1) If you want it done, you have to do it yourself.

No one, absolutely no one, but you, can help yourself. Other people can assist and encourage but they will never be able to achieve your dream for you. It doesn’t matter who you’re relying on. Whether it’s your teacher, parent, sibling, friend or spouse. If you want it you’ve got to work for it. YOURSELF.

2) People make promises they can not keep.

In life many people will make promises and claims they will not follow through with. Yes, it is unfair and destroys our faith in humanity, but it’s alright. When we stop relying on others, we’re truly free to follow our own path.

3)  Accept that people have an opinion and respect their right to have one.

Even if that opinion is about you. We all know people say crap all the time. It is very difficult to ignore it when it comes to people we love. In my years I have realized that everyone’s opinion, including those very close to us, is valuable but to a certain extent. When shit hits the fan your bum is on the line not theirs. And no matter how much they love us or want to help, were mainly the ones suffering the consequences of that action. Moral of the story: Listen to everyone but follow your instinct.

4) Follow your dreams, be it in the face of extreme opposition.

Sometimes, doing what you truly want to do is okay. You have to live with your decisions. Not someone else. What do people say? Didn’t that famous study explore how more people regret what they did not do as opposed to what they did? Minimize that ‘what if’ by doing what you want.

5) When you decide on something act immediately.

Not following through with your plans is worst than failing after trying. Sitting on our lazy bums achieves nothing. The years go by. Time waits for no one. Where you are in another 20 years depends on what you are doing right now.

6) Karma is a reality.

What you do always comes back to you. Our actions have consequences. Using drugs and living an unhealthy lifestyle will result in numerous doctor’s appointments later in life. How we choose to lead our lives and the manner in which we build our future has a great effect on everything around us. Take responsibility. Be kind. Be loving. And be helpful. You have the power to destroy your self or rise from the ashes.

7) Your hard work might not always produce the outcome you hoped for, and that’s alright.

Success is not a linear road where you tackle certain obstacles and end up achieving your goal. It is a twisted journey with detours, obstacles, hurdles and BS that prevents most people from reaching their destination. If it was that simple everyone would be successful. Perseverance in the face of failure and constant struggle through the most depressing situation is what rewards us with even a hint of success. Never give up and keep struggling.

8) You don’t have control over everything and that is okay.

Life has the ability to leave us desolate while chucking our well crafted plans out of the window. It’s a tough journey and no amount of planning can prepare us for some of the shit that comes to us gift wrapped, be it our birthday or not. Try not to panic. Yes, you can do it. And this too shall pass.

9) Give it your all in a relationship and love like it’s nobody’s business.

If it doesn’t work out you will never have any regrets. You tried your best but it could not be saved. It is just that simple.

10) Settle down when you know who you are and what you want.

A partner can not and will not help you realize your potential and dreams. It isn’t his or her responsibility. You, and only you are responsible for the life you lead. You want things to change? Work on your actions. If societal pressure is forcing you to get married and you’re confused. Hold your ground. They won’t be the ones sharing everything with this mysterious stranger you will. Know when you’re ready and then commit.

11) What’s done is done.

Constantly dwelling over the past is setting ourselves up for a very disappointing and unplanned future. Let bygones be bygones and focus on the present. We may hate to admit it but everything gets better with time. We’re awarded more opportunities than any other generation that ever inhabited this planet. Stop crying, pick yourself up and put on your Merida. This crappy situation is a lesson that will make you wiser and stronger. So, kudos to broken heats and shattered dreams. The phoenix will rise. Forget the past and embrace the future. It is often better and brighter than what you initially hoped.

12) Treasure those who have stuck by you through thick and thin.

We’re so busy when we’re young that we often lose touch with people who really matter to us. It’s important to remember who our friends are and never let them go. Trusting everyone and expecting things from just anyone is ridiculous. It’s crucial to have people who care about us and have our back. They help keep grounded. If you’re someone who doesn’t have any friends, check yourself. Having friends is a sign of a healthy and stable mind. It is a slight insurance that you are not batsh*t crazy. If you’re Forever Alone, you have a problem you might need to address.

13) Forgive but keep a mental note of all those who have hurt or harmed you.

It is very unlikely that people change. So forgive, let go of the past and move on to other relationships and projects. Never forget who hurt you because you’ll likely end up in a similar situation with the same person again. If you fall for the same crap that harmed you to begin with then you only have yourself to blame.

14) Do what needs to be done and do it now.

Time is a luxury that slips away faster than a lottery winners money. If you do not work in the present then say bye bye to your future. Yes, many people are able to achieve great things when they’re in their 50s or 60s. But it’s an exception. As you grow older you will be juggling more responsibility. Try starting a business with kids around. That, my lovelies, isn’t easy. Use your youth to your advantage and do now what you’ve planned for tomorrow.

15) Little steps become big achievements.

Rome wasn’t built in a day and nor was Arnold Schwarzeneggers body. Try your best and work hard. Even if you lay a brick a day, you’ll have a wall in a year.

16) Use proper grammar on your CV and don’t put trashy photos on a social media account your boss or colleagues may have access to.

If you use incorrect spelling or grammar on our resume, you’re forcing your perspective employs to question your intention. They will assume you are either illiterate or not concerned enough to run Spell Check before submitting your application. Both scenarios don’t land you a job. Oh, and putting photos of you partying with your clothes and facial expression all over the place is just wrong.

17) If the job isn’t for you, this is the right time to change your career.

Exploring what you like and experimenting with various jobs is a luxury you can afford right now. In another 5 to 10 years your job will be a career you’ll very likely continue with until retirement. Is this what you want to do for the rest of your life? No? Then stop wasting time and energy on something that should’ve been a temporary solution.

18) You should be financially secure and independent.

It doesn’t matter what gender you are . Living off your parents is not the ideal way to live. Times are tough but this is unacceptable. Even if you have to work at a one room newspaper, work. Financial security helps one become more confident and practical. It pulls us out of our bubble into the real world where problem-solving is not just thinking of answers to write out on a test.

19) YOLO (You Only Live Once) but all your actions have consequences.

After our 20s we’re likely to have more responsibilities. This is the time to explore, wander and get lost. Travel as much as you can and get to know all sorts of people. Hang out with those who are older and wiser and discuss your plans. Play and have fun with those who are your age because activities such as paragliding and rock climbing will become a distant reality once you hit middle age. Having said that, it is also important to realise that the mistakes you make will have consequences. And you might have to live with those consequences forever.

20) It’s good not to know what you want.

Our desires and ambitions change with time. Even the most put together person will go through phases where he doesn’t know what he wants and wonders whether he’s on the right track. These are what I consider the growing pains. The more we question, the more we learn. The more we learn the wiser we are. Uncertainty and confusion often leads to great insight into oneself and the outside world.

BONUS: The world owes you nothing so stop expecting.

Our generation suffers from a false sense of entitlement. We believe we deserve the best in life. That we all should be rich, famous and healthy without having to work for it. Life, unfortunately, does not work this way. If you want to achieve something you will have to deal with the pain of rejection. Your plans will fail and you are most likely not going to get what you want. But keep at it. Work hard and continue on your path. Most successful people are also the ones who have the highest rate of failure. Of course, they then have a way higher success rate as well.