And in the spirit of celebrating the golden year that’s passed, here are 25 lessons I’ve learned over time — some the easy way, but most the hard way:
1. The cure for most anything can be found in some form of salt water — sweat, tears, or the sea.
2. You are who you’re with. Where you choose to work and who you choose as friends are all a reflection of you as an individual — so choose wisely.
3. Even more so, you are what you eat.
4. Exercise doesn’t just do a body good. It’s just as much for your mental and emotional health.
5. In the words of my P90X maestro, Tony Horton: There’s no such thing as age. There’s just moving and grooving. Keep moving, keep grooving.
6. Reading is the cheapest way to the finer things in life, including great conversation and stellar test scores.
7. On that note, buying a book is not the same as reading it. Bookshelves don’t fool anyone.
8. Perfection is boring. Efficiency, though, is golden.
9. Absolutely nothing feels as good as getting enough sleep.
10. Going to sleep early doesn’t make me old — on the contrary, it keeps me young.
11. Fear is the biggest deterrent in anyone’s happiness or success. Face most fears head on, and you’ll probably be surprised with the positive results.
12. The best things in life are those you choose because you are afraid.
13. Having less stuffleads to more happiness. Pack rats invariably incur more stress than minimalists.
14. A safe rule for staying stuff-free: Anything you haven’t used in three months isn’t worth keeping.
15. It’s not the same to be smart than to like to be smart.
16. It’s also not the same to be in love than to like to be in love.
17. Rinse and repeat that “to be versus to like to be” scenario with most everything.
18. Office politics usually doesn’t require fighting back. The best and only way to beat the drama is by focusing and succeeding at your own career.
19. Reading the news is like watching a basketball game — you don’t need to keep up with every minute to know how it ends.
20. Be selective with how you spend your time. Not everything or everyone is worth it — especially not the drama.
21. There’s only so much energy in your body each day. Be selective in how you spend that, too. It does run out.
22. Not everyone has to like you — not everyone will. Just make sure the ones that count do like you alot.
23. In the words of Guy Kawasaki: “The unexamined life may not be worth living, but the unlived life is not worth examining.”
24. Breathe in deep. Breathe out slow. There, all better.
25. I have no more life lessons. I’m only turning 25. I don’t know everything there is to know yet.