5 Things Most People Learn Too Late In Life

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5 Things Most People Learn Too Late In Life

1. Scars of good looks are overrated

Physicist Michio Kaku said something beautiful about high school life:

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“At the top of the pyramid are the beautiful people — the football jocks, the cheerleaders. And at the bottom, you have the nerds. That’s the pyramid that’s given to us by Hollywood. But, you see, they never tell you that as soon as you graduate from high school the pyramid turns upside down.”

What Physicist Kaku didn’t elaborate is this:

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To be a professional model on a magazine cover — you need a perfectly toned body. To get a lifetime with a spouse of your dreams — you need to be more thoughtful than the good-looking person in the next table.

The point is everything in life is relative. What grabs positive headlines is marginally better performance among peak performances. That is one type of ball game — worthy of nightly news.

There is another where you make fewer mistakes than the average person next door. That may not be newsworthy. It still sizzles your pride, success and inner happiness.

2. Nobody is that much into how you get your dopamine high

Some people like Steve Jobs and Elon Musk can get a high by solving a problem for humanity that no-one ventured to do before.

There are others who get their high by being a seeker of what they do not know.

As a young lawyer, Charlie Munger (Warren Buffet’s right hand man) decided that he would invest an hour each day in improving himself. At $20 an hour, he decided he was his most important client.

He read a lot. He read varied subjects. That was his dopamine high.

Sometimes, a spurge at Vegas could be worth it — valuable in terms of memories and highs. The casinos do pump up the oxygen levels.

For many, dopamine high is through the age-old lovemaking that our ancestors have perfected as the greatest ‘touch’ tool.

For some, it’s retaining the inner child to play in the rain.

Bottom line — nobody is that much into how you get your dopamine high.

You do you.

Just figure out your range of habits that periodically give you your high.

3. Nobody is that much into you as much as you are onto them

When I was young I learned: You cannot straighten a dog’s tail.

Somewhere along the way, I believed I could win over people to my point of view with words and actions. The shape of the dog’s tail [people’s behavior in the normal course of the day] is not that important.

As I got older, my aha was: There is immense value in studying the dog’s tail. You may not be able to straighten it forever. However, the study of tails opens our eyes on what people are comfortable with — in their natural state. An observation I found worth the weight in gold in the world of influence without authority.

In other words, forget worrying about what to say next. Speak less.

Chill out and listen. It’s easier.

And you are a better Sherlock Holmes because of your observation skills.

4. Your bucket lists define you but the bucket list is hard to define.

Life is about choices.We can either make choices ourselves, or avoid them altogether and adapt to whatever comes our way.

Many living people do not have a problem with time. Most have a problem with creating a bucket list. We are all wired differently. Each ones bucket list is different.

The hardest one is to find the time to dig deeper to discover our bucket list.

I was lucky. In my bucket list, read post retirement endeavor, was to express myself in words. In passing, I may have shared that with my wife. At the right moment, she goaded me to start now rather than later.

She made me realize my implicit blind spot — I was using retirement and postponement interchangeably. I am deeply indebted for that gesture.

Funny thing is that I found the time in the last seven years which created worldwide connections that no corporate career can envision.

5. People (and pets) around you influence your happiness

Our mind is malleable. Easily swayed. Being on guard is stressful.

And the best predictor of a great life is hidden in a 75+ year long running research from Harvard University. It still continues to this day with Harvard college sophomores from the classes of 1939–1944 and inner-city youths who grew up in Boston neighborhoods between 1940 and 1945.

The main conclusion- “warmth of relationships throughout life has the greatest positive impact on life satisfaction.”

“Happiness is love. Full stop.”

Seek it within the daily rhythms of the day.

Bonus material that did not make it to the top 5 but within top 10

Life is like a train ride where tomorrow is a bonus. Your potential is directly correlated to how well you know yourself. You (not others or their opinions) define your success and your self worth.

Regrets of the dying were never about the office work. And you never need to marry your passion and money making. They can be two different streams.

Better still, find time to do what you love and love what you do for a living. Everything is temporary anyway.

CONTRIBUTED BY Karthik Rajan

Read More: A Really Easy Way to Be 10x Better Than Everyone Else

Read More: Do’s & Don’ts for a Successful Life

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