I turn 33 tomorrow!

Here are 33 things I’ve realized, changed my mind about, or wish I knew sooner. Some of these I’ve known for a long time but have only become more true each year.

. . .

1) The saying, “your network is your net worth” has definitely become more true as I’ve gotten older. But my network has also become the largest source of inspiration and growth. (The idea of “going it alone” has only become more ridiculous to me).

2) The people who help you the most in life will be the hardest to repay. Best to show gratitude and pay it forward to those you can make the biggest impact on.

3) The present moment is often over-rated, but the ability to check-in and appreciate it is priceless.

4) Good memories pay dividends. When you experience happiness, hold on and stay present. But remember to travel back and replay it in your mind later. Tell the story to others. You get an additional Return on Investment each time you relive the moment.

5) What makes you disqualified in one area will be the reason you thrive in another.

6) When it comes to travel, what I’ll eat when I get there has become more important than what I’ll see.

7) You can’t gain wisdom without empathy. Intellect holds information at the surface. Empathy turns information into wisdom, creativity, and courage.

8) Compassion is the verb that follows empathy. It’s more than being “nice” or “polite.” It’s forcing yourself to see things from another point of view, one you might not agree with, and still offering support.

9) A strong understanding of human behavior and economics will help your compassion make a bigger impact.

10) Having a diverse set of skills is very important, but being extremely great at one thing is the best way to create the most value over time.
Caveat: A wide range of skills is the key to becoming an expert in one. cc: David Epstein, ‘Range’
Bonus: Every skill becomes more valuable when you’re also nice.

11) Money follows skills, but making money is a skill in itself. The ability to attract and recognize opportunities where you can add value is like playing the piano. You get better at it with practice.

12) When one of your favorite bands put out a new album, they add new meaning to all their old albums. Trajectory is something you can only appreciate in reverse.

13) No one makes pancakes when they’re in a hurry. Make time for pancake time. cc: Kevin.

14) The more News you watch, the less informed you are.

15) You can tell how interesting someone is by how eager they are to talk politics.

16) “With any luck, your group identity will be the least interesting thing about you.” -Sam Harriss

17) Just because you had a bad outcome, doesn’t mean you made a bad decision. Do what you can with the information available, but remember: There are odds in everything. cc: Annie Duke, ‘Thinking in Bets’

18) A question to see if you have control over your life: Can you take naps? cc: Nassim Taleb

19) A question to ask yourself in the morning: How will I use the internet today?

20) A question I actually asked myself this year: How old am I again?

21) I am not “happy,” but I do experience happiness. You are not “anxious,” but you’ve probably experienced anxiety. Removing the “I” from emotions and viewing them as external feelings that come and go has helped me 1) Better identify what helps me experience happiness 2) Experience more happiness more often. 3) Detach my identity from emotions like stress or overwhelm.

22) Marriage is more of a starting line than a pact to keep what was already there.

23) A great partner makes all areas of life a million times better. cc: Ava

24) The best opportunities provide a mix of Money, Connections, Experience, and Fun. But doing things for Love still beats all the rest.

25) “Instead of working back from a goal, work forward from promising situations. This is what most successful people do anyway.” -Paul Graham (I’ve lived most of my life this way and but always thought I just lacked vision. Sometimes you need to hear what you already know from someone smarter than you.)

26) You’re going to be as different a person five years from now as you were five years ago.

27) You don’t really need to worry about naysayers in life as much as you need to beware of people who agree with you when you’re wrong, encourage you to take the easy path, and who won’t tell you what they actually think.

28) Most Adam Sandler and Jim Carrey movies from the 90’s still hold up.

29) Productivity without purpose is an arrow without a target.

30) The best way to find purpose isn’t asking the question, “what do I want from life?” But answer the question, “What is life asking of me?” cc: Viktor Frankl

31) The need for courage has grown at the same rate as the risk of acting courageously as I’ve gotten older. I didn’t think that much about what it means to have courage when I turned 30, but I think about it a lot now.

32) The whole world can change in the blink of an eye, for better or worse.

33) We need each other.

Feel free to reply with anything you’d like to add.

The temperature is good for 33!