Life at 25…
I’ve always been fascinated by human beings, the way we behave in different situations or think about specific subjects. I’ve been lucky enough to be able to observe people for 25 years now and learned a lot about myself in the process.
Let’s go straight to the point, what did I learn about people over 25 years? People do change, at least I did. Personality wise, I went from being an extrovert to an introvert in less than a decade. Not because people drain me, but because the more I get older, the more I enjoy spending time alone with my thought and simply think. As weird as it sounds, analyzing my own actions and feelings is extremely fascinating. Knowing that our decisions shape our reality, I like to review my actions and imagine different outcomes had I taken different decisions.
Interestingly enough, I didn’t quite become a total introvert. I become better at sensing other people’s energy and adjust myself based on what I feel. Through 25 years of existence, you realize that some people energize you, some drain you, some help you become a better person, some make you worse. It’s a sad realization because it requires you to make some changes, which usually involve cutting some people off and focus on the ones that make you better.
It’s an easy decision nonetheless because you also realize that nobody cares about you as much as you do. I knew this statement was true for ideas (i.e. nobody cares about your ideas as much as you do). That’s why entrepreneurs are expected to be stubborn and be able to persuade people. But the same is true for life: nobody cares about you as much as you do. The human mind is always looking for ways to increase pleasure and avoid pain. So people, naturally, are always unconsciously trying to increase their pleasure and reduce their own suffering. If you’re not careful, you might get lost in the process because what might look like a common pleasurable goal might be the one thing derailing you from your goals. Nobody truly knows what you want to become, but you, so keeping that in mind at all times is needed to navigate your social life at 25. For me, it was learning how to say no. Something I’ve been struggling with for years, but as I grow, I realize that learning how to say no is the ultimate power that will push me toward my own goals.
It’s not that I cared about other people’s opinions, I just didn’t wanna bruise people. I somehow always liked to come up with the most pleasurable solution that would make everyone happy. Now things are different. Nobody ever died for being told no, plus I repeat, people care about themselves. Essentially, every human interaction is an exchange of energy, make sure the energy you receive propels you toward your goals, otherwise there is no point (despite the fun times).
As I’m growing up, I focus more on meaning rather than anything else. When I was 18, I could sell anything, the only goal was to make some money. As I’m growing, I need to seriously give a shit about what I am doing in order to do it. Living a meaningful life is extremely important to me, it helps me keep the good times in perspective and smooth the bad times. I’ve always believed there is a reason why every single one of us is alive. Finding that reason is essentially finding your meaning. As you’re reading this, I hope you find yours, it makes life more interesting.
I was lucky enough to go through all kinds of experience in just 25 years. The world is not pink anymore for me, it isn’t dark either. It’s as neutral as a neutron. It is up to me to shape it the way I want.
Earlier, I said I learned that people change. I change through reflections, meaning if I already know the outcome I want, and I take a set of actions that do not bring me the desired result, I change my actions. I learned that the deepest things we want in life have the power to change who we are at the core. It’s fascinating, this ability to be malleable in the universe, I find it fascinating. It teaches a few things:
1. Nothing is set in stone. Even our personality, things we care about can change when needed.
2. Other people change too. So judging people too soon is a waste of time.
3. We can only change ourselves. Okay, this one seems obvious until the two previous facts lead you into trouble, that’s when fact number 4 is needed.
4. See reality for what it is and expect nothing from other people. This one is hard to get until you have to. I am optimistic, so when I met new people, I used to imagine how great they could be and based my perception of them from that mental vision. The problem was that my mental vision was imaginary. The reality is always something less glamourous. Sometimes, the person would rise to the occasion and become better in whatever they’re doing (i.e. at work), sometimes that vision was the key ingredient to a series of endless disappointments.
Another point is that the world doesn’t wait for you to achieve your dreams before it resumes itself. Everything happens at the same time. So becoming mindful about the present, my thoughts and my time was useful for me. It meant simplifying many things to focus on the few activities that actually add value to my life. My favorite quote these day is:
“Simplicity is the glory of expression.” — Walt Whitman
Life at 25 is simpler, not because I have everything figured out, but because I simply focus on what matters to me, regardless on what other people may think.
“You’ll be fine. You’re 25. Feeling unsure and lost is part of your path. Don’t avoid it. See what those feelings are showing you and use it. Take a break. You’ll be okay. Even if you don’t feel okay all the time.” — Louis C.K
That quote is definitely true for me, sometimes I freak out, sometimes things get really hard, but it’s good to remind myself that I'm only 25. Most importantly, I’ll be fine.