They say that at age 21, you transition from a teenager to a young adult. The excitement here is that you are now at the legal age to do whatever you want (without breaking the law), and you (finally) hold the key to your own freedom.While that might sound really terrific to many, reality will hit you hard like a brick to your head. All that partying and booze isn’t going to last forever. After all, at 21, you are already expected have life figured all out and making all the right moves. You have responsibilities now – like finding a stable job, not living off your parents, finding a life partner, getting your own apartment, managing your own finances and so on.
It’s tough because you know you haven’t got a clue how to really survive in society, let alone thrive in it. I know that feeling because I’ve been there. On my 21st birthday, I didn’t get a book titled “The Ultimate Guide to 21 Years and Beyond”. (Maybe the dog hid it somewhere… Hmm…)
Thankfully, I am blessed to listen to many lessons about life from successful people in Singapore and around the world, some of them whom I consider as mentors and close friends. And I also think I’ve experienced quite a bit of life to be able to share them with you in this article. So, without further ado, here are 21 life lessons distilled from 21 years of my life. Enjoy!
- It’s okay if you haven’t got everything figured out. I cannot emphasize this enough. You are discovering life every single day. Enjoy the process of discovery!
- It’s not all roses and sunshine. Life will beat you up sometimes. Just remember what Rocky Balboa said, “It ain’t about how hard ya hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.”
- Regardless of how much effort you put into something, you might still fail. Accept it and move on.
- You will get rejected in life, guaranteed. I’m talking about jobs, business proposals and relationships.
- Take care of your health. It’s the most important gift you have.
- You will love and get your heart broken. Many, many times. Don’t be disheartened!
- Everything happens for a reason.
- You cannot change circumstances. What you can change, however, is your response to it.
- Be grateful every day. You have so many things to be grateful for! Like, the fact that you have fresh air to breathe right now and the fact that you have a computer and are able to have access to so much information such as this article!
- Whatever you conceive and believe in your mind, you can manifest it, provided you take action.
- There is no overnight success. People who tell you so are just bullsh***ing you.
- Four very important skills you must master as early as possible if you want to get ahead in life are marketing, direct selling, personal finance (money management) and investing.
- Don’t get caught up in hype and greed. Disregard get-rich-quick schemes (especially so when you’re desperate), gambling, push-button systems and MLMs disguised as pyramid schemes. Just remember, if it’s too good to be true, it probably is.
- Always live modestly and be humble. Look at Warren Buffett, one of the richest guys in the world and he used to drive a 5 year-old Lincoln Town Caruntil he auctioned it off for charity. You don’t absolutely have to get a Bugatti to be classified ‘rich’.
- Never judge people because you’ll never fully understand their story. Everyone has their vices.
- The best thing you can do for yourself is investing in yourself. I’m not talking about buying fancy shoes and pampering yourself. I’m talking about personal development and education. When you take the time to grow physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually, you’ll find that life is so much more meaningful because you can use that wisdom you’ve gained to impact other people’s lives.
- Always find out how to add massive value to others. People generally don’t care about you unless you show them how much you care first. I’m sorry to break it to you, but it’s a fact of life. If you want a favor from someone, find out their WIIFM (What’s-in-it-for-me) factor and then propose your value for the favor.
- You are the average of the five people you hang out with. If you hang out with negative, unsuccessful people, you are most likely one without realizing it as well If you hang out with highly motivated and successful people who have big dreams and goals, you will most likely be such a person as well. Energy is infectious. Choose your friends and influences wisely!
- You don’t know what you don’t know.
- Make as many mistakes as you can right now. When you’re young, you can afford to make loads of mistakes. The damage couldn’t be that bad, right? When you reach your 30’s or 40’s, you’ll have a better idea of the things that work for you and those that don’t.
- Be comfortable being uncomfortable. Did you get that? If not, read it again. Life is so much more exciting when you step outside of your comfort zone!
There you go. These are 21 life lessons and tips that I personally have gained over the past 21 years and I am practicing them every day.