Here are 101 essential life lessons which I’ve learned, and am now passing on to you (you probably know them too, but we all need a reminder once in a while). Look at this post as a little manual for life:
1. Make being happy a priority.
2. Don’t postpone joy.
3. Travel; see as much of the world as you can.
4. Learn to play a musical instrument.
5. Live beneath your means.
6. Create a spending plan (or budget) and stick to it.
7. Take a course on personal finances in college.
8. Pay yourself first: save 10% of what you earn.
9. Give a percentage of your earnings to the less fortunate.
10. Don’t go into bad debt (debt taken on for consumption).
11. Track both how you spend your time and how you spend your money.
12. Forgive yourself. Forgive others; for your sake, not theirs.
13. Let go of grudges.
14. Take responsibility for your life.
15. Remember Henry Ford’s admonishment: “Whether you think you can or whether you think you can’t, you’re right.”
16. Decide what you want. Set goals for every area of your life: family, finances, personal development, education, fun and adventure, and so on.
17. Remember there are always two sides to every story.
18. Create your own definition of success.
19. Don’t smoke. Don’t abuse alcohol. Don’t do drugs.
20. Remember the four R’s: reduce, reuse, recycle, recover.
21. Follow the golden rule: treat others like you want them to treat you.
22. Get regular exercise. Build a strong body.
23. Follow a healthy diet. Eat lots of antioxidants, omega 3 fatty acids, and whole grains.
24. Wear sunscreen.
25. Learn a foreign language.
26. Become an expert at something.
27. Write a book.
28. Be kind to children and animals.
29. Know basic history and geography.
30. Cultivate your emotional intelligence.
31. Keep a first aid kit in your house and in your car.
32. Have regular medical and dental checkups.
33. Learn to take compliments.
34. Learn to take criticism.
35. Be authentic; be yourself.
36. Don’t take action when you’re angry. Take a moment to calm down and ask yourself if what you’re thinking of doing is really in your best interest.
37. Choose your spouse carefully; much of your happiness will depend on this one decision.
38. Worry is a waste of time; it’s a misuse of your imagination.
39. Never drive when you’ve been drinking.
40. Never give up; if there’s one characteristic that all successful people share, it’s perseverance.
41. Drink lots of water.
42. Make learning a life-long endeavor; become an autodidact.
43. Continuously count your blessings.
44. Don’t gossip. Remember the following quote by Eleanor Roosevelt: “Great minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, small minds discuss people.”
45. Become an expert in time management.
47. Follow your gut; rely on your intuition.
48. Acknowledge those who have helped you.
49. Find a mentor.
50. Be a mentor.
51. Be as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are of your own.
52. Don’t procrastinate; procrastination is the thief of time.
53. Develop a solution-focused mindset. Instead of assigning blame or ruminating endlessly on why things didn’t turn out the way you wanted them to, immediately start looking for a way to move forward.
54. Smile a lot; laugh a lot.
55. Admit your mistakes, do what you can to fix them, and move on.
56. Keep informed, whether it’s by reading the daily paper, watching the news, or reading a periodical such as “Time” or “Newsweek”.
57. Meditate. Take up yoga. Set aside quiet time every day.
58. Get organized.
59. Be a loyal and reliable friend.
60. Look for opportunities to praise others.
61. Don’t take yourself too seriously.
62. During difficult times remember this: “And this too shall pass.”
63. When things go wrong remember that few things are as bad as they first seem.
64. Keep in mind that mistakes are stepping stones to success. Success and failure are a team; success is the hero and failure is the sidekick. Don’t be afraid to fail.
65. Set aside time for planning.
66. Choose your friends wisely: 80% of your life experiences—both the good and the bad–will come as a direct result of the people you hang out with.
67. Know when to cut your losses.
68. Have a magnum opus. Think of leaving a legacy.
69. Keep in mind that life is not a dress rehearsal.
70. If you don’t know the answer, say so; then go and find the answer.
71. Remember that one of life’s only constants is change.
72. Ask for what you want. This includes acknowledgement from others.
73. Create value for others.
74. Apply the power of leverage: leverage your money and your time.
75. Develop multiple streams of income.
76. Be your own boss: start your own business.
77. Don’t renege on your promises, whether to others or to yourself.
78. Examine your beliefs on a regular basis and ask yourself if what you believe is serving you well.
79. Feel the fear and then do it anyway.
80. Don’t worry about what other people think.
81. Listen to the advice of others but then make your own decisions.
82. Change the things you can and accept the things you can’t.
84. Develop your listening skills.
85. Focus on what you want instead of thinking about what you don’t want.
86. Begin; every journey begins by taking the first step.
87. Have fun. Schedule playtime.
88. Get lots of fresh air.
89. Every time you fall simply get back up again.
90. Strive for excellence, not for perfection.
91. Learn to live in the present moment.
92. Be proactive.
93. Refuse to play the role of the victim; be a creator.
94. Choose your battles wisely.
95. Don’t argue for your limitations.
96. Learn to see the extraordinary in the ordinary.
97. Listen to Eleanor Roosevelt’s advice: “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”
98. Find work you love.
99. Remember the motto: “You catch more flies with honey.”
100. Fill your life with love.
101. Constantly tell the important people in your life how much you care for them.
1. How to Live Your Best Life – The Essential Guide for Creating and Achieving Your Life List
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3. How to Be More Creative – A Handbook for Alchemists
4. The One-Hour-A-Day Formula: How to Achieve Your Life Goals in Just One Hour a Day
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