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My name is Stephen.

I like to write and tweet.

I work, code and photograph.

I've written 30259 words in 29 posts.

25 Things I Learned At Age 25

If you only read one post on my blog, this is the one. I touched on growth, perspective, luck, money, comparison, balance, and a special #yolo category. I view this post as my guiding principles in life.

Growth

  1. Have new things to look forward to every day. That's what keeps life exciting.
  2. Optimize your career based on learning opportunities. Think of it like going to The School of Real Life with free tuition while getting paid.
  3. Hindsight is 20/20. Don't be too hard on yourself for not picking the perfect job, relationship, stock, etc. That's called rumination.
  4. Prioritize relationships and experiences. Let go of social status and materialistic possessions.

Perspective

  1. Take a step back to appreciate what you already have and realize how fortunate you are.
  2. There'll always be problems and worries in life, no matter how privileged you are.
  3. When you see a problem, try a different perspective. Ask yourself how would you advise your friend as if they have the same problem. You will realize the solution is simpler than you think.
  4. People are too busy worrying about themselves to judge you.

Luck

  1. Success is often the sum of hard work and being in the right place at the right time.
  2. Focus on what you can control. The world is a massive multi-billion-player game with too many uncontrollable factors.
  3. Don't let the lack of luck make you question your skills, because nobody gets lucky every single time.
  4. Go make your own luck by acting on opportunities presented to you. You miss 100% of the shots you don't take.

Money

  1. Detach your self worth from your net worth. Otherwise, it's a never-ending hedonic treadmill of wanting more.
  2. The anticipation of earning a lot of money is much more exciting than earning the money itself.
  3. Spend money on others, not yourself. Buy gifts, tip extra, bring surprises, give to those who are in need.
  4. Money can't buy time. Focus on health, people, memories, and abilities, not on a golden financial future.

Comparison

  1. There's always someone who has more experience or skills. Comparison is the thief of joy.
  2. Don't compare other people's highlight reels to your behind-the-scenes.
  3. Don't derive your happiness from being better than everyone else. True nobility lies in being superior to your former self.
  4. In other people's point of view, I've had the perfect life trajectory, even though I may not feel like it. That's because we focus on our own weaknesses and other people's strengths.

Balance

  1. Have a balanced life outside of work. Your career is a marathon, not a sprint.
  2. The media loves talking about the extremes - the rag to riches and the epic fails. However, keep selection bias in mind, because those stories can skew your perception of what reality looks like.
  3. Appreciate the Joy of Missing Out (JOMO) and forget about the Fear of Missing Out (FOMO).
  4. Help others instead of climbing your own ladder. Volunteer, mentor, donate.

#YOLO

  1. I've been editing this post to death. Time to hit publish and stop chasing perfection.
  2. I still can't count.

Thanks to Alberto, Grace, Taylor, and Albert for reading drafts of this.