26 Things I’ve Learned In 26 Years

Stacey Ferreira
Sep 11, 2018 · 2 min read

“If there are no ups and downs in life, it means you are dead.”

Once I entered college, people would always say that “the person you are at 20 is radically different than the person you’ll be at 30.” I’m now officially in my late 20s (26!), and while I’m still me, I’ve learned a TON in the past 6 years.

Here are 26 things I’ve learned in my 26 years.

On Life

  1. To make new friends, to keep relationships, to seize an opportunity, you have to show up.
  2. Spend your young years learning to be an adult, and your adult years learning to be young.
  3. When given the option, bet on yourself every time.
  4. The people who you think “have it all,” probably need a friend the most. Reach out to them and say hello.
  5. “I’d rather end up wishing I hadn’t than end up wishing I had.” — Leo Tolstoy

On Learning

  1. Money can’t fix stupidity.
  2. A college degree doesn’t mean you’re smart. It just means you paid a lot of money for a piece of paper and to walk across a stage.
  3. Learn to say “no” at an early age.
  4. “Don’t take advice from anyone you wouldn’t trade places with.”
  5. If you want to honestly learn about your management style, talk to your direct report’s spouse, partner or kids.

On Relationships

  1. Who you surround yourself with in critical moments is extremely important. If they have any say or ability to influence you one way or another, they can literally change the course of your life.
  2. Apologize. Nothing, not even your pride, is worth losing a friend over.
  3. Try to spend as much time working on your relationships as you do your career.
  4. Don’t let a past heartbreak get in the way of your future.
  5. “I do” should be a mutually agreed-upon journey between two people.

On Work

  1. Your career is what you do, not who you are and not your worth as a human being.
  2. Nothing makes you grow more as a human than getting through hard moments and making it out to the other side.
  3. Passion doesn’t make payroll.
  4. Yes, you need results. But remember to be human.
  5. Have dignity on the way in and on the way out.

On Winning

  1. There are many “ah-ha!” moments in life. When you have them, write them down.
  2. The people that ask the most questions are the ones that win in the end.
  3. You will not always be the MVP.
  4. Understand that even teams with the best players still lose sometimes. The best teams are the ones that lose and still play the next game with as much motivation and positive energy as the first.
  5. If you want to succeed, lose the excuses and just go do it.

Bonus: The people who succeed are just the people who don’t give up or don’t stop trying.

Stacey Ferreira

Written by

CEO & Co-Founder at Forge. Thiel Fellow 2015. U.S. State Department Speaker. Co-Author of 2 Billion Under 20.

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