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Every year after my birthday, I try to make a list of things I learned over the past 12 months. This is what I got for June 2013 – June 2014

  1. It is quite interesting to see who comes to your aid at your point of need. There are friends who would put themselves on the line for you. This kind of friend is the best kind after family.
  2. The environment you are in – the actual city/suburb, friends, events around you have a very big effect on who you are and how you think.
  3. It is extremely important to have a space of your own, both physical space and time space. The more space you have with yourself, the easier it is for your true desires and impulses to bubble up, and the easier it is to act on them.
  4. Be focused on the end result (what you want), be flexible on the path (how you get it)
  5. Sometimes, the answers to the problems we have are much closer than we think. The trick is recognizing it.
  6. If you really want to change, the universe makes it a little bit easier (at least in my experience)
  7. Stretch yourself…and grow
  8. Always be as true to yourself as you can be, even if you fear people may not like that you or agree with that you, even if you lose friends.
  9. Be the leader/mentor you wish you had
  10. Quality over quantity – in possessions, in friends, in partners.
  11. Sometimes, you have to put down the books and engage with life in real time relying on your instincts.
  12. When money isn’t an issue, it is easier to think strategically
  13. Don’t be afraid to feel pain, to feel hurt, to feel betrayed or let down. Pain is a necessary part of life and it won’t kill you.
  14. Don’t fight the system. Pimp the system.
  15. My mother REALLY doesn’t like it when I grow an afro.
  16. If the same advice keeps coming up from different people, give it some consideration.
  17. Be open, live with an open heart even if it is hurt and bleeding.
  18. Systems are better than goals
  19. Face your fears, every time you do, you get a bit stronger.
  20. The less girls you entertain, the more time and energy you have and the simpler life is…generally
  21. It is really hard to make a list like this
  22. Cultivate your quirks, embrace your unique interest and voice. In today’s world, you must own who you are.
  23. Deciding what to eat everyday is quite the chore. I need a chef to handle that for me.
  24.  It is possible to fall in love, and have another person by the mere virtue of their existence provide a compelling argument as to why you should be a better person.
  25. Try to plan or at least keep in mind the long haul…a year, 10 years, 100 years, it helps to ensure you keep the main thing, the main thing.
  26. I am going to die, it could be as soon as tomorrow, or as far as decades from now. But with every passing day, I need to get out all these things inside me.