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  • Karolina

Things I've Learned the Hard Way

I screwed up many times over the past few years. I failed more times than I can even count. I didn't finish the degrees I wanted, I didn't travel as much as I wanted, I didn't become a CEO of an international company, and I am no competition to Elon Musk (well... yet).

You see, all the failures I've experienced gave me a few quite essential lessons. Kinda wish I'd understood them sooner. Let's see what things I've screwed up and what they taught me:

Happiness is not a destination

I'm sitting on my couch in the living room of my new apartment while working remotely. I'm planning to move out to a big city. I've become a volunteer at PMI (Project Management Institute). I earn more than I thought I would, taking into consideration my work experience. I've even started studying management at University and plan a trip to Peru in February.

It's literally my dream. And still, somehow I can't appreciate it.

Two years ago, I'd love to be in the place I'm in now. I earn well, I like what I do, I meet cool people, and learn new things - and yet, there is something rotten inside of me that tells me it's not enough. Sometimes it felt like there is a lever in my brain that could possibly end my pathetic indecisive state, but I just didn't know how to shift it.

I needed to realize that there is no shortcut to happiness. You can't just reach the magical final destination and be happy forever. Happiness is not a single spot, it's just one of the parts of the road. Embrace it.

Haters gonna hate

You can't make people change their minds. You're not responsible for their point of view and you shouldn't even pay attention to it. The only opinion that matters is your own. And, for God's sake, do not let anyone influence it.

The environment matters

Okay... this was a hard one. It doesn't matter if it's your friends or family members: if they suck, you start to suck, too. Let go of what doesn't serve you - even the people who you care about are not worth it if they bring you down.

It's not an easy choice, but you will see a hell of a difference once you take care of your environment.

No one will do it for you

No one really cares about your plans and goals. No one will finish that project for you. No one will write that e-mail. No one will make that call. No one will tell you to get your shit done.

Hold yourself accountable. You're the only one who's responsible for making things happen the way you planned it to.

Egoism is actually a good thing

Yup, this is quite the opposite of what we're being told at school, but hear me out: being an egoist is a good thing. Aren't we all egoistic creatures in the end?

When you decide to do something, it's because you want it for yourself (consciously or not). You help someone because either you know you might need their help in the future or you simply don't want to feel bad for not helping them out.

When you think about it, egoism is the foundation of humanity. We have a choice and we make it based on our ego.

So don't be bothered when someone calls you "egoistic". You know this is the right mindset. Do it all for yourself, darling.

These are the main lessons I had to learn in the past few years. Some were a surprise, some were pretty obvious. However, I deeply appreciate each of them - I guess that's what the grown-ups do (just kidding, I'm far from calling myself a real grown-up).

What is your lessons learned?

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