Things I know to be true

  1. It could always be worse
    In the most miserable of situations, perspective is key. There is always someone struggling much more with something much worse.
  2. Life isn't fair
    Other than feeling good about yourself, you're not going to get anything in exchange for being a good human or trying your best. Doing the right thing doesn't entitle you to anything. [Fun fact-some social psychologists believe that the good feeling you get from helping someone is actually proof that altruism doesn't exist].
  3. Not everything is about you
    Those people aren't talking about you. Your boss isn't out to get you. The fix is not in. People are self-centered and are motivated to do one thing: further themselves. You're just collateral damage.
  4. Distance = clarity
    You likely won't be as heated in an hour as you are right now. Maybe don't respond to the infuriating email until the rage has subsided.
  5. Time hurries on
    Don't want to do something? Don't worry, one day you'll wake up and think "hm remember when..." The speed of time applies twice as fast to happy occasions you never want to end.
  6. Interviewers like hearing their own voice much more than they'd like to admit
    Interject when appropriate, but it generally doesn't hurts to let them talk about themselves for what seems like the whole interview. The key is to look like you're totally engrossed in what they're saying, agreeing with them/adding in a relevant skill when you can. It's a silly practice but if it gets you hired, it's worth it.
  7. Delayed gratification is satisfying, but not appropriate in all instances
    It's important to know when the idiom "one in the hand is worth two in the bush" applies. For instance, it's great in terms of a 401k, but shouldn't be used when you're babysitting and the parents, who only have a $20 bill, offer to either pay you $10 extra now (and take it out of your fee next time) or short you $10 now and give you the money you earned next time. They'll forget and you'll have worked an hour for free.
  8. No good deed goes unpunished
    This goes hand in hand with the notion that the law doesn't favor a Good Samaritan. Feel free to lend a hand, but the moment you do something wrong, you're on the hook.
  9. People like follow ups
    On projects, on personal stories, on everything. If they've mentioned it, they'll appreciate you bringing it up later on.
  10. Always live within/below your means
    A beautiful house you can show off to friends isn't worth it if it results in you eating dollar ramen in the dark every night.
  11. It could always be worse