38 Things I’ve Learned in 38 Years
So today is my 38th birthday. Inspired by the best blog post I have ever read:
Leo Babauta 38 Things I’ve Learned | Zenhabits Blog
(This was updated following his very successful ’36’ version 2 years ealier.)
Thought that I would share some of my learnings:
- Honour Yourself
- Be Nice to People, No Matter What They Do to You
- Have Clear Life Goals and Review Them Daily
- Forgive Regularly
- Be a Duck’s Back
- Practise Stoicism
- Give Regularly
- Exercise More
- Eat Your Frogs
- Swim Against the Fishes, they don’t know where they’re going anyway
- Work Smarter
- Read “Frogs into Princes” by Banler & Grinder
- Dream Big
- Leverage Compound Interest
- Take Advantage of Incremental Gains
- Be Open Minded & Learn From Others
- Meditate Regularly
- Listen to Music You Love Regularly
- Look for Results
- Ask questions
- Make people feel important
- Challenge everything
- Teach your children life skills
- Be grateful
- Remain Relentlessly Positive
- Write / Scribe daily
- Lose Yourself in Movies & (fiction) Books
- Be True to Your Word
- Don’t Take Yourself Too Seriously
- Have a Daily Routine
- Systemise Everything You Can, Build Habits
- Understand The Difference Between Correlation & Causation
- Always Get Your Banana in The Right Way Up
- See The Person
- Be Persistent
- A Stitch in Time Saves Nine
- Be Careful on The Roads
- Expand your Network Deep & Wide
Always do the right thing, especially when no-one is looking. Being true to yourself, however that is vocalised, is the key to having a clear life compass.
A very wise old lady said this on an episode of “24 Hours in A&E” (such is the height of my viewing culture!). It struck me as deeply profound. Always rise above negative.
As the great Zig Ziglar said “If you don’t know where you’re going, you’re probably going to end up somewhere else”.
Forgive others, forgive yourself – it only ends up eating you up otherwise. That doesn’t mean be a doormat – you should always stand up for principle, just avoid harboring personal grudges.
If someone gives you something that you don’t want, don’t accept it.
A long word for a simple concept. See Tim Ferris’ TED Talk for a proper explanation.
Give good feedback, a smile, a compliment, a donation… There are countless ways to give, it’s the most rewarding habit there is.
Richard Branson’s #1 tip for business success.
Warren Buffet, when asked what the secret to his success was, replied that when he had a choice of activities, he would always to the one he least wanted to do. It’s a powerful philosophy to use.
The only one that I have overtly nicked from Leo Babuata.
When car’s first came out, they were ridiculed. Everyone thought they needed faster horses. Read The 4 Hour Workweek to truly appreciate how deep that rabbit hole can go.
It may not make a lot of sense but read it anyway – it will help you to massively improve your communication & habits without you realising.
You only have one life & that’s all you need if you get it right (credit to Laura Hurren for that line).
It’s the greatest force in the universe.
The first car went at less than 5mph and a person with a red flag walked in front. We are now on the cusp of breaking 1000mph as a land speed record – that is the power of incremental gains. Use that principle in your daily activities and habits.
I’ve always loved the concept of this but was worried that I might not do it right etc. Last year I bought a Muse from Amazon and it is the most fantastic bit of kit that tells you through instant feedback on your smartphone how well you are doing.
Music does super good things to your physiology, it can change your mood on a dime. Listen to music you love more.
When making a decision, look at the proven results of what you are considering. Always look for results first, take all emotion out & consider the facts. Sounds obvious but most people form an emotion based on opinion and then pick & choose facts to back up their choice.
Most people love talking about themselves and it’s worth listening.
This will break down barriers and to form super-strong relationships fast. The old adage of “imagine everyone you meet has a huge sign above their head saying “make me feel important” is very true.
Avoid rolling over and accepting the status-quo. If something feels off, it probably is – challenge everything.
All children should know how to ride a bike, go camping, go boating, play sports etc. A little skill will go a very long way & help shape their life.
A regular habit of gratitude will make you into a happier person inside. Try a gratitude journal for a year – get in the habit of writing 3 things – regardless of what they are, daily that your are grateful for. It will positively affect your outlook on life.
This does sound over-optimistic and yes, we all have challenging days from time to time. That said, a relentless attitude of always seeing the upside will stand you in very good stead. There is strong evidence to support this – read The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor.
The more you daydream, the richer your night dreams will be. Movies & Books are like a massage for the mind.
If you say you’re going to do somthing, do it. If you say ‘definitely’, make 100% sure you do it. Better to say that you are not going to do very much and deliver than over-promise & damage your reputation.
Lack of ego and a little self-deprecation are demonstrators of humility, a hugely important quality. Much better if everyone discovers how great you are rather than you telling them.
The number one common habit of successful people according to Tim Ferriss’ Tools of Titans (A written synopsis of his incredible podcast where he interviews 100’s of successful people).
If you can do something without thinking, it’s a lot easier than thinking through each action. Build strong habits, simplify.
Correlation is when there looks like there is a pattern / link between an action & a result. Eg. When I press this button, that happens…
Causation is when there is evidence that there is a link between the action & the result. I can see that the button is connected to the result because of x, y & z
It’s a bit like Derren Brown. He is a great showman – that is all. Not a magician, that’s impossible. Think when you see him next – what did you actually see.
A good smile goes a long way.
When you are next served in a coffee shop, a supermarket, a petrol station – see the person. They have goals, successes, struggles the same as all of us. Be nice, ask questions and see the person.
When it really matters, be absolutely persistent. Ruthless & relentless to achieve the right result.
Heard this when I was at University. Obviously already knew it but, when you know something but don’t put it into practise, you don’t really know it.
For some reason, the penny dropped for me that day at university and that phrase has saved my bacon many, many times. Predict that you’re probably going to forget to take your lunch to work & leave yourself a note. Look at what is likely to happen & compensate.
I am a keen biker. I saw a official police video which was headcam footage of a biker who was well loved and was killed instantly when he took an unnecessary risk and another road user was driving dangerously – it really made me think. The commentary was by his mother and was deeply emotive.
Be super-respectful of the roads and compensate for likely mistakes of other drivers. When you get upset or others at you, remember, we’re all just trying to get somewhere & there’s definitely worse happens at sea.
The old adage of “It’s Not What You Know, It’s Who You Know” is very, very true. Build a strong, deep & wide network and help people – that will stand you in very good stead. Quality is king – it is not a pure numbers game.