27 Things I Learned At 27

Inspired by the homie Dev Basu, here are some lessons I learned this past year (with a shoutout to the people who inspired/underscored them).


1. Stop competing with others.

The older you grow, the more counterproductive it becomes. To quote Sun Tzu, “There is no instance of a nation benefitting from prolonged warfare.”

(via Jen Gonzales)


2. Start competing with yourself.

All you need to do is be better than the person you were yesterday.

(via Saad Siddiqui)


3. Disregard money, acquire wisdom.

Time + Experience + Reflection = Wisdom. The more wisdom you acquire, the easier and more rewarding life becomes. And you can’t put a price tag on that.

(via Sid Naidu)


4. Find your gift.

No matter how long it takes, and how far you have to go to search for it, you owe it yourself to discover the thing that you were meant to do for the rest of your life.

(via Usama Siddiqui)


5. Give your gift away.

Once you find it, commit your life to giving it away. This might sound counterintuitive, but it’s far from. In fact, by giving your gift away, you have everything to gain.

(via Drew Dudley)


6. Don’t get lost in the sauce.

They say that the shoemaker’s children go barefoot. Be careful not to lose yourself in helping others to the point where you stop helping yourself.

(via Janakan Srimurugan)


7. Craft your story.

If you aren’t telling your story, someone else is. Own your story, and share it loudly and proudly.

(via Bailey Parnell)


8. Don’t get tired of telling your story.

In the words of Dr. Julie A. Payne-Kirchmeier, “There’s a chance that someone is listening to it for the first time, even if they’ve heard it from you a million times before.” There’s a huge difference.

(via Troy Murray)


9. Some stress is good.

Administered in careful, small and planned doses, stress is exactly what you need to grow. The Ancient Greeks had a name for this technique: hormesis.

(via Donica Willis)


10. Beware of brownout.

Brownout is the worst stage of burnout. Over time, we can lose our passion for work and our commitment to our organization, despite appearing composed. Know your thresholds and avoid brownout at all costs.

(via Tony Conte)


11. Just hold on, we’re going home.

There are many names for it: resiliency, determination, grit, etc — the ability to push through adversity and failures is an attribute you’ll need as you push through seemingly insurmountable obstacles to reach your goals.

(via Brandon Smith)


12. Setbacks are temporary.

FACT: the Chinese symbol for ‘crisis’ is the same one used for ‘opportunity.’ In this way, a crisis is simply an opportunity that hasn’t presented itself.

(via Kait Asquini)


13. Do things that don’t scale.

Do good things for others that nobody else will know about. Do good things you might never receive credit for. Do good things without any expectation of return.

(via Tesni Ellis)


14. Make time for elders.

They’re the best window into the past. In an age of endless streams of seemingly disparate information, long & detailed stories are refreshing and crucial to making meaning.

(via Azim Khan)


15. Happiness is the only metric.

Thomas Hobbes distilled the pursuit of happiness down to one word: ‘passion.’ There are things in life which we are naturally drawn to, and driven towards. Chase those things which make you happy.

(via Mustefa Jo’shen)


16. Plan like you’ll live forever.

“A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in.” — Greek Proverb

(via Rumeet Billan)


17. Live like you’ll die tomorrow.

Don’t get so caught up living in the potential promise of the future that you ignore the immediate possibilities of today.

(via Divyan Selvadurai)


18. Say yes to yourself.

Every time you say ‘yes’ to someone else, you’re also saying ‘no’ to yourself. Don’t count on anyone else to say yes on your behalf.

(via Dr. Su-Ting Teo)


19. Build a team.

“If you want to fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” — African Proverb

(via Kareem Rahaman)


20. Achieve mastery of something.

You’ve got 168 hours per week to become really good at something. You don’t have to be the expert, but you can certainly be an expert.

(via Samantha Porter)


21. Put your pen down.

Your pen is your idea. Leave it in the middle of the table. In other words, don’t get emotionally attached to your idea. Keep an open mind and objective perspective. Ideas tend to become better once they’ve been teased & tested.

(via Lucas Gobert)


22. Relax.

Loosen up, smile, and find the humour in things. In the words of Dr. John Austin, “Don’t take life so seriously. Not everything has to be written with a Sharpie. Use a pencil — be okay with erasing things.”

(via Sasha VanHoven)


23. Either create or complain.

Just don’t do both.

(via Nick Asquini)


24. Time is the only luxury.

What’s the point of awards, accolades and accomplishments if you don’t have the time (and headspace) to enjoy and appreciate them? Budget your time as you would budget your money.

(via Kanye West)


25. Obsess over something.

Pick a cause, a value, a belief…pick something. Obsess over it. Lose sleep over it. And then find others just like yourself. On a planet of more than seven billion people, it can’t be that hard.

(via Joshna Maharaj)


26. Scrap your backup plan.

Trust that your energy and creativity will rise to the occasion. The venturemust succeed, and so it will.

(via Dr. Tayyab Rashid)


27. Build other leaders.

A manager controls workflow and priorities. A leader, however, unlocks potential, empowers, and builds other leaders. A leader’s job, therefore, is simply to inspire.

(via Dr. John Austin)

This post was originally published on Medium.