10 years ago I was ten years old. I’ve doubled in age and tripled in knowledge. There was a point in my life where I did nothing; I was stagnant, uninspired and unwilling. In those few years I learned nothing; not anything worth knowing. Sure I learned how to cross my I’s and dot my t’s but nothing grew me or inspired me or influenced me.
You know those toys they sell in hospital gift shops that sing a few songs when you press a button? That’s exactly how I felt; it was as if I was one dimensional, with a limited amount of thinking. They repeat what they were programmed to. Well, I did it. I only knew what I knew and couldn’t know anything else because Iwouldn’t do anything. As humans, we hold the potential to know and to be so much. I knew what the textbooks taught me, but now I realize that the most important things I know happened outside the classroom.
That’s the greatest thing I’ve learned; that people only know what they are taught and because of that people need to do more: the more you do the more you know.
To clarify, by ‘doing nothing’ I mean locking myself in my room listening to the same three albums on repeat everyday after school. I didn’t want to talk to or see anybody. I was to never be bothered. Teenagers, jeez.
Once I broke out of this phase and started hanging with my friends again, talking to my family, going out more etc. I noticed that we are who we are in relation to other people. Don’t just pull a Walden and isolate yourself. Being with other people, a part of our human nature, teaches you things you can never teach yourself, therefore you ‘grow as a person’.
By default of this realization, I’ve come to learn 10 important lessons that I could’ve only learnt by doing more.
1. Anything worth doing is worth overdoing: Even though it might not feel like it, people notice where extra effort is put. If something is worth your time and effort than it’s also worth extra time and extra effort. You get what you give, so give more.
2. You are who you surround yourself by: Like I said earlier, you are who you are in relation to other people so associate yourself with those you want to be. Want to be happy? Have happy friends. Want to be smart? Work with smart people. Want to have fun? Go to fun places. Also, people judge you based on your surroundings. Harsh but true, so surround yourself with whichever image you want to exude.
3. All that glitters ain’t gold: Sometimes it’s gold plated. Don’t just take things for their surface value. Question and research things constantly.
4. People are multifaceted, as am I, and that’s ok: Remember when I said I felt one dimensional? Well, I’m not and nobody is. We are many things, which are constantly changing and growing and different. People are a lot of things and that shouldn’t be a problem.
5. It’s who you know, not what you know: Unless you know everything. Which you don’t. So make more friends and meet more people. Also, nepotism exists.
6. Work efficient, not hard: Because if you do it right the first time, you don’t need to pull that all nighter.
7. You regret the things you don’t do: arguably the most important thing I’ve learned. Honestly, if you want something, then go get it. If you don’t do it than someone else will and that’s a regret you don’t need. Because the worst that can happen is going to bed thinking of all potential scenarios that could’ve happened if you had the balls to just do it.
8. Learn to laugh at yourself: don’t be that jerk who takes themselves too seriously. People make mistakes, and the fastest way to move on from it is to make it a joke. Also, no one likes a grammar nazi.
9. You are your best investment: because it’s your life, not anyone else’s. Do things that will help you throughout the rest of your life. Invest time, money and effort in things and activities that involve balancing your well being, sanity, career etc. Go out more, eat a kale salad, sleep in sometimes, read a book and buy those damn shoes.
10. I still have a lot to learn: Like when to use ‘learned’ or ‘learnt’. I should probably look this up before posting but that would be defeating the point.