“I wish I only cared about the things that everyone else seems to.” I’ve had this conversation with my closest friends dozens of times. It was especially common in the less triumphant moments of our early 20s. But every now and then, when paths are at their most ambiguous, this thought resurfaces.
"What do you want out of your life?" asked Randy, my former boss. The question caught me off guard. I was in my early 20s at the time. It was a question that always lingered in the back of my mind but I'd find ways to distract myself from considering it too closely. Despite its existential nature, I muddled my way through a response...
Compound interest isn’t exclusive to financial investments; the concept is true of most things in life, especially travel. The earlier you invest in travel, the more time you have to call upon those experiences, and the higher your return on investment. The difference being that instead of capital gains, you're rewarded in perspective, character, and invaluable life lessons.
We are the average of the five people we spend the most time with – or so the saying goes. Some will dispute the specifics, but the concept holds a great deal of truth. All too often we ignore or underestimate how detrimental it is to surround ourselves with unambitious, negative people who lack a solid set of principles. This is why I am absolutely merciless in choosing the people I spend the majority of my time with. There’s every reason to be.
Major decisions are tough; whether they’re related your job, family, significant other, or you as an individual. This is only further complicated in a world with seemingly infinite choices. In these moments we seek out the opinions of those we hold in high esteem and look to various articles/books for insight. But no matter which route you take, things always point back to a defining ability or inability to make decisions that reflect the person you want to be.
If you had to identify a single insight or life lesson to leave the world with, what would it be? There are thousands of useful aphorisms and eloquent quotes to consider from the world’s most brilliant minds. But if I had only one piece of advice to offer it would simply be this: whatever you do, don’t be generic. Instead, strive to be an anomaly.
As social media has become pervasive in every aspect of our lives, there’s not a day that goes by where you don’t see some sort of generic quote about today being the best day of your life. But let’s bring things back to reality. An outlook based on unrealistic expectations and unchecked optimism only guarantees unhappiness…