101 Lessons Learned After 29 Years Of Living Life


When I was young I wanted to live to 100. To my mind it might as well have been infinity. (I thought China was a different planet when I was 4 so maybe 100 was infinity.)

Then I got older and I didn’t want to live to anything.

Now I want to live to 100 again. As you know, I like the number 100. Actually, I’d like to live to infinity. (Wait, is China a different planet? What’s happening here? … help?)

Anyway, 29 is still very young, and I don’t claim to know it all. What I do know is what I know, you know? ;)

Much like Finding Your Right People I’ve had this post ready for a long time. I was a little bit afraid to post it, but it may be The Ultimate Filter (like The Ultimate Warrior with less color and no steroids). Maybe tomorrow I start with a blank slate.

Probably not.

I expected a lot of RSS unsubscribes after posting Finding Your Right People. Instead, my subscriber count increased by 83. For a regular traffic day that is incredible (for this site). Thank you for hangin’ out in my backyard.

This list was originally 99. Then I edited some out. Then I added some. Then I edited some out. Truth be told I think I could easily hit 1,000. But right now it’s 101. A nice, easy number we’ll also call Infinity + 1.

Infinity + 1 Lessons Karol Has Learned In 29 Years:

  1. Friends really do come and go. Some come back. Some don’t. That’s OK.
  2. Nobody cares about you as much as they care about themselves.
  3. Animals kill to survive. Humans kill for “fun” (also know as a psychopath) or because they’re ignorant of torture (I know I used to be).
  4. It’s OK to be different.
  5. Most people won’t agree with you.
  6. The people who really care will still care whether they agree with you or not.
  7. You don’t need anybody’s support to make things happen.
  8. Arguments are pointless. You can’t change anyone, don’t try.
  9. People will rationalize and justify anything and everything to be “right.” Let them.
  10. It’s easier to take a small action now instead of a big action “some day.”
  11. Some day never comes.
  12. If the music you listen to is on the radio or TV it’s pop music. Pop = popular. It doesn’t matter if there’s screaming or singing, loud guitars or soft piano, it’s pop music. I love pop music. I love unpopular music as well. ;)
  13. You’re not as different as you think.
  14. You can have anything you want.
  15. You never have to settle. Not in a relationship, not in a job, not ever.
  16. Somebody will always tell you your ideas suck. Take action anyway.
  17. You might think you’re not good enough, but you’ll surprise yourself when you try.
  18. Smoking is gross. Kissing a smoker is grosser.
  19. You don’t have to be promiscuous because you’re a male and you don’t have to be celibate because you’re a female. Do what you want.
  20. Don’t let the school system brainwash you into being average. They will try. Every step of the way.
  21. Society wants you to be average as well, but you can be exceptional if you’d like. It’s your choice.
  22. You will make mistakes. So what?
  23. It’s OK to feel sad.
  24. There is nothing wrong with you.
  25. Successful people read books.
  26. Passion can go a long way.
  27. Don’t kill yourself. It’s never worth it.
  28. Get tested.
  29. If you think you can do something you’re right. If you think you can’t do something you’re also right.
  30. The refrigerator light doesn’t always stay on.
  31. Whether you hear it or not, a falling tree always makes a sound.
  32. Money is not the root of all evil.
  33. Love of money is not the root of all evil either.
  34. You don’t need as much money as you think.
  35. Nobody cares what kind of car you drive. If they do, they’re not worth your time. (Also, replace car with: the kinds of clothes you wear.)
  36. Don’t be a pushover.
  37. Memories are priceless. Write them down daily. Even if they seem trivial.
  38. Nothing is trivial.
  39. Ask for what you want. If you don’t ask, you won’t receive.
  40. Don’t make the same mistake twice. If you do, don’t make it a third time.
  41. There will always be somebody more “successful” than you.
  42. Define your own rules for success. It’s a lot easier to rule your world than someone else’s world.
  43. Humans are the only mammals that drink milk after they’ve grown. They’re also the only mammals that drink another mammal’s milk.
  44. If you don’t feel good you probably don’t need a doctor. It’s your diet.
  45. Even if an apple a day doesn’t keep the doctor away it sure tastes good.
  46. Doctors aren’t all bad, but many will write you any prescription you ask for if you know how to ask.
  47. The fact that gay marriage is not recognized is an abomination. If you support Freedom, you support gay marriage.
  48. Religion causes a lot of problems.
  49. Telling someone they’re wrong never leads to anything positive. Even if they’re wrong.
  50. You’ll never be good enough if you don’t define great.
  51. Being dependent on TV shows or sports teams is for children and teenagers.
  52. You don’t need more than 3 pairs of shoes. 1 athletic, 1 dress, and 1 casual. Even that might be overkill.
  53. If you wear the same pants every day nobody will notice.
  54. Write down your dreams/nightmares for 30 days every morning immediately upon waking up. Some trippy stuff will start happening.
  55. It is scientifically proven that if you eat meat you’re not an environmentalist. Don’t pretend to care about the environment. Care or don’t care.
  56. Whether global warming is real or made up, is it really so difficult to throw a cigarette butt in a trash can instead of the street? (Replace the following with cigarette butt: gum, paper, bottles, anything.)
  57. If you say you love animals and you kill them for dinner (physically or by shopping at the deli counter) there is a blatant disconnect.
  58. Just because somebody tells you something is true, doesn’t mean it is. Do your own research.
  59. Jealousy is mankind’s most useless emotion. Instead of feeling jealous, feel happy.
  60. Happiness is mankind’s most useful emotion.
  61. If you help people get what they want, you will “miraculously” get what you want.
  62. It’s OK to be a follower. It’s better to be a thought leader.
  63. It’s OK if you don’t like something. Just don’t pretend that you do.
  64. There are exceptions to every rule. That doesn’t make the rule invalid.
  65. You can’t break rules if you don’t learn them first.
  66. If somebody tells you they want the best for you what they mean is they want you to do what they say and follow the rules.
  67. You should play on a swing set at least once every year. It is guaranteed to bring a smile to your face.
  68. Don’t blame anybody for your problems. They’re yours. The sooner you establish this the sooner you can work on them.
  69. If you can’t sing, sing anyway. Especially at karaoke.
  70. Just because a billion people do something doesn’t mean it’s right.
  71. If you eat moldy bread you might feel like shit. Pun not intended. :)
  72. Don’t wish, do. “I wish I could…” is a waste of thought energy.
  73. Some people say you should do something every day that scares you. That’s a lofty goal, but even if you do something every week that scares you you’ll come out ahead.
  74. Do what scares you.
  75. If you think something is a bad idea, it might mean you should do it. Or it might mean it’s actually a bad idea.
  76. Stop watching so much TV.
  77. It really is easier to ask for forgiveness than to ask for permission. Try it next time.
  78. It’s OK if you don’t want to travel the world. There are lots of things to explore in your own backyard.
  79. Don’t listen to anybody who tells you “you’re missing out” by not going somewhere or doing something. You’re only missing out if you believe you’re missing out.
  80. Don’t think of cost. Think of value.
  81. If something is expensive that doesn’t mean it’s worth it. If something is cheap that doesn’t mean it’s not. Usually, neither of those options are ideal.
  82. Maybe you can’t have it all. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try.
  83. You can change the world because you define your world.
  84. Jakfruit is hard to find, but so very worth it.
  85. Give away something you love. You’ll learn a) detachment and b) it feels great.
  86. Do activities by yourself. Solo Social Activities (movies, dinner, concerts, travel) can be a lot of fun.
  87. Stop depending on other people.
  88. It’s OK to complain sometimes. Don’t make it a habit.
  89. Do what you love even if you don’t get paid for it.
  90. Stop texting or checking your phone when you’re with other people. It’s rude and it’s sad.
  91. Drink more water.
  92. Show gratitude.
  93. Make more mistakes.
  94. There is no such thing as luck. No good luck. No bad luck. You either make good things happen or you make bad things happen. Nothing more, nothing less.
  95. The secret to winning is playing. Often. (This advice does not hold for games of chance.)
  96. Everybody lies. Trust people anyway.
  97. If you dwell on past mistakes you will get depressed. Dwell or don’t dwell, but know the outcome.
  98. There is always more you can do. But that doesn’t mean there is always more you should do.
  99. Don’t compare yourself to other people. Compare yourself to yourself.
  100. Low calorie does not mean healthy. Stop fooling yourself.
  101. Seek danger.


  1. Awesome!!!
    When you’re a child, you’re constantly told you can be anything you want to be and to dream big and have even bigger goals.
    As you get older schools teach you to downsize your dreams, as if that were possible.
    By the time you hit high school, you’re being told you’ll never be ________

    Im currently a student at a technical school, where a professor of English told me not to write my paper in proper format MLA because it wouldnt be fair to the rest of the students: meaning they were too stupid to do research papers!
    A similar situation in marketing class where my professor told me he didn’t take points off because he didnt’ expect anyone to know what APA format for research paper meant. Wow!!
    At a prestigeous business school I attended, my accouting professor in a group conversation told a rather pretty girl to just keep applying makeup because that’s all she was a pretty face.
    This same professor in another conversation said as a tax specialist, which at one point he was, he saw more money than we would ever see in a lifetime.
    This same professor claimed to be a runner and a theologist and told me I slouched, had bad posture and was a poor excuse for existance. :)

    So…where does this leave the students? To prove the professor of accounting wrong, on all levels, I showed him my portfolio. That was much more money than he’s ever had :)
    On the poor postures, I took him out with my buddies: several Navy Seals and Marine Special Teams people, he couldnt keep up with us. Talk about eating crow. :)
    As for the pretty girl: she handed him a trophy she won for a half marathon, another for self defense class :D
    My marketing professor was presented with a proper APA paper: one by a student and one he had written: the student’s was better.
    My English professor received 35 A grade research papers from the “stupid people”

    THe point, the higher you go, the stronger the opposition. Learn to tune out people and just be yourself, the best you you can be. I agree, You dont have to change the world, just your world. Money doesnt buy anything you can’t get for free. always choose quality over quantity.
    when you tell someone to always question authority, dont’ forget you’ll be the first authority questioned.

    Great post; :)

    • Hey Jade,

      Thanks for your examples. You’re right on. The school system is designed to churn out products, not independent thinkers.


  2. Hey ! i agree with all of these fantastic thoughts except three:

    a)32. Money is not the root of all evil. No. Greed is!!

    b)48. Religion causes a lot of problems. No. the prejudice of right and wrong doing making one superior over another on the basis of religion causes problems. No religion in the world teaches prejudice. thats an acquired human trait.

    c)55. It is scientifically proven that if you eat meat you’re not an environmentalist. Don’t pretend to care about the environment. Care or don’t care.

    Eating meat is fine unless you are not allergic to its contents. Humans are supposed to be BOTH carnivorous AND herbivorous. You can still care about environment if you controlled the consumption of all food. (eating meats AND plants!)
    And that goes for not only food but all types of consumptions in the world.

  3. hey Karol,

    a very wise 101 lessons, thanks.

    I’m currently living on that planet you mentioned.

  4. You said# If somebody tells you they want the best for you what they mean is they want you to do what they say and follow the rules.

    HAHAHA! I couldn’t agree more. Why the hell is this?! Why must people try to control one another. I never say I want the best for you. I usually tell people…just be happy. NOT I want you to be happy, because honestly I just want me to be happy. I want to help people…and hear their story, but how can I WANT for their happiness?

    So how do we manage to sneak out from that trap of we want you happy? It’s thrown over me everyday. I know I can take control back of this situation…I just need a little help figuring out how…

    • I’m not sure Rachel. :) I don’t think it’s a problem to want others to be happy, unless you’re trying to make them happy, which will probably make both of you unhappy.

  5. If I were to make a list like this, the most important point would probably be something I read off a poster somewhere – “There are 2 quick ways to disaster: Follow nobody’s advice or follow everybody’s advice.”

  6. I’m enjoying catching up on your posts as I have time lately; I like the positive slant you take on topics compared to some of the other minimalist bloggers out there.

    This post is frighteningly similar to a list I wrote myself earlier this year, when I turned 30! Get out of my head! It’s nice to see other people thinking about the same things I do. So thanks :)

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