23 Things I Learned in 23 years

The secret to living life well?

The above has a question mark, because I’m only 23. What am I supposed to know if what I’m about to say is right or not. This is merely an educated hypothesis.

The summer between my 4th and 5th year of college, I was caged in my home for 3 weeks. I had no car then, but even if I did, I only had enough money to buy food for that month. To top it off, my phone had stopped working, and I had gotten tired of surfing the internet. It was hot, and since I was the only one at home, I didn’t turn on the AC to save on my utilities bill. So I just layed on the carpet in 120F weather, in my underwear and thought, “WTF is the point of life?” I was bored out of my mind. And for three weeks — apart from sleeping, pooping, and eating — I only layed on the carpet in my underwear and asked the question that humanity has been asking since the beginning of time. I knew I wasn’t going to answer it. (I’m not cocky enough to think I can answer it in a satisfying way) But I did decide to take a “first-iteration” crack at it. And so I did, and reached what I call

The Big 3

A great life can be broken up into on three main things: Loving your inner circle (family and close friends), Fulfilling your ambition (what you want to change about the world), and Celebrating the little things in life. Everything else is secondary. Wealth, Health, Fame, Power — absolutely everything else goes back to helping you achieve one of the main three.

This has been my compass when I feel lost — and it has worked out pretty well for me so far. Feel free to edit it to suit you ;)

Here are the next 22 things…

Life is a game of strategic luck

To be lucky is to be able to identify and take advantage of an opportunity that will make your life better. The stream inflow of these opportunities into your life is what we call luck. This is why we’re able to create our own luck (to an extent). We have partial control over this inflow.

Vulnerability in moderation

Vulnerability (in moderation) is a strength, not a weakness. It helps you connect and understand other people. It helps you learn who you can rely on, and teaches you how to be more emotionally reliable for others.

Fortune Favors the Bold

Not only is it way cooler to aim for something big, but it’s also easier. You automatically have more drive because you’re working on something that excites the hell out of you. It’s easier to build a team because the work excites the hell out of them. People open doors for you because they want to see how far you can get. If it’s exciting enough, the entire universe will back you.

Execution. Execution. Execution.

And for our purposes, I’ll challenge you to define the first execution as the process of breaking down a seemingly impossible goal in acheivable tasks within realistic deadlines. The second execution is living up to the quality, budget, and deadline of the task. The third execution means taking the time to reflect on the last two executions, and to continually update your process.

98% life is dictated by what goes on in your subconscious.

So train your subconscious. Consciously decide what you want your autopilot to be.

Every action, spoken word, and thought is based on an emotional reaction.

It takes about 100 milliseconds for our brain to react emotionally and about 600 milliseconds for our thinking brain, our cortex, to register this reaction.

We never really make the logical choice, we only make gut decisions and emotional choices, and then we justify it through logic.

Everyone is just as lost all the time.

The only people who seem to know what’s going on are the ones that decided to be comfortable with being lost.

Destiny is a branched river with looped currents and many ports

This one is cool but it’s hard to explain. It tries to answer the question: Is our fate already predetermined or do we have free will? I like to think it’s both.

Our fate is like a river with a strong main current, and we are merely swimming in it. The river has ports along the way where we may choose to rest or even settle. The river branches off into smaller weaker currents, and some of those currents merge back with the main one. We may choose to swim against the current, but it won’t take us anywhere and we will only end up tired and frustrated. We may choose to swim at the center, or along the edges, stop at ports, and distract ourselves with other currents — and that’s our free will. But we each have our main current — the force that pulls us to a certain direction in life. That has already been predetermined.

Romance is awesome

Everything about it awesome. The spark of interest, the mystery, the risk, the games, the bonding. The dates, the sex, the confusion, the heartbreak.

Your entire brain shuts off except for the part that is in charge of daydreaming. Infatuation and Love are definitely the most addicting drugs out there.

Sin is fun as hell!

Alcohol, drugs, sex, gambling. But I do only recommend hell in moderation. Plus it’s only fun and tempting as a vacation resort, not as a permanent residence.

Morality doesn’t inherently exist

We made up rules to keep our lives consistent and comfortable. Let’s be real.

However, let’s also be real about the fact that we inherently create standards for ourselves and for other people — and it’s important to discover what those are, reflect on them, and communicate them intelligently.

It’s beneficial to be selfish

Why would anyone be selfless? The only reason why we should do anything is because it benefits us.

It feels great to help people

For selfish reasons, you should help people. It makes you feel great. The more you help people, the better you feel about everything. Just remember to help yourself first.

You can make your own rules

Everything around you that you call life was made up by people that were no smarter than you — and you can change it, you can influence it, you can build your own things that other people can use.

— Steve Jobs

The Pendelum swings both ways

Your greatest strength is also your greatest weakness. And your greatest weakness is also your greatest strength. They’re just two sides to the same coin. Same thing goes for everything. The best will always be the worst and the worst will also be the best.

Madness is the human default

We distract ourselves from our madness through socializing, working, adventures, eating, sleeping, etc…but if we slow down enough, we can feel it. We’re the Mad Hatter — and we’re afraid of it, and we’ll continue to be afraid of ourselves until we acknowledge it

The world belongs to the Storytellers

So learn how to tell good stories, ya dummy ☺~

The secret to having great relationships is being honest with yourself about what kind of effect your parents had on you

Holistically. How did they play a part on helping you succeed in your relationships? How did they fuck up your view on relationships? You want to understand how both things play a role in your ability to form and keep relationships.

Monogamy is an option, not a requirement.

Some of us just aren’t cut out for it. Or maybe it isn’t the right time to settle down for the rest of our life. Find out for yourself, and then find out how to keep relationships while respecting the other person(s).

You are the average of the people you surround yourself with.

You heard this in every other motivational speech on YouTube and motivational quote on Instagram, and it’s real.

Magic is real & Superpowers Exist.

Enough said.

And just to reiterate from my first point:

Nothing is more important than family

Never forget it.

I write to understand myself and share in hopes of helping others understand themselves. Entrepreneur, robotics enthusiast. — 💻www.xavier.ventures