#1. They’re excited by other people’s success.
This will get you ahead faster than only being excited for your own success. Take time to hear what people think. You won’t ever get called a jerk for listening too much.
#2. They pay attention to how people treat their parents.
The way a potential partner treats his/her parents is a good predictor of how they will be in a marriage. Also, the way they treat a waiter (or any service person) shows you their character.
#3. They’re authentic, and they listen to their “still, small voice.”
You can feel it give you a stinging “bzzzz” when you should not be somewhere, and a feel-good “lalalala!” when you are in a very good place. Trust those GUT feelings. Your intuition is your superpower — use it and you will diminish your chance for regret…and increase your chance for wonderfulness.
#4. They hold on tight to the joy of being ‘in the moment.’
You will have to focus on the future so much as you get older — being mindful to the moment becomes a lost gift.
#5. They recognize that getting even doesn’t get you ahead in life.
You will never get ahead of anyone as long as you try to get even with them. Sometimes we don’t forgive people because they deserve it. We forgive them because they need it, because we need it, and because we cannot move forward without it. To forgive is to rediscover the inner peace and purpose that at first you thought someone took away when they betrayed you.
#6. They know that there’s no such thing as normal.
I spent my entire childhood and adolescence wishing for a “normal” family, and being embarrassed by mine. No one has a normal family – and if they do…that’s weird.
#7. They know that hiding their head in the sand just makes it easier for someone else to kick their ass.
In other words, stick up for yourself! Don’t be an ostrich.
#8. They’re always, always, always honest.
“Really being assertive and honest has worked out for me so much better romantically and friendship wise then just keeping it bottled in or what have you.”
#9. They see as much of the world as possible.
Travel while you have the chance. Even if you don’t have a lot of money to do it just how you want. See the world. You only get to be here once.
#10. They understand that life’s not about waiting for the storm to pass.
It’s about learning how to dance in the rain.
#11. They ask questions.
Anybody worth a damn will NOT fault you for not knowing something. So long as you demonstrate humility, curiosity and respect, people feel valued to teach you what you don’t know.
#12. They honor their eccentricities.
Be yourself. If a person likes you for something you are not, you will regret it. But…not as much as if you miss out on a person that would like you for what you are, but not what you are trying to be.
#13. They refuse to let gender define them.
Do what you want, even if that means defying gender norms. It goes both ways. Love my little ponies? Go to a Brony convention whether you’re male or female. Like building things? Live your dream and study architecture. Your genitals have nothing to do with what work you do while you’re on this earth.
#14. They give their parents a chance.
Which is to say they understand that their parents are just people,too.
Learn from this guy’s mistakes: “My dad wasn’t such a bad guy after all. Long story short, I grew up in a family of 7 kids (6 boys, & 1 girl) Both my parents raised us on their own working as school teachers. Through my childhood, teen years and early twenties the majority of what I remember of my dad is being weird, cheap, strict, structured, and had high expectations of all his kids. Up until recently, we would argue about anything and everything under the sun. Now that my older brother and I have kids of our own, we are constantly going to our dad for advice. I’m 27 years old and I’m just realizing how great of a father I have. Wish I wouldn’t have been such a douchebag of a son half the time.”
I love my dad.
#15. They know they aren’t the smartest person in the room.
I mean, think about it. Every time we look back at ourselves five years ago we think we were an idiot. Ask for advice, and learn from your elders. Those can be elders within your family or your field!
#16. They know social media isn’t real life.
Due to social media, it’s really easy to feel inadequate or have low self-esteem because you’re still experiencing your day-to-day while seeing everyone else’s highlight reels. A few months ago, I chose to stop using any social media except Facebook and Tumblr. I’ve since seen a gradual but steady increase in how little I worry about if I’m doing “good enough” and wish I’d done it sooner. Everyone should try it at least for a week.
#17. Anger does not define them.
The anger response is a primitive mechanism used to help you survive in serious fight-or-flight situations. If you consistently lose your temper over trivial stuff, and regularly abuse the people who you feel you have power over, then you have an anger management problem.
#18. They don’t hold themselves to unrealistic standards.
There have been countless articles written about how the ladies in the magazines don’t even look like the ladies in the magazines…but this is applicable in almost all areas of your life. A projection of an image is not reality. Be the best you possible, and let go of the concept of “perfect.” It isn’t real.
#19. They network.
It’s mainly who you know. So get to know people.
#20. SUNSCREEN. They wear it!
Your skin is the biggest organ on your body. Wearing sunscreen isn’t just a vanity or anti-aging thing. It could literally prolong your life and prevent dangerous forms of skin cancer.
#21. They know that old friendships are gold.
In The Five Regrets Of The Dying, an autobiography by palliative care nurse Bonnie Ware, she recounts many of her patients having deep regrets about not giving long lost friendships the time and effort that they deserved. It’s easy to become caught up with work and family obligations and let these relationships slip by the wayside – but they’re so vitally important.
#22. They understand that “being yourself” doesn’t mean you shouldn’t work on yourself.
Aim higher. “Be yourself” is not an excuse to perpetuate bad habits. If there’s an area of your life that needs to be addressed (addiction issues, anger management, anxiety, depression…the list goes on) do so now rather than regretting it later. It’s okay to ask for help.
#23. SERVICE and giving back is an important part of their life.
It’s so easy to make someone’s day. There’s no better high than the one you get off of helping someone else. Smile at a stranger. Pick something up for someone you don’t know. Compliment your coworker’s shoes. Do something small to brighten someone else’s day and you’ll not only experience an endorphin rush, but you’ll also attract positivity to yourself. (If you believe in the Law of Attraction – and how could you not?)
#24. They learn to communicate with others.
There are too many people on the planet to only speak to a small portion of them. You should continue to study and new learn things your entire life. If you already speak two languages learn a third. A fourth. A fifth. Nothing is more satisfying than being able to “leap” over a perceived language barrier.
#25. They get that confidence is not the same as being cocky
Confidence is about allowing yourself to explore your curiosities without worrying about failure, it’s not being haughty. Want to learn how to play piano? Take lessons. Interested in the guy at your coffee shop? Ask him out. Play in the sunshine in your swimsuit without worrying about how your arms/butt/legs look. Carpe diem.
#26. Stand behind every single one of your promises.
This builds trust. If you say you’re going to do something, DO IT! If you say you’re going to be somewhere, BE THERE! If you say you feel something, MEAN IT! If you can’t, won’t, and don’t, then DON’T LIE. It’s always better to tell people the truth up front. Don’t play games with people’s heads and hearts. Don’t tell half-truths and expect people to trust you when the full truth comes out; half-truths are no better than lies.
#27. Family matters…but that doesn’t mean your family is always right.
We rely heavily on our family to support and shape us at a young age, but it’s important to make your own decisions and recognize when you family is wrong.
#28. They welcome feedback and understand that criticism is positive.
Just like rubbing alcohol on a scrape, it will be painful at first. But you’ll be better off cleaning strategic areas of your life.
#29. They know that they don’t have to drink to have fun.
On the opposite side, it is completely fine to drink and have fun too, but don’t spend every weekend with the bottle. Drinking is part of college, whether you choose to participate or not, but it’s not a part of every night for the rest of your life. Some of the best moments in life are when you’re on a walk with your best friend, talking about life…and sober laughter. You will actually remember what’s funny the next day.
#31. They understand that things don’t happen TO us.
They happen FOR us. Learn and grow from your negative experiences.
#32. They refuse to take no for an answer when it comes to their big dreams.
Try, try again. We’ve all heard the cliche – but even famous people have been rejected before. EVEN MADONNA WAS REJECTED. Ask 100 times. All you need is ONE yes.
#33. They’re nice to others.
Being polite save you time and money. For example, being friendly and working along with a tech support person (or anyone, for that matter) results in fast and awesome service. If it takes a long time, it’s because it’s actually a tricky problem but the tech support person is refusing to give up until they’ve fixed it for you. Being polite goes a long way.
#34. Roots are important…they honor their family and nationality.
Do not ashamed of your name or your nationality.
#35. They’re fabulously unrealistic.
To be successful, you have to be a little unrealistic. Believe that something totally different than what has happened for an eternity CAN happen starting now. 12 years ago, did you think your phone would be capable of doing everything that it does? Exactly.
Did I miss anything? Please comment below and let me know if there’s a key principal that enriches your life, and don’t forget to SHARE this awesome list with all of your friends.