18 Lessons of My First 18 Years

I recently turned 18, and I was reflecting on the lessons and principles that have shaped my life. 

These will hopefully inspire you to be more Curious, more Optimistic, and more Ambitious.

1. Bite Off More Than You Can Chew

Many of our limits are self-imposed. We don’t know how far we can go unless we try. 

That’s why it’s better to aim high and if you fail, you can readjust. But if you succeed, you’ll achieve something you didn't think was possible.

2. On Ambiguity

The answer is not “Yes” or “No.” It’s both. The electron is not a wave or a particle. It’s both. The argument is not “right” or “wrong.” It’s both.

The world is more probabilistic than we think. 

Be ready to adapt. Be ready to change.

3. Learn From Others People Mistakes

A smart person learns from his/her own mistakes. A wise person learns from other people’s mistakes. 

Billions of people have lived before me. The chances of at least one person having the same problems/questions as me are nearly 100%.

4. Be ambitious

Being ambitious isn't about being rich or famous. It's about knowing what you want and why you want it. Losing our ambition is like losing our soul and excitement to be alive. Ambition is about fully living.

5. Be Comfortable with Failure

A bit cliqué but true. You need to learn to be “ok” with failing as long as you fail trying to succeed. You need to embrace, understand it, and learn from it.

6. On Making Decisions

The quality of my decisions will be predicated on what the other possible outcome could have been. NEVER on the OUTCOME.

7. How to Find Yourself?

Don’t find yourself. Create and design who you want to be. It's your choice.

Do you want to be extroverted? Start acting like an extrovert. Do you want to be confident? Start acting confidently. 

And the rest will follow...

8. Happy & Ambitious?

Most people either work hard and maybe they will be happy. Or they are “happy” and relax. 

We think we cannot get both. If you’re thinking of choosing. Choose both. You can appreciate what you have, but you can also have aspirations.

9. Stubborn

Anyone can get lucky after years of relentless commitment to their vision.

You need to be so stubborn to get lucky and to get successful.

10. Don't Find Mentors. Find Future Selves. 

Future selves are people who were once where you are. Future selves can show you a path that gets you excited to work harder and more ambitiously.

11. Don't Take Advice From Parents, Teachers, Advisors, etc.

They share the risks, but not always the rewards. Therefore, they often want you to play it safe. Take advice from people who care about you who won’t be affected by your failures (aka Future selves).

12. Pursue Your Curiosities 

Pursue your obsessions even if they don't seem "smart" or “cool.” To pursue your curiosities means to be a human. To be a human means to be creative. To be creative means to express yourself in curious ways.

13. Flywheel Principle

Starting is hard and slow, but once it starts, it gets easier and faster. It’s better to focus on the quantity instead of quality because as time passes by, the quality will improve as the quantity increases.

14. You Are Your Inputs 

We are a collection of what we read, watch, and listen. That doesn’t mean we don’t have free will. We have free will, but free will can be hijacked, so smoothly to the point where we believe that our free will is the one deciding.

15. I'm Optimistic Because I Know Horrible Things Will Happen

We will always have challenges and difficulties. And the optimists are the only ones who will try to solve those problems. 

Dare to be optimistic!

16. Pessimism is For Lazy People

Pessimism is our default reaction. To be optimistic takes energy and effort.

17. Do Hard Things

I take cold showers, run every morning, wake up early, etc. I don’t do it because it’s easy, I do it because it’s hard. 

If you have the discipline to do hard things on your own. You’ll have the discipline to do hard things when you have to.

18. Write & Share

I use "writing" to figure stuff out. Every essay is a new life/work principle.

I try to share it with others to hopefully inspire someone out there to be more optimistically ambitious. 

BONUS | The Paradox of Intentionality

If you want something, you need to intensely want it but also be indifferent about it.  

Most people are either all in or nihilistic. 

 


 

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