46 Things I Learned in 26 Years of Life

If you’re not giving your best to this life, which life are you saving it for?

Recently I wrote about going through a quarter-life crisis, getting out of it, and I went in-depth about what came out of that experience. But today I wanted to look even further and go to the earliest moments I had certain realizations and revelations that served me as a compass throughout life. Originally, I wanted it to be 26 lessons – as I turned 26 in March. However, when I started writing, 26 lessons turned into 31, which turned into 39, and in the end, I had 46. So, there you go, today you get 46 lessons I learned thus far in my life.
  • Your starting circumstances are irrelevant. The faster you embrace the lack of advantage, the sooner the underdog mentality can prevail, and you can start overcoming any shortcomings on the way. Nothing can compare to this mentality.
  • Coming up with excuses can fool and damage only yourself. Find a way to stop rationalizing, and notice yourself when you start saying an excuse.
  • Acquiring skills and mixing them is more important than having a talent. Small skills add up and work well together.
  • Don’t feel that you’re in debt to anyone. You owe everything to yourself (to see how far in life you can go), and to the family you produce (how you can provide them with a better life)
  • There shouldn’t be a moment in life when you’re DONE. In the moment you say that you have committed one of the worst crimes against yourself. Life is like a game without the final boss you need to beat. Never stop, always push yourself as much as possible, and create new limits for yourself to cross.
  • Your life isn’t promised. Pay strict attention to what you are doing with the time you have today. Don’t waste it.
  • Find someone with whom you can say anything you think, do anything you want, and be anything you are without the fear of being judged and without having to filter out anything. This is the world’s greatest social luxury.
  • Don’t judge anyone. However, when deciding who you will let in your life (or who will stay) evaluate people based on how hard they are working to raise the standard of their life. Run away from people who are aware they are at a standstill and aren’t willing to do anything about it. Or even worse – they become toxic and try to decrease the standard of your life.
  • Your ultimate goal in life is to have freedom and control over your life – and there’s no 9–5 that can compare to being an entrepreneur, and have your own thing to direct it and do with it whatever you want. However, this brings the level of risk and stress that most people are not willing to handle.
  • Become rich. That’s it.
  • Always be proud of your accomplishments and use them to propel further in life. Don’t be afraid to showcase them because you’re afraid it might make someone else feel small.
  • The success itself is not the ultimate goal. It’s who you had to become to be able to achieve that success. It’s all about evolution. However, if we’re honest, being successful is a great confidence booster.
  • Regret is pointless, and it’s a waste of time. Learn from any event that causes regret and apply the lesson to your future steps.
  • Health dictates everything. Just like in a airplane, take care of yourself first, before you do anything else.
  • Don’t do things randomly. Your goals dictate everything: the habits you should establish, the skills you should acquire, the people you want in your life.
  • When in doubt, go back to the last thing you did that gave you the feeling of confidence. And start from there.
  • Mediocrity creeps in without notice. Be careful. Don’t get “too busy.”
  • Become good at not caring what irrelevant people think about you. Decide who belongs in the relevant bunch.
  • Differentiate linear from exponential growth. Focus on the latter.
  • Life works in dominos; most people try to skip one at the time. If you want to win life, you need to get good at hacking your way through life and skipping a few dominos at once.
  • Consistency is the key -, especially in the beginning.
  • Find a way to express what makes you unique and authentic. Few who do this, they truly make it in the world.
  • The most powerful sentence I’ve learned in life that helped me accomplish anything – I’LL FIGURE IT OUT. Throw yourself in the fire, and figure it out on the way.
  • Determine what are your values, and let them guide you in certainty and uncertainty. When you stray from the course, use them as a compass.
  • Never rely on luck or chance. Take control over your life and choose your direction intentionally. Decide where you want to go, don’t just “wind up” there.
  • Invest in a good mattress, pillow, shoes, socks, frying pan, and underwear. Once you do this, you’ll understand what I mean.
  • If you want to improve your looks, learn how to groom yourself and take care of your hygiene, become fit, learn how to dress well, get the right haircut for the shape of your face. You can’t change the body you genetically got, but you can sure tune it up.
  • Give yourself time to experiment before getting married. Everyone knows that 20ies and 30ies are for figuring it out, yet no one truly does it. You are supposed to explore and experiment as intensively as possible in every area of your life – love, social, education, career, entrepreneurship, family, hobbies, passion projects. As far as we know, we have one life, and no matter how cliche it sounds, do something with it.
  • Stop splitting your life into work/life, and workweeks and weekends. This only creates a negative association to work part of your life. Treat everyday, and everything as you want to do it, not that you have to do it. As long as you are obligated to do anything, you are failing at life.
  • Don’t stop looking until you find something that will trigger the obsessive part of you. If you have it, don’t let it go. These things, whatever they might be, come rarely in life. Thus far, in 26 years I’ve had only 3–4 things. And I can’t wait for the next one.
  • Your main mission in life is to discover the best way to unleash your potential. Everything else is meant to supplement this. It sounds selfish and harsh, but that doesn’t make it wrong.
  • Make time to follow up on important and potentially important people. No excuses.
  • Become a storyteller. Learn to tell stories from your life and about yourself. Make everything worth telling and convey it properly. It will make you more charming than anything else. Best way to sell is by telling a story, and making it interesting.
  • Become an avid conversationalist. Become an artist in asking questions. Stop talking about the small things, the weather, and how did the weekend go. Don’t hold yourself back. Talk about life, meaning, love, experiences, travelling, business. Be inquisitive, learn about people. It’s truly a joy. Take interest in people. Get good at getting to the core of the person. A good place to start is to see the past events that shaped them, and what’s their next chapter. People love to talk about themselves. You know that you do. But it often happens that giving someone the chance to do it might be the best time you didn’t talk about yourself. Seek to learn from them and their experience.
  • Getting a tattoo will teach you that you need to pay for the art – with time, money and pain. It’s the same for everything else in life. That’s why you need to embrace the sacrifice and be honest with yourself about what are you willing to let go of so that you could gain and become something more? Don’t rationalize. Once you decide, accept it and believe that it will be worth it.
  • Be blunt, honest and direct. This makes everything easier. True, you will have fewer people in your life. But the ones who stay will stay because that’s who you are. This is a great feeling.
  • Learn and read intentionally. Learning never stops, and as soon as you embrace that, and start using your current skill set to acquire even more skills, the sooner you will reach exponential growth. Find a way to remind yourself that learning is the reason that you are who you are today.
  • Personal Development is not a fad. Everything starts with you. Develop self-awareness, work on your weaknesses, and focus the most on taking your strengths to the next level.
  • Don’t settle. Not in love, not in career, not in business, not in health. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but it shouldn’t be shitty either. I’d rather be single for life, than miserable with someone.
  • Have a RELEASE VALVE – sooner or later, everyone bursts. Find something that will take the edge off. Running, working out, a weird hobby …whatever it is. Just find something constructive. Be careful not to find yourself on a HIGH SCHOOL reunion 20 years from now, unhappy with your life, hating Mondays, your marriage, your job, and pretty much everything else. Raise your head, see if you’re satisfied with your current circumstances and lifestyle, and if not, start with the thing you believe will make the biggest difference in your life.
  • Evaluate your direction. It often happens that we blindly work towards goals, and that because we invested too much, we don’t stop to ask ourselves if this is still the right thing for us. Just like bad relationships.
  • Be a teacher. An educator. Whenever you fail, whenever you succeed – be sure to share with others how you did it. This will help other people avoid failures, or overcome them faster, and reach success faster.
  • Model the people that you admire. But first analyze what it is that triggers the sense of respect. Is it a personality trait, is it a skill, is it a value, or an accomplishment.
  • Learn to find an underlying pattern in everything around you. Everything that’s successful has certain elements that made it that way. Including people. If you learn how to pinpoint them, and improve upon them, you will go far in life.
  • Stop jumping from one idea to another. Pick something and give yourself at least 6 months before you decide whether or not it’s working. But in those 6 months, put your head down, and give it your best. Don’t half-ass it.

How To Drastically Increase Your Efficiency & Effectiveness In Life

To avoid sounding like a hypocrite that writes about productivity, I decided to implement same principles mentioned, below, in writing...

How To Optimise Your Day Without Being OCD About It

Rear Admiral Grace Hopper said: “Humans are allergic to change. They love to say, We’ve always done it this way. I try to fight that....

How To Trick Yourself Into Overcoming Procrastination

"A procrastination is like a credit card: It’s a lot of fun until you get the bill." — Christopher Parker Whenever I catch myself...

How To Give Up On Things That Don’t Support Your Goals

Imagine a house. Primarily used by you, but every once in a while, 20 other people walk through it and sometimes leave their things there....

The Most Important Skill You Should Master

"People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing — that’s why we recommend it daily” ~ Zig Ziglar Pff, another...

Level up in Life by Treating It Like a Game

Four years ago, I was writing a paper with a colleague from my university. As we were sitting down in my flat, she noticed a variety of...

These 10 Productivity Techniques Will Make You More Successful

“A year from now you may wish you had started today.” — Karen Lamb Eight years ago, I accidentally stumbled upon the topic of productivity...

43 Ways You Can Defeat Distractions and Win Your Day

“Distractions destroy action. If it’s not moving towards your purpose, leave it alone.” — Jermaine Riley Almost everything around you is...

On Success, Quarter-life Crisis, and The New Age Rockstars

"Prove you’re alive. If you don’t claim your humanity you will become a statistic. You have been warned…”   — Tyler Durden, Fight Club...

One Thing You Should Never Sacrifice for Success

Whenever I write about using productivity to achieve your goals and become successful in different areas of your life, I focus on various...

Get FREE access to The Ultimate Productivity Cheat Sheet

Sign up now for FREE and join over 273,527 people who’ve subscribed to my private list. You will also receive my most popular content on productivity.

Please check your email address to access your free goodies!