Twenty lessons I learned — or rediscovered — during the past six months.
1. The past is not your future — unless you insist on living in it.
2. Life deals out cards of pain or failure, but playing out those bad hands is meant to teach you to become better — not bitter.
3. Few things are more dangerous than a person who can pretend they are something they are not.
4. If you know a well is tainted, don’t keep drinking the toxic water it provides.
5. Each day, take a moment to inventory how you failed and what you learned from it. Appreciate the minor losses that accumulate on the way toward big wins.
6. The people who provide negative input in your life should not be the ones who shape your outlook.
7. Vanity is a gateway drug — the right amount is fun as hell, but too much turns into a bad thing.
8. It’s hard work staying true to yourself and remaining polite when we are living in the Golden Age of Assholes.
9. As you get older, smile knowing that we are not all messed up in the same way, but we are all messed up in some way. We each have a litany of faults and quirks that make us tragically unique. Embrace — and never resent — that fact.
10. Human resilience and the inherent ability to overcome challenges will always surprise you over the long haul.
11. Chaos always creates change, but you choose whether that transformation is destructive or generative.
12. Hope, from a mental standpoint, is like oxygen to the body. You need it to breathe. You need it to survive.
13. People squander entire lifetimes avoiding things they should simply approach differently.
14. Social media is an infinite game of ping-pong where there’s always someone at the other end of the table ready to hit the ball back — even when you don’t want them to.
15. Finding a common viewpoint with others can serve as a band-aid when the world feels split open like a wound.
16. Turn enough blind eyes to things and you legitimately won’t see what’s happening around you.