33 Things I’ve Learned in 33 Years

1.  There is always something to learn.  If you’re not learning, it’s your own fault.

2.  Apologize when you’re wrong, even when, or especially when, it is very difficult to do.

3.  Never make your last best offer, and then come back with a better offer.  You will lose all credibility.

4.  Modesty and humility are positive traits, except when you are auditioning for a part or interviewing for a job.  Know when to shine and when to step out of the spotlight.

5.  If you talk about someone behind her back, she will inevitably overhear and confront you on it.  Don’t embarrass yourself.

6.  While religion does provide some benefits, it’s probably best left alone because humans have a tendency to manipulate religious belief for selfish and destructive aims.

7.  When you are about to silently judge someone, ask yourself why you feel as you do.  If the reason is that you are feeling insecure, do not pass judgment.  If the reason is that you have a problem with the person’s behavior or attitude, be brave enough to tell that person.  If you are not brave enough, then you have no right to judge.

8.  Some people are energy vampires.  Don’t try to fix them.  Just stay away from them.

9.  Being introverted has its advantages.

10.  If it feels wrong, it probably is.  Your moral compass is stronger than you think.

11.  Having children is the smartest, most important decision I have ever made.

12.  When you grow up, you actually can’t be “anything.”  But the good news is that it is much better to be “something” than “anything.”

13.  True confidence comes from preparation.

14.  When I was a child, I looked to adults as the masters of the universe and guardians of all that is right and proper in the world.  Now, as an adult, I look to children for the same things.

15.  There is quite possibly no meaning to life.  But it’s fun trying to figure out if there is one.

16.  Dreams mean something, so pay attention to them.

17.  It’s never as bad as it seems.

18.  Having more (money, cleavage, influence) won’t always get you respect, but it will certainly get you noticed.

19.  In a socially networked, always connected world, privacy is a sought-after commodity.  Protect yours.

20.  Sometimes it is more important to be kind than to be right.

21.  Nobody likes a complainer.  Even complainers don’t like to hear complaints — they just want to air their own.

22.  I believe that every child should learn the value of public service at an early age.

23.  Fakeness will always backfire.

24.  Be honest about your priorities, with yourself and others.  If you’re too busy to see someone, go somewhere, or do something, it’s likely that you would simply rather be doing something else.

25.  Be kind to animals.

26.  When you are angry, it means you have lost something — respect, pride, control, security.  Redirect the energy toward regaining what you have lost, or accepting that it is gone.

27.  Stepping on people on your way up is not only heartless, but unnecessary.

28.  Failure is necessary in order to have success.  If you haven’t lost something, you haven’t gained anything either.

29.  Seeing someone’s faults can endear that person to you more closely.  This is true in business as well as in love.

30.  You can totally mix black and brown.  Black and navy, I’m not so sure.

31.  It’s ok to like Top 40 pop songs.  Life is not a competition to see how avante-garde you can be.

32.  Tired isn’t just a physical state; it’s a lifestyle.

33.  After 33 years, there is still a hell of a lot to learn.

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