(Photo by Morgan Sessions)
I am 25 years old. I like to think that I know a thing or two by now. There are plenty of things I know that won't turn up on Internet lists, and probably plenty of things that you know too that aren't there either. The world is full of knowledge, collected from years at school and University, or from simply being a curious human who wants to know more about the world. Those facts are easy to grasp, to read from textbooks or to hear from lectures, to corroborate and collaborate until you understand. There are truths, however, which are harder to get hold of - that take time and experience to learn. We probably don't spend enough time learning those things, compared to the facts and figures which dominate our education. I certainly don't know as much about life as I do about the early Roman emperors or Foucault's panopticon. And I don't know all that much about either of those things.
But this much, I know for sure:
1. Nothing good happens after 1am.
Go home. Don't succumb to FOMO. Nothing good has ever come from staying out past 1am, and it never will.
2. Only boring people get bored.
My Grandad, who is 79 today incidentally, taught me this and I'm pretty sure he has never been bored a day in his life. The world is full of things to discover and do, and I am more afraid that I'll never have enough time rather than that I'll have too much and get bored of it.
3. Packet hair dye is never worth it.
I have never really liked a dye job that I've done myself. As a blonde, packet hair dye is very much the enemy - it's so tempting, but can go so wrong and does so much damage to your hair. I have learnt to pay the extra to get my hair done professionally, or to go without.
4. Never read the comments.
5. Happiness is so much more about your outlook than about what actually happens to you.
Obviously, if you are in the midst of a full-blown tragedy then there's not a lot you can do. But for the most part, having a positive attitude towards life, towards other people and to the occasional mishaps that happen along the way will do wonders for your happiness. It has changed my life to think this way, to give other people the benefit of the doubt and to not be cynical. I still have my moments of melodrama, don't get me wrong, but happiness breeds more happiness for sure.
6. Related: You can't change events but you can change how you react to them.
As a control freak, this is something I find very hard, and is something I am working on all the time. You have no control over life's many twists and turns, but you can control how you react when they happen. I would do well to remember this.
7. You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.
Yep, it pays to be nice to people. A smile goes a long way to getting what you want - although that's not the only reason to be nice to people(!). I'm not sure I believe in karma, but who would risk it?
8. If something's worth doing, then it's worth doing right.
Another one that I should give a hat-tip to my Grandad for, and another one that I could do with remembering every now and again. I am impatient, and so often want to be finished with something or find it frustrating when I'm not the best right away. But if something is worth doing, then it is worth giving your full attention to and seeing it through.
And that's what I know for sure.