Saturday, March 28, 2009

COMMENTARY: Things I know now that I wish I'd known when I was 18

1. It really doesn’t matter what other people think. Don’t spend your whole life worrying what’s going on in other people’s heads. The most important thing is how you feel about yourself not how others feel about you.
2. Don’t worry about things you can’t do anything about. Sometimes things are just completely beyond your control. Things that you can’t fix or change are not worth stressing about. All worrying does is make you frustrated and depressed and stressed out. It doesn’t fix anything. (This is sometimes a tough one to remember.)
3. If you mess something up, just remember that it’s not brain surgery (unless, of course, you are an actual brain surgeon!) Nobody is going to die just because you screwed up. Things are never as big or bad as you think they are.
4. You are stronger than you think you are.
5. You may be odd, but that’s okay because most people are odd in one way or another.
6. Everyone’s family is co-dependant, narcissistic, psychotic, stupid or weird. It’s really not just your family.
7. Being a parent is even harder than you thought it would be. And you never will really be ready to have a kid. You just have to move forward and be the best parent you can be.
8. Be friends with people that make you feel good. Don’t just be friends with someone because they’re there. A “friend” who is emotionally draining, always negative or only concerned about themselves, is not much of a friend. Sometimes ending a friendship is better than being caught in the vortex of someone else’s whirlpool of negativity.
9. Be a good friend to your good friends.
10. Love yourself. If you can’t love yourself, you won’t have any love to give anybody else.
11. Disregard pretty much everything your parents taught you about health, politics, religion, holidays, education, relationships and parenting. Be the kind of person who finds things out and forms beliefs and opinions on their own.
12. Sometimes just plastering a smile on your face really does make you feel happier.
13. It’s a good thing to be smart.
14. Don’t take your health for granted. Ever. Do everything in your control to stay as healthy as possible for as long as possible.
15. It’s unwise to pay too much for something, but it’s worse to pay too little. When you pay too much, you lose a little money. When you pay too little, you sometimes lose everything, because the thing you bought was incapable of doing the thing it was bought to do.
16. Never ruin an apology with an excuse.
17. It takes more wisdom to accept advice than to give advice.
18. If you have the option of giving advice or giving assistance, give the assistance.
19. Don’t judge people by their relatives.
20. Learn how to say “I do not know.”
21. Never miss a chance to offer a sincere compliment.
22. Whatever you do, do it the best that you can.
23. The most important thing in communication is the ability to “hear” what isn’t being said.
24. Don’t panic.
25. Admit when you’ve made a mistake. It’s easier to ask forgiveness if you didn’t try to cover it up or fix it by yourself.
26. Forget the Joneses.
27. Give yourself an hour to cool off before responding to someone who has provoked you. If it involves something really important, give yourself overnight.
28. Give people a second chance, but not a third.
29. Respect other people’s time. If you’re going to be more than 10 minutes late, call.
30. Never let your gas tank fall below a quarter full.
31. Live beneath your means.

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