (and not the whole pie).
- Self-awareness is more important than hard work. The more you know about yourself, the more successful you’ll be.
- If you make twice the amount of above poverty line and have a family, get a good life insurance.
- Life is fragile, cherish it every moment. People are fragile, be kind to everyone.
- Animals are consciously evolved creatures. Be kind to all life forms.
- If you need help, be the first person to help yourself.
- Health is the first wealth (the key) that allows you to enjoy the rest of your wealth.
- Time is the most valuable asset. Your lifetime is finite. No matter how hard and smart you work, you can never gain any more of it then what’s given to you each day.
- Become worthy to find a worthy mate or a worthy life-partner or a worthy friend.
- Be the person you wish your parents or teachers or coaches were.
- Don’t take any advice from someone who is not walking the talk. Money advises from broke. Health advises from overweight. Relationship advises from unhappy singles.
- Because someone was divorced three times, doesn’t mean they know the most about human relationships. Too many failed relationships show the person doesn’t really value long-term partnership over personal freedom.
- Every successful relationship requires both sacrifice and understanding.
- Most people fight over trivial matters. Most fights are fought over trivial matters.
- If you truly value someone as your true friend, you’ll always find time to cherish their every life-events opportunities (wedding, baby showers, big birthday milestones, national recognition, big anniversary milestones, funeral, etc.).
- Everyone is busy. But, everyone has time for things they think are most important to them.
- You never really ever graduate from The University of Hard Knocks. Each time you think you are done learning, you are quickly humbled.
- When people ask for advice, what they are really asking for is validation.
- Debt is not fun. You must absolutely avoid them. (There is very few exceptions to when debt is okay. In general, debt is never okay.)
- Long-term thinking, planning, and execution will always outperform short-term thinking, planning, and execution (in a long-term).
- When in doubt, say ‘yes’ to life. Serendipity is real and can have a significant positive impact on your life in most unexpected ways.
- The more you understand probability (in a mathematically correct way), the better your decision-making process will become.
- Hope is just a measure of anticipation of an expected outcome.
- Hope makes the many difficulties of human life endurable.
- It’s never too early to learn about game theory and developing good heuristics.
- The success in the 21st century is measured by not how hard you work or how smart you are but what leverage you have and how long is your lever.
- Looks don’t matter for anything meaningful in life and yet looks will matter for everything superficial and material. So, when dealing with the superficial (which is most of the world and worldly events), pay careful attention to your looks (how you dress, hair, smell & hygiene, posture, handshake, and how you talk).
- The first impression now beings before someone meeting you for the first time. Social media and internet have ruined that surprise. It’s neither good nor bad news. Just be aware of this fact.
- Whichever job you will end up getting will most likely be done by A.I. during your lifetime.
- Don’t plan on settling down with a 9-to-5 job. No job is a secure job anymore. 99.99% of workers are replaceable with other human or machine workers.
- If your family is spread out, talk to them on the phone (as frequently as possible). This goes back to the rule of “life is uncertain”.
- Talk to your friends. Meet in person. Value them. Invest in your relationships that you deem important and valuable. The alternative is you’ll lose all of your friends without putting the effort from your side.
- Most people don’t really change with time. Most just pretend. If you discover a fatal character flaw in someone, keep distance. If someone has betrayed you once, they will certainly betray you again.
- Life is too short and the earth is too big to not be picky about who you want to be friends with.
- When setting goals, aim for the highest, biggest, most unimaginable outcomes. As the saying goes, if you fail, you’ll likely fail much higher. If you achieve, you’ve likely changed the world.
- Study Meta learning (learning how to learn). Meta learning is the most important learning.
- No one ever has too many good friends. Cherish each of your friendships.
- Read and think deeply about the Butterfly effect (ripple effect). Once you grasp the concept, everything you’ll do from that moment onward will be a little more enlightened. (Again, remember everything has consequences and consequences has consequences).
- Your level of mastery on any given subject or work will reveal your true level of passion. Mastery gives birth to passion, but passion not always leads to mastery.
- Mastery requires dedication and long hours of deep work. Mastery is about understanding something to its atoms.
When I was writing this piece, I could have gone for a 100 or 200, but then I realized, truths can be shared but they can’t be taught. Each one of us must learn our own truths.
So, with this parting final thought, I would purposefully leave this list incomplete. May your life’s journies bring you many more wisdom.