I wanted to share some life lessons I learned the hard way in the hopes that others can perhaps take them to heart. Perhaps it'll inspire you. These are opinionated, true, and your mileage may vary... so take them with a grain of salt. Read up on anything suspect, and make up your own conclusions.
#1 You weren't put on this planet to please everybody. in fact, you weren't put on this planet to please even one person.
#2 You are going to be your absolute harshest judge for everything you do. If you're satisfying your own harsh judgment, then everyone else's shouldn't matter. It's like beating the hard mode on a video game - no other difficulty matters now.
#3 Do whatever makes you happy, as long as it doesn't hurt anyone, nor impede them from happiness.
No matter how weird it is, as long as it's legal, if that's truly what makes you feel happy and fulfilled, then it's totally ok to go do it.
#4 Your family and friends should be supportive of you no matter what you do. Even if they don't exactly agree, they should at least wish you the best and care about you. If they do not, then take solace in knowing that THEY are the ones who are conflicted about it and not YOU. THEY'll have to deal with it, and it's THEIR problem.
#5 If your friends are willing to believe something ridiculous about you, or ridicule you for something embarrassing, then you need better friends.
Ok, let's take a break with some humorous ones...
#6 Not a single problem exists that cannot be solved with a super soaker.
#7 You can't possibly conclude a day was bad if tacos were involved... Going on a first date? Go to a taco place... even if the date bombs, you still got tacos out of it.
Ok, fun's over, back to wisdom
#8 Hey high school kids... if you think your life sucks right now, fear not. The moment you graduate, literally everything about high school disappears (except for your GPA). Your friends all go to different colleges, as do your enemies. Everyone is stripped of their reputation, both good and bad. The few people that happen to go to the same school you do aren't likely studying the same thing you are, so you're not even likely to see them in the same class. Really, everything disappears. Clean slate. Like it never happened. Consider every social activity you're doing in high school to be a complete and utter waste of time.
#9 Anyone who said "you can't pick your family" is full of shit. As a grown up, you totally have control over what family members you choose to spend time with. And as an adult, you're totally entitled to it.
#10 As an adult, remember: it's YOUR life. At the end of the day when you go to sleep at night, it's just your own thoughts that you have to answer to... just you and your thoughts. Is your conscience clear?
#11 Upon entering college, sign up for an internship immediately. Worst case scenario is that no internship wants you (which is already currently the case anyway). Trust me, college will teach you very little that you'll ever actually use on the job. The companies that take you on as an intern know that you don't know anything, and the whole reason they took you on was to TEACH you. They get a tax credit for doing so, and they get to train someone cheap. You'll very likely see a job opening at the end of those 3 months asking for someone who happens to have all of your exact requirements...
#12 Take solace in recognizing the problems you don't have any control over, having the bravery and willpower to fix the problems that you can, and having the wisdom to know the difference.
#13 Don't be afraid to fail. Ever. Even failure at the very least results in a good story. Not acting at all is both boring, and ineffective. "Long story with a bad ending and a good moral!"
#14 Systems vs goals. Instead of shooting for a particular goal, you should instead set up a system of goals so you can't ever lose... the example earlier about tacos is one such example.
#15 You cannot directly control "confidence" or "self-esteem"... anyone who says "you need to work on building your confidence" is uninformed and parroting something that sounds smart and makes no sense. That's like looking at a pot of water and saying "hey, that water needs to work on building its heat". You need a heat source for it, and the heat source for confidence is a sense of entitlement and self-worth. I imagine when you go downstairs in your house, you never think twice about taking a soda or drink out of the fridge, do you? You're entitled to it, and in fact, you'd think it odd to believe you weren't allowed to have one. That's how you need to feel about anything you want in the world (be reasonable here). For example, speaking as a man, if I see a pretty girl at a bar, it never occurs to me that she's "out of my league". Instead, I feel like I deserve her. It's not something I just tell myself, it's actually something I wholeheartedly honestly believe with all my soul. I'm entitled to, at the very least, a conversation with her (see? I'm being reasonable here...). And I know you may think you're worthless, but that's because you're setting your brain's anchor into the wrong place. Instead of thinking you're worthless, set the anchor to "you know what, god damn it, I'm a god damn CHAMPION!" then look for reasons to rationalize why that's true. Debate that with that mean inner voice in your head. Anything bad that's happened to you should only further prove the point. "Yeah, that sucked, and I get no consolation prize after suffering through all of that? Fuck you!" Get mad, if it motivates you. Remember everything you HAVE accomplished, and remember that anything that ever hurt you or impeded you never broke you. You're still here, and you're still going strong. This all is not an overnight change... just something to think about and muse about. Think about something, or someone, that you want, and while you initial instinct may be to believe you're not worthy, engage your contrarian edgy side and say "I didn't go through all that shit I've been through in my life and work so hard only to be told I'm worthless. Yeah, I deserve that... I deserve that times TEN! I demand it... NOW!" (again, I urge you to be reasonable, responsible, courteous, and compassionate).
#16 Everybody's lying. Everybody's faking. If you see happy facebook posts about how wonderful their lives are, they're simply not posting all the negative stuff too. Nobody likes to have to latch on to anything real. They want things simple and easy to go along with... Anything provocative or complex scares people. (obviously not EVERYONE... I'm generalizing... just rule of thumb)
#17 Learn to forgive yourself for things you did wrong that involve you not having the knowledge to do otherwise. Of course you screwed up... every clueless person trying to accomplish something is going to screw up!
#18 Don't be afraid to try something just because it looks hard. Whatever it is, you'll figure it out along the way. As Kevin Hart says, "You gon' learn today!" Try going along the path, and if there's any impediment or problem that you don't immediately know how to solve, well, "you gon' learn today!". And you will. And when you solve it, you'll kick yourself for being intimidated by it in the first place. Instead realize that everything is gonna fall off the path at some point... the question is will it still be doable even if it's a pain in the ass, or is the probability high that it'll completely derail?
#19 "Money cannot buy happiness!" But it does buy freedom, and you cannot be happy without freedom.