When I turned twenty-five, five years ago, my wife can attest to the minor life crisis I suffered leading up to the event. I felt old, I wasn’t where I wanted to be, and everything mattered.
Today I am thirty.1
I am closer to where I want to be, have managed to keep my emotions about turning thirty to a minimum, and realize that only a few things in life matter.
And so, as bloggers do, here are thirty things that I think I know:
- The government is not infallible, and often egregious in the decisions they make, take note and speak up when they are wrong.
- Some asshole will always drive slow in the fast lane. Said asshole will justify it with the rationale that there is no such thing as a fast lane. You can refute with the tried and true passing lane logic: “Technically it is the passing lane, and by definition then you must be passing someone to be in it. Therefore you must be traveling faster than those in the right lane(s) to be in the left lane.” At the end of the day, this won’t work. Neither will riding their ass, honking, or using Top Gun’s “international greeting”. However, all of these things will make you feel better.
- Ignore people that constantly ask for your opinion, only to then refute your opinion. They don’t care to actually listen to your opinion, so you shouldn’t care to waste your breath.
- People will never stop blaming their incompetence on the day of the week. “It’s Monday so I am just dragging today.” “No one works on Friday, that includes me.” It is best to avoid these people, they are the ones going no where fast and have yet to realize the day of the week doesn’t matter much any more.
- Early morning meetings have the potential to screw over the rest of your day. Avoid early morning meetings at all costs — always get a couple of hours of work in before your first meeting.
- No one wants to work on Friday (see number 4), so it’s a great time to catch up. Also a great time to schedule a meeting, late in the afternoon, to ensure that it will be a short meeting, or a cancelled meeting. (Additionally, choosing to work over “bank holidays” is another great way to get a lot done.)
- The Electoral College is bullshit.
- Well tailored clothes make you look 50% better — no matter how cheap the clothes that are well tailored were when you purchased them.
- Facebook is changing our culture in a way that I hate.
- A lot of paranoid people are crazy, however most people are simply not paranoid enough — which is also crazy.
- If you simply nod and say “I understand” when you first meet people, you will learn far more about them than they learn about you (they will just assume that you agree with them). Don’t fall into the trap of assuming people agree with you based on the fact that they did not refute you — that’s a suckers game.
- You should never be surprised when an idiot does something idiotic. We know this, but it is also important to just realize that idiots will be idiots and that is just how it is. Anger about this fact will get you no where.
- Likewise, someone who is constantly doing idiotic things is likely also an idiot — you just may not be willing to label them as such.
- Telling someone that you were right is far less satisfying then letting them learn you are right on their own.
- It’s only a secret if you don’t tell anyone, and it doesn’t matter how many times people tell you this, because it’s one of those things you just have to learn the hard way.
- Features, specs, and checklists are irrelevant. The best thing you can get is specific to you and so you should take any review not written by you with a grain of salt.
- Whenever you check out at a store and the little credit card reader asks if you want to donate to XYZ charity — just donate a dollar. It takes no extra time, you probably won’t notice the missing dollar, and you will be doing something good while you buy your Cheetos.
- Coke drinkers always tell themselves that Coke is better than Pepsi in the same way that Android users convince themselves that Android is better than iOS.
- Saying things like the above, number 18, will fill your inbox every time.
- Don’t give a shit about what people think of your honest opinion. If you think Android is better than iOS, Windows better than Mac, and Nikon better than Canon — so be it. You’d be wrong, but at least you’re standing for what you believe in, and that’s more important.
- Life is a lot easier if you set two standard drinks: one non-alcoholic and another alcoholic. Keep both simple, the more complex your order, the bigger an asshole you look like. (Doubly so with coffee orders.) Make sure both are common enough that even a dive bar will have them. (I went with Pepsi/Coke and Makers Mark on the rocks.)
- Respect matters to people (well most people) more than money or gifts. If you want to retain an employee/tenant/anyone just treat them with respect — whatever respect means for the relationship you have with them — it will go further than any gift or money will (mostly).
- Expect the worse of the weather and be prepared. If forecasters say no snow, but it’s going to be low 30s and raining — expect snow. Forecasters use models, you should use common sense.
- You have no right to complain for something that was free, so pay for your stuff and you won’t look like a fool when you complain about it.
- Own your weaknesses. I know I’m not good at sports or grammar and a ton of other things. It is because I know this that I am willing to seek help and take advice on these matters. I was only able to do that when I admitted that I sucked at these things.
- The little things matter.
- Except when they don’t.
- When you feel like shit, smile. Smiling goes a long way and if you can get someone else to smile because you smiled, your fake smile might become a real one. And, if even just for a moment, you might feel better.
- There’s nothing better in life than making a baby giggle.
- Lists like this are often full of bad advice.
December 28, 2012 ↩