33 for 33

Today I turn 33-years old and, in the spirit of giving, I thought I would share 33 things I’ve learned in 33 years.

  1. When you find something you’re passionate about, jump into it.
  2. Be inquisitive. Ask questions, read books, visit museums.
  3. More children means more messes, more noise, and more love.
  4. You’ll be surprised at what you can accomplish when you don’t know you have to ask permission to try something new.
  5. When crossing train tracks, keep your hands out of your pockets.
  6. Honesty in all things. Even the hard things. Especially the hard things.
  7. Admitting ignorance and asking questions is a great way to get answers.
  8. People who believe in something greater tend to be happier than those who focus on themselves.
  9. Confidence and a clipboard make you look successful.
  10. Play to your strengths. Don’t sweat your weaknesses.
  11. Failure is just another data point.
  12. Success means meeting your own expectations, not what others impose on you.
  13. Don’t take criticism personally, unless it comes from your wife or your mother. They’re usually correct.
  14. Always tell your mother and your wife that they are correct, even when they are not.
  15. Consequences  come from making choices, but this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t make them.
  16. Love is an action, not an emotion.
  17. Admit mistakes, apologize when necessary, confesses regularly, and move on.
  18. Change is inevitable. If you’re the same person you were five years ago, something’s wrong.
  19. Some people resent the success of others. Minimize contact with these people.
  20. Pass on what you have to others.
  21. Don’t take your work too seriously, unless you’re the safety inspector at a nuclear power plant.
  22. Don’t take yourself too seriously, period.
  23. Prayer works, but not always in the way we expect.
  24. The  bad times never look so bad in hindsight. Even high school.
  25. Trying even when the odds of success are slim breeds experience and success.
  26. Knowing how to cook is a surprisingly effective way to impress people.
  27. Everyone needs a mentor, a colleague, and an apprentice.
  28. The only people who can tell you “You should be doing this” are your parents, your spouse, your priest, and your immediate supervisor. Even then, you always have a choice.
  29. People are basically good.
  30. Never be afraid to try something else if what you’re doing isn’t working.
  31. Be flexible when dealing with others, but never at the expense of your convictions.
  32. Joy is an extremely rare character trait. Cultivate it.
  33. When all else fails, bake a cheesecake.

That’s what I’ve learned; what have you learned in X number of years on this planet?