As of July 16th, sometime early in the morning, I turned 22 years old. It’s crazy how much faster time seems to move with every new year. In order to commemorate the occasion, I thought I would go ahead and reflect on some things. More specifically, I wanted to reflect on my favorite ideas and principles that I’ve picked up and developed over the last 22 years.

I skimmed through all of my previous journals, stories, and notes with an eye out for anything that I’m particularly passionate about. These can be ideas, principles, insights, advice, quotes, concepts, really anything. There is no explicit criteria, as long as it had some sort of significant impact on my current view of the world.

I don’t know if all of these principles will resonate with anyone else, or even if they’ll still resonate with me when I look at this a year from now. Some of them probably won’t. We are constantly growing, adapting, and transforming. Nothing is static. However, the fact still remains that these ideas helped make me who I am today. That’s worth something, and I thought it was worth sharing. So here’s the list, my 22 favorite principles from the last 22 years:

  1. Use small tests to avoid big failures.
  2. If you want to have better ideas, read more.
  3. Creativity is simply connecting things, especially things that don’t seem to be connected.
  4. Explore the perspectives that you disagree with most.
  5. Learn to reframe failure as another form of feedback.
  6. When you’re told you have two options, you almost always have more.
  7. Separate your performance from the results.
  8. Never stop being a student.
  9. Forget hacks and tricks, most of successful products are simply building something that people love.
  10. Block off time to think about big ideas.
  11. Clarity is happiness.
  12. When it’s all over, you’ll remember the people you were with more than the experiences themselves.
  13. Character is revealed during the highs and lows.
  14. Passion and enthusiasm will take you a long way.
  15. Grit will always win out in the long-run.
  16. Show gratitude for something small each and every day.
  17. Put questions and curiosity ahead of ego.
  18. The only way to not be criticized is to do nothing. Be courageous.
  19. Writing is keeping a relationship with your mind.
  20. Don’t mistake activity with improvement.
  21. The things that are worthwhile are never easy.
  22. Don’t wait to be inspired, do the work.

That’s it for now. Who knows, maybe I’ll come back with 23 ideas next year. Birthdays are kind of a funny thing, you always seem to wake up expecting for something, anything, to be different. But it never is. Time goes on and we do everything we can to make the most of it in our own unique way.

These ideas have all played some part, large or small, in shaping my current mindset. I hope they were able to provide you with a little insight and inspiration to think about what shapes yours. Until next time.

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