I turned 30! I feel… the same. I stayed up while my partner studied, and I wrote all my thoughts, dreams, and reflections as the clock struck midnight. I don’t feel older, but when I reflect, I’ve definitely learned a thing or… 30.
- Everyone’s family is crazy. Even the ones that look perfect (they’re the worst!). Completely crazy.
The only real crazy thing would be to have a normal family…
Maybe not every family has mafia drama, but every family has at least one crazy uncle. (Reference: Catch-22, by Joseph Heller)
- You’ll never stop working on the things you care about.
Your relationships, your fitness, your creativity, your home, your skills—each area of life is like a muscle that you need to consistently maintain to keep strong.
You can’t just work really hard to learn Spanish and then abandon it for seven years and expect saltar en el medio y… ser… tan bueno. (Reference: The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People)
- It’s better to Be proactive, than reactive – what you want isn’t going to just happen to you. (Also The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People).
Mr. Wonderful isn’t going to come to your house or work and fall madly in love with you with no effort on your part. You have to get out there in your cutest outfit and seduce the poor bastard!
In the same vein– Don’t sit around and dwell on why something you didn’t like happened—think about what actions you can take to make it better. (Harvard Business Review: “What Self-Awareness Really Is and How to Cultivate It”)
- If someone is wont to tell you how clever and successful he is, he’s probably insecure. Steve Jobs didn’t go around telling everyone that he got a really good grade in his calculus class…
The true clever and successful people are accomplishing things. So judge a person’s attributes by his actions, not by how he talks about himself.
- The more you learn, the less you know—so sometimes it’s better to jump into something and learn it than to wait until you feel thoroughly educated about it—because you’ll lose confidence. (The Dunning-Kruger Effect)
- Procrastination can be helpful. Me believing this might just be because I saw it on a TED talk and use it to justify believing it, but I believe it nonetheless! (This great TED talk)
- The biggest paradigm-shifters are books and travel. Go read something!
I’m seriously considering van life when Spencer does rotations in medical school. Even though I am really bad at driving… I might have to give this idea more thought.
- Much to my teenage chagrin, being organized really is the key to getting things done. Make lists, and charts, set alarms, and write down your thoughts.
- The first draft of anything is always terrible. No exceptions.
- If you have an idea, in business, science, writing, art—pursue it, or it will find someone else… It’s called multiple discovery. (Reference: Big Magic)
- Everyone is going through or has been through tough shit. Everyone.
And I think it can be easy to fall into a victim mentality from your setbacks, but it’s not going to do anyone any favors. Especially you.
- In times of misfortune, It is better to self-reflect than to blame. (How to Win Friends and Influence People, by Dale Carnegie)
… But it is also good to call your friend a complain just a little.
- There are tons of things to be grateful for. I started a gratitude journal—because that’s what we old folk do—and it made me really appreciate every little good thing.
It also made me realize that I have a small obsession with baby animals.
- It’s better to focus on one thing at a time.
I didn’t say that I apply all of the things that I’ve learned! Only that I’ve learned them. I am excitable about new ideas!
- Ireland is great. I don’t know why. I just love it. Here, look.
- Grit always trumps talent. Praise your kids for working hard, not being smart. (The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg and How Not To Talk to Your Kids)
- Girls need to be nice to other girls on purpose. It’s hard when a bitch is flirting with your man, but you’ve gotta just be nice and friendly.
High heels and t-shirts are not mutually exclusive, T-Swift! (Lean In, by Sheryl Sandberg)
- It’s not what you know, it’s who you know. Maybe what you know a little bit. Always work hard, but don’t underestimate what people in your community can help you achieve.
- I shouldn’t be allowed coffee after 2 o’clock.
- Don’t gossip. (My mentor told me this over a glass of wine on the last night of business we had, and it has saved me time and again).
I don’t mean that you can’t discuss people—their successes and relationships. People are interesting.
But try not to talk shit. If someone is talking to you, they are most definitely talking about you. Don’t feed the flame.
- Everyone is better than you at something—even your brother’s weird friend who bit the head off of a fish.
- If you are wrong, admit it quickly and emphatically. Sometimes, uh, this is hard. Sometimes I am wrong. (How to Win Friends and Influence People, by Dale Carnegie)
- You don’t have to agree with anyone. Know what you believe, and follow your principles. If people don’t like you for your values, that’s their choice.
Of the people I love and respect the most, 0% of them are libertarian, cafeteria Catholics who love mountain biking, writing, art, dogs, pop-psychology, and business.
Appreciate diversity of opinions because people developed theirs from their unique experiences.
- Dunbar’s number suggests that there is a cognitive limit to the number of people with whom we can maintain meaningful social relationships. It ranges from 100-250, with 150 being the norm.
That means that if you sincerely care about people you meet, even if you’re extroverted, you shouldn’t pick a demanding social job, or you’re going to get social burnt out.
At the winery, I got to a point where I couldn’t even read books with dialogue in them after a shift!
Make your relationships special.
- Medical school is as hard as burritos are delicious. And burritos are very delicious.
- Being playful is important for growth and happiness, and all of that. So wrestle your partner and dress up like a wizard, and try to make everything into a pun. (That TED talk with the polar bears and the dogs)
- Courage is being vulnerable. (Daring Greatly, by Brene Brown)
- People often see what they don’t like about themselves in others. So one way to find your weakness is to reflect on what annoys you in others. I really hate it when people are too good at their jobs, for example.
- Conflict gives us purpose. Conflict is what drives all good stories.
Never have I felt as existential as when I was content and safe, and I had no worries about money.
Don’t make yourself miserable! But appreciate the journey as you pursue your goals.
- “It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.”― Dumbledore (J.K. Rowling’s amazing Harry Potter)