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[–] Tambourine [S] 1 points 8 points (+9|-1) ago 

yes. these are the hard and vital life lessons that are now cemented in me:

  1. don't settle in life -- not in work, and especially not in relationships. Don't marry just to be married; be with someone you can be fully yourself around, no matter what. Otherwise, you will never be happy. You'll grow over time but only develop more secrets from your partner. also, look for women in unusal places; the smart ones don't go to bars to find a mate.

  2. You don't want what you think you want. One lawyer I met said that when he was in law school, he would look at the books in the library and think, "My dream is to make a case that ends up in one of those." Well, he made several; he is on first-name terms with Supreme Court justices; he has it all - money, power and reputation. He is deeply isolated and miserable, and in his mid 50s considering a career change to become a novelist.

  3. Learn to be vulnerable. The more you ignore your vulnerability, the tougher the consequences. I met a c-suite exec who was 4 years sober from alcoholism - drinking was how he managed his self-doubt, and it was how he covered up his feelings of weakness. When we met his greatest regret was not having reached the point he was at (finally coming to grips with his vulnerability) before having lived over half of his life.

  4. Be flexible. don't just stay the course because you said you would - that is ego. Instead, use your reasoning and cut your losses when it is the logical thing to do.

  5. The less you try to "prove" to others, the better your life will be. Most of the men I saw had 5,000 sq foot houses, luxury cars, serious careers, and beautiful wives 15 years younger. They were unhappy because they did all this for the wrong reasons - a "make my parents proud" complex, a "make other men jealous" complex or a "realize my teenage dream of drinking an $800 glass of scotch in a private jet" complex. None of these things are ultimately satisfying. In the end, try to introspect as much as you can, and always ask yourself "who am I doing this for?" Answer yourself with brutal honesty, and change course if need be.

That's about the best I can do. Will edit if I come up with more.

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[–] Travelersoma 0 points 1 points (+1|-0) ago 

Awesome response. I've been really struggling with the 'be flexible' part lately. It's not easy to change course and abandon a career even if it makes you miserable, but I'm sure it will be worth it.

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[–] Tambourine [S] 0 points 0 points (+0|-0) ago 

thank you, glad it was useful. It is definitely not easy; these are things people have messed up and will keep messing up for generations! I can only share what I learned from centuries of others' experience, haha.