Greetings, wonderful readers! It’s my privilege to be writing to you today, because today is my 29th birthday. I realize you don’t hear from me as frequently as you once did, and I feel a bit guilty about this. To be perfectly honest, as I’ve gotten older, my priorities have shifted and projects I once spent many hours working on simply get a smaller piece of the time and attention pie. That’s not to say I don’t still love writing, I do. Maintaining this blog has been one of the greatest life decisions I’ve ever made and I’m committed to continue publishing, albeit less often, here.
Starting at 23, I’ve published a birthday blog every year with the exception of 27, I’m not sure what happened that year. I had lots of fun thinking about and researching older posts (24, 25, 26, 28) for this year’s blog. Instead of the usual reflections and goals, I decided to try something new and create a list of 29 lessons, observations, and directives that seem to have found a place of truth in my life based on my experiences.
So without further frivolity, here’s the list:
Each day, you decide where your time, energy, and attention goes.
Make more decisions with long-term rewards than decisions with short-term rewards.
Commitments to people, careers, and a philosophy make life decisions easier, not harder.
Change is a constant and often not worth stressing over; focus on how you adapt instead.
Do something kind for yourself every day.
Help others when possible with the resources you have to spare.
Think independently and creatively; there aren’t as many “rules” as you think.
Call people by their names.
Cooking is a good time investment.
Writing is another good time investment.
Reading is one of the best time investments.
Relationships are fundamental to a happy and healthy life.
Communication is fundamental to good relationships.
Invest in relationships with friends, colleagues, teachers, family, and partners.
Thank people, or even better, write someone a thank you note.
Go to the doctor every year.
Go to the dentist every year.
Get your eyes checked every year.
Care for your mind, body, and spirit.
It’s okay to spend money on a good bed.
It’s okay to spend money on a good pair of shoes.
It’s okay to spend money on a good haircut.
Spend less than you earn and invest the savings.
Compounding effects can be realized beyond interest and money.
For a bigger impact, look for leverage, scale, and automation.
Simplify when possible.
Life is what you pay attention to.
The moral world has an inverse logic.
If any of these resonated with you, feel free to share them with friends or send me a reply. Additionally, if you have any of your own guiding principles you feel would be a good contribution to this list, don’t hesitate to send them to me. I’d love to learn from your experiences and continue building upon these lessons.
Thank you for your continued readership, and I hope to be writing to you still next year!