5 Simple Ideas I Wish I Would Have Learned Earlier In Life

Adrian S. Potter
5 min readJan 14, 2023

Facepalm. Duh.

Photo by Elina Fairytale: https://www.pexels.com/photo/life-is-now-neon-signage-3811074/

1. Saying “yes” to everything other people want means you likely say “no” to some of the things you want.

You will never reach your goals if you try to be all things to all people.

People-pleasing will leave you emotionally and physically spent. You could also end up hating yourself while trying to get the entire world to like you.

Stop people pleasing and start focusing on your happiness. I am not advocating being callous with your family or cold with your day-one friends. You can still seek joy in your life without being indifferent to those you are about. But going out of your way to make others happy when you feel empty is a losing game plan.

You don’t need to say yes to every demand dropped in your lap. The folks who support you will continue doing so, even if you don’t constantly cater to their needs.

As the quote often attributed to Dr. Seuss says, “Those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.”

2. Allowing total squares into your inner circle is the social equivalent of trying to jam a square peg into a round hole.

Surrounding yourself with the right people changes everything in life.

Eliminate the Eeyores and Negative Nellies. You don’t need them clouding your sunny outlook.

Start hanging out with people who are wiser than you. Having folks in your circle of influence that challenge you, raise the bar, and nudge you toward development is critical to your growth.

It is 2023. Are you still clutching onto old friends from a decade ago that don’t spark joy and improvement in your life? Or are you mending a relationship with a toxic relative for the thousandth time?

If you want to become the best version of your future self, review, rethink, and inventory your social media and real-life friends.

Keep the right people around you and leave the detritus behind. Don’t let squares occupy space in your circle of winners.



Adrian S. Potter

Antisocial Extrovert · Writer and Poet, Engineer, Consultant, Public Speaker · Writing about self-improvement, gratitude, and creativity · www.adrianspotter.com