>  Blog   >  8 lessons I’d tell my kids that’d make them better than the average

My parents never really taught me much.

How to talk to others. How I should treat myself vs others. What skills I should focus on during college.

I basically had to learn “life” on my own. But no matter how many mistakes I’d made or life tips I’d picked up from friends, I still turned out ordinary.

They say the first 5 years of your life is the fastest time your brain learns, but it’s really the Critical Period that shapes the future you. This usually ranges from age 5 to puberty.

If only I could reverse time, I’d teach my younger self some lessons I believe would help me grow better than the average person. But since I’m living in reality, the most I could do is pass these lessons to my future kids.

Stop dwelling back and worrying about the future. Focus on the moment.

Some people think too much about their past (e.g. their mistakes, their regrets, their worst moments). Some others worry too much about their future (e.g. their health, their potential partner, their career).

What’s the point of overwhelming your brain with things that don’t matter anymore, or might change over time?

Do what you think feels right.

If you want a well-nourished body, order a lean meaty pasta with vegetable soup instead of an oil-drenched burger and fries.

If you want to change jobs, update your resume and upload it online.

If you want to go on a date with your crush, ask.

You have more to gain than to lose when you just do it. After all, it’s really the experience and habits you develop that shape how smart, strong, and successful you will be.

Your health comes first, ALWAYS.

Health is irreplaceable — once you break a bone, hit obesity, or catch cancer, you can never revert back to your original self.

Even though you might see more people hitting the gym and eating balanced meals, there’s still a large majority who mope around at home, bingeing on every food they can find and doing the most useless stuff. They don’t only lose their shape, but they also damage their mind.

Don’t let this be your story.

Make health your first priority. Take a walk after eating. Exercise for half an hour. Eat less than eat more. You only have one body, one life. Take care of it.

Regret is more painful than failure.

This might not make sense at first, because you know everyone hates feeling like a total failure. But the thing is, failure only stings for a moment. Once you’ve learned what you did wrong and make the effort to make things right, that sting fades away.

Regret, on the other hand, sticks with you for the rest of your life. And it keeps building up until you feel completely guilty about what you did, or what you didn’t do.

So if I had to make a choice, I’d rather fail a thousand times and succeed once than not try at all.

That’s what you need to do if you ever want to be a pro at [your line of work].

Be nice to everyone, even to those mean jerks.

You might feel like being an a**hole to those who dissed or belittled you. And you might think that’d be the best solution to fix their behavior.

It’s not.

In fact, you’re only puffing up the problem and making others see your weak side — that you’re easily angered by the smallest things and can’t control your emotions.

Don’t let others’ behavior influence what yours should be.

The strongest response you can give is your kindness. Because when others see how nice you are even when they know they’ve hurt you, it makes them feel guilty about what they’ve done. If you stay kind to people, you can change some hearts and gain more favors the next time you need help.

Stay in touch with people.

No one can stay sane, alone.

I’ve tried — for 3 days straight without stepping foot out the house or texting my friends (I was experiencing a melodramatic period with my ex at the time). It was probably the loneliest times of my life.

Now, I stay in touch with my closest companions and people I enjoy talking to. Because when I need to share my happiest, saddest, or craziest moments, I have someone to talk to.

Never let someone you care about slip out of your life, even if they’re living thousands of miles away. Ask how they are and what they’ve been up to once in awhile. You never know when’s the next time they’re in town.

Love yourself before you love others.

Loving myself has never been my first priority. Making others feel happy and making sure their needs were fulfilled was. As much as my friends kept nudging me to think for myself, it’s hard to as a giver.

But later down the road, I realized I’d lost a part of myself. I had no goal in life. No idea what I wanted in life or who I wanted to be. And that scared me.

So then I began forcing myself to give less care about what others think and to do what I feel like doing. In two years, I’d grown more confident in my career, my relationships, most importantly, myself.

My message to you:
Don’t neglect yourself to fulfill other people’s wishes. If you feel like doing something that goes against what everyone expects of you, just do it.

It’s okay to cry.

Contrary to what everyone says, crying doesn’t make you weak. In fact, it toughens you up, mentally, and shows you’re human too. That you’re someone who faces the same problems everybody else has been through.

So if you ever need to release your pain, just let it all out. It’s better to show who you really are than to pretend that everything is okay. You get more respect for sincerity.

Money really doesn’t buy you happiness.

Most people believe money is the remedy to unhappiness. If you have money, you can travel anywhere, anytime. You can order anything from the menu without worrying about the price. You can even try a new leisure activity every week (skydiving, mountain climbing, scuba diving, race car driving).

But it’s not money that makes you happy — it’s the freedom to do what you want that does. You see, when we have choices, we feel more in control of our lives which gives us real satisfaction. We want to choose how our day goes and hang out with the people we like. You don’t need millions or billions of dollars to do that, just your choice.

What lessons would you tell your future kids? Drop it in the comments below — would love to hear your thoughts!

I’m rebuilding my life by discovering who I am, learning what I’m capable of after a 9 year heartbreak that left me stranded in China.