A year ago on my birthday I wrote a post called: “32 Years, 32 Lessons.” Now, almost a year has passed, and I thought it was time for another reflective post. This time, I’m going bigger in numbers but shorter in description. This list—and the 32:32 post—might be combined and broken down deeper in an upcoming book. I was thinking of writing it in the spirit of Rework but calling it Relive or Relife.

But that’s another story.

Before we get into it, know that I wrestled with this title forever because this list is a combination of lessons, tips, and truths about life, business, and travel learned through research, listening, or the hard way. So you see, no one title really fits it neatly, so I went with what I went with to keep it short and sweet.

Without further ado, here’s my list of 99 Lessons For Living A Life You Won’t Regret.

  1. No adult ever mentally feels grown up.
  2. You will always doubt yourself, get used to it.
  3. Permission has already been granted to you. You just have to take it.
  4. The timing will never be as perfect as you want it to be.
  5. You won’t know what you’re doing when you start doing what you think you want to do.
  6. So choose to make every decision the right decision, even if something doesn’t go your way.
  7. Because success is a mindset.
  8. But success is also dangerous. The more you have, the less support people think you need.
  9. There’s no such thing as making it, only making it further than where you were yesterday.

  10. Starting a business means you’ll have less free time, not more. A lot less.
  11. If you can’t figure out how to market yourself in this world, you’ll always be paddling upstream.
  12. Everything is selling. But now we’re selling ideas and opinions, not only gadgets.
  13. Older does not equal smarter.
  14. Not everyone has experience, but everyone can have initiative.
  15. The best skill to have is one that is rare and useful.
  16. If you knew how much work it would take to get your dream job, most of you would run for the hills.
  17. And anyway, it’s only a “dream” job until you get it. Then it’s reality. And reality has its ups and downs.
  18. You choose what kind of mood you want to be in when you wake up.
  19. Don’t hang up the phone angry with your mother.
  20. Foster the relationship with your siblings. You’ll live with them a lot longer than any other family member.
  21. A strong handshake and solid eye contact will change your life for the better.
  22. Image is everything, at first. Don’t pretend that it’s not. Being well dressed and decently groomed is a form of politeness.
  23. There are no re-deals in life. The faster you accept that, the sooner you can excel at playing whatever hand you have.
  24. So often, what we say inspires us also makes us feel inferior and paralyzed. The trick is to find the inspiration that stirs action. Otherwise, it’s not inspiration; it’s comparison.
  25. Aspirations are wants based heavily on outside factors. Goals are wants based solely on your efforts.
  26. For all those instances you think you just can’t do it, maybe you just should do it.
  27. You live up to your own expectations.
  28. Ignorance is bliss, but it’s not allowed to vote. If you don’t want to be informed, don’t complain.
  29. Speaking of complaining, it’s easier than succeeding. Be careful what you whine about.
  30. Owning memories beats owning “things” every time.
  31. Except maybe if that thing reminds you of that memory every time you look at it.
  32. Don’t be afraid to be broke. Be afraid to stay broke.
  33. Helping others is noble, but be sure to take care of yourself too. It’s not selfish if it’s growth.
  34. Embrace the suck. Your story is in the grit beneath your fingernails.
  35. Because in the end, it’ll be the stories you tell and the people you tell them to.
  36. Great days = (luck) x (a bunch of average days). Let the great days take care of themselves.
  37. Stress = reality not matching your expectations. It’s harder to change reality than your expectations.
  38. Fear is a choice, not a mathematical constant.
  39. We often don’t want to accomplish our goals; we just want to be liked by our friends.
  40. Independence isn’t free. The more you have of it, the more you’re paralyzed by it.
  41. We do care what people think.
  42. Don’t change the world, change the moment.
  43. Don’t strive to be the best. Strive to be your best. “The best” is insanity.
  44. Death by research is no way to die. Start already.
  45. In five years, you’ll be wrong. Start already.
  46. Successful people finish shit. Finish already.
  47. Don’t go the extra mile until you go the last mile. Finish already.
  48. If you can put yourself in the shoes of an outsider, you win.
  49. Passions are your selfish desires. Purpose creates value for other people. Do something for other people and figure out how to tie your passions into it.
  50. Because how you treat people is more important than what you do.
  51. In fact, don’t treat others how you want to be treated, treat others how THEY want to be treated.

  52. While you’re at it, you’ll need to figure out how to pay your vulnerability tax.
  53. Surround yourself with people who are smarter than you. If you’re the smartest person in the room, you’ll always be that dumb.
  54. Exercise. No seriously, get off your ass.
  55. But if you’re only going to the gym because your friend is going, it’s not going to work for you.
  56. You are not right just because you speak. Give people a choice and a chance.
  57. Follow up or die.
  58. Know when to let go.
  59. Keep your digital self fed, but don’t let him/her rule the show.
  60. Create more.
  61. Tweet less.
  62. Craft first, community second.
  63. It’s not who you know. It’s who you know once you know what you need to know.
  64. Emotions are contagious. You are in control of what you are spreading and what you are susceptible to.
  65. Stop apologizing for not knowing. Everyone was a rookie once.
  66. All that evil needs to flourish is for good people to see nothing—and get paid for it.
  67. What makes people happier is other people.
  68. Have longer dinners with friends.
  69. Happiness isn’t reached; it’s tended to.
  70. Take that trip you’ve been thinking about. (See #4)
  71. If you only have a backpack, board the plane last. No sense in standing in line or sitting on a cramped plane for longer than you have to.
  72. Perspective is one simple thing that can make you more likable.
  73. If tuk tuk drivers speak English too well, don’t trust them.
  74. Partying is worth it while you’re in it, tragic when you miss it, regrettable the morning after, epic the day after that.
  75. Party your ass off every now and then, but wake up sober on Saturday more often than not.
  76. There is no such thing as “the one.” You don’t have time to meet all the candidates.
  77. Marriage and commitment is not about riding off into the sunset together; it’s about jumping in a foxhole together.
  78. Ladies, you hold all the cards. Own that.
  79. Guys, less gawking at ladies, more hellos.
  80. No one is thinking of creative ways to give you money.
  81. A service business is convincing someone you know more than them about something they value and getting them to pay you for that knowledge.
  82. Know the answer to “What are you working on, and how can I help?”
  83. When it comes to a potential new customer, nothing is nothing until it’s something.
  84. No one’s going to steal your idea.
  85. You’re not stuck in traffic. You ARE traffic.
  86. When you give someone change, don’t put the coins on top of the bills. This drives people crazy.
  87. You have to enjoy the process somehow.
  88. Sadly, we spend most of our time worrying about what the people who don’t ever think about us think about us.
  89. Do something you hate. It’ll make you appreciate the things you love more.
  90. Build something you can point at.
  91. Efficiency runs businesses; inefficiency starts them.
  92. You don’t make money from a blog; you make money from a business.
  93. Piss someone off. You can’t market to everyone.
  94. You can’t outmuscle being tired. Go to sleep.
  95. You can’t outlogic your goals. You have to understand emotion.

  96. Having no social awareness will be catastrophic for your career.
  97. Rinse the sponge out after you use it. People don’t like smelling mold on their hands.
  98. Have a hobby that entails you actually learning something new.
  99. The world owes you nothing. It gave you life. Let’s consider that “paid in full.”

What would you add to the list?

Bassam Tarazi is the creator of a motivational framework, Colipera, which utilizes the notion: collective inspiration + personal accountability—together, be better. Bassam is also the author of The Accountability Effect and has just launched an online course called Ready. Set. Finish. Bassam conducts goal setting classes, corporate and group Colipera sessions, and one-on-one coaching for those with 9-to-5s through his “Maximize Your 5-to-9” program. Bassam can also be followed on Twitter.