77 Important Truths I’ve Learned About Life


Every year, I find myself in awe at how much I have changed, how much I have learned, and how little I know. It’s humbling in the best of ways.

It’s a reminder that many of my day to day certainties are far less concrete than I think, and it’s an excuse to reflect on why and how I have grown.

I’m sure that, in a few years, I’ll look back on today and wonder what on Earth I was thinking, just as today I look back on yesterday and wonder the same.

With that said, here is what I currently know to be true about life.


  1. Your mental and physical health come first. Everything else is secondary.
  2. Most cliches are more profound than you think. Take time to revisit them.
  3. Less is almost always more. Simplicity is almost always the answer.
  4. There is nobody you can’t empathize with once you’ve heard their story.
  5. Beyond scientific and societal laws, rules are as firm as you make them.
  6. You have to be lucky to be successful, but luck can be engineered.
  7. It all starts and ends in the mind. The most crucial skill is how you think.
  8. Happiness isn’t about a state of constant elation. It’s about being content.
  9. Everyone is a hypocrite, and it often doesn’t matter. Life isn’t a formula.
  10. People suck. But if you’re kind, you’ll get the best out of even the worst.
  11. People are inspiring. The lengths many of us go to for others is baffling.
  12. Perfection only exists in the mind. It’s not real. Imagine, create, improve.
  13. Reading is telepathy. A book is the most powerful technology invented.
  14. Much of what we treat as real is a figment of our collective imagination.
  15. Outside of physics, chemistry, and biology, most science is very uncertain.
  16. The scientific method, however, is still the most potent weapon we have.
  17. Philosophy isn’t about understanding life. It’s about thinking with clarity.
  18. The beauty of art lies in its ability to engage you beyond your sense of self.
  19. The best businesses in the world have a lot in common with religions.
  20. It’s easy to be a critic. The question is whether or not it changes anything.
  21. What you say “no” to better predicts a result than what you say “yes” to.
  22. The world doesn’t need more noise. Don’t complain. Set an example.
  23. Struggle is a part of life. Learning to struggle well is a reward in itself.
  24. Respect people’s time. It’s not something that they can get more of.
  25. Either you control your desires or your desires control you. Choose wisely.
  26. Planning is useful, but returns tend to diminish. Start before you’re ready.
  27. The less you care about trivial things, the more likable you generally are.
  28. Your attention is the most important asset you have. Be deliberate with it.
  29. Much of what we attribute to good fortune is just stubborn persistence.
  30. Regret always stems from not having asked yourself the right questions.
  31. Beyond food, shelter, and good companionship, life is pretty negotiable.
  32. Diversity in experience fuels diversity in thought. Live experimentally.
  33. Knowledge is cheap. If actions don’t reflect memory, you have work to do.
  34. We are biological algorithms shaped by our inputs. Beware of your setting.
  35. Growth is what keeps life interesting, and it comes from doing hard stuff.
  36. Starting out, logic matters more. Over time, imagination is the difference.
  37. Nostalgia is selective. On scale, things are as good as they’ve ever been.
  38. There is a way to experience pain as something other than suffering.
  39. Reality is a linguistic construct. The truth is messier than words imply.
  40. Over time, the greatest risk you can take is to take no risks at all.
  41. The goal of an ideal partner isn’t to complete you. It’s to augment you.
  42. Love is overly glorified. Respect, trust, and empathy matter just as much.
  43. Nobody finds their purpose. You have to go out and actively create it.
  44. Who you let into your life is a vital decision. Don’t leave it up to chance.
  45. If you care enough to always hide your vulnerability, you care too much.
  46. Gratitude shouldn’t just be a reminder. It should be a default mental state.
  47. The purpose of life isn’t to do or to accomplish. It’s to merely experience.
  48. Doing and accomplishing, however, keep you sane. Always push yourself.
  49. If you worship money, possessions, or prestige, you’ll never have enough.
  50. Rationality is one of the most valuable life tools, but it has its limitations.
  51. Nothing is as important as you think it is while you’re thinking about it.
  52. External comparisons are a waste of time. There is no real scoreboard.
  53. A fear of death is largely futile. Live so well that you’re always ready.
  54. It all just comes down to finding a way to enjoy the daily mundanity.
  55. You don’t need permission to lead, build, create, or to think differently.
  56. Everything is approximate. Don’t aim to be right. Aim to be less wrong.
  57. It’s better to not have an opinion than to blindly follow someone else’s.
  58. There is nothing more provocative than minding your own business.
  59. Cynicism is generally a product of not looking in the right direction.
  60. There is a thin line between optimism and naivete. Tread carefully.
  61. For the world to put you down, it first needs you to give it permission.
  62. Cultivate a fidelity to courage. It will get you through everything else.
  63. The more you value being successful, the less likely you are to feel it.
  64. Brutal honesty, even if sometimes hurtful, creates stronger bonds.
  65. The most important decision you make is choosing what to care about.
  66. The more things you care about, the less meaningful caring becomes.
  67. There is no such thing as fairness, and dwelling on it creates despair.
  68. That doesn’t, however, mean that fighting for it doesn’t mean something.
  69. Reality isn’t confined to one domain. Your thinking shouldn’t be either.
  70. It’s true that some people have more innate talent. But talent isn’t enough.
  71. Self-esteem and intellectual confidence are paramount. Work at them.
  72. If you always look for the fault in something, you will generally find it.
  73. If you always look to learn from everything, you will generally do so.
  74. Don’t take too much pride in your accomplishments. They’re not all yours.
  75. Be kind to yourself in the face of failures. They really don’t define you.
  76. Life is long. If you use your time well, you can do anything you want.
  77. Life is short. Don’t tolerate bullsh*t. Don’t wait until it’s too late.

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