A week and a half ago, I very quietly celebrated my 28th birthday. I went to work, came home, then went out to eat with my girlfriend at a cute restaurant here in SF, and called it a night. It was the perfect birthday.
Even though I haven’t been publishing here as often lately, I’d still like to reflect on my previous year of life and share some thoughts.
The older I get, the more I appreciate the value of relationships. In particular, all good relationships are formed from the foundation of a healthy relationship with yourself. I see the value in self-care, attempting to eat well, exercising regularly, and nurturing a curious mind. I’ve learned this year that the way you treat yourself is also an indicator to others. If you neglect this important relationship with yourself, you are setting a low bar for everyone else you encounter. It’s not that you need to command respect from everyone you meet, but you should at least feel internally that you are worthy of it.
Another lesson I’d like to share is about making commitments. Life is full of commitments to other people. You make commitments to your family, friends, an employer, and a faith. While we live seemingly with free will, we also are bound by our decisions to these people and ideas. The act of making a good commitment is indeed a skill, and one we must perfect the older we get.
On a similar note, the final thought I want to share is this powerful idea of long-term thinking. There was an article in the WSJ by Warren Buffett called, “Short-Termism is Harming the Economy”. Basically, he describes how companies fudging numbers to improve short-term earnings ultimately end up worse off later on as a result. I think my generation in particular, struggles with this same ailment.
For millennials, the concept of long-term thinking is a dying skill. We do things like order groceries to our apartments and call rides with apps on our phones. The next episode must start in five seconds or less and the thought of waiting longer than two days for a package to be delivered (for free) borders on ludacris. But all this instant gratification has altered our expectations and hindered our ability to make really long-term decisions. We have become the kids from the famous marshmallow experiment, gorging ourselves on the first mallow laid on our plates.
As a result, more opportunities are available, to those who are willing to make long-term investments. Resisting instant gratification is something I continuously battle, but also a trait that I’ve identified with success later in life.
Thank you for sticking with my infrequent writings over the years, here’s to many more to come.