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10 Ultimate Lessons I Have Learnt In 2014


The lessons below are those I learned in my personal life in 2014. For lessons related to my job, I have penned a separate blog, which you can find here.

  1. On Identity: One’s job and background form a part of their identity, not the entirety of it. We often hastily label people based on their profession, income, and alma mater. These background details will evolve as individuals grow and change. I’ve come to recognize others by their passions, drives, and ambitions. Delving into their evolving personalities and life journeys is truly enlightening.
  2. How to Talk to Anyone: To achieve unparalleled feats, one needs distinct and original thoughts. Yet, when it comes to building rapport and forming a support base, it’s beneficial to perceive oneself as no different in background or character from others. While differences between individuals are inevitable, overlooking these in conversations removes barriers and fosters connections. If you constantly view yourself as being unique, you’ll struggle in social interactions.
  3. To Defeat Impulsivity – Wait Until Tomorrow: Certain activities, like shopping or gaming, offer fleeting pleasure. To combat impulsivity, delay acting on these urges until the following day. Chances are, the desire will wane.
  4. To Defeat Procrastination – Do It Now: If a task can be accomplished in 5 minutes, tackle it immediately. If it’s a matter of hours, complete it the same day. If it spans a few days, aim to finish within the week.
  5. On Failing: Failure can be incredibly hard to swallow. Recognizing and accepting failure can be a bitter pill. Yet, if one perceives failure as a precursor to success, these setbacks transform into learning experiences, negating the need to keep score.
  6. Passion: Not all passions are equally feasible or worthy of pursuit. It’s essential to evaluate your fervor critically. Your passions will evolve over time. Thus, before heavily investing time, money, or emotions, validate your pursuits through research and external insights.
  7. Optimism vs. Arrogance: Success often comes to those who recognize their own arrogance. We detest being deceived by others but seldom realize when we deceive ourselves. The line between optimism and arrogance is thin: optimists prepare for potential failure, acknowledging its possibility.
  8. Care for Your Family: They offer unconditional love and support. It’s easy to get entangled in our pursuits and new relationships, neglecting our kin. Family, however, remains ever-loyal, deserving of our utmost appreciation.
  9. On Being Nice: Being kind and expecting the same in return can lead to disappointment. Time and resources are finite. Focus on those who value and reciprocate your efforts. If reciprocity isn’t met, it may be a sign to reevaluate where you invest your energies.
  10. Love Yourself: Beyond family, partners, and friends, you are your most enduring companion. Embrace self-love and self-worth. Others’ perception and treatment of you often mirror your self-view.

In closing, here’s a reflection stemming from “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” featuring Emma Watson: “We accept the love we think we deserve.” People’s treatment of you is often a reflection of your self-worth. Respect and value must emanate from within, and Eleanor Roosevelt captured it aptly: “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”

This piece is a continuation of “10 ultimate lessons I have learnt in 2013” 

Written by Mai Le

My name is Mai. I am originally from Vietnam. After my university years at LSE, I worked in investment banking at Goldman Sachs. After a wonderful time there, I started several of my own business as well as helping others on theirs. I've always been building communities and businesses for as long as I can remember, and absolutely thrilled to see others enjoy what I've built.



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